rear view camera

We have a rear view camera installed in RF 117. My comments would be that it is really usefull for reversing etc, if you have the time to focus in on the screen it gives you a good idea of what is around your tail but to be perfectly frank I find I hardly use it unless I know someone is about to dive under me in the braking zone. It takes a while for my eyes to find & then focus on the screen, the picture quality takes a while for my eyes to adjust to by which time its all too late. These issues may not be a concern in a road car but I get far more use out of my two side mirrors.


Thanks Str 8 what kind of camera do you have and concur with your comments on the race track. Break; Understand all the recomendations but would like the feedback from ones that have and use a rear looking camera. Leaning twds the Race Optics type Sony Camera
For those of you looking for rear view cameras, the choices have just exploded in the last year. I stumbled onto the RC forums and their industry has spurred the field of miniature cameras to new heights. I am ccurrently using what is referred to as a "board camera". It measures 32mm square and is a piece of electronics with a great lens mounted on it. Its resolution is 800 TV lines(they have newer ones @960 &1000). These cameras are programmable and have the ability to flip the image if desired. I got it with a 3.6mm lens and the view is like looking into a mirror. The 3.6 lens is equivalent to 90-110 degree FOV(field of view)This board cam is for viewing only(for now), soon to be altered. They also have DVRs that work on these cameras. Price around $80. Electrical needs is anything between 7-17 volts. Housings can be had as well, so mounting is a breeze.

Here it is on my old(3 yrs.) LCD monitor.

I purchased other cameras that will record and are programmable as well. Prices for these is what sold me. The board camera was $39 and the mini cams were$36 to $45. There are reviews out there that tout these as better than the GoPros. I bought one of the Mobius cameras and a - Search Results for "dvr".
Both come with rechargeable batteries.
The RC guys are into light equipment and they come in at 49 grams. If these cameras have a downfall it has to be that they operate on 5 volts which can be had with any USB outlet. There are many wiring/cabling options with these and they can be configured with your android phone.
They can be setup as dash cams where the lens is rewired to be outside the camera, setup on the dash, it can hardly be seen. All of the components and wiring are tiny, so if you have fat fingers......
I went to a Coffee and Octane cruise in a couple of weeks ago and used the Run cam to see how it performed. There was a lot of wind noise which I am working on. The sound recording is not that bad. This video was shot with all the normal settings. Nothing was altered in the settings. The editing was done with Movie Maker which came with the computer. I am no professional but I was impressed with the results of the camera(not me). Movie is less than 9 minutes. These cameras can be setup to be charging the battery and recording at the same time. Tons of information on UTube for setting them up, to options
My next project is to finish assembling the electronics that will operate 2 mini servos(5-9 gram) that will allow me to pan and tilt the cameras(s) while driving. It can be done either on the outside or inside the car. If I am willing to spend a little more money, it can be done wirelessly.

"Dash Cams" were BIG at SEMA, and seemingly very well priced vs. component (piece together) solutions. The quality of image was noticeably better at every given price point as well.

I'm thinking of trashing my current solution on picture quality alone :(

Howard Jones

Well I have to agree Iain completely. He said it in a way that exactly conveys my experience. It's got to do with how your mind reacts to a video screen as a replacement to a mirror. But he's completely correct. You have to keep track of whos behind you and quickly check for relative changes in location.

I think it's possible that a tablet quality screen video resolution might be better but I'm not sure about that.

My comments are mostly related to on track use but it still takes longer to linkup my brain to the monitor that the side mirrors. Strange effect.

Someday I will try a much better monitor. I did buy a very good $130 ccd camera but the 7inch low buck 50 dollar monitor is at the low end of marginal.

It may take something like this to replicate a mirror.

I have one much like this.
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I think the weak link in this area is the monitors. Mine is a LCD of several years. I think a digital might do better. I haven't seen how the image looks with some of the equipment that the RC guys are using. will have to see if I can find out more about the monitors they are using when they bench test these cameras.
You guys in the SLCs may have the room for a tablet or such but us 40 owners have very little room for them. I guess we could add a console going up to the dash and fill it in with something. The overhead is not an option(at least from me that is) because the roof line is so close, a monitor of any size would greatly diminish the forward view.
I made a mistake with my earlier post(just noticed it today) in that it should have been a video of the Coffee and Octane cruise in. Just wanted to show the clarity of the camera first of all, and secondly, to show also the response these cars are getting at car shows. I am new to videoing our cars so I have a lot to learn on techniques and rendering videos. This was taken with a $36 camera(RunCam HD) and edited with a freeby that came on my computer.The worst thing was the wind noise. Looking through the camera on my computer monitor looks just like the video.

