I’ve recently given a try to a few video capturing software solutions to gather up video for editing purposes. Consider that lots of PC gamers record themselves playing and commenting their favorite game, then post it on YouTube and you’ll understand why.
The first program I tested was Fraps, sadly though, it had too much of an impact on my framerate to be usable. Sure I can still play most games at 30FPS but face it: 60 is better. Also I wanted to capture only a certain area of the screen so with that in mind I tested out Bandicam, and wound up purchasing a full license.
This is a video of what it looks like, playing Grid Racedriver at 720P (which is my old 50″ plasma TV’s max resolution) but the specs call for it to be able to record 2560*1600 at high quality.
The program is small, with a sub 10MB footprint, it’s also lightning quick as I saw no discernible impact on anything I threw at it. It can record video from Youtube in several ways other than downloading the full video which then forces you to edit the whole thing if you want to only use a small part of it.
It has the option to capture any rectangle on the screen as you move stuff around, you can even move the rectangle if you want causing for some rather interesting visual effects, for example, the beginning of this video where I used Bandicam to capture the area of the screen where a WinAmp visualizer was running.
The target can be defined in two ways, either an OpenGL/DirectX window (or full screen) which really means whatever game you’re running, or the aforementioned rectangle on the screen. As you can see from the screenshot above, the bottom part has some tips and tricks displayed to click and view, it sometimes says How to record YouTube videos, or minecraft, or others. It’s interesting.
It’s also easy to make voice overs and tutorial videos if one is so inclined. Above in the other screencap, is what the rectangle capture area interface looks like, once the RECORD button at top right is pressed, it will record on video anything within the boundary of its rectangle (in blue) and of course, the window can be moved “live” as well, everything inside it is perfectly accessible by mouse-clicks.
It allows you to capture sound, or not. The one thing missing is a sound source selector as it seems to record whatever goes to the speakers which is fine unless you DON’T want to hear your own voiceover as you speak it.
Bandicam allows you to create videos in several popular codecs, Xvid, Mpeg, MJpeg, etc. It also allows you to capture screen stills, which the Snipping Tool included with Windows 7 Professional and up already does, but it’s a nice touch.
To me, it’s perfect except for one thing: The price. At 40$ it is kind of pricey as I expected to pay slightly less. I’d have been more comfortable paying 25$ for it, at 40 it wasn’t a deal breaker for me as I’ve overpaid for much lesser software many times (Like the latest SimCity or Windows Vista) but it might be for some people.
-Intuitive controls and interface
-Pleasantly spartan appearance, no useless and bulky frills
-Small memory footprint
-Can capture full screen, windowed or rectangle area
-Many popular codecs for video
-On the expensive side
-No real control over the sound source, captures whatever plays in your speakers/headphones
Overall this deserves a 9/10 losing a point for the high cost. Kudos to the developers, good job.