entry level video capture- camstudio vs MS tool?

can you recommend for entry level video capture (capture screen instructions for later sharing of video with friends).

any other suggestions also appreciated.
this is for win7 64 bit home machine.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I've been very pleased with Screencast-O-Matic:

I started out with their Free version and liked it well enough to go with their Pro version, which is just $15/year (I actually went for three years at $29). The trial version is limited to 15 minutes and places a watermark in the lower left, which can be very bothersome. I used it to record ten 5-minute video Micro Tutorials here at EE. The first three were with the Free version — here's one:

The next seven were with the Pro version — here's one:

The main reason I went with the Pro version is that the watermark was blocking important stuff.

Here are some other possibilities for you:

(1) I've used the free version of WisdomSoft's AutoScreenRecorder:

It works very well and I didn't have a need for the features of its Pro (paid) version, but if I had, I think that the $49.95 price is reasonable, and based on the quality of the free version, I wouldn't hesitate to go for the Pro version. Here's a comparison matrix of the Free vs. Pro versions:

You can decide which one satisfies your needs. Of course, you may as well start with the free version and see if it works for you. That's what I did and I was very happy with it before moving to Screencast-O-Matic.

(2) CamStudio is free, open source software at SourceForge:

It allows recording all screen and audio activity, creating industry-standard AVI video files. It also has a built-in streaming Flash producer to convert the AVIs into SWFs. If you have any problems with it, take a look at the Issues section at its own website:

(3) FFVideo is also free, open source software at SourceForge:

It allows recording from screen, audio, webcam, microphone, and other devices. It uses the [ffmpeg] screen-capture-recorder as its recording engine:

[ffmpeg] provides for a number of output formats, including MP4. It is also free, open source and available at SourceForge:

(4) Atomi Systems' ActivePresenter comes in Free, Standard, and Professional Editions:

Even the Free edition can capture an application, specified screen area, or full screen (both manually and automatically). The Free edition supports audio recording and audio/video editing. It has no time limit and creates no watermark. Here's a comparison table of the three editions:

Unlike AutoScreenRecorder and Screencast-O-Matic, where the non-free edition is reasonably priced, the non-free editions of ActivePresenter are expensive – $299 for Standard and $399 for Professional.

(5) TechSmith is best known for its excellent Snagit product, but they also have two products in the video recording space — the basic, low-end Jing (free) and the robust, high-end Camtasia (expensive at $299):


I haven't used either, but have heard good things about both and am simply passing them along for your consideration.

(6) Problem Steps Recorder is free, built into Windows:

However, I don't think there's any control over what part of the screen it records. I could be wrong about that, but in my attempts to use it, it always recorded the entire screen — in fact, multiple displays, which I have. I don't know exactly what you are looking for, but in my case, I had two large monitors in an extended desktop configuration (three now), and Problem Steps Recorder recorded everything on both of them, which I usually did not want. I'm typically interested in just one program (window) being recorded and both AutoScreenRecorder Free and Screencast-O-Matic Free can do that.

It all comes down to which product meets your exact requirements. Regards, Joe

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I havent use Expression coder. 25112
remembering you want entry level easy to understand and use..
But in order to find out test them first
Here's a youtube on it
Microsoft Expression Encoder 4- $ 200 dollars and includes Face Cam and a video editor
Update I see>Expression Encoder 4 Pro is no longer available for sale. For customers who previously purchased this product, it will be supported through its support lifecycle. Expression Encoder 4 remains available for download at no charge. << so it's free now I believe?

cam studio works really well and is free open source, you can set it to record a region or the whole desktop by just using a shortcut key, it saves as either raw avi large files or flash, so you need to convert it to a smaller file I use windows moviemaker to convert it or Freemake to convert it. With Freemake great tool but has two offers you must decline.
But we are here to help you step by step to use Cam Studio. Or use Youtube
CamStudio Screencast Software Tutorial - Make A Video In Minutes!
Also when capturing your desktop I prefer region as I then select what area to capture, if you capture your desktop first it will be huge in  video size  because of the raw avi, most desktop capture tools are like this and secondly you should consider hiding your desktop items for personal reasons.
Do you have any video editors? Windows moviemaker is excellent to edit them/ add captions even music and then can save for email or publish to youtube. etc.
Is your windows 7 a laptop or desktop?
Cam studio download links with losslessThere is also Fraps,  Video Capture which I use for either desktop but especially for inside games which I upload to youtube... It is not free but has trial, very easy to use. Again just set a shortcut key I use F9 to start and F9 to stop.
And finally  SnagIt, not free
Snagit HELP
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Also Hypercam http://www.hyperionics.com/hc/

Free to use.  I've used it to capture a Skype session.  Probably not the best use for it.  I imagine for capturing standard screen actions it would be fine.
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25112Author Commented:
thank you indeed for you reco.. I have some very good options now thanks to experts here!
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome. Happy to help. Regards, Joe
Glad to help 25112
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