720p vs 1080p Security Camera: Which Camera Is Best For Security?

When it comes to security footage, a crisp image means better chances of identifying the culprits.

For the safety and security of your family you should be using HD security cameras, specifically 720p or even better 1080p.

A prime reason HD wasn’t really an option back in the day was storage. However, that isn’t an issue anymore, considering how storage is becoming more and more efficient.

When it comes to comparing 720p vs. 1080p security cameras, one prime consideration to make is the details your camera captures. Here, we will look at a detailed comparison between the two and see which camera is best.

Both, 720p and 1080p security cameras have their own advantages and disadvantages, but which one comes out on top? When it comes to security for you and your family, which is the best 720p security camera, and which is the best 1080p security camera?

What are some important considerations to make when choosing a camera? Let’s take a look.

How Are 1080p Security Cameras Better Than 720p?

No camera in the world – be it 720p, 1080p, 4K or even 8K – can cover everything, but if you compare 720p vs 1080p security cameras, you will find that the higher resolution means that you have a better chance of capturing important details.

A 1080p CCTV security camera features twice as many pixels as a 720p security camera and therefore is able to capture more detail. Yes, it comes at the cost of storage space, but considering how 1080p videos can also cover a much wider area, it is well worth the investment.

Remember, a 1080p is also known as a 2MP camera. You can choose to record a 720p video with a 1080p camera, but you can’t record a 1080p video with a 720p camera. Even if you are considering buying the best 720p camera, just keep in mind that if you ever need to upgrade to 1080p, you will have to buy new equipment.

Comparing the Best 720p Security Camera With One of the Best 1080p Security Cameras

A prime example of the best 720p security cameras out there is the D-Link 720P Full HD Security Camera. It offers remote access, rather crisp video and very vivid colors. Although it is one of the most preferred security cameras out there, there is only so much it can record.

We compared the 720p D-Link beside the best 1080p security cameras (that you can buy a single unit of), and found the Ring Spotlight 1080P Full HD Security Camera as the most popular on the market. Available in both, black and white, this camera keeps a low profile thanks to its contemporary design.

It works nicely with Alexa, too. However, it’s not the features we’re comparing right now.

For those of you short on memory, you can use the camera as a 720p camera easily until you are able to buy a bigger hard drive. Upgrading to 1080p is then a simple matter of clicking a few buttons.

1080p cameras aren’t as costly, either, if you look at how vastly different the results are. When you need to zoom into videos to identify people or number plates, a 1080p camera is the right choice for you.


License Plate Recognition – 720p vs 1080p Security Cameras

If we consider 720p and 1080p security cameras with a field of view of 40 feet, the 720p variant won’t be able to capture a vehicle’s license plate number or distinguish faces. Instead, it gives a general overview of what the car’s make and model was or the prominent features of a person, such as their hair, height, color and more.

All 1080p security cameras, on the other hand, can help identify not just license plates up to 40-60 feet away, but can also make out the face of culprits up to 70 feet away!


Price

1080p cameras cost more than the 720p variants, but as we mentioned above, a 1080p camera can perform the function of a 720p, but not the other way around. And even then, if you look at the price range of some of the best 1080p security cameras, you’ll find that the difference is almost negligible.

In fact, if we compare the SWAN Home Security System that includes 4 – 1080p cameras, a 1TB hard disk drive, night vision, motion sensors and more, to the D-Link 720p camera we mentioned above, the 1080p variants (SWAN) are actually cheaper!

And remember, to cover the same area that the 4 SWAN 1080p bullet cameras will cover, you will need at least 7 to 8 720p cameras.


Compatibility

Playing 720p security footage on a 1080p monitor is a surefire way to get a pixelated video. Your video won’t fit well on your monitor and you won’t really be able to make much of what you see, except get a general idea of things. This is worse than playing a 720p video on a 720p monitor.

If, on the other hand, you try to play a 1080p video on a 720p monitor, the pixels will be too close together and you’ll get distortions.

Realistically speaking, though, 1080p monitors are now more common than 720p, and now that the world shifts toward 4K, 720p monitors are becoming outdated at a much faster pace. At this time, getting a new 720p security camera system installed isn’t really a long-term solution. A 720p camera system might not be as future-proof as you’d like to think.


Only 2 Features a 720p Can Beat a 1080p Security Camera

One key area where 720p security cameras can beat 1080p security cameras is bandwidth and storage consumption. Considering the same H.264 video standard, 1080p HD security cameras would take up much more bandwidth to deliver the same video to the storage unit. The same video will also take up more space to store it compared to a 720p security footage.

This problem might not remain such a big problem for long, though, thanks to HEVC/h.265 encoding and playback options. This high efficiency video encoding and playback option reduces bandwidth utilization and storage consumption by roughly 50% – and the image quality doesn’t suffer, either.

It is important to remember, though, that if a similar encoding is applied to 720p videos, their bandwidth and storage requirements come down too.


1080P Lite (1080L or 1080N or 960P) vs 1080P

1080P Lite (1080L or 1080N or 960P) is about 18% less than 1080P.

