Choose the Right Camera for Zoom Meeting: Built-in Camera vs. External Camera




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With the widespread adoption of the hybrid working mode, remote communication and collaboration platforms like Zoom have become indispensable for virtual meetings. One crucial aspect of these video meetings is the camera used for video communication. This article explores the options of built-in cameras and external cameras for Zoom meetings, comparing their advantages and disadvantages.

Built-in Camera vs. External Camera for Zoom Meetings

Deciding whether a built-in camera or an external camera is better for Zoom meetings depends on various factors and specific needs of different people. Let's explore the advantages and considerations for each option:

Built-in Camera


  1. Convenience: Built-in cameras are integrated into laptops, tablets, and smartphones, requiring no additional setup or external devices.
  2. Portability: Since they are integrated into the device, built-in cameras offer portability and ease of use, allowing for video conferencing on the go.
  3. Space-saving: With a built-in camera, you don't need to allocate extra desk space or deal with cable clutter. It's a space-saving solution that keeps your workspace tidy.
  4. Cost: Built-in cameras cost nothing since they are included with the device.


  1. Limited Video Quality: Built-in cameras may have limitations in terms of video resolution, low-light performance, and overall image quality compared to external cameras.
  2. Limited flexibility: Built-in cameras often have fixed angles and limited adjustability options, which can limit the framing and positioning of participants in the video.

External Camera


  1. Enhanced Quality Options: External cameras, such as webcams or conference cameras, typically offer superior video quality with higher resolutions, better image sensors, and advanced features like autofocus and low-light correction, resulting in clearer and more detailed video and images.
  2. Adjustability and Field of View: External cameras often provide more flexibility in terms of adjustability, allowing users to change angles, zoom, and pan for better framing and coverage of meeting participants.
  3. Upgradability: If you want to upgrade or replace your camera with a higher-quality option, external webcams offer the advantage of easy upgradability. You can simply disconnect the old webcam and connect a new one to your computer, giving you the ability to stay up-to-date with the latest camera technology.
  4. Dedicated Features: Some external cameras are designed specifically for video conferencing, offering features like speaker tracking, noise cancellation, and superior audio quality. These features can enhance your Zoom video conferencing experience.


  1. Additional Setup: External cameras require connection and setup, usually through USB, which may involve extra cables and mounting options.
  2. Cost: Good-quality external cameras can be more expensive than using the built-in camera option.
  3. Portability: External cameras, especially conference cameras, are less portable than built-in cameras and may be better suited for fixed meeting spaces.
Besides of these features mentioned above, it's necessary to consider your specific meeting requirements before making a decision. For personal use or small meetings with basic needs, built-in cameras may suffice. However, for professional settings, larger meetings, and the need for enhanced video quality and adjustability, investing in an external camera, such as a webcam or conference camera, can significantly improve the video conferencing experience.

How to Choose the Right External Camera for Zooming

If you decide to buy an external camera for your Zoom meeting, how to figure out which one is better? Consider the following factors:
Different Types of External Cameras
When it comes to external cameras for Zoom meetings, there are several types to consider based on your specific needs and meeting requirements, including webcam, conference camera, PTZ camera, document camera and DSLR. Most of the time the decision is between webcam and conference camera.
  • Webcam: Webcams are compact, affordable, and easy to use. They are suitable for personal use or small group meetings. Webcams often connect via USB and offer features like autofocus, noise reduction, and built-in microphones. If you decide to use a webcam, remember to look for high-resolution ones for better video quality.
  • Conference Camera: Conference cameras are designed for larger meeting spaces and group discussions compared with webcam. They offer superior video quality, wide-angle lenses, and advanced features like pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ). Conference cameras often have higher resolutions (1080p or 4K), multiple lens options, and enhanced audio capabilities, that make it more suitable for professional environments where clear visibility of participants is crucial.
Room Size & Field of View
Determine the primary purpose of the camera and the size of your meetings. Webcams are suitable for personal use, small group meetings, or individual video conferencing. Conferencing cameras are designed for larger meeting spaces and group discussions, accommodating more participants and offering better coverage.
Besides, consider the FOV required for your meetings. A wider FOV is suitable for small or medium-sized rooms, while a narrower FOV may be sufficient for individual use. Conferencing cameras often feature wider FOV options than webcams, enabling better coverage of larger meeting spaces and more participants.
Video & Audio Quality
Look for a camera with high-resolution video capabilities, preferably 1080p or higher, for clear and detailed images. Consider features like autofocus, low-light correction, and noise reduction to enhance video quality.
Good audio quality is also crucial for clear communication during Zoom meetings. So consider whether the camera has built-in microphones or supports external microphones. Some webcams have built-in microphones that provide basic audio capabilities, while conferencing cameras may offer better audio features, such as noise cancellation or dedicated speaker tracking.
Adjustability & Compatibility
Determine if you need adjustable camera settings like pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) functionality. Conferencing cameras often offer more advanced PTZ capabilities, allowing you to remotely control the camera's movements for better framing and focus during meetings. Webcams generally have more limited adjustability.
Ensure that the camera is compatible with your computer or device and can be easily connected via USB. Check for compatibility with your operating system and the video conferencing software you plan to use, such as Zoom.
Determine your budget range and find a camera that meets your requirements within that range. Webcams are generally more affordable and accessible, while conferencing cameras can be more expensive due to their advanced features and capabilities.

Best Conference Cameras for Zoom Meetings

If you are looking for a professional conference camera, here are a few notable conference cameras that excel in Zoom meetings:
  • Logitech MeetUp: This all-in-one conference camera provides a wide-angle lens, 4K video resolution, and motorized pan-tilt-zoom. It is ideal for small to medium-sized meeting rooms. You can also control this device by Logitech remote control system, the Logitech Sync.
  • Poly Studio: The Poly Studio camera offers exceptional video and audio quality, with built-in microphones and speaker tracking technology. It is suitable for larger conference rooms or boardrooms.
  • Nearity C45: Nearity C45 is an all-in-one conference camera equipped with built-in optimized speaker and noise reduction mics, supporting AI-powered auto framing and 5X zooming. It's designed for small huddle space or video meeting room. Like Logitech Sync, one of its advantages is the integrated remote device control system, the NearSync app, which allows you to control and customized all the Nearity devices on one single platform wherever you are.
  • AVer CAM520 Pro: This PTZ camera features 1080p video resolution, 18X optical zoom, and multiple presets for easy control. It is a versatile option for various meeting spaces.
  • Nearity V410: This conference camera features a premium 2K CMOS sensor with 4x optical zoom and 2.5x digital zoom, ensuring clear images at any magnification. It also offers 4 camera presets for seamless switching between settings using the IR remote control. While Nearity C45 is suitable for small huddle room, Nearity V410 PTZ camera is designed for larger conference room.


Choosing the right camera for Zoom meetings is essential for enhanced video conferencing experiences. While built-in cameras offer convenience, external cameras provide superior video quality and flexibility. Consider the specific requirements of your meetings to determine the most suitable camera type.

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