Elgato Cam Link

Brand: Corsair
Manufacturer: Elgato Direct
Model: 10GAC9901
UPC: 813180020542
Category: #11552 in Personal Computers (Computers & Accessories)
Price: $179.99  (127 customer reviews)
Dimension: 3.2 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Wt: 0.04 pounds
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Average Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

With Cam Link, easily connect your DSLR, camcorder, or action cam to your PC or Mac. Use your camera as a webcam in your favorite apps. And broadcast via any platform. Want to check whether your camera is compatible with Cam Link? Take a look at our comparison chart pdf under Technical Specifications.

What's in the box

  • Cam Link
  • USB 3.0 extension cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Features

  • Easily connect your DSLR, camcorder, or action cam to your PC or Mac
  • Go live on any platform in no time thanks to ultra-low-latency technology
  • Broadcast in stunning quality up to 1080p at 60 fps
  • Requirements: Windows 10 (64-bit) / macOS Sierra 10.12, USB 3.x port, 4th generation quad‑core Intel Core i5 CP (i5-4xxx or comparable)
  • Want to check whether your camera is compatible with Cam Link? Take a look at our comparison chart pdf under Technical Specifications.
  • Resolution - up to 1080p60

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Top Reviews

Perfect As A PS4 Game Capture Card!!
by Customer (5 out of 5 stars)
December 4, 2017

Disclaimer: Rig = Core i7-6770, 2800MHz DDR4 RAM and 12up Bandwidth

Link to Gameplay Example Down Below

Finally gave in and bought the Elgato Cam Link to use as a gaming capture card after some hesitation (I'm frugal). So many other capture cards were half the price of Elgato's HD60, HD60S and Cam Link, but all claimed to do the same thing. After doing extensive research, I settled on this device. Multiple tech gurus pointed out flaws with all the devices (including Elgato's) but nevertheless I honestly still reached a point where I was tired of hearing the phrase "Elgato is the best" at the end of every video.

Since this is my first "capture card", I can't make a comparative statement, but what I will say is: The Elgato Cam Link exceeded my expectations and does everything I bought it for. Records gameplay and game audio flawlessly. For those who want to record your voice alongside the gameplay, there's obviously no Mic-in on the Cam Link, but I believe the Elgato software allows you to record an alternate audio input device. Since so many people are switching to USB mics (or XLR to USB preamps) anyway, it comes in handy for someone like myself who has no need for a 3.5mm-in slot.

I don't use a camera so I can't speak on using the Cam Link for its intended function. I only use it as a gameplay capture card. Just download the free Elgato software, plug the PS4 HDMI into the Cam Link, then plug Cam Link to a PC's USB 3.xx slot. Record game footage in 1080p60 at the click of a button. There's zero video lag if you use their software's preview function as your display, and it is also a perfect pass-through of the incoming resolution. I select "Enter Full Screen" (see photo) then "Hide Sidebar" and I don't even notice a difference from having my console plugged directly into the TV.

If you're like me and prefer NOT to save your captures locally, go to settings (see photo) and disable "Enable Flashback Recording". I think this will free up your SSD/HDD(?) from any work. You can stream directly to Twitch, YouTube & others (see photo) with the Elgato software. I use YouTube as free cloud storage for my personal gameplay videos (shhh don't tell Google or else they'll start charging) and this device made it easy to do so in the best quality.

My two complaints about this device (which have now both been fixed) were 1: The gameplay audio channels being reversed. 2: Audio lag.
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Edit 01/16/18

After contacting elgato, I was instructed to do a firmware update which fixed the L/R audio swap. Hold "ctrl" while clicking the settings wheel in the "Device" section. Go to "Advanced" tab and click "Update Firmware".

To nullify audio lag: Listen directly to the recording device instead of computer's playback device. Right click the volume mixer in your Windows OS taskbar. Navigate to "Recording Devices" / "Digital Audio Interface 2- Cam Link"/Properties/ "Listen" Tab (see photo). Check the box next to "Listen to this device". Select device you prefer to route to from drop-down menu. You should now hear lag-free game audio (pass-through).

Now mute the preview screen sound (the laggy audio) by clicking the speaker square BELOW the display screen in the Elgato software. (NOTE: Do not mute the "Game Audio" volume wheel on the RIGHT SIDE of the display window unless you want no game audio recorded.)
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All in all, Elgato lived up to the hype and if they release a 4K version of the Cam Link I will most likely be buying it. I'd imagine it would be much bulkier and require an external power source though.

As for the CamLink Gameplay Capture Quality: Keep in mind my capture was streamed directly to YouTube. They slightly degrade the quality of uploads, whereas I've never had that issue with Twitch. It still looks like superior quality though.
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Fantastic!
by Kizzume Fowler (5 out of 5 stars)
August 31, 2017

The Elgato Cam Link is a fantastic device. I said the name of the device because sometimes Amazon shows reviews for similar but different products by the same company in the review section.

