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Elgato’s hefty 4K webcam sticks out with 60 frames per second recording


Elgato has released the $299.99 Facecam Pro, its second creator-focused webcam that adds impressive features that aren’t in its original Facecam. Its standout feature is the ability to record 4K resolution footage at a smooth 60 frames per second, while many other competing 4K options are limited to 30 frames per second. You won’t necessarily see those benefits in Zoom calls since the internet compresses video quality, but if you’re a streamer, this could be worth checking out.

$299.99 for the Pro is indisputably high — the smaller Facecam is now selling for $149.99 — but it might deliver the updates you were hoping for. 4K resolution recording aside, it also lets you choose between auto or manual focus mode. Being able to choose between those two focus modes is a common trait in most webcams, but it was lacking in the original Facecam. Elgato also promises a minimum focus distance of 3.9 inches, which is almost eight inches less than the original’s 11.8-inch fixed focus range. This spec matches what other similarly priced webcams can achieve, including the Opal C1 and the Insta360 Link.

The Elgato Facecam Pro webcam is mounted to a tripod, facing someone who’s showing off their artwork.

A large part of the Facecam Pro’s rear appears to be a heatsink to keep its internals cool while it records in 4K/60fps. The Pro by itself weighs a half of a pound.
Elgato

One feature that hasn’t been changed from generation to generation is the lack of a microphone. Even if a webcam-based microphone delivers terrible results, I still like to have it as an option to fall back on. Elgato assumes that its target audience already has a microphone. And if not, I’m sure it’d love to sell you one.

Some other features that Elgato boasts about being a big deal for the Facecam Pro include an F/2.0 aperture, which is wider than the Facecam’s f/2.4 and allows for more light to come into the lens. It has a slightly wider field of view at 90 degrees (compared to up to 82 in the Facecam), so you’ll be able to fit a little bit more of your room in the frame.

Elgato sent us a Facecam Pro to test out, but I haven’t been able to jump into a bunch of Zoom calls or test it out within OBS yet, but I did get to spin it up and see if it even remotely improved the webcam quality versus the Insta360 Link that I typically use. Similar to the original Facecam, I needed to make some big tweaks in the Elgato Camera Hub software (compatible with Windows and macOS) before I liked the image it produces. The Link was able to deliver a better picture out of the box. In our well-lit office, I looked oppressively under-lit by default with the Facecam Pro. It seemed like some of my colleagues using their iPhones as webcams with Continuity Camera in macOS Ventura looked better than I did. But the many settings available in the software helped me customize the picture quality, compared to that Mac-specific feature that doesn’t offer as many on-the-fly adjustments.

I’ll be spending more time with the Facecam Pro to see if it earns a spot in our webcam buying guide. But I already have a feeling that I won’t recommend it for most people, especially people who spend most of their time in Zoom. I’m curious to see if it works as well as it promises in apps like OBS for recording detailed 4K footage at 60 frames per second. Being great at that could make it a creator-focused webcam that’s worth its price.



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