CamStudio Review & Free Download

CamStudio is a free, open source and top screencasting software. With it, you will be able to record a region, a fixed region, a window or even the whole screen of your Windows PC if need be. You may be asking yourself the difference between a region and a fixed region. A region means you draw the area to record whereas a fixed region means you record an area with predetermined dimensions. CamStudio being open source means that it is very featureful as a lot of work has been contributed to its betterment.

CamStudio screenshot

CamStudio comes with a lot of features as we will find out in this article. We will look at the main and outstanding features that make it tick. Without further ado, let us get started.


What Options Come With CamStudio?

The control that CamStudio gives you is very broad. Besides being able to start, pause and stop recordings, this software enriches you with many options depending on what you are working on be it audio or a video. Depending on the goal at hand, the options will be different for each case. I mean the video options will not be similar to audio options and that is why they are used independently.

Video Options

video options

When you decide to work on a video, CamStudio gives you total control on the codec to use for best compression coupled with the kind of quality you expect. Better yet, you decide on the frame rate to be used in the screen recording and if you would like, CamStudio can auto manage these options for you to save you the trouble of having to set them by yourself. Besides, a one-click button is provided to change the recording format you prefer. You can choose to record in AVI, MP4 or SWF format before you even hit the record button.


Mouse Cursor Options

Mouse Cursor Options

There is not much for the cursor options apart from the fact that you can choose to hide/show the cursor during the screencasting. However, you are empowered with an option to show a customized cursor. This customized cursor can be a favorite cursor that does not come with your Windows 7/8/8.1/10 PC but with CamStudio, you can load it without much hassle. You can also emphasize the cursor by applying a highlight and enabling visual click feedback. Customize the mouse buttons with colors so that the view can know which button is pressed.


Audio Options

Audio Options

This involves audio from either the microphone or the system speakers. CamStudio has the ability to capture both of these audio sources but you are the one to decide whether to use them or not. You can capture audio from each at a time or choose not to include any audio at all. If you choose to record audio from the microphone, you are able to play with the source to use, volume level,  the recording format, compression format and whether to interleave video and audio. When you opt to record the system audio, you just need to choose the device to use, adjust playback volume accordingly and then configure the recording line to be set for best capture. Interestingly, CamStudio lets you also configure video and audio synchronization. Depending on whether the audio and video match, CamStudio will help you make the two match in your final output.


What Tools Does CamStudio Provide?

The biggest tool that CamStudio brings to a user is annotations. In fact, a dedicated dialog box for annotations. The annotations can either be video or screen. Screen annotations provided include shapes, text, images, and transparency. All these can be applied in different layouts depending on your preference. Video annotations work with the webcam where you must select the video source to be used and each device has its own settings; brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness etc. Moreover, you get camera control options like zoom, focus, exposure, iris, tilt, pan, and roll. The video annotations applied can be text, images, transparency, and even an option to modify the refresh rate. The refresh rate will be dependent on the specs of your Windows PC.

Another tool is the SWF Producer. This tool functions to convert files in AVI format to Flash videos without the need of external converter software. Time and resources are saved by the incorporation fo this feature. SWFs are lean, mean, and friendly when it comes to bandwidth usage.


CamStudio Effects

Still, when it comes to effects, CamStudio provides them in form of annotations. These are different from the previously discussed annotations in the tools section. Below is a list of the effects you can use;

  • Adding system timestamp
  • Adding Xnote timestamp
  • Including captions
  • Applying watermarks

Extras

A special feature I came across this software is the moment you start the recording process. CamStudio gives you detailed information on what is going on including start time, limit size, current frame, real-time file size, input rate, time elapsed, color depth in use, codec and the recording dimensions. At any one time during the screencast, you are able to know a lot about the process going on. Most of the other software will just give you elapsed time and nothing more.

In terms of the user interface, CamStudio lets you customize the interface to your liking. You can opt for a normal, compact or button-only view. This is very useful if you have limited screen real estate. A button is provided for you to toggle the views depending on your preference.

If you have to be away during a screen recording job, CamStudio gives a feature where the recording can be automatically stopped even when you are not there to stop it yourself. All you need to do is to set how long the recording should last and CamStudio will handle the rest. You can go on with other activities without worrying about the recording.

In case you are stuck when you want to perform a certain task, CamStudio comes with help articles to get you through some of the issues you may face when using the software. When you are not sure how to go about a certain process, just head to the help section and you will be up and running within no time.

Do you think CamStudio offers enough in terms of a screen recording software?

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