Both Elgato and Razer want to close the gap to even more expensive system cameras with expensive webcams. In the test, this works to a certain extent: Both products deliver a higher image quality than conventional models on a smartphone level and, moreover, greater configurability, but have individual weaknesses.
Table of contents
- 1 Elgato Facecam and Razer Kiyo Pro vs. Smartphone and DSLM
- Housing in round and square with different mounts
- Equipment and alternative software
- 2 Image quality in comparison
- Sensors and lenses in comparison
- Test recordings in two lighting situations
- 3 Conclusion
- Both models have their own strengths and weaknesses
- Not quite halfway between webcam and system camera
With the Facecam, the manufacturer Elgato, known for streaming accessories and bought by Corsair three years ago, recently presented a webcam in the upper price segment. Until now, the company only had capture cards and various connection cards for external system cameras in its range, now the portfolio is rounded off at the bottom. Dedicated cameras are often expensive and time-consuming to set up, so that classic webcams are still the most common option for beginning streamers and private users to record their own face. Smartphones can also be easily converted into a webcam using the appropriate app, but the qualitative difference to DSLR or DSLM cameras is usually considerable, especially in poor lighting conditions.
Recently, some manufacturers have tried to close this gap with comparatively expensive high-end webcams, including Razer with the Kiyo Pro, which has similar specifications – and ambitions – as the Facecam. This test aims to find out exactly where the two webcams are located between the cheaper alternative in the form of the Logitech C270 and the more expensive system camera in the form of the Sony Alpha 7 III. A comparison with the image quality of an iPhone 12 (test) should also find out whether a dedicated webcam makes sense at all in view of the steadily improving smartphone cameras.
The Elgato Facecam costs around 200 euros according to the recommended retail price, Razer's competing Kiyo Pro costs 10 euros more. In the free trade, the Facecam currently comes to around 190 euros, while the Kiyo Pro, on the other hand, is available from just under 150 euros. The aforementioned budget webcam in the form of the Logitech C270 costs around 35 euros, while the iPhone 12, which represents a high-end smartphone, costs around 900 euros according to the RRP. A significantly higher value, but it has to be taken into account that any user interested in video streaming probably already has a smartphone – in the best case, there are hardly any additional costs.
Finally, the aforementioned system camera is completely out of line, and together with the lens used, it has a combined RRP of over 3,000 euros. In addition, there would be the cost of a tripod and ideally a capture card. Alternatively, Sony offers an app with which the Alpha 7 III can be used quite easily as a webcam. System cameras, which are completely adequate for these purposes, can now be purchased for well under 1,000 euros, including their lenses.
Housing in round and square with different mounts
Both Elgato's Facecam and Razer's Kiyo Pro are – compared to conventional webcams – quite large and, at least in the case of the Razer product, also very heavy: the Kiyo Pro and its holder weighs around 259 g. The facecam, on the other hand, only weighs around 136 g, also with bracket and front lens cover. At least the housing of the cameras is mainly made of plastic in both cases – the additional mass of the Kiyo Pro is primarily based on weights in the lower part of the already more expansive holding mechanism. That is exactly what makes Razer's webcam much more stable on a screen.
On the one hand, the camera is better protected against vibrations or accidental impacts, on the other hand, it is also easier to remove the cover: While the facecam usually requires two hands to remove or replace the small cover without moving the webcam, this is the case with the Kiyo Pro basically possible with one hand – at least if the cap is not pushed too far.