Where the Elgato FaceCam shines is in its simplicity. The fixed-focus lens, 24mm f/2.8, means no more guessing what kind of distance your webcam is right for live streaming. While 1080p 60fps doesn’t quite get to 4K’s max resolution, it’s not much lower at 1920 x 1080, and that higher frame rate can make a difference when capturing your movement. If you want a dedicated video platform to Livestream on and don’t really care about sharing on platforms like YouTube or Facebook Live, this might be the device for you.
The Elgato FaceCam is a webcam that aspires to be more than just a webcam – it strives to offer DSLR-like quality in an internet-friendly package. At $199, it’s one of the most expensive webcams on the market, but its closest competitors all cost more.
This 1080p model isn’t a replacement for a full-size DSLR, but it can serve as a nice complement to one by recording some of the shots you might otherwise miss.
Design and Features
Haven’t you ever been watching a video and thought to yourself, “This person looks way better than any other video I’ve watched?” What made them look so pristine? Was it the lighting? Makeup? Camera placement? Software support? All of the above.
The Elgato Facecam is a webcam designed to keep you looking sharp in the corner – or front and center – of your live streams. To accomplish that goal and stand out from the ever-more-crowded pack, it comes loaded with features to offer an edge in image clarity while also feeling more like a professional camera than any other webcam on the market.
Much of what makes it special lies in the software, but not everything, and just like any camera, great image quality starts with the lens and sensor. The Elgato Facecam is a great option for streamers, video creators, and video chat users. It offers solid 1080p capture at 60 frames per second and delivers a sharp, crisp image with natural motion.
The FaceCam is a step in the right direction for ElGato and their first all-in-one camera option. It bridges the gap between sharing your desktop on Twitch or Mixer and a more dedicated gaming camera like the Kiyo Pro or StreamCam.
The angle of the camera lens is just right for my face, about two inches above the horizon. The audio quality is also excellent, even though it’s only operating over HDMI and not some higher quality connection like a USB plug or optical cable.
There can be false colors in certain lighting conditions, and there are a few other missing features that dedicated streamers simply take for granted that you would want to see in a camera like this. Overall, it probably belongs just below the top of our list as a great choice for those who are looking for something a little more affordable.
- Manual settings controllers
- Great picture quality
- Quiet and fast compression
- Without microphone
On anything from reduced light gaming with RGB lighting in the backdrop to overhead desk views and video conferences in a fluorescent-lit office. The camera generated a crisp image that was incredibly smooth and natural during all of our testings, due to the 60FPS frames per second.
The camera does its most basic duty right out of the box, giving a crisp, smooth image, but still, it overexposes the appearance and loses information. This is a device that necessitates the use of custom settings. It just cannot thrive without them. That alters dramatically with them.
Its absence of focusing was first disappointing, but as I used it more, my opinions changed. Before each video, I used to spend time making sure I was properly in the frame and doing tests to ensure it wouldn’t lose me when I moved in a specific manner. That’s no longer a concern.
Because it records in uncompressed 1080p, minute details are captured more clearly than on other cameras. On webcams, my scruff normally comes off as soft, but it’s a simple way to see the benefit of Elgato’s image recognition on this camera. Will the compression algorithms used by YouTube and Twitch make a difference to stream viewers? Probably not, which raises the question of whether paying for streaming vs pre-recorded material is worthwhile. It’s noticeable if you produce material ahead of time.
I was also blown away by the camera’s low-light performance, which I achieved by adjusting the shutter speed and ISO. It’s quite grainy right out of the box. The colors are superb, far greater than a webcam without HD built-in, and the frame rate is remarkable for smooth action, but the level of noise negates both benefits. I was able to decrease grain and keep a more natural, vivid image by adjusting the frame rate and lowering the ISO with a few mins on Camera Hub.
The product connects to your Mac or PC using USB 3.0 and uses H.264 compression. The result is rock-solid streaming at 720p60 or 1080p30 (just don’t expect to do both at once). There’s just no lag at all as I jump between moving targets and dodging environmental hazards – it all looks perfectly smooth.