Video capture has been integral to both my freelancing work and my Machinima-partnered YouTube channel, SuperNormalMode, and there hasn’t been a shortage of video capture box options. I’ve gone through three such devices in the last 12 months and I’m pleased to say that my latest one, the Elgato Game Capture HD, is a device that I can be happy with for a very long time.
Beyond its live stream capabilities, the Elgato excels for three other reasons, one being mobility. Here in San Francisco, we in the games media attend about three game preview demos per week and about one per week allows for direct feed capture. In a more typical consumer scenario, it’s great if you find yourself recording at game tournaments or at your friend’s house. It’s the size of a small flask, less than a quarter the size of many Hauppauge capture boxes and slightly smaller than the Blackmagic boxes. It also comes with a component cable converter, which minimizes the hassle of cables.
The biggest reason to get the Elgato is how it was one of the first game video capture devices to feature a pre-record function. This is especially helpful if your audience is into highlight reels. The Elgato software starts recording the moment you open the software. When you eventually come across a “money shot”, you can back-time the pre-record slider and start formally recording right before the highlight moment you wanted to capture. The one minor drawback is that everything that was pre-recorded is still in the video file, which is why you should export/save the highlight. That way you can delete the raw footage and open up more space in your HD.
Yet before you export/save, you can use the software’s basic editing tool, the third reason why the Elgato is a must-buy. If your desired clip has filler in the middle, the cut tool can take out those unwanted sections. This can often save you the trouble of opening up Premiere or Final Cut Pro for additional editing.
I recently posted this clip from a preview build of Capcom’s Remember Me. LINK The clip features three cuts, made possible by the Elgato software. And here’s my handiwork for Rev3Games’ Spoiled Games show on Tomb Raider. LINK I was the game footage capture freelancer for that assignment and I used the Elgato to record the 30+ scenes that my producer requested. From my experience with the Elgato, I’m hard pressed in coming up with any video game capture scenario where this small box could not be a solution.
(Note: A sample unit was provided by Elgato for review and video capture purposes.)