Bullet Security Cameras Feature : 720p vs 1080p

What's the difference between 720p and 1080p IP cameras?


For the past few years 720p has been the standard resolution for HD IP cameras. Now more and more cameras are offering higher 1080p resolution. But how much of a difference does 1080p really make?

Higher Resolution

1080p means a resolution of 1920x1080, or 2MP (2 Megapixel). Our old standard of HD 720p is 1280x720 or 1 MP. This means 1080p has twice as much image detail and produces images that are twice as large in terms of overall pixel count.

Let's Compare

First, let's look at the image captured in 720p (1 MP) resolution below. It looks amazingly clear.

Next Up

Now let's look at the next image captured in 1080p (2 MP) below. You can see that it's physically larger, and has a higher resolution. (1920x1080 vs 1280x720) It has twice as much detail, and things like the text on the excavator are easier to read.

The Catch

The 1080p image has twice the detail of the 720p image (2MP vs. 1MP) but at a cost. 1080p cameras consume twice as much network bandwidth and storage. In other words, streaming remotely via the internet will be twice as slow, and your storage will fill up twice as fast. If image quality and detail is of utmost importance, then 1080p cameras are the way to go. However, if you're not covering a large area, you may be better off using a 720p camera.

1080p cameras are also more expensive than their 720p counterparts. As an example, the Axis P33 series 1080p camera is $300 more expensive than the same model Axis P33 in 720p. The same goes for Vivotek cameras, although the price difference is around $200.


Although 1080p cameras offer more detail, there are some major benefits to using 720p. The cost of 720p cameras is lower and the image quality is still very impressive. Video will take up less space and give you longer history. Streaming video over the internet will be twice as fast, and you'll be able to fit more cameras on a server. Of course there's nothing stopping you from using a mix of 1080p and 720p cameras depending on your needs.

Some more shots taken with 720p IP cameras:

Axis P33 series 720p IP camera:

Axis P33 series 720p IP camera:

Axis P33 series 720p IP camera:

Vivotek FD81 series 720p IP camera:

Axis M11 series 720p IP camera:

Axis P33 series 720p IP camera:

ACTi 720p IP camera:

Vivotek FD81 series 720p IP camera: