Elgato Facecam MK2 review: "No punch to blacks and no kick to colors."

Elgato Facecam MK2 sitting atop a monitor
(Image: © Future / Alex Berry)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

The Elgato Facecam MK2 fills a nice gap in the webcam market. As more 4K options are released at steep price points, Elgato is doubling down on the content creators that don't have a need for high-end resolutions yet. The MK2 brings forward a lot of great features from the previous Facecams, but it's missing a pop of color that would otherwise propel it to more praise.


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    1080p 60fps or 720p 120fps video

  • +

    HDR dual exposure setting

  • +

    Sturdy low-profile mounting

  • +

    Software is intuitive


  • -

    Colors are washed out

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    Hard to get a rich, punchy image

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    Software choices struggle to make a big impact

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Elgato already has some of the best gear for streamers in its product range, including a couple of camera options. The new Facecam MK2 looks to build on that foundation as a 1080p streaming cam that's a bit more affordable than the most recent 4K Facecam Pro without losing the features and design philosophy of a higher-end option. The Facecam MK2 brings HDR video along with new resolution options, all tucked inside a smaller form factor.

One of the best webcams is almost as important as a quality microphone in a modern streaming setup, and the demands on these little cameras have risen dramatically in recent times. Gone are the days of getting away with choppy, blurry face cam footage - now some of these streaming-focused lenses are capable of near DSLR quality. 

It may not be the same weight of investment as ‘pro’ options like the impressive Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra, but a £149.99/$149.99 price tag still makes the Facecam MK2 a sizeable purchase in the 1080p space. So, is the Elgato Facecam MK2 the new standard or are you better off looking elsewhere? 

Design & Features

Elgato Facecam MK2 lying on its side, from above

(Image credit: Future / Alex Berry)

A refinement over the original Elgato Facecam, the MK2 takes its design direction from the much larger Elgato Facecam Pro and arrives with a flatter and slightly wider profile. It’s not a huge change from the MK1 Facecam but it’s an impactful one with some nicely considered choices that make it a more manageable unit as a whole. The previous version was hardly massive but the MK2 still feels noticeably more compact sitting on top of my monitor. I found it feels a little more premium too, strumming my fingers on the top feels and sounds less hollow and more solid overall - it’s a nice improvement.

Like the camera body, the mounting system has evolved while remaining familiar to its predecessor. The Facecam MK2 features a lower profile with improved adjustment options that aren't a groundbreaking change but do improve the user experience in all areas. The lip of the camera mount on the Facecam MK2 encroaches less over the front of your monitor and will now likely sit in the bezel rather than covering actual screen space, something the MK1 was guilty of. This is the webcam equivalent of one of the best microphones for streaming and gaming being too tall to comfortably sit under a monitor - it's hardly a big problem, but definitely an annoying one.

The new connection between the stand and the camera makes small rotations possible and in testing, I found it far easier to line up and make adjustments compared to the MK1. You’re also able to do away with the monitor mount altogether and pair the Facecam MK2 with other mounting options from the Elgato range which is a nice touch for the ecosystem as a whole.

Elgato Facecam MK2 review image of the webcam's back connection port and vents

(Image credit: Future / Alex Berry)

New on the Elgato Facecam MK2 is an inbuilt privacy shutter and while this is a much sleeker solution than the MK1’s separate lens cap, the execution is less than ideal. You’ll need to slide the actual shutter itself, rather than using a separate tab or button to interact with it. It’s the simplest solution and it does work, but you have to be particularly careful not to run a lovely fingerprint smudge across the lens at the same time.

The original Elgato Facecam set a pretty high bar for streaming webcams. The unique fixed-focus prime lens delivered great quality results but in 2024 it's starting to show its age. The Facecam MK2 retains most of the good bits of the spec sheet while improving a couple of weaker points to bring it up to date. This remains a mid-range camera, however. There are no 2K or 4K resolution options, but the 1080p max resolution bumps up to 60fps and HDR joins the party too. There’s even 120fps support if you dip the resolution to 720p, allowing for smooth slow-motion replays that some streamers may find a fun addition.

A shout-out to the product team at Elgato too for molding the transfer rate directly onto its USB cables. Little details like that are one of the reasons Elgato gear is so often praised in the streaming world and it’s a genuinely useful quality-of-life touch. More and more webcams are getting picky over cable speed these days. We couldn't use the same cable for the Insta360 Link webcam as for the Facecam Pro, for example. The wire included here is a generous 2m USB-A to USB-C cable that despite being relatively rigid doesn’t wobble the Facecam MK2 if you bump it - something I’ve seen before with cheaper cameras.


