PROS / The CMOS-300 has the widest viewing angle of any product we reviewed.
CONS / It lacks an included display, so it's only useful if you already have an in-dash monitor.
VERDICT / If your vehicle is already equipped with a monitor, there's little to stop you from buying this product.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it is no longer in our top ten. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Rearview cameras augment your ability to see what's behind your vehicle. The Kenwood CMOS-300 is such a device. Its wide viewing angle, back-guide line indicator, multiple view modes and more make it a good choice. We would like to have seen this unit bundled with its own monitor. If Kenwood added this feature, the CMOS-300 would have ranked higher on our side-by-side comparison chart.
There are several praise-worthy features on the Kenwood CMOS-300. Chief among them is its super-wide viewing angle. At 190 degrees, it's the widest of any back-up camera we reviewed. This means that not only can you see what is directly behind your vehicle, but also that you have a substantial view of the lanes on either side of traffic.
One of the primary functions of back-up cameras is helping drivers parallel park. The Kenwood CMOS-300 displays back-guide line indicators. This function detects exactly how far you are from the vehicle behind you when you're parking on the street. It then displays the precise angle and speed you need follow to park perfectly every time.
The Kenwood CMOS-300 supports multiple cameras. If you choose a multi-camera setup for your vehicle, the CMOS-300 provides you with a camera-view selection button. This function allows you to switch the display to show all the cameras you have mounted to your vehicle's frame.
If you wish to see multiple camera views simultaneously, the CMOS-300 features a picture-in-picture function. This feature functions the exact same way as a picture-in-picture does on your home television. The camera you select as the primary shows in the display, while the secondary camera occupies a smaller portion of the screen, usually in the upper left corner, although you can configure that however you want.
The picture resolution produced by the CMOS-300 measures 640 by 480 pixels. With one exception, this resolution beats every other back-up camera on our side by comparison chart. It's more than enough screen real estate to see the images your camera captures clearly. It's by no means high definition, but then most monitors built into dashboards lack the ability to display HD anyway.
All the great features we've mentioned so far are reliant on one key assumption. Kenwood assumes that you already have a monitor or display installed in your vehicle. By its nature, the CMOS-300 is an aftermarket product. If you own a vehicle that does not have an in-dash display, you cannot use this product unless you buy another aftermarket product in the form of a display.
Installing two separate aftermarket items in your vehicle to achieve a single function is a hassle. You have to do a bit of research to discover the compatibility of the CMOS-300 for whichever display you choose to buy. The lack of an included monitor is a serious drawback, especially considering how much you're paying for the camera.
The Kenwood CMOS-300 is an outstanding rearview camera. It touts the widest viewing angle on our side-by-side comparison chart, and its picture resolution rivals the award winners in this category. If it included a monitor to display the images it captures, it surely would rise into the top tier of back-up cameras.