I was mentally prepared and I was reconciled with the idea that if you want to look good in a stream, you have to use a mirorless.
That is, quite good webcams have appeared lately, Logitech Streamcam being one of them. Razer also has Kyio Pro. But they both suffer from a “disease” called autofocus.
Ever since my son started school and I have witnessed countless zooms, I have understood why autofocus should disappear from this category.
As the dwarf was not in the gaming chair and kept spinning, the webcam did what it knew how to do worse – refocus. And not where it should be, but you wonder what toy in the background.
From my perspective, webcams should be just like selfie cams. Fixed lenses.
And that’s exactly what Elgato Facecam does. It has fixed lenses and a lot of other interesting aspects.
Elgato Facecam is a product with head and tail, designed from the beginning for one thing – video streaming. Whether it’s Zoom, Twitch or Youtube, it’s also called video streaming.
It’s a webcam without a built-in microphone and I can only enjoy it. Because I have one less device in the list of audio inputs.
Features Elgato Facecam
As for the mounting system, Facecam has a 1/4 thread and can be installed on any articulated arm or tripod you are looking for a camera.
This chapter is extremely useful, especially if you want to mount the camera in a semi-permanent position.
The cable is detachable and my recommendation, as well as from Elgato, is not to use extension cords. It is enough that you have in the package a detachable cable of 2 m that can be replaced with a longer one.
The sensor used by Elgato is of the CMOS type and, obviously, produced by Sony. It is part of the Starvis range. This type of sensor is generally used in the Security environment and somehow found its place in this webcam because the pixels are backlit, and the end result is a higher dynamic range and a gain in noise.
From the presentation page on the Sony website it appears that such a sensor handles excellently in poor lighting conditions.
However, the good part is that the software allows you to change the parameters almost like a DSLR or mirorless. The parameters that you can save in the camera’s memory.
Photo gallery Elgato Facecam
After witnessing countless refocuses of StreamCam, the webcam we still use for Zoom, I was really surprised not to see any wooble. It’s something else.
Installing Elgato Facecam webcam is extremely simple. It has a pre-installed leg. And if you want to mount it on top of the monitor, all you have to do is place it on top of the monitor. Or you can detach the leg and screw a tripod sole directly into the body of the camera.
Regarding the connection to the PC, this is done through a 2 m USB TypeC-TypeA 3.0 cable. From the moment you connect it, you don’t have to do anything. At least in Windows 10.
Of course, if you want to make any settings you will need to install the Camera Hub application.
Software: Camera Hub
Of course, the software works exclusively with Elgato products. Don’t expect to be able to change settings on the Razer Kiyo Pro, for example.
In terms of settings, you can change the Field of View, contrast, saturation, sharpness, exposure, white balance and you can enable or disable noise reduction.
Noise reduction will make the image look as blurry as a cheap webcam. So you better not touch it.
The coolest setting is for ISO.
There are no focus options because the lens block is fixed. This means that you will never see woobles and desperate searches for a contrasting surface.
Video quality comparison
Although all 3 cameras had the white balance set to 5000, the images are totally different. It is not serious, because it can be adjusted to reflect reality.
By far the most important feature of this webcam is the fixed lens. Somehow it solved my refocusing problem. Especially in low light where all webcams with autofocus start to “dance”.
The image quality is good, but you have to use lights to get a cool result.
The lack of a microphone seems to me an exceptional idea. Especially since this webcam addresses streams that already have a microphone, maybe even more expensive than the webcam.
Elgato Facecam has conquered me since I saw that you can save the settings directly in the room. Somehow it seems funny to me that only in 2021 we have something that is really useful. And it’s their first webcam. Who knows what super specific UFO for streaming will launch.
So you can make some settings and tomorrow when you reinstall your OBS and all the software, the camera settings will be saved. A minus care.
Also, the fact that you can change the ISO gives you a lot of flexibility in setting the camera according to the light you have available.
Elgato Facecam costs 199 Euros and is a direct competitor of the Razer Kiyo Pro. The camera, which in turn is also built around the Sony Starvis sensor.
Somehow Elgato Facecam manages to bring the concept of webcam to the level that a webcam should be, without autofocus. This is the last care you have to take, because you are dressed without contrast and it still focuses the camera on the board behind you.
If you try to block the focus with another webcam, you will succeed, but you will not have 90 centimeters available in which everything will be clear, but much less. That’s why I don’t like Razer Kiyo Pro so much.
At the time of publication, Elgato Facecam was not available in Romania.