Personal Camera vs Built In – Which Is Best?

Personal Camera vs Built In – Which Is Best?

With the rise of remote working, almost all laptops come with an integrated camera to facilitate video calls. If you are using it to video call friends and family occasionally, the camera quality will usually suffice. However, what about for working professionals? With the all-important first impression becoming increasingly virtual, image and sound quality is crucial to ensure a professional appearance. With this in mind, we explored what an external personal camera can offer that integrated can’t. Read on below to find out how we got on!

Image Quality

Without doubt, personal cameras, even on the lower end of the budget, are far superior to the majority of built-in options that come with the laptop. As we mentioned in the intro, image quality really becomes important when you’re using the camera in the office and professional environment, for meetings with clients and colleagues. Especially with new and important clients, you want to give a professional representation of yourself and your company. Personal cameras offer 4K video quality now, so all you need to worry about is looking your best!

More advanced personal cameras, such as the Jabra PanaCast offers not only incredible image quality, but also maintains the focus of the meeting. Using the intelligent video technology, the camera can detect how many people are in the meeting. It then condenses the image so it’s not including all the empty space around you. Not only this, but with the intelligent lighting technology, the camera adapts the image according to the environment’s lighting. To optimize every call, no matter where you are.

Price and Setup

Similar to most tech, you get what you pay for! Of course, the integrated camera comes built-in and ready to go, making price and setup non-existent. However, in contrast, set up takes all of 30 seconds with most external models. A simple USB connection is all that’s required, and to secure the camera onto the laptop itself. Most come with a travel pouch as well, so you can easily take it on the go.

Prices range from around £25 for the basic entry level models all the way up to £300+, for the more advanced cameras, handling full boardrooms. These cameras can be set up on your laptop or come with a wall bracket and stand, so you can position the camera at the best angle. This also means you can connect a monitor, to stream on the big screen.


With stats showing cyber-attacks have increased up to 28% compared to 2021, security is an ever-present topic when any technology is mentioned. As an integrated camera lens is always in view, this means that it’s never fully secure. Even if the light isn’t showing as on, people could still be home! In comparison, at the most basic level of security, once you have finished with the external camera, you can simply unplug and put it away. Alternatively, if you have a day full of calls the Jabra PanaCast 20 and others in the range come with a privacy cover. This simply slides over the lens, so you don’t have to worry.


More advanced features that Jabra have upgraded, include the background blur. Rather than using a virtual background, that can often go in and out of the screen, the background blur makes sure all sensitive data around you is protected. This can be especially useful when in the office, making sure screens and colleagues are kept private. Also, it keeps the focus on you!

Sound Quality

With built in microphones included in personal cameras, the audio picked up is much clearer than using a standard laptop by itself. Through testing we have found it picks up a more consistent sound and has a richer tone, compared to the often ‘tinny’ sound from a laptop. We have found though, that people tend to be using a headset if they are working in the office, or a conference speaker if in a meeting room. With models such as the Jabra PanaCast, you can pair the camera with the Speak 710 conference speaker, to get the best in image and sound quality. With this in mind, the sound quality in the camera tends not to be overly high on the spec list when deciding which model to go for.


If you’re using a camera for business purposes and want to give a professional appearance virtually, we would absolutely recommend getting yourself a personal camera. Offering so many upgraded features with regards to image quality and technology, as well as security. Now all you have to worry about is the meetings themselves! Check out our full range of personal cameras here.

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