720p vs 1080p Webcam

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Updated July 25, 2022

If you are new to the world of digital cameras, you may look to compare 720p vs 1080p webcams. Some of the best webcams, after all, ship with one of these two resolution options. So what are the key differences between these two types of cameras, and which is best for you? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The key difference between these two cameras is the common resolution, as 720p budget webcams are HD, but 1080p cameras are Full HD and offer clearer images for conference calls and the like.
  • 1080p digital cameras are more expensive than 720p cameras, but this price differential is shrinking each year.
  • If you want a streaming webcam that is relatively future-proof regarding video feed and your laptop screen, go with a 1080p model over a 720p device.

Differences Between 720p and 1080p Webcams

The primary difference here is, of course, related to resolution, though this contrast is not as stark as when comparing a 4K vs a 1080p webcam. However, the slight resolution difference between the two is impactful, especially if you are looking for the best webcams for conference rooms.

A 720p webcam boasts a pixel count of 1280 x 720 pixels, but this does not have any bearing on frames per second if you are comparing webcams with 30fps vs 60fps. A 1080p webcam boasts a pixel count of 1920 x 1080 pixels and is available with many modern camera types if you are comparing an IP camera vs a webcam. Beyond this resolution difference, there are many other factors that differ between these two camera types.

Insider Tip

No matter which type of camera you choose, be sure to regularly download and update driver software.

Price

There is no way around this; 720p digital cameras are cheaper than 1080p webcam devices. The reason here is simple, as 720p cameras feature older and more reliable image sensors than 1080p cameras. It must be noted, however, that this price differential has lessened in recent years as 4K cameras gobble up much of the existing market share. Nowadays, 1080p cameras are only ten to 15 percent more expensive than 720p cameras.

Futureproof Questions

720p digital cameras have been around nearly as long as modern computing itself. In the intervening years, camera technology has advanced significantly, leaving 720p models in the dust. Nowadays, there are 1080p cameras, 4K cameras, and even 8K cameras. In other words, if you want to ensure that your camera will be able to keep up with modern demands, go with a 1080p model over a 720p camera.

System Requirements

On the other end of the spectrum, 720p cameras still produce a decent image and do not tax the computer during use. If you have an older computer or older technology in general, a 720p camera may integrate with these items of tech better than a 1080p camera. Be sure to check out all of the specs before making any kind of purchase.

F.A.Q.S

What do you need to know before buying a webcam?

Research the specs before purchasing an external webcam for video meetings and other tasks. A standard webcam that shoots a 720p video may be all you need.


Does a high resolution guarantee good image quality?

Not necessarily. A 720p webcam could boast better image quality over a streaming webcam with a higher resolution during conference calls, as this depends on other features such as aspect ratio and video quality.


Are all webcams suitable for both laptop and desktop use?

Most webcams, such as the Logitech StreamCam, can work with both laptops and desktops, offering up the correct aspect ratio for each.


STAT: Perhaps the most important feature of a webcam is the clarity of the video it captures. For digital video, this is understood in resolution and frame rate. (source)

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