I would recommend the parktronic system from the factory. I have it in my 335i Conv w/Nav and love it.
My wife has a camera in her Toyota it's pretty much useless. You can't look behind you and at the display at the same time. Her system has a very annoying beeping sound when your in reverse which isn't relative to how close you are to objects. You can't see the side of the car very well and you have no real sense of depth.
If you don't get Parktronic as a factory-installed option, it's not available from the dealer afterwards. I'm with the OP -- there must be a backup camera that either integrates with the existing display or has its own screen.
Hello. I can't dispute others' experiences, but here's my one experience with a camera system:
I had a late model Audi A8 as a loaner car for a week. Among its more impressive (and excessive!) technological features was back-up assistance that included a camera, a display of the real time video image with dynamic HUD overlay, and sonar beep. That was a big, heavy, expensive and big (had I mentioned big?) ol' car. The back-up assistance was fantastic. I would never have thought I would like such a feature until living with that A8 for a week.
That said, I am inclined to think that the camera+HUD solution would be overkill in a 3 Series. Fun, but overkill.
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