CamStudio 2.7.2

CamStudio merges both screen capture and video editing features into one convenient piece of software

  • Category:

    TV Tuners & Video Capture

  • Version:

    2.7.2

  • Works under:

    Windows 2000 / Windows 98 / Windows ME / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 98 SE / Windows 8

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free (GPL)
  • Vote:
    6.6 (922)
CamStudio 2.7.2
CamStudio (GPL)

When computer users go in search of a top-notch screen recorder, they inevitably turn to the power of CamStudio. In fact, this comprehensive workspace archiver is capable of effectively capturing the edge-to-edge contents of any computer monitor. In plain English, the open-source program functions as a screen grabber, one that takes video screenshots, not the static pictures that convey a thin slice of information. Granted, a frozen screen capture is a handy item, but a user can do so much more with a video grab.

If a keen master computer hobbyist feels the need to create a video tutorial, perhaps one that explains a particularly tough software package, then CamStudio is the go-to solution. The tutorial composer loads the program interface, adjusts the open software window, and mouses over the red record button. After that big red button is activated, the software starts archiving all screen content and all microphone audio. Again, this logically arranged user interface favours amateur tutorial makers. After all, that single button press is all it takes to capture the footage. Remember, after the video recording process has been stopped, every on-screen operation and every word spoken by the instructor is now stored in a tiny file.

The video tutorial example represents a common application. However, CamStudio can also serve another role. Imagine a misbehaving computer, an error message that pops up for a fraction of a second. Use CamStudio to record the issue and slow down the playback until the error message becomes readable. Software tutorials, technical support issues and more, this video screen grabber is an essential tool, especially for those video tutorial types who have the patience, and the voice, to produce a cogently authored video clip. Incidentally, those clips record as AVI files, MP4 files, or as industry-standard flash type files. This particular feature has been intelligently incorporated to ensure a small memory footprint and a fast upload. Furthermore, those compact video files don't have to display a Windows desktop. That's right, by checking the Video Annotations submenu entry, as found under the Tools menu, a shrewd user forces CamStudio to perform as a Webcam. Technically, this facility is designed to enable a tutorial creator to insert a window-within-window video effect, but it can be repurposed so that the software performs as a standard webcam recorder.

There are several actions that should be carried out before CamStudio begins its work. First of all, the capture region must be configured. From the Region Menu, select Full Screen or Region. Alternatively, if a targeted window is to be archived, pick the Window entry. Other settings include an option for selecting cursor visibility, a feature for adding timestamps and annotations, and a handy PAUSE button. Primarily, though, the software succeeds because it's easy to operate.

Pros

  • Easy screen and audio recording
  • Small file sizes
  • Text and video annotation
  • Includes a cursor visibility setting

Cons

  • Installs suspicious extras
  • Windows only

Screen recording software can be used to show game play, teach computer repair lessons, demonstrate software applications and more. These recordings can then be uploaded to social media sites such as YouTube or added to your own site as a Flash video file. Camstudio is an open source screen recording software that can help you accomplish all of these tasks without costing you the kind of money most studio software can.

Although Camstudio is a useful tool, it is lacking a few key features that its competitors have. However, the easy-to-use interface, gentle learning curve and user support forum that provides answers to some of new users' burning questions make it a good deal, especially for a free app. What kind of abilities does this free screen capture software allow?

Pros

It's Free

Free software tools are almost always worth trying, and this one is more robust than many. While some alternatives are fairly cheap in price, other applications can cost in the hundreds of dollars to download. This free program can't compete with the professional setups, but it's a viable alternative to inexpensive tools and costs even less.

Several Recording Regions Available

Camstudio has the ability to record one of several different ways. You can select specific regions of your screen to record, set the software to a fixed region, record specific windows that are open or record all screens for multi-monitor support. Because you can record directly from an open web browser, it's a particularly versatile tool.

Custom Cursor Highlighter

During a recording in Camstudio, you can change your mouse pointer to a highlighted format with shapes and colors to make it easier for your target audience to follow along with the cursor. You can set left and right mouse clicks to display a different color so your audience to differentiate between the two, a handy tool for recording presentations.

Various Audio Options

This application allows users to record audio from the microphone or directly from the speakers. This capability lets you switch from capturing pure gameplay recordings to adding your own voice when making tutorials, dubbing business videos or adding voice-overs to in-game events.

Cons

Application Compatibility

Camstudio has the ability to record game play, but it doesn't support a lot of full-screen capabilities. If you run a game in windowed mode, this application does a decent job of capturing graphics. However, there are some games that don't seem to work well during a recording as they provide a black, empty screen with no sound.

Poor Graphic Resolutions

When you record a 3D graphic game, the action is recorded at a much lower resolution than the actual game play. While increasing the frame rate helps in quality, it makes a much larger file should you choose to upload it to social media outlets.

Buggy at Times

As the versions of Camstudio become more stable, the software is less buggy. Currently, though, the system has been known to crash when used in the 64-bit environment of Windows. It's not very often that the software locks up when it's saving data, but it can be frustrating to spend a great deal of time recording only to have to do it all over again.

Since the software is free to use, you don't lose anything other than time should you wish to try Camstudio. Many users on YouTube have trusted the software for several years and continue to use it for tutorials and demonstrations. Try the software for yourself to determine if it's right for your needs.

Other programs to consider

  • Camtasia Studio 2018.0.1
    Camtasia Studio

    Professional video editing software that includes a full trial

  • DVB Viewer 4.6.1.0
    DVB Viewer

    Enjoy watching digital TV programs on your PC

  • Medialooks Direct Take 2.0.0.4045
    Medialooks Direct Take

    Capture video and play it out to Blackmagic Design, Deltacast, and Stream Labs I/O hardware.

  • Snagit 13.0.2
    Snagit

    A click, hold and drag screen capture and screen recording software

User Opinions on CamStudio