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    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Location:
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    I'm pondering adding a back-up camera to my '04. I don't really need it, as I've learned to park my car without it. But I'd like to hear from folks who have a back-up camera (factory or after-market) as to how they like it, whether they consider it a fun gadget or a really useful feature, etc. Apparently a good one would not be cheap. (I have the CANview unit v.2, soon to be installed, so I'd need the $100 converter and for quality would probably go with Costal Tech's $375 camera.)
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    AlphaTeam New Member

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    I used it a lot at first. Now I don't even look at it. It is kinda usefull if you have to do a lot of parallel parking and have to know how close you are. BUT with the wide angle lens it is kinda decieving. If I could turn it on while driving forward....maybe. But I would not really care if it was there or not. It does kind of have a WOW factor. I don't even tell people about it and let them discover it for themselves. When they see it come up on the MFD they are wowed...but it is just a novelty for me.

    EDIT: Oh also. With the road salt here it gets dirty and I have to clean it with my finger all the time. Or if it rains and there is a little drop of water it interfears with the view.
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    kente777 New Member

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    I use it all the time. It's got a wide enough angle where I use it as my primary back. I throw a paper route and it is dark the majority of time. It saved me once from hitting a woman and her dog when they came out of nowhere.

    This doesn't mean that I don't turn to look or use the mirrors. However, I have never once had a close encounter while exclusively using the camera.

    This in and of itself is worth the extra money I paid for package 3.

    Ken
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    gilahiker New Member

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    Location:
    New Mexico
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Ditto! I use mine all the time backing out of my driveway and I have avoided hitting any number of dog walkers. It's absolutely fabulous in the dark. I also use it for parallel parking (I've been able to squeeze in some really tight places, parking perfectly, without any problems using the camera).

    Once again, like Ken I still use the mirrors and turn and look. It is a great safety device (my salesperson knew two parents that had run over their children in the driveway and he thinks it should be standard on all vehicles).

    I didn't think I really needed one...but it is totally worth it...
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    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    I thought it would be a toy, but now think it is one of the best things about the car. When parked between two large cars (in perp parking) you can't normally see if somebody is coming down alley behind you until you pull out far enough to be in their way. With the camera, you just poke your Prius butt an inch beyond the car next to you, and presto! You can see around the corner. I LOVE this feature. It works so well that I sometimes feel guilty knowing what all is behind me. I'm not used to that feeling! Lots of kids in my neighborhood, and lots of toys left behind/around the cars. It is a great safety feature to be able to see directly behind you before backing.
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    ErrantPixel New Member

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    I've had a hard time remembering to check it .. But I have found it quite useful on several occasions.

    General parking lots, good to see if carts or small children are around ..

    It's very useful on the streets where you park in at an angle. 9 times out of 10 I come out to my car and have a huge suburban on my passenger side, making visibility backing up (in to traffic) a nightmare. The wide angle of the rear camera can usually give me a view down the street to see if anyone is coming.

    One improvement I would like to see though, are lines superimposed showing the boundaries of the car (I've seen this on other cars). Since the view is so wide, its hard to tell what is in your path, and what is just "off to the side" ..
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    glenk Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I back into a tight space in my garage. Can't drive in forward because I then wouldn't be able to open the door. The camera allows me get within 3-4" of the wall with ease. Many people hang objects from the ceiling to accomplish the same thing though.

    Parallel parking is where the camera excels. Try to do it in the rain when your rear window is full of water drops, no way! But with the camera, it's a piece of cake.

    The camera came with the SK and side curtain air bags for $1475. I'd paid that amount just for the camera I like it so much.
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    Kestrel Bird geek

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    I disabled the rear beep on mine, so I use it primarily as a check that I am indeed in reverse. Once I've confirmed that, I rely on turning to look and on the mirrors.

    I haven't really used it for visibility purposes yet--but given the positive responses above, I'll give it another try!
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    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Another place it comes in handy is when you need to sharply turn out of a parking spot and you have to worry about not backing over something while at the same time trying not to drag your front bumper on the car next to you. With the camera display, you can look forward and see the front corner AND where you're going in reverse. Once you get the hang of it, you'll seriously miss it in your other cars. I know I do!

    Yikes! that's got to make it the most expensive reverse indicator ever! :)
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    Rancid13 Cool Chick with a Black Prius

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    Like Darell said I too thought the reverse camera would be just another fun toy that came with the Prius, but I've found it to be helpful on a number of occasions.

