The perfect green screen for content creators?
For the longest time, I’ve wondered about picking up a green screen for my videos. I like to occasionally stream video games, as well as record content for YouTube. The only issue with that is my backgrounds. My office is constantly under fire from boxes, computer equipment and even invasions from my family. The latter likes to walk into office during my recording sessions, despite my warnings not to. While usually kills the mood, especially if my children come rushing in. I needed a solution to make my content more professional. I needed a green screen and it just so happened that Elgato had produced their own green screen. Would it be the solution to my problems?
Name: Elgato Green Screen
Release Date: August 2017
Truth be told, I’ve always wanted a green screen. However, I felt that what I was doing wasn’t important enough to have one. But as I started streaming more, making more content, I wanted a more professional look to them. Sure, having my office look like a bomb went off might appeal to some. But I just didn’t like the “sloppy” look to it. Mind you, my office isn’t always a mess, but you know how those who love tinkering with technology can be. We tend to be a mess at times and I’m no exception. Ahem, getting back on track, I did check out several other products before settling on this. In the end, however, I settled on this device.
Let’s talk about why.
I have two setups in my office. My main PC setup, where I do the majority of my PC gaming. On the other side of the room, I have a console/HTPC setup, where I do my console streaming. I needed something I could set up at a moment’s notice. The Elgato Green Screen fit that bill. It’s collapsible, meaning I don’t have to worry about setting it up and leaving it up. It also means I don’t have to walk into my office and see that someone decided to poke a hole in it. People who have children can relate. I can easily store it or take it with me, should I need to use it other than my office. It literally takes seconds to set it down, pop the unit open, retract the screen upwards and you’re ready to go.
Once you set it up, all you have to do is point your camera at it and you’re ready. Using any number of capture software such as OBS or XSplit, as an example. Then apply the chroma key option and you add your personal touch to your content. You can add any number of backgrounds, both static and motion. Or you could just have your green screen blend you into the background of whatever you’re playing or watching. If you want a cosmic background full of attacking aliens or even project a video of the Nyan cat doing its thing – you can. Your imagination is the only limit.
Setting it up is a breeze as well. You just place the green screen on the ground. Extract the feet (this is super important) so that they’re supporting the weight and then raise the screen. It’s that simple. I wish there was more to say about it, but there isn’t. It’s not too wide, either. Sitting at just under five feet wide, it can fit in just about any space. Extended, the screen sits at 5.9 feet and should be plenty of sitting space. Though I do wish the screen was a tad bit wider, for multiple people to sit in.
I will say that my unit was in fantastic shape. But I was a bit concerned with the unit at first. Upon delivery, I noticed a loose washer sitting in my box. A small black washer that read M4/M5. I expected the green screen and didn’t any places when it could have come off. While it was a false alarm and everything is good, I still wonder how that washer got in the box. Elgato Gaming, if you see this and know what this washer is for, please let me know.
Worth the price of admission
You may have noticed that I mentioned that the price of Elgato’s Green Screen sits at $150. And that more than likely had you saying “Wow, that’s really expensive”. It is, I won’t deny that. However, it’s actually pretty cheap when you think about what you’re getting. As well as how well priced it is when compared to others that are similar to it.
For $150, you’re getting a quality green screen that consists of a study pneumatic frame with spring-loaded retraction. It’s sturdy enough to take some abuse while being light enough to move and adjust as needed. You don’t need anything else, as it’s all built-in. There’s nothing to hang or pin on your wall which is great It’s also pretty damned nice to look at. The green screen fabric is also well made, but it’s not just a piece of green cloth. Elgato opted for some premium stuff and went with a material called Dacron. Produced by Dupont, the Dacron fabric is known to be resistant to wrinkles, meaning that you’ll have a smooth surface on each and every time you use the green screen. That said, it’s not impervious to damage. While normal wear and tear are fine. This is the same stuff that is used on the outside of aircraft and sailboat sails. However, should you happen to crumble the fabric intentionally or poke it, you’re asking for some irreparable damage.
The housing is made out of metal and can take a beating. I even had my son step on it (don’t worry, he’s not that heavy). Though I don’t recommend anyone trying this either. But it definitely is able to take an accidental step or two. There are also two latches on each end of the unit that allow it to be closed and snug. No worry if anything will fall out while it’s latched nice and tight. The feet that sit under the unit are attached via a bolt and nut and serves its purpose. Though the feet do rub up against the metal, which means that over time this is going to wear out. I would have liked to see a nylon washer sitting between the housing and feet. I may end up performing the work on my unit to extend the duration of the parts.
Compared to other green screens in this range of construction, you’re getting off easy. For example, the Draper Traveller green screen, which looks like a similar to Elgato’s own product, yet costing nearly four times as much. The Chromawall green screen is another similar product, and it’s priced just about three times as much. For what I’ve seen with Elgato’s offering, you’re getting a steal. That price doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
All in all, I think the product is really solid. It does what I want, it’s a perfect size and the price is reasonable. But is it a must-have? That depends on what you’re looking for in your videos. While I highly recommend it, I will also say that is subjective. If you have a recording setup that doesn’t require something to portable or you can afford to keep you green screen up at all times, then this may not be for you. For those who need that convenience or portability, this is the best one you can buy for under $300.
The only thing I disliked and this is no fault of the product, is that these are hard to come by. I had placed my order on Amazon (who is the only place that carries this) back during August 2017. I finally ended up receiving my green screen towards the end of December 2017. Which is nearly five months! C’mon Elgato, you struck gold with this. You’re going to need to up the production of these things.
Thanks for checking out our review of Elgato’s Green Screen. While you’re at it, why not take a look at our Elgato Gaming 4K60 Pro Capture Card review.
Review Disclosure Statement: The Elgato Green Screen was purchased for our review. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Elgato Gaming’s green screen. Sure they make quality products, but a green screen for $150 was a bit pricey for my tastes. However, after a week’s work of playing with the green screen, it’s money well spent. Easily the best green screen you can get for the price. Sturdy, portable and self-contained, this is a quality item. If you like to stream on any number of streaming platforms or do video content creation, check this out. It may be just what you’re looking for to push your production values to the next level
- Very sturdy
- Portable and easy to deploy
- The screen is made of some really amazing fabric
- A bit pricey for some
- I wish it was a bit wider