The place for accurate and inspiring Screencasting information

Terry’s CamStudio Review

(This review also found at https://sourceforge.net/projects/camstudio/reviews/ and http://camstudio.org/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=618)

I love this program so much, I’ve volunteered to help in the forums and added several of the answers to my own blog here at http://screencasttutorial.org where I try to compile the best stuff.

There are work-arounds for the “Record From Speakers” failure on several machines – most notably using the “Record from Microphone” settings, and then changing the default input device in one’s audio control panel. YouTube has vids on this for XP, Vista and Win 7, so look around.

There are beta versions for this program that add nice features, though not all codecs appear for every version, for some strange reason. (as of r294).

The latest “hot find” is that the Lagarith Lossless Codec seems to record game-play and animated Google Earth tours well – it is the only codec that accomplishes these feats this well in CamStudio.

People can use tools such as Microsoft’s free “ZoomIt” for zoom – one feature missing in the program itself (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897434). I like to use “Sizer” (http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/) for window-size presets, as the beta versions permit recording a window. The early betas had a one-pixel-over measurement error you’ll have to work around (2.5 had this first). CamStudio has no problem recording 1280X720HD video on a fast enough machine, but slower machines should settle for 854X480 with auto-pan turned on to get decent fps rates while recording.

Amazing program for recording Microsoft Powerpoint, Open Office Impress or Google Presentation slides, Web-browser activity and program operations for either demos or instruction, as well as being useful for creating sales videos for Internet Marketing purposes.

Audio is the big size-bloater that can quickly cause over-running the AVI spec’s built-in 2-gigabyte size limit – choose a mono mode sampling at less than 44.1KHz (22KHz sounds fine). Keep “Capture Frame Every” multiplied times “Playback Rate” summed to 1000ms (1 sec) to keep audio sync intact. If possible, record at 16-bit or 24-bit video display depth to save some file size, and prepare via tests to discover your maximum available time at the settings you choose – 2 Gigabytes is a pretty hard limit due to the AVI Spec, but we’ve seen some over-runs fixed by VirtualDub in “Direct Streaming Copy” video mode (http://www.virtualdub.org/index.html).

I’ve been limiting my recordings to 15-minute segments for YouTube anyway. Anyone trying to record whole 3-hour webinars without occasionally stopping/saving/restarting WILL get burned, just so you know… try running two instances of 2.0 (or 2.0 and a beta version) concurrently so you can record overlapping takes.

Download CamStudio 2.0 Original

Download CamStudio 2.6 Beta Versions

Download CamStudio 2.5 Beta Version from Major Geeks
(has one-pixel-over measurement error in “record window” region setting)

 

* Due to a database reset, the comments were lost, but I recovered them via Google’s Cached pages, so here they are below. But leave a new comment!

 

2 Older Comments to “Terry’s CamStudio Review”

  1. Hello Terry,
    Like to thank you for your work and special attention for this nice program. As for speed, I use it for Google Earth flight recording and gonna try your advice (frame rates and MPEG-4 codec.) to get it improved. I use 16 bit video display cause GE gives me that option. To get profit from setting the display depth on the video card, the stream (in this case GE) needs to offer it that way. Otherwise it will not work or conversion will ruin even more speed. Guess you meant that.
    Thanks again, regards, Jos.

  2. Thank you for your kind words, Jos.

    As I’m certain you can gather, I really do appreciate what this program makes available for people – a sharing and teaching tool anyone can use on PC’s worldwide for free is an important thing, in my eyes.

    I just uploaded a large series of videos to YouTube with CamStudio tutorials a’plenty. Check it out:
    “How To Use CamStudio” Tutorial Video Series Now Available at YouTube!

2 Responses to Terry’s CamStudio Review

  1. Hey Terry, thanks for your interesting post. So it is not possible to record around 8 hours straight without having to overlap the videos? I am working at the lab and I need to record the spontaneous locomotion of mice in a period of 8 hours overnight. I disabled the audio, as I dont need it. What would be a good set up on the configuration to extend the recordings as long as possible. I dont need perfect video quality but a fair one would be ok. I would appreciate if you can recommend me a similar software that might be able to record 8 hours without a problem. Thanks a lot.

  2. Ruben,

    Without audio, you just might be able to get 8 hours with CFE at 100 and Playback rate at 10 using Xvid. I’d perhaps use a quality setting of 2 to play it safe, but without audio, you have tons of file space to work with!

    Just run a test and see how it goes! Please let me know!

    BTW – You can actually run at even slower speeds and get tons of time if a little stop-motion isn’t a problem. Set CFE to 200 and PBR to 5 to see what I mean. CamStudio is capable of time-lapse recording — that’s why the slider with the auto settings box checked goes so far to the right. I have a post on using those videos and converting them to faster playback rates elsewhere here. http://screencasttutorial.org/13/using-virtual-dub-with-time-lapse-video-recordings-65

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge