Elgato makes ring lights, seize playing cards, the wonderful Stream Deck and one of many best microphones round, so it was solely a matter of time earlier than it launched its personal webcam. The corporate has finished simply that with the Facecam, a $199 digicam designed for content material creators who need easy video and plenty of customization choices.
Facecam will get lots proper, however can it earn a spot amongst the best webcams on the market? Right here’s what we predict after a couple of weeks of hopping on video calls and Twitch broadcasts with this fancy new digicam.
Who it’s for: The $199 Elgato Facecam is a premium webcam designed for fanatic content material creators who need easy, crisp video and plenty of customization choices.
What you must know: Elgato’s high-end digicam captures video at 1080p decision and 60 frames per second, which is a perfect degree of smoothness and element for the typical Twitch stream or YouTube video. It’s one of many few webcams to lack a microphone (that are normally horrible on webcams anyway), and has one of the vital strong companion apps you could find for this type of digicam.
The way it compares: The Facecam is fairly corresponding to the Logitech StreamCam (beginning at $149) and Razer Kiyo Pro ($199) — two of our greatest webcam picks for energy customers — with regards to general smoothness and readability. The Logitech and Razer cameras carry out higher out of the field when it comes to lighting, although Elgato’s webcam has one of the best companion app of the bunch.
The Elgato Facecam sits as a 3-inch-wide hunk of plastic that makes the Logitech StreamCam look small and stretches a bit wider than the Razer Kiyo Professional. It appears to be like fairly slick, and its giant construct doesn’t come on the expense of usability.
At a few fifth of a pound, the Facecam feels surprisingly feathery for its dimension. Mounting the webcam on high of varied displays was a cinch, and it was straightforward to seek out the correct angle for our Twitch streams and Webex conferences, because of loads of vertical adjustment house and the flexibility to swivel the digicam a full 360 levels. We additionally had no difficulty unscrewing the digicam from its included mount and attaching it to our tripod because of the standard-issue tripod connection on the backside.
The Facecam’s notably light-weight design could also be due partially to the truth that it has no onboard microphone. Elgato made this omission for a couple of causes — the corporate says that it’s very troublesome to get good sound out of a webcam, and that it expects the type of content material creators this factor is geared toward to have their very own devoted microphone useful. Contemplating that every webcam microphone we’ve tested has ranged from poor to horrible, we will’t say we’re upset concerning the lack of 1 right here.
Elgato’s webcam attaches to your PC or Mac through a removable USB-C to USB-A cable, which is a pleasant contact that makes the digicam straightforward to move. It additionally packs a useful plastic privateness cap you can pop on to stop any undesirable recordings (we’d have most popular a shutter, nevertheless it’s a pleasant bonus regardless). The Facecam is fairly plug-and-play, as we had been in a position to make use of it to hop into video calls and report footage in Open Broadcasting Software program (an open-source app for recording) instantly. Nevertheless, you’ll need to obtain Elgato’s Digital camera Hub app to tinker with the image high quality to your liking — however extra on that later.
The Elgato Facecam delivers principally vivid and easy video seize throughout Twitch streams and video calls, although we discovered that it trails behind premium rivals in some key areas. The Facecam captures video at 1080p at as much as 60 frames per second, and is powered by a Sony Starvis CMOS sensor — the identical tech utilized by skilled administrators and photographers.
Movies we captured on Facecam had been largely easy, secure and detailed. The digicam’s 60 frame-per-secound output made our actions and facial gestures look fluid throughout features. Moreover, we may make out nice particulars such because the stubble in our beard and the textual content in our tattoo. However when evaluating photographs and clips to these we captured on the Logitech StreamCam and Razer Kiyo Professional, the Facecam’s cracks began to point out.
In our testing, the Facecam’s greatest difficulty is that it made us look fairly overexposed by default. When dealing with direct pure lighting and on default settings, we began to change into engulfed by gentle, with the solar making us look far too pale, vibrant and blurry. We regarded rather more true to life on the StreamCam by comparability, whereas the Kiyo Professional made us look the warmest and most saturated with shade. We had been in a position to repair the Facecam’s overexposure by turning the compensation slider down a couple of notches through the Digital camera Hub app, however there was a fairly stark distinction between Elgato’s digicam and the competitors when it got here to out-of-the-box efficiency.
