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Review Elgato Facecam Webcam with Manual Controls for Streamers


hey everybody it’s la inside but we’re taking a look today at the elgato face cam elgato has been coming up with a lot of streaming hardware that a lot of streamers are using in their production environments and this is their latest device now this is kind of a mid-range webcam it’ll do 1080p at up to 60 frames per second it’s got a nice big sensor on board along with a really nice lens and it will deliver a much higher quality image than your computer’s webcam might provide and we’re going to take a closer look at what this camera is all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in free of charge from elgato however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this camera is all about now the price point on this is 199 so it is a little more expensive than what you might typically see in a generic webcam out there but there are some features that streamers might be looking for especially the ability to manually control the image quality which we’ll demo in a few minutes get a nice big lens up front here again this will do 1080p at 60 frames per

second max but it will also support lower resolutions and frame rates so if you’re doing 1080p 30 like i typically do it can be set at that mode it’ll also do 60 at 720p and at 540p but you can’t go to 4k on it of course it has a fixed length lens which is running at a 2.4 aperture so the focus range on this is 30 to 120 centimeters that’s about one foot to just under four feet and if you get beyond that the image will get a little blurry so there’s not a focus mechanism on here it is fixed and you got to get it positioned in the sweet spot for this to work most effectively the field of view on it is 82 degrees we’re going to demo that in a few minutes that is the equivalent of a 24 millimeter lens on your standard full frame slr so it’s got a nice wider angle there is a digital zoom option on it but as you’ll see that’s not ideal because you lose image quality so it is a little wider than the webcam you’re likely already using on the back here you’ve got a single port it’s a usb type-c port the camera does not require any drivers it is standard uvc so most computers and other devices that support cameras will pick it up automatically now one important note about how this camera works is that it sends essentially uncompressed video over its usb port to your computer therefore it needs to be plugged into a usb 3 port or better that can run at a minimum of five gigabits per second it doesn’t mean the camera is

transmitting video that fast but that’s the speed of the port that you need for the best performance the reason why the video is uncompressed is that it’s better quality but it also reduces latency because the camera doesn’t have a microphone on board so to ensure audio sync getting the video to the computer as quickly and as untouched as possible is what you want to do but that requires the usb port you’re connecting to to be a usb 3 port running at five gigabits per second or better the cable they give you in the box here runs from usbc to usb a but you can of course get your own usbc to usbc cable if you want to plug it into a usbc or thunderbolt port on your computer and you really need to make sure that the port you’re connecting to is pretty much the first port on the usb bus and sometimes that’s hard to figure out without trial and error so to give you an example when i was testing the camera out initially during a live stream we plugged it into the usb 3 port here on the side of my gaming laptop and that port did not like the camera just wouldn’t come up and so i moved the camera to the back port on this laptop and it came right up and worked just fine i had a similar issue with my desktop the front usb ports didn’t work but the rear ones did

so find the right port but you really need to make sure you’re directly connecting to the computer that you’re plugging into so don’t use a usb hub or something that might share its bandwidth because this is a very bandwidth hungry device now while it is a large camera it’s not that heavy it only weighs about a quarter of a pound or 96 grams in most cases it should not create issues for your laptop’s display hinge you have a typical display mount here at the top i’ll show you how it works here you just basically put it over the top of the display and then take the rear portion and just tighten it up a bit to keep it in place it does have the ability to move and swivel a bit but if you do make adjustments you might have to readjust the gripper on the back end there but i found that once you get it in place it does hold itself steady and again it’s not weighing down my display all that much if you prefer to use a tripod you can do that instead you just twist off the mounting bracket here and plug your tripod in on the bottom it’s got a nice rubber grip here as well to keep it steady after you get everything tightened down it is all lightweight plastic so it doesn’t feel terribly rugged to me but they do include a lens cap here for when you’re traveling with it so you can put it in a bag i would just be careful about dropping it or crushing it all

right now that we’ve taken a look at the hardware let’s plug it into my production computer here and see how it works i am using vmix for this video but it will also work of course with obs and anything else that accepts a webcam input let’s have a look all right so here is the output from the camera this is plugged right now directly into my vmix system running at 30 frames per second i haven’t tweaked anything yet this is the factory default automatic setting so this is what it’ll look like out of the box when you first plug it in we’ll demo the software in a few minutes so you can see how you might be able to tweak things a bit more but i think it looks pretty good you can also get a sense as to the latency you can expect with this because remember this camera doesn’t have a microphone so your audio has to come in from some other place right now my audio is coming in through my other camera into vmix but hopefully this will give you a good sense as to what kind of lip syncing issues you might encounter out of the box but i found the camera to be very low latency and haven’t had any issues of having to match or sync up audio a little bit earlier i turned off all the lights in the room and was illuminated mostly just by my display here and you can see what it looks like in automatic mode when you have all of your lights off it does a pretty good job in good light and also in low light but of course

you will see a lot more in the way of noise and other artifacts when you don’t have good lighting so good lighting is always important elgato of course will be happy to sell you some lights but of course any decent studio light will work well with this camera as it would with others too so let’s take a look now with the software that you can use to configure the camera i did put the camera up on a tripod just because it was bouncing around a little bit too much on my screen here and you’re probably going to notice a few lip syncing issues as we are talking because i’m capturing footage from this laptop into my vmix system now the first setting here is one that i would avoid which is the zoom setting and most people i think will use this camera at 1080p and because the sensor is a native 1080p sensor any zoom that you’re doing is going to reduce image quality so if you want to get a closer shot move the camera closer within that focal length that we talked about earlier otherwise you’ll see a quality reduction if you are shooting at 720p you might have a little more wiggle room here but again this feature is something i would not use if you have the choice below that is your picture settings and you can adjust the contrast here this is a nice feature because sometimes you might want a little more contrast in your shot you also have a saturation setting here so you can add more color saturation or on the other side you can get rid of it completely and have a black and white image that’s pretty cool you have a sharpness setting here to adjust the sharpness of the camera and then if you really mess up your image you can hit the button here and go back to factory defaults so there’s always an escape