    Especially when I'm visiting my parents and there are cats, dogs, and a toddler running around outside that might be behind the car at any given time while I'm reversing out of the driveway. The car's so quiet that you can't count on them hearing it approach, and even with the mirrors and turning around to check blind spots you still cannot see what is directly behind you on the ground.

    And I have to agree with what others said on here that it works fantastically at night, it actually shocked me the first time I reversed at night and saw how well-lit the area behind me looked in the mfd screen when I glanced at it.
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    Allannde Just a Senior

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
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    Plug-in Advanced
    Hi Neighbor!

    I don't know what it is like to have a Prius without a backup camera. I use it every day. The wide angle makes it "see" almost sideways which is very helpful in store parking lots as I can see cars that I could never see in a rear view mirror. However, I wonder if the aftermarket carmeras are the same.
    Allan de
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    dbermanmd New Member

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    Location:
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    Love it.

    We have it also on our Sienna minivan. It would be even better with Park Assist like the Sienna.
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    hawkjm73 New Member

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    My camera is currently inactive and I miss it quite a bit. I can get along without it, but having that extra confirmation of what is and isn't back there is very good on the nerves. I think the greatest use I have is backing out of a lit garage at night. I have extra tint on the car, so until I'm well out of the garage, turning around to look and checking my mirrors are useless because of the lighting differential. The camera gives me a pretty good picture though, enough to tell if there are people or stuff back there.

    P.S. CAN-View will let you view the camera image while in forward motion, provided you have the camera powered under those circumstance.
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    konakahuna New Member

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    Location:
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    i know there are lots of 3rd party options....but personally, i'd like to stick with toyota OEM equipment. i know our cars have the cutout for where the camera resides near the rear latch. what i don't know is how the camera integrates with the touchscreen. is there a toyota NTSC box? is the hardware part of the 2006 touchscreen display?

    anyone with experience, schematics, information please post!

    many thanks,


    david r.
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    ceric New Member

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    I installed aftermarket backup camera myself in Sep/2005. Here are the pics:
    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ceric_64/alb...m/ph//my_photos
    It costed me about $400 (camera+box) plus a couple hours of labor.

    Compared with my co-worker's backup camera on his LS430 (should be same as the one on '06 Prius), the OE certainly has better integration and better picture quality than mine. Mine isn't bad at all, just not as good at night (2 lux sensitivity - don't know about the OE one). And the need to push the MAP button (unless it is already in that mode) to have it displayed on MFD. With OE, this is automatic.

    P.S. Infiniti is the company I know that has the green/red dashed-lines in their camera pictures showing the projected lines (left/right) of vehicle movement.
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    daronspicher New Member

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    I really like it, and when I back up, I watch between that and the mirrors primarily.

    My wife takes one look at that screen.... it doesn't jive with her.... so she's back to cranking her neck, checking the mirrors and wishing the visibility out of the car was somehow much better.

    I'm glad I have it on my 2006. I wouldn't spend the kind of money you are discussing to get it.

    For that much, why not consider the $400 to $600 as part of the deal and run the numbers on selling the 04, upgrade to the '06 with the tax credit.

    You might not be too far off on reasonable numbers for just switching cars.
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    slortz New Member

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    I installed the OEM one from SigmaAutomotive (about $300) and hooked it up using the second input on the Soundgate Vidtoyo unit I have for the DVD player.
    The camera works just like it should and is most useful in tight parallel parking situations when you know you are getting really close to something.
    Aside from those situations though, in general, I use it for an initial check before reversing but once I start backing up I don't really use it. At that point, I like to look out the back window because I get a better overall sense of the surroundings. Would be nice if there was a little monitor in the back of the car so as I'm looking backwards while backing up I could quickly glance at the screen right there. As it is now, I can't be turning forwards to see the monitor and then turning backwards to look out the back, so I just don't use it while in the process of backing up.


    Maybe a new monitor project on the horizon for me... :)
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    ghostofjk New Member

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    Guess I'm the dunce. I never use it. I rarely parallel park, and can't imagine using it for that anyway, as the image distorts distances in back of you.

    I did use it once in an angled-parking, back-up situation as Darell described. But I didn't trust that it was giving me a wide enough angle, and ended up craning my neck anyway.

    Maybe it's mostly a matter of breaking old habits.
  19. Offline

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I'm going to ponder some more. (An argument against trading up to an '06 is that the CANview won't work on the '06. But beyond that, there's starting the break-in all over again, and the fact that I plan on trading up at the next major model revision anyway.)
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    donnaroberts New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    But can the camera be installed at the dealership in a 2008 that didn't come with one?

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