PROS / It has the toughest design of any rear-view camera we reviewed.
CONS / The resolution is slightly lower than some other top backup cameras.
VERDICT / This camera's high-quality design makes it the best rear-view camera on the market
The Rear View Safety 091406 is a wireless backup camera with interference shielding and a wide field of view. It's waterproof and freeze-proof, and it comes with a 5-inch monitor. For its tough design and excellent image quality, the Rear View Safety 091406 is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.
This model has a resolution of 582 x 500 pixels. While this resolution would be low for a camcorder, for a rear-view camera it is actually about average. It easily provides enough detail for you to see if you're going to hit anything behind you, which is the basic purpose of a rear-view camera.
The camera sends the image of what is behind your car through a cable to the wireless transmitter. The transmitter then sends the image wirelessly to the monitor. Most wireless backup cameras use a 2.4GHz analog signal, which is prone to electromagnetic interference from other devices, such as Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth devices. This camera, however, uses a digital 2.4GHz signal, which means it's protected against such interference.
The camera has a 130-degree field of view, which is one of the widest fields of view among cameras we reviewed. Most are around 100 degrees. The camera's infrared night-vision range is 50 feet, which is one of the best night-vision ranges among the backup cameras.
The main advantage of owning a wireless reversing camera like this one, instead of a conventional wired reversing camera, is ease of installation. Wired models often require professional installation, which can cost up to $200. In contrast, most wireless cameras are simple enough to install yourself.
Even among wireless backup cameras, this is one of the easiest to install. Rear View Safety provides detailed directions to help you connect the unit without having to pay a mechanic. It's as simple as drilling a small hole behind your license plate to connect the camera to the transmitter, and then connecting the transmitter to the reversing lights' power source and placing the small transmitter in the trunk. You simply plug the monitor into your cigarette lighter port. The camera gets power when you shift into reverse, and the monitor receives the wireless signal from the transmitter. Overall, this is a standard design for a wireless backup camera.
It has a wireless range of 70 feet, which is one of the longest ranges among cameras we reviewed. This means this camera has enough broadcasting power to cover almost any vehicle, except for a long tractor-trailer.
The camera is waterproof, rated to IPx8, which means it can be completely immersed in water without damage. This is the highest level of waterproofing of any camera we reviewed. It's also freeze-proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's shock resistant.
The included 5-inch monitor has a display resolution of 480 x 234 pixels, which is more than enough resolution to support the camera. It has audio and video inputs, so you can connect video game systems or DVD players to it. It's important to note that the monitor won't be able to display anything in HD, but it will be able to downscale high-definition content to standard definition. Because the monitor measures only 5 inches, you'll need to be very close to be able to watch movies or play video games on it. For its original purpose, however, the 5-inch monitor is sufficient for a rear-view camera.
Help & Support
Rear View Safety has the best help and support options among the camera manufacturers we reviewed. The company offers phone support, email support and live chat. There is also a one-year warranty, on par with other top rear-view cameras. The website is easy to navigate, and you'll find installation manuals, a FAQs section and a buyer's guide.
The Rear View Safety 091406 rear-view camera is a great product because it does everything well. It's not the most innovative product on the market, but it includes nearly everything you're likely to need in a backup camera. It has good image quality, a rugged design and excellent manufacturer support.