Open source screen recorder and video editor
Best for: Professionals
Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 465 reviews
OBS Studio is open source software that is not really intended for beginners. However, it is primarily aimed at those who want to stream on YouTube or Twitch. However, it can also be used to film what is happening on your Windows desktop. You can control the program via customizable hotkeys and use the built-in audio mixer to create excellent quality videos. OBS comes with live streaming capabilities that you won’t find in native programs of major operating systems, in addition to screencast options. You can find help on their site, but to save you time, when using OBS Studio for the first time, click + in the Sources area and then select Display capture.
You will then see your desktop appear; you can specify the monitor if you have more than one. It will happily shoot games in full screen with game capture, which a lot of software refuses to do. OBS is powerful software, especially for a free product with so many features. It is a comprehensive tool for live streaming and recording.
Real-time video and audio capturing and mixing
Intuitive audio mixer
A wide range of configuration options for broadcasting and recording
Connects easily to streaming services
Switchable from one source to another during the broadcast
Easy to edit and design with
The user interface could be better
Download OBS Studio
What is it?
CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)
Here are just a few ways you can use this software:
- You can use it to create demonstration videos for any software program
- Or how about creating a set of videos answering your most frequently asked questions?
- You can create video tutorials for school or college class
- You can use it to record a recurring problem with your computer so you can show technical support people
- You can use it to create video-based information products you can
- You can even use it to record new tricks and techniques you discover on your favourite software program, before you forget them
“Nick, here is what I think I’ll do; rather than fork out the $300.00 bucks for [CENSORED], I’ll just keep using CamStudio.
“I am a self-employed consultant that works in the public safety community (cops, fire, ems, dispatch etc). What I have planned is to use CamStudio to capture on screen video for training vids.
“Thanks for a great product and your help!”
Don’t like the sound of your voice? No problem.
CamStudio can also add high-quality, anti-aliased (no jagged edges) screen captions to your recordings in seconds and with the unique Video Annotation feature you can even personalise your videos by including a webcam movie of yourself “picture-in-picture” over your desktop.
And if all that wasn’t enough, CamStudio also comes with its own Lossless Codec that produces crystal clear results with a much smaller filesize compared with other more popular codecs, like Microsoft Video 1.
You have total control over the output of your video: you can choose to use custom cursors, to record the whole screen or just a section of it and can reduce or increase the quality of the recording depending on if you want smaller videos (for emailing to people, for instance) or you can have “best quality” ones for burning onto CD/DVD.
But all of these features would be worthless if CamStudio wasn’t easy to use … fortunately that’s not the case. CamStudio can be learned in a matter of minutes and comes with a comprehensive built-in helpfile, so if you do manage to get stuck, you can simply hit “Help” and get the answers you need.
So where can I get it and how much does it cost?
You can download and use it completely free – yep – completely 100% free for your personal and commercial projects as CamStudio and the Codec are released under the GPL (for more details on this license, click here.)
There are no royalties or any monies to pay.
Latest Version: CamStudio 2.7.4 (Build r354)
Download CamStudio – Desktop Screen Recorder
CamStudio Lossless Codec v1.5 (optional):
Download CamStudio Lossless Codec V1.5
CamStudio was originally released by a company called RenderSoft who were subsequently bought by a company called eHelp who used some of the technology in their program, RoboDemo …
Some time later, eHelp was bought by Macromedia who wanted RoboDemo (which was to become Captivate) …
Knowing that CamStudio did some of the stuff RoboDemo did for free (mainly export to streaming Flash), they released a newer version which fixed some bugs but most importantly, removed certain features. Gone was the ability to create SWFs, added was the requirement to register to use it, and over time, links to the various webpages that had CamStudio and its source code, became broken.
However, I managed to find an earlier version complete with the related CamStudio video codec and the source code for both then put the website up so people could download them.
A number of people have mentioned having trouble viewing SWF videos generated by CamStudio. It turns out there’s a bug which means you can’t see anything if you try watching them with Netscape or Firefox (Internet Explorer works fine) …
The next update (2.5) will fix this but until then, here’s a temporary workaround:
Open the related HTML to the SWF you’ve just generated and look for the line starting with the “EMBED SRC” command …
Change the Width and Height values in this line to match values in the line starting with “OBJECT CLASSID“.
Save the file and you should be good to go …
I seem to be getting a lot of questions about a registration code … the version of CamStudio available from this site doesn’t require registration AND has more features, so uninstall v2.1 from your system, download and install CamStudio from here and you’re good to go!
If your computer’s memory or virtual memory usage starts climbing rapidly when viewing a SWF authored by CamStudio to the point when your PC locks up so you have to reboot it, recreate the SWF from your source AVI file and in SWF Producer, make sure you select the Advanced tab and check the Memory Management tickbox (Manage Flash player internal memory). That should sort the problem out. Thanks to Ben Ward for the fix.
If you’d like to be notified when I have some news related to CamStudio,signup to the forum (link opens a new window) you’ll be “in the loop” …
Spread The Word …
I’d love to get CamStudio into the Top 10 Most Popular downloads at SourceForge … for no other reason than … um … I’d like to, so tell as many people as possible …
If you’d like to link back to this site, here’s some example code you can use:
<a href="https://www.camstudio.org" target="_blank">
CamStudio - Free Streaming Video Desktop Recording Software</a>
A Plea For Help …
I’ve got big plans for CamStudio and want to continously improve it and the Codec as well … but I’m not a programmer.
The potential for CamStudio to be used as a professional training and support tool is huge and not just in the information technology and internet marketing arenas, but also in diverse markets and tasks like home eduation, recording online geneological research, keeping a video record of special offer prices on your favourite snowboarding (or whatever) website – you get the idea …
It doesn’t matter if you’re at home in Las Vegas or on an Alaskan Cruise – if you’ve got a laptop or PC you can use CamStudio.
So if there are any Visual C++ programmers out there that have Flash, video encoding and codec experience who’d like a challenge, please get in touch.
So, at some point in the near future I’d like to start accepting donations so any coders that work on this project will get some kind of financial reward in addition to the warm, fuzzy feeling they get from helping to resurrect this cracking piece of software … so if you’re feeling generous, please get in touch at the email address above and let me know.
I’d also love to get your feedback on CamStudio … what you liked, what you thought sucked and what you think is missing.
DISCLAIMER: CamStudio is (c) Rendersoft Development.
The version available from this website is developed independently under the terms of the GNU Public License V2. This website, the software (in whole or in part) and any other related content is not affiliated with, connected to, sponsored by, endorsed by or derived from Camtasia or Camtasia Studio from Techsmith.com nor any other product or software with a similar sounding name from any other company.
Camtasia, Camtasia Studio and Techsmith are marks of Techsmith Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries.