screen recording

Videos are excellent tools for visual and auditory learners. They can be used to:

  • demonstrate processes step-by-step in a tutorial
  • demonstrate software to other people or record tips and tricks for later reference
  • share pointers for playing a game
  • record product reviews
  • record recurring problems with your computer to show tech support 

The ability to make a screencast video can also be used to showcase your creativity when playing games like Minecraft and recreating scenes from movies and/or filming music videos in simulation games like The Sims.

Most video screen capture software utilities have a number of attributes in common, such as the ability to:

  • film picture-in-picture to capture video from screen and webcam
  • edit and annotate a video after it has been filmed
  • create videos in a variety of commonly used file types

Completed videos may be uploaded to YouTube, posted on web pages or social media, and/or uploaded to e-Learning courses.

Here is a list of the top 10 video screen capture software.

10. DVD VideoSoft’s Free Screen Video Recorder

Free Screen Video Recorder allows you to capture anything on your monitor, including multiple windows, objects, menus and other screen activities. There is a comprehensive, step-by-step instruction page with graphics to help you create your videos. DVD VideoSoft markets their Free Screen Video Recorder as being full-featured, and safe to install and run.

Screenshot of DVD VideoSoft's Free Screen Video Recorder interface

 

Pros

  • saves in a variety of formats including AVI, JPG, GIF, and PNG
  • spyware and adware free
  • 100% freeware software

Cons

  • must accept or opt-out of bundled, third-party products on installation
  • does not appear to have picture-in-picture recording option

Though there is no specific paid version of Free Screen Video Recorder, you can purchase a license that covers all of DVD VideoSoft’s software, which includes the Free Screen Video Recorder. Premium memberships range from $9.95 USD for 6 months, $14.95 for 12 months, and $29.95 for an Unlimited Premium membership. When you purchase a Premium membership, you get 

  • ad-free products
  • priority tech support
  • easy update management
  • the use of the software on up to 3 computers per license

9. CamStudio

CamStudio is open source, free software, to create AVI videos of all audio and video activity on your screen. It can also convert your AVIs to SWFs. CamStudio’s website claims its software is so easy to use, you can learn it in a matter of minutes, thanks to their built-in help files. CamStudio’s website claims the file size of the videos you create with their software will be smaller in size than other leading video screen recorders, and have great quality.

Screenshot of CamStudio interface

 

Pros

  • can add screen captions to your video
  • records picture-in-picture web cam simultaneously with screen recording
  • built-in help file
  • 100% free to use

Cons

  • the website admits to there being a bug and offers a “workaround” until the next version
  • users complain about having to decline “offers” they receive after installing software

There is no paid version of CamStudio.

8. Ezvid

Ezvid is freeware video and screen capture software. Ezvid’s web page claims to use your computer’s processing power to increase the speed of its screen recording and video editing capabilities. Though Ezvid files may be uploaded to sites like YouTube, it is most compatible with their Wiki site, wiki.ezvid.com, which touts itself as the world’s first exclusively video Wiki.

Screenshot of Ezvid interface

Pros

  • has facecam and voice synthesis
  • includes a video editor
  • the site claims you can create a professional-looking video in minutes (rather than hours)

Cons

  • needs 10GB free hard drive space, which might be a lot for older machines
  • online forums complain it’s laggy and glitchy

There is no paid version of Ezvid, though the developers encourage you to make a donation of anywhere from $9.00 USD to $250.00.

7. TinyTake 

TinyTake claims to be the best free screen capture and video recording software out there. The software allows you to capture a video of your screen activity, annotate it, and share it on social media. TinyTake advertises itself as simple, free, and feature-rich, though many features are only available with the paid options.

Screenshot of TinyTake interface

Pros

  • can use for free but with limited features
  • can add graphics from your local drive for annotating files
  • built-in viewer is optimized for mobile devices 

Cons

  • free version is extremely limited
  • no free version for commercial use

Here’s what you get with the paid version

TinyTake’s prices range from $9.95 USD for a one week pass, $29.95 annually for the Standard plan, up to $199.95 a year for the Business plan. With the paid plans you get

  • increased storage up to 2TB with the Business plan
  • length of video stretches from 5 minutes with free plan up to 120 minutes for the one week pass and Business plan
  • video annotation
  • elimination of ads and promotions

6. SmartPixel 

Though it seems to be designed for use with games, SmartPixel records anything on you can display on your screen. Because it is designed with gaming in mind, recording is smooth and seamless and hardly noticeable as you play. SmartPixel claims to use advanced video compression technology to create high quality videos that improve on disk space utilization. 

Screenshot of SmartPixel interface

Pros

  • records HD videos and optimizes disk space
  • picture-in-picture mode simultaneously records what’s on your monitor and on your webcam
  • post-editing functions include clipping, merging, dubbing, and adding subtitles

Cons

  • no multilingual version available, but the web site says it’s on the way

Here’s what you get with the paid version 

SmartPixel licenses are available for $15.90 USD for one year, $40.90 for 5 years, and $63.90 for a lifetime license. With the paid version, you can

  • record with no watermark
  • personalize your definition settings
  • record with higher frame rates

5. Screenflow by Telestream

Screenflow allows you to capture everything on your computer, including your entire monitor area, webcam, and microphone and computer audio simultaneously. With Screenflow you can record and edit your video and share it to a number of social media platforms. Screenflow boasts that they have the best quality screen capture available, even when viewed on Retina Displays.