Elgato Facecam MK2 next to the original Facecam

(Image credit: Future / Alex Berry)

Firing up the Facecam MK2 for the first time was ultimately underwhelming and a couple of hours of fiddling and testing later I’m still just as underwhelmed. As far as webcams go this certainly isn’t a bad one, but it’s currently not a great one either. At a base level, I don’t have any concerns with the quality of the video itself, the bump up to 60fps at 1080p makes a big difference, and the footage is smooth, responsive, and holds plenty of detail even in low light. The fixed focus prime lens keeps everything in focus in an impressively wide 30 to 120cm range which should accommodate almost all desk setups and avoids distracting bouncing autofocus issues.

My problem with the Elgato Facecam MK2 is entirely one of color and stylistic choices that no amount of fiddling in the Camera Hub software could overcome. Everything just looks slightly grey and washed out, there’s no punch to blacks and no kick to colors. Even using two Elgato Key Light Airs at maximum (almost blinding) brightness I wasn’t able to create any kind of strong definition between my face and my colorful LED background. Even with one of the best ring lights for streamers the MK2 falls a bit flat.

Trying to inject some life via the tools in Camera Hub only seemed to make matters worse...

Now, you could argue this is subjective and some creators may enjoy this soft, almost pastel aesthetic. Elgato also says it deliberately targeted a more ‘natural’ color profile for the MK2, but to my eye, it lacks vibrancy and falls short of the high bar the brand’s other webcams have set in the past. Particularly when video game streamers are prone to having RGB in their setups, a good webcam needs to be able to pick up that color and broadcast it with some punch. Trying to inject some life via the tools in Camera Hub only seemed to make matters worse as increasing the saturation turned my face an unhealthy pink with an almost alien glow and sliding contrast to 100% made little impact. It’s fine to ship a camera with a neutral default profile if there’s scope for creators to tweak it to their liking but with current firmware that just doesn’t seem to be the case.

It’s a shame because the Elgato Camera Hub software and wider ecosystem are on hand to make these changes simple. The interface of the app is clean and logically laid out so everything just works. A real-time preview (would) let you dial things in to your liking really quickly and the ability to manually control things like shutter speed and ISO are great pro touches. If you’ve got another Elgato device like a Stream Deck Plus on your desk you’ll be able to make changes on the fly outside of the app too. It’s just all wasted currently though, because no matter which combination of settings I tried, I was never able to get to a picture I was happy with in my setup.

Should you buy the Elgato Facecam MK2?

Elgato Facecam MK2's privacy shutter being closed by a reviewer

(Image credit: Future / Alex Berry)

The Elgato Facecam MK2 is an annoying little webcam. Deep down it should be a great streaming camera but it just isn’t right now - it's just good. Build quality is strong, the internal hardware specs are all there and the software is intuitive; it’s supposed to tick all the boxes. Even the £149.99/$149.99 price point is palatable given what’s on offer.

But at the end of the day, a webcam can only be judged by the final picture it produces on screen, and with the Elgato Facecam MK2 that’s a weak result. Some streamers may gel with the dialed-back colors and contrast but for a majority of stream styles, I think it’s likely to be disappointing. My hope is that these color issues are a matter of sensor tuning rather than a fundamental issue in the camera itself. If that’s the case, then we may yet see a rainbow on this cloudy webcam day.

How we tested the Elgato Facecam MK2

I added the Elgato Facecam MK2 webcam to my streaming setup for a week. I used it for video calls and streaming in both natural light and at night to see how it would react to different lighting scenarios. To give it a low light boost, I paired it with two Elgato Key Light Airs and some colored background LED lighting. I fiddled with various camera settings in the Elgato Camera Hub software to see if my color preferences could be met.

To read more about the methods we use to test streaming gear, check out our hardware policy.

Fancy our take on more streaming gear? Get our verdict on the best green screens, the best capture card, and the best gaming chair.

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Available platformsHardware, PC
Alex Berry

Alex is a streamer who has been creating gaming content for over a decade, streaming on Twitch regularly across the last five years. With a degree in film and a background in sports media, you'll find him jumping between 60,000 seat stadiums and his Animal Crossing island (where he's growing pears, in case you were wondering).