1080L has slightly less than 540 pixels and is recorded at about 12 FPS (frames per second) at ‘normal’ quality, while the ‘good’ quality 1080L has 540 pixels recorded at 15 FPS. A 1080L video transmits about 25%-30% data per second compared to what 1080P transmits. 1080 Lite is the standard cable TV resolution.


720p Vs 1080p Security Camera – A Quick Comparison

ResolutionNo. Of PixelsFrame SizeAspect RatioFrame RateScanning Type
720p921,6001280 x 72016:923.976 – 72 HzProgressive
1080p2,073,6001980 x 108016:923.976 – 80 HzProgressive

What Is The Best 720p Security Camera?

We mentioned above that in our opinion, the best 720p security camera that you can buy is the D-Link Full HD Pan & Tilt Security Camera. The main reason you should go with this camera is the image quality and ease of installation.

It is easy to set up and doesn’t require any wiring, nor does it have to undertake any major overhauling procedures. Instead, all you have to do is connect it to your Wi-Fi network and connect via the MyDLink App.

The camera is a bit pricey compared to other 720p cameras, but for good reason. It includes motion sensors and can record crisp sound as well. For night time, it includes IR LEDs to let viewers see up to 16 feet in complete darkness.

If you really want a 720p camera, you simply can’t go wrong with the D-Link.


Comparing the Best 1080p Security Cameras for Your Families Security

In our opinion, the best 1080p security camera for you is entirely dependent on your needs. If you’re looking for a wireless solution, we recommend going for the Hiseeu or Swann’s 4-channel system, both of which use Wi-Fi to communicate with each other and the DVR. The DVR is wired, mind you.

If, however, you don’t mind wires or are looking for more and more features, the Ring spotlight or Swann’s 8-channel security system might be exactly what you’re looking for.


Comparing Hiseeu & Swann (1080p Cameras)

If you look at both, the Hiseeu All in one HD Security Camera Kit and Swann’s 4-Channel Security Camera System, you will find that they have a lot of similarities. Both can record at lower resolutions as well as at 1080p, and while they need an electric cord for power, you don’t have to deal with the mess of wires in order to connect the cameras to DVR.

Instead, they send their recorded video via Wi-Fi. This Wi-Fi feature also enables you to see the feed live from your phone or laptop through a simple app. Both systems can record video and audio.

However, where they differ is that the Hiseeu has an expandable 8-channel system, meaning that you can hook up 8 cameras to the DVR, while Swann only supports 4. The Hiseeu has night vision as well and features a 78° viewing angle. In the night, you can see number plates and faces up to 20-28 feet away.

At the same time, Swann has a set of different features. Where Hiseeu relies only on audio and video, Swann uses motion and heat sensors to its advantage as well. The manufacturer also gives you access to a Dropbox if you’d like to store videos for long periods or simply want more storage.

Swann’s customer support is also considered to be one of the best, so you can rest assured that your investment will continue to function for years to come.

If push comes to shove, we would rank Swann as number 1 and Hiseeu soon after because of the features it offers, followed soon after by Ring Spotlight in 3rd position.


What About Ring Spotlight?

The Ring Spotlight 1080p HD Security Camera is an excellent camera, and perhaps the best 1080p security camera if you’re looking for a completely wireless solution – especially one that you can control with Alexa or Google Home.

Available in both, black and white, the Ring Spotlight blends perfectly with almost every setting out there. You can buy one, two or three cameras with or without the complete system, thus giving you more control over how much coverage you get. The system is rather versatile and there are virtually no limits to how many of these 1080p cameras you can connect with Alexa.

You can control the whole camera system with your smart phone. From checking battery levels to turning a camera on or off, importing video, watching live or rewinding; you can do it all through the Ring App.

These cameras are powered by a battery, so you are going to have to replace those every now and then.

We must mention at this point that there are numerous other brands of 1080p security cameras that you can buy as well. Just remember to make sure they have the necessary features you need. As we mentioned above, the best security camera isn’t the most expensive one, but one that fits your needs.


Conclusion

Technology keeps on evolving … making even the most widely used pieces of equipment obsolete. Consider the example of how film cameras – the pinnacle of technology in their time – became obsolete after a few years. It wasn’t long ago that HD video became the next big thing with 720p cameras being accepted worldwide as the new standard.

However, 1080p came with a bang and stayed for a much longer time as the best video quality. Although 4K and 8K security cameras are a thing as well, but they are overkill right now. In the competition of 720p vs 1080p security cameras, the latter leaves the former in the dust easily.

However if you are really hooked on a 720p security camera for your families safety, then go with the D-Link, (we talk about above). While the best 1080p camera is the Swann 4-Channel system with all its features (see why it’s the best above).

Having said that, Hiseeu and Ring Spotlight are solid choices too. They are very competent solutions to your security needs – and even more so if you’re looking for something particular to secure your home.

If these security camera’s are not really what your looking for we review the best and most popular home security cameras on the market.

Go here for Reolink full home security systems, also if you want the best PoE security cameras see our reviews of the top 4. Last but not least we love these 2 brands Night Owl and Amcrest for their popularity as two of the best security systems for your families home safety.

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