Top positive review
199 people found this helpful
First impressions: solidly built, great image, very happy
on November 12, 2013
I just bought two of these for my Honda Element. I figured at this price, why not get two? If it fails or gets busted or something, I'll have a spare ready to install. Right out of the package I liked it. It seems solidly built, seams and finishes, etc, all look like "quality stuff". Just like the picture, it has a sort of charcoal black/chrome finish that should go well with just about any vehicle. The small instruction booklet is written in poor english, but can be understood. It says it will fit in any "keyhole" (in some aftermarket installations - if you never use your key, just your remote - you can remove the lock cylinder from your trunk lid and install the camera in the hole for a "flush" professional look)... but there were no additional grommets, seals or trim for that type of install. I just installed it like most people do - outside the vehicle, bolt onto the bottom side of a horizontal surface (install with screws going "up") and run the wire straight into the hatch through a nearby hole. Many people will need to drill a hole somewhere, and to pass the connectors through, that hole will have to be almost 1/2 inch diameter (and of course, there's no grommet supplied to plug that hole when you're done). I've never installed one of these before, but managed to figure it out with about 3 hours work. The hardest part is getting the wiring neatly run from the camera into the vehicle, then under and behind trim panels, etc, all the way up to the dash (wired to my in-dash Pioneer DVD). Once up and running, the picture was excellent. Can't complain about the image one bit, day or night - very clear.
There are red / yellow / green grid lines in the image, but do NOT necessarily mean that "just park it between the green lines and you're safe". They work only as a reference point (and you have to make sure you never bump the mounting position of the camera, or your reference points will change). Other reviewers are right: objects ARE much closer than they appear. But I think it just takes some getting used to. Example: If you look in my rear view mirror, and see a car behind you nearly fill your view out the rear window, well that car is probably at least 12 or 20 feet behind you. If you look at my back-up camera screen and see a car nearly filling the screen, THAT car is about 6 inches from my rear bumper!
It is advertised as "170 degree Viewing Angle". I don't know how they could possibly come up with that. What I see on the display screen in my car is about 100 degree view. Still it is about what I expected to see. And I'm pleased. My local installer wanted about $400 to put his brand of camera in my car (and he didn't want to be too specific about the model number, brand, etc). I installed this my self for under $25. I am super happy with the purchase so far. Will follow up in a few months to let you know if it's still working, etc.
May 21, 2014 - Follow-up: I've probably driven about 5000 miles since installed, and it still works great. It has been through a Carolina winter (chillier than most this year, but not like a Yankee winter). I've only washed the car a few times, and seen some rain... no leaks, or other problems yet. In the rain, droplets on lens will blur the image, but dries off eventually. Backing up into direct sunlight (near sunrise or sunset) it is almost impossible to see anything... but, that's to be expected. Overall, still satisfied. Still 4 stars.