Koolertron Backup Camera Review

koolertron backup camera review
Koolertron's backup camera is a pretty good unit for the price. Image courtesy Koolertron

Koolertron's license plate backup camera is, as the name would imply, a rearview camera that's designed to bolt onto your rear license plate. The package includes the camera and a wiring harness, so you'll need to provide your own LCD display. While the unit does have a few issues, it is a budget model that will allow you to set up a rear view camera system on the cheap.

Pros:

  • Wide 120-degree viewing angle.
  • Infrared LEDs provide good night vision.
  • Easy license plate installation.
  • Baked-in marks help with calculating distance.

Cons:

  • Questionable build quality.
  • Not waterproof.
  • Wires not long enough for all applications.

Specifications:

  • Color CMOS camera.
  • 628x582 (PAL) resolution.
  • RCA connectors for video output.

The Good

There are a few things you should look for in a rear view camera, including a wide viewing angle, high resolution, and night vision that actually works. With its 120-degree viewing angle and 628x582 (PAL) resolution, and seven IR LEDs, Koolertron's license plate backup camera delivers on all of those counts. The infrared LEDs won't light up the night sky, but they will allow you to safely back up and park after the sun goes down.

In addition to the basics, Koolertron's license plate backup camera also includes built-in guidelines, which is another tremendously useful feature. It can be difficult to accurately judge distances when you're dealing with a fisheye lens, which can lead to accidents. Since the whole point of a backup camera is to avoid running into things, baked-in guides are indispensable.

The camera is also a breeze to install in most applications since it mounts right on your license plate and comes with the necessary hardware. Routing the video wires can be more of a challenge, but you'll run into that unless you select a wireless camera. Since it uses RCA outputs, you can plug it into your existing head unit or most stand alone LCD screens on the market.

The Bad

The biggest issue you're likely to run into with Koolertron's rear view license plate camera is that these units aren't nearly as waterproof as the manufacturer claims. You might luck out and end up with a unit that's completely sealed off, but chances are that you won't. After a hard rain or trip through a car wash, your camera is very likely to have water inside it. They can also end up with condensation on the inside.

The picture quality also leaves a little to be desired. While the resolution is good, the picture can appear washed out, and many green objects can appear reddish. This isn't a huge issue, but it does raise questions about the quality of the color CMOS image sensor.

Depending on the size and configuration of your vehicle, you might also find that the wiring harness included with the Koolertron rear view license place camera isn't long enough to get the job done. If you drive a big SUV, don't be surprised if you end up having to solder on some extensions. On that note, you should also be aware that the wires themselves are pretty thin.

The Bottom Line

Koolertron's rear view license plate camera is a great little unit for anyone who is working on a budget. You'll have to be the judge as to whether the positives outweigh the negatives, but if you can pick the unit up for under $20, you'll probably be happy with your purchase.

The biggest issue with the camera is the fact that water can penetrate the housing, but that's pretty easy to deal with preemptively. Before you install the unit, run a bead of silicone around the seam. Just to be safe, you might also want to tag the screw holes, and a thin coating of wax on the lens couldn't hurt either (just don't cake it on so thick that you can't see through it).

That might seem like a lot of work to "fix" a newly purchased item, but the Koolertron license plate camera is a tremendous value for the money.