I've been wanting something like the Cam Link for a long time. I can even use this in Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps like the Camera app as well as Skype for Windows 10. If you want to record video, and you don't need any software bells or whistles, and you don't want to have to install something like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) or Elgato's Game Capture software, the Windows 10 Camera app works beautifully with it. I still generally use OBS with it for recording because I record more than just the camera input.

I have a Sony A5100 camera that I've hooked to an Elgato HD60 Pro for well over a year now, and I had gotten so used to the video having a little bit of delay/latency on it, usually between 50-100 milliseconds, I got used to not being able to use it on any UWP app (Microsoft seems to have blocked the usage of such devices in UWP mode when they're an internal card and not a USB device), and I got used to having to use experimental drivers to let me use it in Skype for Desktop and Google Hangouts. With the Cam Link, I can use it on all of those things and more, and Windows 10 simply recognizes what to do with it immediately, I didn't have to install any drivers or special software.

With the Cam Link, there's no delay/latency. In fact, I've tested it using OBS against the internal recording of my A5100 camera in 60p 50m in XAVC-S format, and as long as I used a high bitrate setting in OBS, I couldn't tell the difference, and I'm quite a videophile. I'm incredibly impressed with this device.

I honestly couldn't be happier with this purchase. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the equipment that can take advantage of what it can do. Seriously, I couldn't be happier with this purchase. Thank you Elgato for making a really great device.
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Good and Driverless Alternative to Other Elgato Capture Cards
by James (5 out of 5 stars)
September 13, 2017

The Elgato Cam Link, while intended for cameras will work with video game consoles as well. While the Cam Link lacks HDMI output and mic input seen on the HD60S, the Cam Link will work without drivers. It's because the Cam Link sees itself as a UVC device, mostly seen in web cams.This opens up a wider compatibility with other applications that can capture web cam video input. Previously, only the Magewell and Epiphan's AV.io HD video gabber does this, but cost considerably more.

The Elgato Cam Link while works with the official software, it's not necessarily needed. The Cam Link will work with all the video capture application on macOS. This is important since most of the video capture cards do not work on macOS besides Blackmagic, Magewell and Epihan capture cards. Elgato, while work on macOS, you can only use their application to get the output. This means that if you use OBS or Gameshow on a Mac, you need to do a window capture, which can become troublesome. Since the Cam Link is seen as a web cam, it will work with these applications with a direct input without needing to do window capture.

On the other hand, the Cam Link like the HD60S requires a powerful computer since there is no hardware encoder. Any recent computer can handle this well along with laptops with quad cores. With dual cores however, you may have to reduce the resolution to 720p. Otherwise, it's a good and a little cheaper alternative to Elgato's HD 60S and HD 60 Pro, if you don't care about the HDMI output and mic input, Mac and Linux users or people who want wider compatibility for video capture

Update: If you use a Mac, you should probably install the Game Capture software from Elgato and run it. It will change it to "isochronus mode." It is set to Bulk Mode, which is optimized for Windows systems. Afterwards, the video capture is smooth.
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Conflicts with Windows, Poor Hardware Design
by Brandon D. (1 out of 5 stars)
March 7, 2019

I write this as a fan of Elgato--I use their Stream Deck and Key Light. But the Elgato Cam Link is a bad product with poor design and many conflicts with Windows.

Because this device is a dongle that plugs into a USB port, it can get squished and bent by other cords plugged into your computer. I snapped my first one because I plugged it into my computer, and then tried to move my computer--the other cords plugged into it applied pressue to Cam Link and bent it, breakjing it.

So I bought another Cam Link and this time used the provided USB 3.0 extension cord. It is long enough to keep the device from getting in the way of other cords, but so short that the Elgato Cam Link still dangles from my computer.

The greatest flaw is that it conflicts with Windows. One day I got a blue screen of death (BOD). When I rebooted, I discovered that Cam Link no longer works. The Elgato 4k game capture software did not detect it. OBS detected it, but when I selected Cam Link inside OBS, my computer would suddenly freeze up, and I would get horrible hitching, forcing me to quit OBS or delete the cam link video source.

It took me hours to discover that I needed to unplug cam link, turn off my computer, reboot it, then turn it off again, plug cam link in again, and turn it back on for whatever error Cam Link caused to get cleared. I was then able to get Cam Link to work again. But this trick only works maybe 60% of the time. Even after updating my USB 3.0 firmware through the device manager, and keeping OBS and CamLink up-to-date, the device continues to shut my computer down with random BODs, even during live streams. Experimenting with Cam Link has been extremely costly, costing me hundreds of dollars for devices, and God knows how much money in lost revenue due to livestreams I was unable to perform because the hardware malfunctioned.

Instead, I got the Magewell USB Capture Utility. Plug and play, similar price to Cam Link, no software to install, no conflicts. It just worked.

