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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed that the rear view camera is quite dim and has very high contrast. There are many other threads on this forum that mention issue with the rear view camera image quality. My main complaint is that with the main console brightness set to 50% the rear view camera image is so dark it's useless. This problem is made worse by the fact that when you are backing out of your garage the automatic headlamp system thinks it's night so it dims the display even more.

Turning the main console brightness control up to 100% does make the image on the screen appear brighter but it fails to fix the high contrast issues. Running the console brightness at 100% also makes the displays too bright to safely drive at night. (So this is not a viable workaround.) It seems like the camera either shows blown out white blob... or black mud and very little in between. The contrast of this camera (or monitor) needs to be adjusted to show a wider dynamic range. A camera with higher dynamic range would be an ideal solution. Without any controls to adjust the brightness, contrast & color saturation the rear view camera is unusable for me in most cases when backing out of my garage. I also believe the center console monitor backlight should automatically adjust to a preset bright level whenever the backup camera is enabled.

This backup camera system is just not cutting it right now. So the easy fix would be:

1. Make the center display automatically brighten when the backup camera is active.

2. Allow user control of the video brightness, contrast and color saturation.

The last thing you might consider is using a better quality camera with a high dynamic range mode.
 

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I agree, the camera is horrible. My 2003 MDX and 07' Audi had much better cameras - both quality wise and wide angle. It's practically useless at night - along with the single backup light.
 

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Mine has been fine when kept clean, but my space is very well lit. I have read comments by others indicating that other cars they had previously owned had included better cameras.
 

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You can adjust the brightness by pressing the Tune button while in reverse. This helps a bunch but the settings don't stick so you have to adjust every time. It's a PIA
 

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The contrast can be adjusted on the non nav systems. Use the tune or volume knob when the backup screen is active.
 

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My 2011 backup camera works just fine. Perhaps the dealer should look at it.
Yeah, mine too. Of course it's the first one I've ever had, so maybe I just don't know any better, LOL. I just got it because it was packaged with the parking assist which I really like. But I've gotten to like the camera as well. I'm a much better parallel parker now, which wouldn't be hard, actually!
 

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I agree, this is the worst camera. i took mine to the dealer for other issue and told them about the camera. They replaced it with a new one and it is still a POS! I've seen alot of backup cameras in other vehicles and this one is by far the worst. Fortunately this is the only complaint I have with the my Volt.
 

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Thank you Koz : I though I did an adjustment the first day I got my volt that changed the brightness and could not remember or duplicate.

We might need to add this to the "Things we did not know about the volt" thread
 

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Have you considered that the problem may be due to the not very bright backup light.

Someone posted that their backup camera worked much better once they upgraded the backup light to a high power LED one.

The best one is a 3157 CREE 7w HP 6k. A lot brighter than the original, and uses less power besides.
 

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I have the brighter LED backup light and honestly, I'm not convinced it makes it better. This is because the area the light does light up bright gets even more washed out and the area that isn't directly lit is pitch black.

Compared to my other car this really is a poor quality backup camera. With that said, my issues are really only with night time performance, daytime is fine for me unless directly washed out by the sun.

I have been thinking about searching for an alternate camera with a similar form factor and signal output format. If anyone already has information about the signal output, please post it here. If not, I will look into it.

Alex
 

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I have a Toyota Tundra and the only back up lights it has are the reverse lights. With those tiny lights the camera can pick up just about everything like it was day light and during the day it looks High def compared to the crappy camera that comes in the Volt. Really my only complaint but it is a really bad camera.

Before you tell me to replaced mine I have driven 3 and they all sucked especially at night.
 

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The whole rear camera solution in the Volt is pretty low-end, so not surprised that many people aren't satisfied with it. For me, it's basic and does the job but nothing to write home about. The annoyance comes mostly because I see what's available technologically and the Volt doesn't even offer it as an option. I speak of the "surround" camera systems that even simulate a top down view of the space around the car. My wife's Infiniti EX35 has it and it's really great. Cameras are in front, rear, and on the bottoms of the sideview mirrors. The images are stitched together to give the full view around the car. I wish I could have gotten that on the Volt...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can adjust the brightness by pressing the Tune button while in reverse. This helps a bunch but the settings don't stick so you have to adjust every time. It's a PIA
Does not work on 2012 Volts with Bose and Nav. Tried that. Does not do anything except tune my radio while in reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you considered that the problem may be due to the not very bright backup light.

Someone posted that their backup camera worked much better once they upgraded the backup light to a high power LED one.

The best one is a 3157 CREE 7w HP 6k. A lot brighter than the original, and uses less power besides.
I already DO have the LED light in my backup light. But this does not address the extremely dark image while backing out of my garage in broad daylight. The image is also very dark outside in wide open parking lots whenever the car is pointing north. Essentially... Whenever the camera's auto exposure sees the open sky it adjusts the exposure down to the point you can't see anything but black on the ground. It's worthless. I also checked some other Volt's at my dealer and they also have the same problem. It's not isolated to my Volt. It's all the Volts at my dealer too.
 

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I already DO have the LED light in my backup light. But this does not address the extremely dark image while backing out of my garage in broad daylight. The image is also very dark outside in wide open parking lots whenever the car is pointing north. Essentially... Whenever the camera's auto exposure sees the open sky it adjusts the exposure down to the point you can't see anything but black on the ground. It's worthless. I also checked some other Volt's at my dealer and they also have the same problem. It's not isolated to my Volt. It's all the Volts at my dealer too.
It shouldn't be too difficult to switch out the Volt's backup cam system for an alternative camera or maybe someone could even hack a surround camera system together for the Volt.

But GM, please take note of this issue. The request for surround camera has surfaced multiple times.
 

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Camera could be better but I think it is okay. My main complaint is the incessant beeping. the beeping should be able to be turned off as in the garage is goes crazy. twice the beeping would not stop when I went forward. I had to stop and turn the car off.
 

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The backup camera is one of my biggest peeves on the Volt. It absoloutely SUCKS! I'm going to be very blunt: I can't imagine what highly overpaid engineering or management moron at GM saw the poor quality of the video on the screen and thought that it was good enough to be installed in their cars - especially one with an MSRP that starts at $40,000. Or mabye they just never put the car into reverse when they test drove it ...? It's not rocket science technology - it's been used in cars for at least the last ten+ years.

I got my Volt back from the dealership today for the battery fix, and had them look at the camera. The service manager told me that they submitted a case # to GM and said that they've had numerous complaints, but haven't come up with a fix. Perhaps the geniuses at GM should call the tech guys at Best Buy ( where I had a backup camera installed in my Porsche Boxter about EIGHT YEARS AGO ) and it worked great.

Also, if one more person insults the intelligence of those of us who have complained about this issue by suggesting that the lens be wiped off, I think I'll scream. I've had lenses in the past that were completely filmed over by road salt during the winter and I could still see images more definitively than I can most of the time with the Volt backup camera.

I hate to say this, because I really want GM and the other American car makers to do well, but it's exactly this kind of garbage that they've thrown at their customers in the past that that gave them the ( well deserved ) bad rep that they're starting to climb out of. I hope that they don't allow the past to be prologue.
 

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I agree its an absolute POS relative to other vehicles backup camera systems. Plus it sure takes its dandy time switching to it while backing up. That delay is quite annoying as well.
 
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