Today’s cars are pretty sophisticated boasting large touchscreen displays powered by real operating systems. A lot of midrange models even have built-in rear camera systems that work with these large screens so you can see what is at your immediate rear as you reverse. Of course, the average consumer won’t be buying a new car every few years but sometimes it is the extra features that serve as the main reasons as to why people want to own these new models. Garmin wants to provide a cheap upgrade path to people that particularly want a backup camera. The Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera is one of Garmin’s available backup camera choices.
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About the Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera
The Garmin BC 30 is one of the official accessories of Garmin nuvi devices. The backup camera system alone doesn’t come with Garmin nuvi device and it is important that you have one because it relies on the Garmin nuvi’s screen. It comes with a car charger that connects to the Garmin nuvi device because you want to make sure the screen stays charged. It also comes with a wireless transmitter and its own power cable. The main backup camera connects to this wireless transmitter. The backup camera itself is small and could be mounted to a preferred spot at the rear. Most people mount it right on top of the license plate. The included mounting bracket and screws aid with the installation. The build quality of the camera is pretty solid and rugged enough to handle harsh weather conditions.
Garmin recommends that you contact a professional to install the entire Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera system but for those DIY fans, Garmin has prepared six elaborate instruction videos on their website and YouTube channel that teach you exactly how to install the camera from the preparation to the configuration, troubleshooting and optional steps.
To ensure that the camera works properly with any type of vehicle, the Garmin nuvi device provides an extra option to configure the guidance lines. Guidance lines serve as overlays on the screen so you can get a good representation of your car’s path when going in reverse.
Once you have successfully set up at least one camera, you have the option of buying up to three more cameras and have them all pair up to the same transmitter. The first camera should already be recognized by the transmitter but extra cameras need to be paired manually via the Garmin nuvi device.
The Garmin BC 30 provides you with the option to have the camera wired directly to the reverse lights so your Garmin nuvi device automatically brings up the camera view whenever you put the car on reverse. Otherwise, you will have to manually toggle the display.
As the transmitter is less than 45 feet away from the Garmin nuvi device, you should have no problems seeing the rear view in real time. It uses a 1/3.7-type CMOS sensor with a low resolution of 640×480. This pretty much make the camera as good as a cheap webcam but during the day, the video quality is decent. It also has a camera angle of 115 degrees vertical and 140 degrees horizontal. Actual quality may vary depending on the situation, time of the day and area.
• Easy-to-follow instruction videos found on the official Garmin YouTube channel.
• Unintimidating unboxing experience.
• Works with all Garmin nuvi devices 2013 and beyond.
• Video quality may not be consistently great.
If you have a Garmin nuvi device and your car doesn’t have a backup camera system, the Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera is a no-brainer. Even for experienced drivers, a properly installed camera will let you conveniently see blind spots.