I regret buying Cam Link very much. This has been an expensive lesson.
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Cam Link = Mega Webcam on steroids
by hiryu (5 out of 5 stars)
October 13, 2017

The Cam Link makes your DSLR or GoPro a Mega Webcam on steroids. The device is simple to use and only requires a USB 3.0 plug on your computer/laptop or Mac. It is recommended that you check Elgato's website for camera/camcorder compatibility but the main thing you need to know is, does your device support 720p or 1080p and can it output a clean "no info" output.

I have tested this with my Nikon D5300, my GoPro Hero 5 and my [email protected] I had some issues with the Cam Link being plugged into my front USB port but when I moved it to an open port in the back of my computer it has been rock solid.
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USB can break easy but good device! bad design
by R.R.King,Top Contributor: Photography (4 out of 5 stars)
September 29, 2017

i know what it doesn't do and what it is for. In that regard knowing it doesn't support interlace (for 1080i broadcast) it's no use to one side of what i do but from the consumer and gaming side this works wonders and is perfect and cheap since it doesn't convert. So you won't get any scaling or anything but if you shoot with say a 5D mark iv or a GH4 in 1080p and want to bring it in at 1080p then this guy is perfect.

WARNING: i think it's a design flaw and shocked it was over looked. The USB should be a cable that plugs in so you can secure the dongle. When you plug the dongle into your laptop or device and then plug the HDMI in it can snap the usb or bend it if your not careful. So make sure to secure it. i hate that about this device and already bent one just by walking away for a second and the weight of the hdmi cable bent the dongle down and now its jacked. dumb mistake by me but be careful. other than that i love it.
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Freezes all the time = unusable
by April (1 out of 5 stars)
November 10, 2018

I purchased this not long ago and tried for about 2 weeks to see if this would be a viable solution for me using my Canon EOS Rebel SL2 as a web cam in OBS. The Cam Link source in OBS constantly froze and would require deactivating the source and then re-activating it. The image quality was great but the freezing made it unusable. I also tried SparkoCam which uses USB 2.0 directly from your cam to your computer. The image quality of that was absolutely horrible so right now I am requesting a refund. I ended up having to go a more expensive route and bought a second Elgato HD 60 Pro. There were some issues at first with OBS not using both of my HD 60 Pro's I have in my system but I eventually got it to work.
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Works perfectly (with a small catch)
by TheCyberQuake (5 out of 5 stars)
May 10, 2018

Once I figured out how to get it working properly (more on that later) it's a very great device. I have my lumix g7 connected to it and use to to do live streams. It looks great at 1080p60 and is just plug and play as a webcam in any software that accepts webcam input.

There is a bit of a catch, but just a small one. I currently have it set up to be constantly connected to my PC as part of a permenant stream setup. But that seems to cause problems. It seems like when it's plugged in before my camera is powered on, I won't get any image from the cam link.

When I want to stream, I have to turn on the camera, unplug the camlink and then plug it back in again.

Perhaps the camlink tries to grab resolution and framerate info upon being plugged in, rather than dynamically as it's being used. Unsure but hopefully something can be done about that to prevent me from having to reach behind the computer each time I reboot and then want to stream.

After the power on-unplug-replug fix I can turn my camera off and back on no issue.

Also to note, I had to buy an additional USB 3 expansion card for this. It would work properly on the front panel USB 3, but with pretty much every other USB port on my mobo IO taken up, it seemed to just do like 2 fps to my computer.

If you have extremely low framerate using this, try another USB bus. The added USB 3.0 expansion card worked perfectly for me, and added some much needed ports anyway.
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If you want the best picture quality
by Frank B. (5 out of 5 stars)
February 20, 2018

If you want the best picture quality, for screaming from your HD Camera, This is the one. I do facebook Live for my Moring Sermunds. I could use an Ipad or a cell phone. But I have a very Powerfull Sony Camera, that was shared with me, but I could not get it to work the way I wanted. This device was so easy to use. Now it and broadcasting at a very high Resolution and I am now very satisfied. Best Investment to date.
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Dongle vs. Software Applications
by Mindcontrol,Top Contributor: Cycling (1 out of 5 stars)
September 8, 2018

You can find software without the use of this overpriced dongle. Really IMO it comes down to this vs. SparkoCam. I had to research to find Sparkocam but it fits my exact needs. It's half the price of this and you don't need to insert an overpriced dongle. The biggest issue I had with this is what showed up on my screen was an exact replica of what was on the back of my DSLR. Therefore, I had the constant face tracking box around my face when recording. If your camera does not face track in video mode then this wont be an issue. Canon DSLRs face tracking is some of the best in the industry. Therefore using this dongle I continued to have that box around my face when recording. I switched over the Sparkocam and it resolved the issue. It's also much easier to use. I'm glad I returned this product.

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