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

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Elgato has released the $299.99 Facecam Pro, the second maker-focused webcam that adds impressive features not found in the original Facecam. Its standout feature is the ability to shoot 4K resolution images 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, as the internet compresses video quality, but if you’re a streamer, it could be worth a look.

$299.99 for the Pro is undeniably high – the smaller Facecam is now selling for $149.99 – but it may deliver the updates you were hoping for. Aside from shooting at 4K resolution, you can also choose between auto or manual focus mode. Choosing between those two focus modes is a common feature on most webcams, but it was missing from the original Facecam. Elgato also promises a minimum focusing distance of 3.9 inches, which is nearly eight inches shorter than the original 11.8-inch fixed focus range. This spec matches what other comparably priced webcams can achieve, including the Opal C1 and the Insta360 Link.

Much of the back of the Facecam Pro appears to be a heat sink to keep the interior cool while it records in 4K/60fps. The Pro itself weighs half a pound.
Elgato

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

Some other features Elgato boasts of being important to the Facecam Pro include an f/2.0 aperture, which is wider than the Facecam’s f/2.4 and allows more light to enter the lens. It has a slightly wider field of view at 90 degrees (compared to up to 82 in the Facecam), so you can fit a little more of your room into the frame.

Elgato sent us a Facecam Pro to test out, but I haven’t been able to jump into some Zoom calls or test it within OBS yet, but I did run it and see if it even remotely improved the webcam quality vs. the Insta360 Link I usually use. As with the original Facecam, I had to make some major tweaks to the Elgato Camera Hub software (Windows and macOS compatible) before I liked the image it produces. The Link was able to deliver a better view out of the box. In our well-lit office, I looked oppressively underexposed by default with the Facecam Pro. It seemed like some of my colleagues who used their iPhones as webcams with Continuity Camera in macOS Ventura looked better than me. But the many settings available in the software have helped me adjust image quality, compared to that Mac-specific feature that doesn’t offer as many direct adjustments.

I’ll spend more time on the Facecam Pro to see if it deserves a spot in our webcam buying guide. But I already feel like I won’t recommend it for most people, especially those who spend most of their time in Zoom. I’m curious if it works as well as it promises in apps like OBS for recording detailed 4K footage at 60 frames per second. If you’re good at that, it could be a maker-focused webcam worth its price.

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