The Facecam fell even additional behind after we shot in low gentle, producing visibly grainy photos with muted colours. Once more, that is one thing we had been in a position to repair by adjusting the compensation slider, however it could show irritating for many who simply need to plug and play. By comparability, the StreamCam was blurry underneath low gentle however didn’t have as a lot distracting grain, whereas the Kiyo Professional was one of the best of the bunch on this state of affairs, with decently vibrant and detailed photographs.
Elgato’s digicam is in the course of the pack with regards to discipline of view, capturing an honest chunk of our bed room with its 82-degree discipline of view. It’s a noticeable bump over the StreamCam’s 78-degree view, although the Kiyo Professional’s superior 103-degree lens picked up our guitar and iMac that had been hidden on the opposite cameras.
It’s additionally price noting that the StreamCam is the one digicam of the three that may shoot in vertical orientation, for folk who need to shoot TikTok-friendly video proper from their desktop. And whereas the StreamCam and Kiyo Professional have auto-focus capabilities, the Facecam is a fixed-focus digicam, which has its execs and cons. Whereas Logitech’s and Razer’s cameras are in a position to get a well-focused shot with none handbook tinkering, they will additionally produce a “focus-jumping” impact because the digicam continuously refocuses whenever you transfer round. In the meantime, the Facecam’s video high quality is a bit more constant, even when it’s important to play with the settings to get it to look the way you need.
All in all, you’ll get dependably crisp and easy video from the Facecam — simply be able to do some tinkering.
Whereas the Facecam’s default efficiency could be a blended bag, you may make it look significantly better with Elgato’s Digital camera Hub app, which is without doubt one of the most strong items of webcam software program we’ve used but. This app options tons of digital knobs and switches, letting you fiddle with issues like zoom, distinction, saturation and white steadiness on the fly to make your self look the way you need to on digicam.
When you discover a steadiness you want, it can save you your settings on to the Facecam itself, which means you’ll get the identical image high quality even should you swap computer systems. The app doesn’t presently seem to allow you to save a number of presets, which is one thing we’d like to see added down the road.
Whereas many of those options are corresponding to what you’ll discover on the Logitech Seize and Razer Synapse apps, Elgato’s Digital camera Hub has one actually distinctive celebration trick: the flexibility to fine-tune the digicam’s publicity settings as a way to get simply the correct amount of brightness. The truth is, the Facecam is the one digicam with a customizable ISO setting — this successfully reveals your digicam’s sensitivity to gentle, and is the type of factor you may usually solely view and alter on a flowery DSLR digicam.
This function got here in useful throughout a number of real-world video calls, throughout which a few of that aforementioned overexposure began to rear its head. Luckily, Elgato’s app made it straightforward for us to manually alter the webcam’s shutter pace and ISO till simply sufficient gentle got here by way of to make us look pure.
Like just about all of Elgato’s equipment, the Facecam actually involves life should you personal a Stream Deck, Elgato’s extremely versatile keypad constructed for managing a broadcast in actual time. After putting in the Digital camera Hub plug-in and spending a couple of minutes assigning instructions to our Stream Deck Mini, we had been in a position to do issues like zoom in on our face or enhance the saturation or brightness with a fast faucet of a button. This appears particularly perfect for livestreaming, as you may shortly zoom into your face for dramatic impact or brighten a very darkish shot with out having to click on round any software program.
The Elgato Facecam ($199; elgato.com) is a powerful webcam debut from Elgato, delivering easy, crisp video and a number of the greatest customization choices we’ve seen on this kind of digicam. Its superior, DSLR-like brightness settings are actually useful, and its helpful Stream Deck integration makes it an incredible match for many who already personal Elgato’s useful keypad.
Nevertheless, when it comes to plug-and-play efficiency, the Facecam trails behind its rivals within the Logitech StreamCam and Razer Kiyo Professional in each vibrant and darkish environments. That is offset a bit by the various tweaks you may make in Elgato’s wonderful Digital camera Hub app, however those that’d slightly not do any handbook tinkering could also be postpone by the Facecam.
We nonetheless discover the Logitech StreamCam ($149, initially $169; logitech.com) to be one of the best streaming webcam for the cash, and the Kiyo Professional ($199; razer.com) continues to be our favourite on the increased finish, because of its very good shade, brightness and discipline of view. However should you’re on the lookout for a easy, crisp webcam that permits you to customise each little element — and particularly should you’re already a giant Elgato consumer — the Facecam is properly price a glance.