Although he is still best known for it capture cards,, Cat works to download your entire transfer settings. It has been introduced in the past half decade Stream Deck line to easily run macros during broadcast; different types lighting; and, last year, the first in the company game microphones. The only thing missing from this list was the webcam – until today’s introduction of the Elgato FaceCam.
On the surface, the $ 200 camera is not that unique. It is a large rectangular box that can be easily attached to the top of the monitor or connected to Elgat’s multi-mount system. It shoots 1080p at 60 frames per second, with Sony’s STARVIS CMOS sensor. It may not be 4K, but most streamers don’t need that kind of resolution right now. FaceCam compensates for this with a robust set of settings in its dedicated Camera Hub program. Yes, you’ll need to download another piece of software for this camera to run alongside Game Capture, Stream Deck, Wave Link (for microphones) and Control Center (for lighting), which is a bit boring. Other companies combine all of their different drivers and settings into one tool, but I guess separating them probably makes it easier to send updates.
In the camera hub, you’ll have easy access to things like contrast, exposure, and white balance. (The last two can be set to automatic, so you have one more thing to get upset about.) The automatic white balance was a little warm for my taste, but it was easy enough to turn it off and knock the number down to a cooler 4000K. The software also comes with zoom options, but there is nothing to write about at home because the camera is fixedly focused. You will always be sharp as long as you are always between 30 inches and 120 cm from the camera. This should take care of everyone who works at the table; anyone who moves backwards would be better off serving something a little more portable with advanced settings.
The biggest draw of the Camera Hub is the ISO real-time reading, which makes it much easier to detect and respond to changes in your lighting. Maybe your lights are too bright, or maybe the natural light outside has disappeared with the oncoming thunder (which is just happening as I type this). Exposure and white balance can be adjusted automatically, or you can adjust the settings on the fly. A Stream Deck plugin is available that should allow you to adjust the settings at the touch of a button. Of course, it depends on whether you have the first smart lighting, like Elgata’s key light or ring light.
There’s a definite feeling that you need to get into Elgato’s all-in streaming line, which is probably best evidenced by the lack of a microphone in FaceCam. The company says it didn’t bother because most players use headphones anyway, but let’s face it: Elgato would rather you take one of his Wave: 1 or Wave: 3 microphones. They do sound great, but they’re not my favorite microphones I had some problems with the Wave 3 working while I was wearing headphones – yes, even the Elgato ones parent company Corsair.
Basically, FaceCam has a lot less wrapping. My biggest problem was that I connected it, because it has to be connected to your system directly, not through a hub. And that’s hard with many modern laptops that can only have two USB-C ports. FaceCam comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, and the company recommends using the included wire instead of giving your own. I was forced to look for a conversion dongle. While I commend companies for finally embracing USB-C in their gaming accessories, we need some software solutions to ensure that they can really be used with hubs. My Logitech C920 works with a hub and comes with a built-in microphone, so it will probably remain my default webcam for most purposes.
Still, FaceCam starts out promising. Video quality is sharp and noise-free, and when it’s not, there’s a built-in filter you can enable. Still, I didn’t need it because the camera handled my Google Hangouts and Zoom calls with ease. The price is a bit steep, but still on par with Logitech’s Brio 4K and Razerov Kiyo Pro, and both cost $ 200. Money here brings you confidence that you will work with you without any problems Elgato Stream Deck – a piece of equipment that, at least at the moment, has no real competition.
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