How To Choose the Best Rear View Camera Retrofit for Your BMW

Oct 20, 2020

Since May 2018, all new cars sold in the US and Canada have been required to come with a backup camera. And for good reason: park assist cameras can make parking considerably quicker and easier, while protecting those around you and preventing your vehicle from being damaged. Still not sure if you should get a rear-view camera? Here are 5 Reasons to Get a Backup Camera for your BMW.

Rear view camera retrofit for BMW

Many pre-2018 beamer cars, however, didn’t come fitted with a rear view camera, meaning their owners are unfortunately missing out on what is now a standard feature.

If that’s the position you find yourself in, adding a BMW backup camera is simple. As long as you have an iDrive dashboard display, a premium aftermarket rear view camera kit will even let you see the image from the camera right on the dash. It’s just like having a camera installed in the factory.

Looking for a backup camera for F30? Check out our complate guide on retrofitting BMW 3-Series.

You can visit our Rear View Cameras page to discover all the details about BimmerTech Park Assist Retrofits.


OEM BMW parts or aftermarket parts?

With so many camera kits to choose from, finding the right one for your needs isn’t always easy.

Perhaps the first choice to make is between an OEM camera kit — made up of genuine BMW parts — or an aftermarket alternative. The former is a perfect match for a factory-installed camera kit, including all the same original parts. The latter uses third-party components, which can reduce cost. A well-designed aftermarket RV camera for BMW will still match the quality of a factory-original camera, though, and offer the same level of integration with your vehicle.

BimmerTech’s BMW Backup Camera Retrofits are some of our most popular kits, and cover both BMW original and high-quality aftermarket options. These DIY kits let anyone handy with a screwdriver install, upgrade, and retrofit your Bimmer with the goodies you’ve been dreaming about. And we’re here to help, from choosing the perfect kit to factory programming if necessary.

If you have doubts about the installation process, you can check how to install a BMW backup camera here. If you don’t feel comfortable with DIY you can find an installer in your city.

We offer three different rear view camera kits, all of which work seamlessly with your existing factory display to give you the rear visibility and dynamic parking line guidance you need to avoid obstructions and back-up and park safely. They all feature outstanding picture quality, automatically activate when shifting to reverse, and mount in the trunk handle just like a factory-installed park assist camera. And none of them require any wire-cutting!

But which one is right for you?

OEM RV Camera Retrofit

This Original Equipment Manufacturer kit is what BMW installs at the factory and offers the highest picture quality — as well as a higher price than the other options.

To take advantage of all of this kit’s features, your BMW needs iDrive with Navigation Professional and a Parking Distance Control (PDC) system. If your BMW fits the bill, the OEM Rear View Camera Retrofit is our only backup camera that includes the ability to add on such options as side-view and top-view cameras as well as trailer hitch mode.

Once this BMW OEM camera is installed, your BMW requires coding before you new camera can be used. We help you activate the factory coding remotely, free of charge.

If you have a BMW without Navigation Professional and PDC, we advise choosing the MMI Rear View Camera Retrofit below.

OEM-Integration Rear View Camera Retrofit

This backup camera retrofit kit uses your BMW’s factory iDrive screen and camera mode, so you get the same look and feel as a factory-installed cam, with nearly the same picture quality — at a much lower price. We designed the kit to match the BMW OEM camera kit as closely as possible, including mounting the camera module in a custom trunk handle, just like the factory rear view camera. The result is an uninterrupted look inside and outside your vehicle, indistinguishable from a factory-original park assist camera.

If your BMW features PDC, the proximity warnings will appear as usual on the right side of the screen. If not, you will simply see a car diagram without any sensor information. In most vehicles, our OEM-Integration camera displays dynamic parking lines over the image from the camera. These parking lines curve with your steering wheel, making it easier to back up.

Like our OEM camera kit, we help you activate the factory coding remotely, free of charge. A great option if you have Navigation Professional and PDC, but want a more value-priced option to the OEM camera. To see how closely the OEM-Integration camera matches the BMW original park assist camera, see the video here:

MMI Rear View Camera Retrofit

Our MMI Rear View Camera is our biggest departure from the original BMW backup camera, but the changes we’ve made will improve the park assist experience in many vehicles.

Like our other kits, this fully aftermarket kit uses a camera mounted discreetly in the trunk handle, for a clean, factory-like look. Inside the car, the image from the camera is displayed on the iDrive screen, exactly where you need it.

Unlike the other backup camera kits we offer, our MMI Rear View Camera Retrofit features a full-screen display from the camera, without sharing the screen with the PDC display — particularly useful in vehicles with the smaller 6.5-inch iDrive screen. It’s a great match for anybody who doesn’t have PDC in their vehicle or prefers to rely on the view from a park assist camera.

Perfect for any BMW model with a factory screen, this kit is truly plug and play — no coding or remote activation necessary! It displays on-screen dynamic parking lines in most vehicles, just like our OEM-Integration Rear View Camera Retrofit kit. If your BMW already features PDC, this kit’s obstacle marking feature will automatically kick in, giving an extra warning about any obstacles creeping up on your car.

To get an idea of how the MMI Rear View Camera interface differs from the factory BMW camera, watch the video below:

What’s more, this backup camera is fully compatible with an optional front camera, or our range of additional multimedia upgrades. Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to add smartphone mirroring, Apple TV or Apple CarPlay to your camera kit. All at about the same price as the OEM-Integration Rear View Camera Retrofit.

Got a 3 Series BMW? See how to install the Rear View Camera (MMI) retrofit on E90:

The below chart summarizes the most important features of BimmerTech rear view cameras:

Product name Picture quality Camera location Car integration Type of operation Requirments Features Installation
OEM (same as factory installed) 5 stars Trunk handle integrated Same as factory installed Automatic when car goes in reverse Navigation and PDC Dynamic parking lines
Obstacle marking
Trailer hitch mode (optional)
DIY with no wire-cutting. Vehicle coding is required and included.
OEM- Integration 4 stars Trunk handle integrated Uses factory screen and native BMW camera mode Automatic when car goes in reverse Navigation Static parking lines
Dynamic parking lines (optional)
DIY with no wire-cutting. Vehicle coding is required and included.
MMI 4 stars Trunk handle integrated Uses factory screen and overrides the screen Automatic when car goes in reverse Any type of factory screen Static parking lines
Dynamic parking lines (optional)
Obstacle marking (with PDC)
Front camera (optional)
DIY with no wire-cutting. Vehicle coding is not required. Plug and Play.

If you’re still unsure which kit is best for your model or how some of the features work, we’re just an email away. Get in touch and we’ll point you in the right direction.

BimmerTech offers park assist camera retrofits for most modern BMW models, including E60, E61, E70, E71, E81, E82, E84, E87, E88, E90, E91, E92, E93, F01, F02, F10, F11, F07, F22, F23, F25, F26, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F36, F48, F80, F82, F83, F45, F15, F16, F06, F12, F13, G30, G31, G11 and G12. To check which backup cameras are available for your BMW, click on identify your BMW/MINI.

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