How does the CMOS 740HD high definition camera compare to your typical reverse camera?

This week in the shop we installed a Kenwood CMOS 740HD camera into a client’s 2018 Honda CRV. We actually installed two of these bad boys. We added one as a dedicated front park assist camera and the other as a high definition reverse camera. The vehicle was already fitted with a Kenwood DMX1037s which we had previously installed.

Kenwood DMX1037s installed with CMOS 740HD front and rear park cameras - 2018 Honda CRV.
Kenwood DMX1037s with CMOS 740HD front and rear park assist cameras – 2018 Honda CRV.

In addition to the two cameras, we also added front and rear park assist sensors. With the new and used car market totally out of whack, upgrades like this are becoming more and more common. Although this vehicle was already equipped with a factory reverse camera, the picture quality just wasn’t up to par with todays standards. As you can see, when compared to the Kenwood CMOS 740HD, the picture quality difference is pretty remarkable.

Kenwood CMOS740HD vs Standard OEM Reverse Camera

Here is the Kenwood high definition reverse camera. This picture was taken at about 4:30 PM in late January, sun beginning to set. Note – I had not set up park guidance lines yet.

Kenwood CMOS-740HD reverse camera with DMX1037s
Kenwood CMOS 740HD connected to Kenwood DMX1037s – 2018 Honda CRV

And here is the original Honda reverse camera. Yikes! We retained it as a secondary camera and labeled it “Left” because you are only alotted one “Rear” camera label in the head unit. Technically the factory camera is to the left of the CMOS 740HD so it kind of makes sense.

Factory camera compared to Kenwood CMOS 740HD
Standard factory reverse camera connected to Kenwood DMX1037s – 2018 Honda CRV

The image quality difference is tremendous. Granted part of that could be due to that fact that the Honda reverse camera was designed to operate with the original 5″ radio display. It easily gets washed out in the DMX1037S’s big, beautiful, 10.1″ high defintion display. Having said that, I can tell you from experience that the Honda camera is pretty darn close to what you get with any entry level aftermarket reverse camera. Sure – you can see if there is a person, car or object in your path, but not in very high definition. It works, but it could be much better and the Kenwood CMOS 740HD is that much better.

Kenwood CMOS 740HD reverse camera compared to factory camera 2018 Honda CRV.
Kenwood CMOS 740HD Front Park Assist Camera – 2018 Honda CRV

CMOS 740HD Front Camera Activation

The other added perk in this install is the front camera is activated automatically when you shift from reverse to drive. This feature is typically supported when used with any iDatalink Maestro compatible vehicle and iDatalink Maestro RR or R2. Alternatively, there is also an easy camera shortcut button on the face of the radio. Simply tap that and select which view you want to see.

Forgive any camera shakes – I was definitely shivering while recording – it was only 6 degrees out when I woke up that day!

CMOS 740HD – Compatible with Select Kenwood Models

The only snag about this high definition park assist camera is it only works with a few select Kenwood models. Before you go out and buy one, make sure you have one of these compatible models:

  • DMX957XR – eXcelon series mechless 7″ double din
  • DDX9907XR – eXcelon series with CD 7″ double din
  • DNX997XR – eXcelon series with CD/Garmin GPS double din
  • DMX1037s – Regular Kenwood series 10.1″ floating screen
  • DMX1057XR – eXcelon series 10.1″ floating screen
  • DNR1007XR – eXcelon series 10.1″ floating screen with Garmin GPS

Each one of these head units features a high resolution capacitive touch screen with 1280 x 720 display. That translates to a 2,764,800 total pixel count. Compare that to your typical aftermarket head unit which is usally equipped with a 1,152,000 pixel count and 800 x 480 display. That’s a lot more saturation and clarity if you put it to good use. Like anything else – garbage in equals garbage out. So why not use a high definition camera with your high definition display?

Kenwood CMOS740HD front park assist camera.
Kenwood CMOS740HD used as a front park assist camera in a 2018 CRV.

After seeing the difference in quality, I don’t think I can use any other type of camera. It’s a shame it’s only compatible with a few select models. It may finally be time to upgrade my old DMX7704s just to get the Kenwood CMOS 740HD camera. If you’re interested in a high definition reverse or front park assist camera for your vehicle, contact us today to learn more.

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6 Comments

  1. Annie I actually have this the n520 and a dmx 1037s. I don’t know if you noticed but in the camera selection settings if you choose hd it won’t display video. Only ntsc displays video.

    • Hi Doug. I think that’s in reference to the DVR footage from your 520N which is designed to work with any of the Kenwood’s with 4 camera inputs, even in models that don’t support the CMOS-740HD camera like the DMX9707s. Although the DRV-N520 can record in HD, I think the playback feature through the head unit is like quick playback file and for the full HD you have to download it from the SD card. Just guessing on that one as my Blackvue dash camera has a similar function. Also this from Kenwood’s website kind of backs up that theory, “KENWOOD Drive Reviewer is a PC application that displays video recorded by the DRV-N520 with greater detail.” Totally guessing though, I’d have to reach out to Kenwood to verify.

  2. It’s a true shame that the Kenwood headunits only have composite inputs for these cameras….which negates the entire “hd” camera. 480 is the max. Not HD.

    That’s a huge point missing in your article. Huge.

    • Hi Doug, you do bring up a great question. That isn’t quite the case with this camera, but I can see why it would seem that way. Although the compatible Kenwood receivers only have a composite input, the camera and receiver are utilizing HD-TVI technology to create the HD picture. This technology has been around in surveillance system market since 2014. It stands for high definition transport video interface. It was developed as a way for people to upgrade their existing surveillance cameras to high definition cameras without having to change out all their existing cabling and infrastructure in the process. Although HD-TVI technology is capable of up to 1080P, the CMOS-740HD provides 720p picture quality. Only the select receivers mentioned in this article have the HD-TVI tech built in which is why if you try and connect this camera to another receiver via composite connector, it will not work. They don’t have the HD-TVI tech built in to decode it. I hope that helps clear up any confusion on how the HD picture is achieved. Thanks for the comment!

      • Sounds worthy of it’s own article!

      • Ha! You’re right and I should have that info included in the post. I will update and add a pic of the cabling soon 😉


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