Live streaming is very popular among bloggers, regular users, and celebrities these days. This is a big market for businesses as the service continues to grow across social media. And Germany-based Elgato is making sure they’re ahead of the pack. The company recently announced their release of a new live streaming device, called the Elgato Cam Link.
Cam Link is an HDMI-tethering tool allowing you to connect to any high-end camera that’s connected to your computer. With this device, you can live stream using your DSLR with ease. Long gone are the days of grainy, blurry live videos.
This is Elgato’s foray into devices aimed at game broadcasters. The company’s product line includes HD60 capture cards, the Stream Deck command center, and a green screen. With the addition of the Cam Link, Elgato rounded up its game footage products nicely.
Ease of Use
HDMI, as you probably know, outputs audio and video from a Blu-ray player, for example, into the HDMI input of your TV, for example, which receives and processes the input.
Pairing your camera with the Cam Link is simple. After you install the custom Magic Lantern firmware it comes with, the device enables options for live streaming. You can then import the video file into OBS or Xsplit, which are popular live streaming editing software.
Elgato’s Cam Link is a small USB dongle with an HDMI port. The HDMI port turns nearly any camera into a webcam. While many live streamers use the Logitech C920, the video quality would be much better with the Elgato Cam Link. The USB end of the Cam Link plugs into your computer as a standard webcam. While the C920 is a great camera, those looking for more capability and cinematography will enjoy working with the Cam Link, as long as they can hook up an HDMI cable. The versatility on the Cam Link is large and almost limitless.
Julian Fest, General Manager of Elgato, says, “With [our device], the computer reads the professional camera as a webcam. [This] allows users to capture footage directly to their hard drive for easy viewing and storage, resulting in a simplified workflow and elevated production value.”
Versatility and Range
“The arrival of Cam Link will kick off a new era of higher-quality visuals on YouTube, Twitch, and other platforms,” says Fest. “These products will help content creators stand out by allowing them to experiment with creative production elements like chroma keying, wide angle and close-up shots, depth of field, and more.”
The Elgato Cam Link’s input takes any software that supports webcames, like OBS, Skype, and even Elgato’s own streaming software. The Cam Link also works on Windows and Mac OS. Strangely enough, the website specifies a specific processing power required as well: 4th generation quad‑core Intel Core i5 CPU (i5-4xxx or comparable).
That being said, you may be limited by USB type, since the hardware requires USB 3.x. Others may feel limited by camera quality for their video. While the webcam link is a great tool for your video setup, your mileage may vary depending on your specs.
The webcam link streams up to 1080p, 60 fps. Engato prides itself on the device’s “ultra low latency technology,” giving you minimal delay. For some cameras, the software automatically turns the camera off after 30 minutes to protect the sensor. Real-time, full-screen feedback lets you adjust scenes on the spot.
With almost no competition on the market offering what they do, Cam Link is definitely a good deal at $129. Other webcam links of this quality cost $500 or more. “A high-quality camera is a critical upgrade to any creator’s setup, but often comes at the cost of a complicated and cumbersome video workflow,” says Fest.
Your streams are recorded and saved automatically to your hard drive. You don’t have to keep switching out your memory cards or fidget with anything else to help you stream seamlessly.
For most people, the Logitech C920 will do the job perfectly well. If you’re working with just a PC to stream on Twitch or YouTube, you may not need to spring for this device. But if you’ve upgraded everything else and noticed a void in your cinematography, the Elgato Cam Link is perfect for you. The Cam Link is available now on Amazon and Elgato’s own store.