Screenshot of Screenflow by Telestream interface

Pros

  • allows you to record and edit after recording is done
  • support for closedcaptioning your video
  • the ability to export in a wide variety of file types for publishing
  • no time limit to free version

Cons

  • videos created with free version are watermarked
  • you must pay to upgrade from previous versions

Here’s what you get with the paid version:

Screenflow costs $99.00 USD. You can purchase a backup disk for $20.00. Upgrades from previous versions cost $34.00. Though the free version is totally functional and without time limit, with the paid version, you can

  • export videos without a watermark

4. Icecream Screen Recorder

With Icecream Screen Recorder you can capture any area of your screen as either a screenshot graphic or a video recording. Icecream Screen Recorder boasts an intuitive and easy-to-use interface with a suite of tools and options to use when making screen captures. You can use Icecream Screen Recorder to make professional-looking videos of webinars, games, and Skype conversations.

Screenshot of Icecream Screen Recorder interface

Pros

  • draw, outline, or add arrows and text to your video capture
  • record webcam video along with screen recording
  • zoom tool allows you to zoom in while recording
  • can set multiple screen captures on a timer

Cons

  • only 10 minutes of recording time with free version
  • WEBM is only available video format with free version

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Screen Recorder Pro has a one-time fee of $29.95 USD for a lifetime license for two computers. This includes a license for commercial use of the software. With the Pro version,

  • there are no limits to the length of videos recorded
  • you can save in a variety of video formats including MP4
  • you can add a personalized watermark to the video
  • you have access to priority support

3. Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-O-Matic allows you to make recordings from your screen or webcam. Though you can upload your videos to YouTube, you also have the option to upload your videos to Screencast-O-Matic.com’s free server host.

Screenshot of Screencast-O-Matic interface

Pros

  • make recordings up to 15 minutes in length with the free version
  • limited options for publication with free version
  • recording from both screen and webcam
  • the paid version is inexpensive

Cons

  • watermark is visible on videos made with free version
  • recording computer audio requires Windows Vista or later

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Upgrading to Screencast-O-Matic Pro costs $15.00 USD per year, or $29.00 for three years. Paid features include:

  • elimination of watermark
  • recording of computer audio
  • access to editing tools
  • the ability to publish to Google Drive, Vimeo Pro, and Dropbox

2. iSpring Free Cam 

iSpring Free Cam is free screen recording software for Windows to help you record screencasts with ease. A number of video editing tools and functions come with the software to let you delete fragments of video, remove background noise, and apply audio effects. Videos may be saved as WMV or uploaded to YouTube.

iSpring Free Cam

Pros

  • no watermark, time limits and ads
  • records voice from a microphone, system and mouse sounds
  • users can edit audio and video to fine-tune recorded screencasts
  • saves videos in HD format (up to 720p or 1080p)
  • uploads video to YouTube for sharing

Cons

  • no webcam recording
  • saves recordings as WMV only

There is no paid version of iSpring Free Cam, software is absolutely free.

1. Camtasia

With Camtasia, you can record professional videos of activity on your computer’s monitor with minimal effort. In addition to recording videos, Camtasia also lets you import HD video into your recording from an external source. Camtasia is unique in that it can create interactive videos containing clickable links to generate dynamic video content suitable for use in the classroom or the workplace.

Screenshot of Camtasia interface

Pros

  • records on multiple video and audio tracks
  • has green screen effect to make it seem as if you are a part of the action
  • easy to incorporate animated items, like callouts and scrolling text
  • Google drive integration
  • free app available to record videos on mobile devices and transfer to Camtasia for editing

Cons

  • demo of full software is only free for 30 days
  • users are prohibited from creating videos for commercial purposes when using the free version

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Camtasia is $299.00 USD to purchase a software key for a single user license. You can save a bit of money (about $50.00) if you purchase 5-9 licenses. Discounts increase to about $90.00 per license when you buy 15-24 licenses.  When you purchase a license you get:

  • updates to your purchased version
  • permission to install the software on up to 2 machines

Conclusion

Whichever software you choose, video recording software is a must if you are a teacher/educator, game player, or blogger. Writing a review or putting together a list of instructions can only take you so far. Adding professional-looking video to your blog post, tutorial, or review is sure to increase your viewers’ engagement.

Guest blog post by Polina Khizhnyak. Polina Khizhnyak is the Marketing Manager of iSpring Solutions, Inc.

 

If you are looking for more great templates and complementary assets for your videos and presentations, check these out today!

Camtasia Templates
$149
(Annual Subscription | Per Designer)
Includes the following:
Camtasia Template Library
Stock Video Library
Misc. Icons, Graphics, & Clipart
 
 
 
 
 
 
Camtasia Developer Package
$649
(Annual Subscription | Per Designer)
Package Savings: $446
Includes the following:
Camtasia Template Library
Stock Video Library
Misc. Icons, Graphics, & Clipart
Cutout People Library
Stock Audio Library
Stock Graphics Library
 
 
Camtasia Master Package
$949
(Annual Subscription | Per Designer)
Package Savings: $843
Includes the following:
Camtasia Template Library
Stock Video Library
Misc. Icons, Graphics, & Clipart
Cutout People Library
Stock Audio Library
Stock Graphics Library
Common Craft Library
PP Graphics Library

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