Free Video Recording alternative for Windows

This article was modified on 2012-05-29 12:33:41

If you need a video recording application it`s going to cost you money. I would dare to say, a lot of money. The good news is that you can find an alternative. A program that will be able to record what you need for free. It`s not perfect and it won`t suit everyone needs but for most of us it will do the job. Download CamStudio, install this tiny application ( only 4 MB ) and  take a short look, then decide if It`s going to help you.

Once you get the setup file, install the application. No ads, no toolbars, only a couple of seconds needed. Here it is the application opened on a computer running Windows XP inside of my virtual machine. The interface is easy and intuitive to get to grips with - this is how it looks ( I love it ) :

CamStudio software interface
The program interface has six important tabs ( not counting the Help ) which allows you to configure this program in order to obtain the best results. Let`s get started:
The first tab - File. From here you can start the recording, use the pause, stop the recording and exit the application. There is nothing else to explain here.

Record with CamStudio
The second tab - Region. It allows you to choose how you want the recording. You can use a fixed region, if you don`t know them all you have to do is to choose Fixed Region and use a drag and drop tool. Sure you can select only ``Window`` or the entire screen. That`s also pretty easy to use.

Select Full Screen

The third tab - Options. From here you can get access to several things such as ``Video Options``. You can choose between six compressor technology - the default is ``Cinepak Codec by Radius``, choose the quality or the frame rate. From ``Options`` section you can also customize your ``Cursor``, ``Audio`` and if you look down, there are several options that allows you to configure even more things. I am not going to mention everything here.

Video Options section in CamStudio
The fourth tab - Tools. Screen and Video Annotations as well as a SWF Producer can be found here.

SWF Producer - Converts AVI to Flash from CamStudio

The fifth tab - Effects. You can add system time stamp, Xnote time stamp, caption or you can even add a watermark. You can customize them even more by returning to ``Annotations`` and right after you can access ``Options...``.

Add Watermark

The last two tabs - View and Help. From View you can change how the program looks in 3 different ways while the ``Help`` section will take you to the homepage.

Normal View

You can record videos with audio support on your computer, I`ve tested this software on Windows XP and 7. Make sure that you test all the features before deciding if this really works for you. For instance, by default ``Cinepak Codec by Radius`` will be used. If you choose a different one, let`s say Microsoft Video 1 you will end up with a large file.  Also, choose the format you need, this application can save the recorded video in two main popular formats: AVI and SWF ( flash ). It`s so easy to use, it worked well on my computer on both operating systems ( XP, 7 ) it doesn`t contain toolbars or adware and it`s free. If you would like to see more versions coming make sure that you DONATE to this project. The latest picture is from my Windows 7 when I am recording a video.

CamStudio recording in Windows 7

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