The cameras that the RC industry uses are much cheaper than the Sony you show. I have a "'board camera" that is a Sony and 800 tv lines. It only cost $36 You would need a DVR to record from it but the other cameras they use at about the same price can withstand speeds on their planes in excess of 100 MPH. To protect their boards they just spray them with Plastidip and they have no ill effects from it. You don't have to spend a fortune to get video. The Mobius and RunCam cost about $40-60, and are rated by the reviewers to be as good if not better than the GoPros.

Another dumb question, what does din signify? Is a 2 din better than 1 din? Damn, where is my medication?
I am in the same boat as you. I spend hours on the internet trying to understand the lingo and still come away with a scrambled thoughts. The short bus will be here soon.
I agree. Most backup camera for moms mininvan hav 160 deg FOV but are made to see a tricycle at 8' away. We hbave no rear window and need to see if a cop or the guy you just smoked is 100 to 300' away. The race cam systems are super, but $500 to 1000
Race car data acquisition

It looks liek we need a 50 to 100mm lens that will only have around 12deg FOV but the ability to look long range. 12vDC BNC or RCA connected

I found a bullet with 12.5mm for $100 but is anyone good with camera optics/components out on the blog?

Randy V

Lifetime Supporter


So lets go over a few things that we have mentioned.
The Bullet Cam has a price tag of around $250 for 600 tvl and you still have to get a monitor. The LCD screens are O K but the digitals are a bit costly. "You pays your money and you takes your choice"
The GPS setups are nice and very costly, but you can get all of that for free on your smart phone. There are apps out there that will do it all for free basically. Any of you guys use Waze? I have that on my Android and it is great.
Cam wants something that will do 100'-300'. That is a lot of distance Any of you guys that looked at my video of Coffee and Octane can see this is just a $36 camera. Put it on a tablet or digital device and you can see just as though you are there. Any small monitor(digital or LCD) will give you reduced vision so to speak, just like a small IPhone or Android will.
The bullet cameras(security cameras) won't work because where are you going to put those long cameras???
The board cameras will give you a great picture if you have a big enough screen or digital monitor. If you don'twant to play with the electronics(5volts) of the Runcam or Mobius then stick to the 12 volt setups. I have mine setup so that I can watch them on the monitor, tape, and they can pan and tilt while I watch them.

If you like the idea of the Runcam of Mobius then you have to have a USB outlet or a step down voltage regulator. The Runcam has the ability to be both on the monitor and tape at the same time. Cost is inconsequential in that these parts mentioned above cost about $2-4 on Ebay. The pan and tilt material cost under $25 You just have to put up with the tiny wires they use.
You should be able to go with just about any setup for under $200 and most of that is eaten up by your monitor. These tiny cameras that the RC community are using are cheap because the competition has driven the prices down. You need to stick with the lenses that give the best view(90-120 degrees FOV) or are large in size 3.6mm like on my board camera. Most of the sellers will put different lenses on if you request it. the FPV(first person view) guys like the wide FOV for their flying. We aren't interested in the panoramic view, just what is behind us or coming up on us. Get at least a 7-9" monitor.
One last point that was missed by the bullet9security) cameras. They don't have the ability to reverse the image for rear view. All of the board cameras are all programmable for just that(and much more). Other wise you are looking at an image that is the same as if you turned your head around and looked. The curb will be on your left , but in a mirror, it is on the right.
Any one needing help in looking for the RC info just PM me and I can supply some of the better sites and equipment.

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Thanks for the detail Bill. Do you have a link to a 12v board cam that has rca or bnc hookups? Also do you know of a good site with a 9" monitor that is cost effiecint and hooks up 12v/rca or bnc?
I've got the race tail, so all kinds of room to hide cameras in the diffuser. I found a cool calculator comparing FOV vs. distance here
CCTV Lens Calculator

they also had a Youtube of the 16mm image here:

For $26, I ordered this kit with interchangeable lenses and see how it works. If not, throw it away: