Garmin BC 30 Review–Back-Up with Full Confidence!
There are some gadgets that make your driving less challenging and more pleasurable. A back-up camera is one such gadget that is a must-have in every car. Even if you are an experienced driver it is possible that you have accidentally bumped into another car or backed right into a pole.
You can bid adieu to all back-up accidents forever with a quality back-up camera that you can depend on. But the only hitch is that the market is flooded with a number of options making it difficult to the find the one that is just right for you. Adding to the confusion are cheap models that only frustrate you in the name of saving you a few bucks. Never buy them no matter how tempting they are.
But do not worry as we have simplified the task of finding a good back-up camera for you by bringing to you one of the best and the most affordable back-up cameras, the Garmin BC30. Read on as we look into the features of this back-up camera in great detail in our review below.
Garmin BC30 Specs
- Wireless camera system for cable-free convenience
- Transmitter with a wireless range of 45 feet
- Guidance lines for additional assistance
- Camera has a rugged construction to withstand harsh weather conditions
- Backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
Is the Garmin BC 30 really a good back-up camera?
If your car did not come with a built-in rear view mirror then it is time to upgrade your car with an after-market backup camera. But you don’t have to buy a high-end back-up camera that comes with a ton of features and burns a hole in your pocket.
The Garmin BC30is an extremely durable and dependable back-up camera that comes at a very budget-friendly price point. So whether it is pedestrians or low lying objects on the road, an obstruction or another parked vehicle, you will be able to clearly see everything behind your vehicle when you back-up.
Below we will look into each of the features of this little wonder of a camera in great detail so that you can decide if it is the right one for you.
When it comes to back-up cameras, the coverage area is very important so that there are no blind spots. The BC30’s camera has a vertical angle of 115 degrees and a horizontal angle of 140 degrees giving you a clear view of the surroundings so that you can back-up with confidence.
In a typical wired set-up, there are lengthy cables running the entire length of the vehicle. This is not only cumbersome but you will have ugly cables to hide and can be a painful task especially if you have a larger vehicle.
But the BC30 is a wireless system that comes with a wireless transmitter. The rear view camera is installed behind the vehicle and connected to a wireless transmitter. The camera sends the video footage to the transmitter and the transmitter then relays it wirelessly to the GPS screen. The transmitter uses 2.4 GHz ISM radio band for transmitting the signal to the GPS navigator.
As the transmission range is up to 45 feet, you will never have any lag in the video and you will be able to see everything in real time. So this back-up camera can also be used for longer vehicles like RVs and commercial trucks.
The BC30 needs to be connected to a power source in your vehicle. It requires a 12V power source which can either be a constant power source or a switch supply as in the case of the tail lights.
The difference is that when you connect the system to a constant power source, you can access the rear view anytime you want just by using a button to toggle between the navigation screen and the rear view screen.
When the BC30 is connected to a switch power supply like the vehicle tail lights, the rear view screen will be activated only when you put the vehicle in reverse mode. The BC30 comes with a power cable in the box for quick and easy connection to the reverse lamp or any other 12v power source.
Even if you are the best backer you can still use the help of a good camera that will give you a full view of the surroundings immediately behind your vehicle. The camera of the BC30 uses a 1/3.7 CMOS sensor and has a resolution of 640 x 480.
The video quality is as good as your regular webcam and is the best during daytime when there is a lot of light. It has a variable frame rate of 16 to 28 fps (frames per second) to give you a smooth video.
Another great feature of the BC30 is the guidance lines. These guidance lines show you the path you take as you reverse your vehicle. These are lines that you will see over the camera’s footage. They make backing-up even easier and they should be adjusted to match to the outer edges of your vehicle for best results. Configuring or adjusting the guidelines is simple to do and can be done using the Menu button.
The common mounting area for the camera in most cars is the area just above the license plate. The camera is very small and comes with mounting brackets and screws for easy installation. As it is mounted outside and will be subjected to extremely harsh conditions, the camera has been constructed to be rugged and weather-proof.
This is obvious from the camera’s wide working temperature range of -40 degrees centigrade to 85 degrees centigrade. Both the camera as well as the transmitter are water and weather-proof. Both come with an IEC 60529 IPX7 waterproof rating. So you don’t have to worry about your camera being installed on the outside.
The tiny camera is quite robust and long-lasting. The only maintenance you will need is to wipe clean the lens every once in a while when the video becomes hazy or unclear.
If you already have a GPS navigation screen, then you can connect the BC30 to it after checking its compatibility. It becomes easier if you already have a Garmin Navigator installed on your vehicle. This is because the BC30 is designed to be compatible with the Garmin Nuvi GPS navigator devices 2013 and later.
If you like to leave nothing to chance, then you will love the expand ability option of the BC30. You can add up to four cameras if you want multiple viewing angles so that you will have absolutely no ‘blind spots’ to worry about. This is especially useful if you want to install a back-up camera for your RV, pick-up truck or other commercial trucks.
When wired to a constant power supply, you will need to manually toggle between your GPS navigation screen and the reverse mode. But if you don’t want to do this manually, then you can directly connect the camera to the reverse lights during installation. Then the back-up or rear view screen will automatically be activated every time you reverse.
For best results, it is a good idea to call for professional help to install your back-up camera. But in case you are a hardcore DIY enthusiast then you can still do it yourself as the Garmin website has extremely detailed videos on their website as well as on YouTube. Simply follow the instructions on the videos for setting-up your camera and configuring it correctly. It even comes with troubleshooting tips to help you in case you get stuck.
- Wireless convenience cuts down the use of lengthy cables
- Compatible with all Garmin Nuvi devices 2013 and later
- Allows you to expand the system with up to 4 cameras
- Easier to install than wired back-up camera systems
- Video quality is not extremely good but good enough to be reliable
If your car already has a Garmin Nuvi GPS navigator then adding the Garmin BC30 to it only makes your driving experience even easier. Whether you have a car, an SUV, An RV or a commercial truck, having a back-up camera can make a whale of a difference to your driving experience.
When you have a back-up camera installed you can reverse without a worry as you can easily spot pedestrians, vehicles or obstructions that you may miss otherwise. You can not only avoid unwanted accidents and injury to people but can also avoid damage to your own vehicle. You will also have to endure painful insurance claims and even pay the difference amount.
The Garmin BC30 is a reliable and quality back-up camera that comes from the house of Garmin. It may not be a top model but is a great upgrade to your vehicle if it does not have an in-built rear view camera. It has some great customer reviews due to its great performance and a pocket-friendly price tag. You can never go wrong with your purchase when you buy the Garmin BC30. Go get one yourself and take the worry out of reversing forever.