Bloggers, Web Designers often need to capture the activity on computer’s screen in the form of videos for writing software tutorials and other demonstrations. Videos of activity on computer’s screen are also useful for people who often give presentations. There are lot of commercial screencasting softwares available in the market which are very expensive and out of reach for most people. In this post I will be reviewing a a free screencast software to record activity on a computer’s screen called CamStudio. CamStudio is a small yet intuitive and reliable screen recording software which records screen activity in AVI and SWF (Flash) formats.

CamStudio has nice interface with drop down menus located at the top of the app and some easy to access icons found just below the drop down menus. The first thing you need to do for recording the screen activity is to select the region of your PC’s screen to be recorded. Just click on the drop down menu ‘Region’ and select from the available options: Region, Fixed Region, Window and Full Screen. The next thing that is to be done is to select the format in which you want to record the screen activity. You can toggle between the Avi and SWF formats by clicking on the button just below the drop down menus with the words ‘SWF’ inscribed on it. Click on the ‘File’ drop down menu to start recording, pause in the middle, and finally stopping the recording of screencast. You can also use the buttons located below the drop down menus to quickly pause and stop the recording process. The recorded screen activity will be saved to the location of your choice.

CamStudio also has many other features which makes it the best free screen capture software available in the market. Under the ‘cursor option’ of the options menu, users can select the cursor to be displayed in the screencast. You can either select the default cursor used on your PC or select from a large list of custom cursors available in CamStudio. There is an option even to highlight the cursor in various shapes or totally hide it in the screencast.

CamStudio gives total control on the audio which is recorded during at the time of recording the screencast. You can record audio either from the microphones or speakers or opt to not record any audio at all (if you want to record audio later). If you like to add annotations to your screen casts, CamStudio has the option to record both screen and video annotations (find annotations options under the ‘Tools’ Menu). Video annotations can be recorded using your PC’s web camera and this feature is a good improvement over the previous versions of the software. Watermarks and System Time Stamps can also be added to the screencast from the ‘Effects’ menu. Screencasts which are recorded in the SWF format can be converted into Avi format using an inbuilt ‘CamStudio SWF Producer’ without the need of using any other video converting software.

All in all, CamStudio is a brilliant video screen capture software which meets the needs of both professionals and ordinary users. I have covered the most needed features of the software in this review. There are still some more improvements which can be made to the software like adding support to more video formats and ncluding a video editing tool.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 2.7

Rating: 8/10

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7

Download size: 3.1 MB

Download link to the Software