hatch on this camera to get yourself out of trouble now next you’re going to see the exposure setting here and what i like about the camera is that it will tell you what sensitivity the sensor is at even in automatic mode and when you switch over to manual you have fine control over how sensitive the sensor is let’s have a closer look at that all right right now we’ve got the exposure set to automatic and you can see that it’s running at a 100 iso because we have studio lights here in my little basement studio and in automatic mode you can choose how it meters so right now it is doing what’s called center weighted which is basically looking at the center point of the image here but i could also change it to look at the image overall and try to take an average to get the best way to expose the image but i think if you are in the center center weighted is probably the best way to go and you also in automatic mode have a compensation mode here so you can have it go a few stops up or down in its setting of exposure based on your conditions and again this is all in the automatic mode you’ll also notice down here in processing that it is set right now for an anti-flicker of 60 hertz and if i switch it to 50 you can see that we’re getting flickering on screen and that’s because i am in the united states where our electricity runs at 60 hertz and if you’ve got led lights they will run at that frequency essentially so if you go to europe you might see 50 hertz in the power system there and you can adjust it down to 50 hertz if you’re seeing flickr with this set at 60.

So tweak that to where you need it to be tweaked but you have that option now if you’re noticing that your camera is constantly adjusting the exposure based on conditions that you have in your particular production environment you can set it to manual and what this will do is lock the exposure in so it will never change and what you can do here is go over to the exposure setting on the left hand side of the screen here so right now it’s on auto but if i switch it to manual mode here you can see now that everything is going to stay put here and our shutter speed right now is running at 64 and the iso which is the sensitivity of the sensor is set to its lowest setting at 100 because i have studio lights here now if i make the sensor more sensitive you can see that that overexposes the image here at the shutter speed but i could also have the shutter open and close more frequently here and darken up the scene so you can kind of get some good granular control over your overall exposure here just by adjusting this dial one thing to note though is that if you are at 1080p 60 and you run the shutter at a shutter speed lower than 60 you’ll start to have some issues like flicker here because your flicker reduction goes away uh when you start tweaking these things manually so i would keep it at 1080p 60 above the 60 setting here and adjust your lighting accordingly to get it to a spot that you want but i think it looks pretty good for me right now in this setting because my lights here never change this is probably where i want to leave the camera so i know exactly what image i’m going to get every time but of course we can also switch this back on auto here and go from there once again just keep an eye on this because if you’re curious as to what the camera is thinking works best for your environment you can keep an eye on the iso setting that it has here to get a feel for what it is setting for you through that automatic mode you also have the ability to adjust the white balance here right now i’ve got it set to auto but if i turn this off you can

move this around here in 100 kelvin increments and find what works best for your particular shot i’ll give you a fuller screen here so you can see the range of this right now it doesn’t look like you can hold up a white balance sheet and have the camera adjust to that so you’re going to have to kind of tweak the set the setting here to get it to exactly where you want it to be but when it’s in auto mode it could change the white balance on you mid production and if you want to lock it in and you’ve got fixed lighting that doesn’t change set it to manual get it to the spot that you like and leave it and you should have a pretty consistent goes of your production the last thing here is noise reduction this won’t be very evident here but i’ll roll in some b-roll we did on the live stream earlier so you can see the impact of this and if you have a darker environment and you’re seeing a lot of grain when you turn this on it will do a pretty good job of removing that grain and smoothing out the image the problem though is that when you turn noise

reduction on the image is softer so in this case you’re trading sharpness for a less noisy image and it’s up to you to figure out what works best for your particular production now earlier during our live stream a lot of folks were curious about how it works with green screens and i tested it with my pull-up elgato green screen running through vmix and as you can see here it worked just fine i didn’t have to tweak any lighting i just configured vmix like i usually do and it worked great this is one area though where you probably want to get all of your settings locked in and in manual mode because if the camera did change exposure or white balance based on what it sees that might impact the quality of your key but i did find it worked just as well as some of my production cameras do at keying me out of a green screen now if you want to see what 1080p 60 footage looks like out of the camera i will upload some sample footage to my extras channel for you to see so that link will be down below in the video description now if you want to reduce the camera’s frame rate or resolution you have the ability to do that if you look on the software here just below the preview window you can dial it down in both resolution and frame rate so it’ll run at a minimum of 540p 30 but you can see you can step up through various

frame rates and resolutions along the way to its final stop of 1080p so you’ve got a lot of flexibility here the other thing that i like about this is that you have the ability to save your settings not to the computer that you’re configuring from but on the camera itself the camera has flash memory on board so if you’re like me and you don’t like any extra software running on your production computer you can configure it on a laptop unplug it and plug it into your production machine and it’s going to retain all of those settings from the built-in flash memory so overall i’m very pleased with what elgato has put together here it’s not a very difficult camera to use i think for a lot of people just plugging it in is all they’ll need to do but when you want to start diving into more customized control you can really dial in the image exactly how you want it within reason of course and i like the fact that the controls are relatively easy to understand and learn because you do get immediate feedback on that app as you’re tweaking the dials to find the

sweet spot for your particular setup this certainly won’t replace something more expensive like a studio camera or one of those slrs or something but i think for folks starting out and looking to up the game a little bit this is a nice step up over the webcam you’re likely already using so definitely worth checking out again a little more expensive than your run-of-the-mill camera but i think the price point is justified given the image quality and feature set that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon seidman thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters chris alegretta tom albrecht jim calliger hot sauce and video games and brian parker if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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