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CamStudio 2.0 Screen Recorder (formerly from Rendersoft)

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


The Bottom Line

CamStudio is a simple, straightforward program to record screen activity to AVI or SWF format. And you can't beat the price; it's free.


  • Free
  • Thorough help in HTML format


  • Annotation tools are awkward
  • No movie editing capability


  • Record screen activity and sound into standard AVI video files for Windows. No distribution fees.
  • Optionally record directly to Flash SWF for small streamable movie files with lossless compression.
  • Convert AVI files into SWF files with the SWF Producer. Generates SWF and HTML page with options.
  • Include audio in your movies by recording from your system speakers or microphone.
  • Annotate screen movies with text captions and callouts.
  • Video options allow you to control compression, quality, time lapse, and frame rates.
  • Cursor options allow you to use the default or a custom cursor. Also hide or highlight the cursor.
  • Autopan allows fixed region to follow the mouse. Autoname files by date/time to avoid typing.
  • Requires: Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000/XP, 400 MHz processor, 64 MB RAM, 4 MB disk space.
  • Available in English, German, Japanese, French, Dutch, Hungarian, and Italian versions.

Guide Review - CamStudio 2.0 Screen Recorder (formerly from Rendersoft)

CamStudio is a simple, straightforward program to record screen activity to AVI or SWF format. You can also record audio from your speakers or microphone, although I did not test this feature. Screen annotations allow you to add custom text captions and callouts to your movies. These annotations must be saved as a layout prior to recording and can be called up with a hotkey during the recording process. CamStudio does not offer editing capabilities, so your movie and annotations must be carefully planned before you begin recording. AVI movies can be quite large, but by converting them to Flash format the file size is reduced considerably. The conversion process is somewhat slow, but generally worthwhile for the size reduction.

If your needs are fairly basic, CamStudio is a handy little tool for recording screen activity and audio in AVI and SWF format. And you can't beat the price; it's free.

Update April, 2005: Rendersoft CamStudio was acquired by eHelp and incorporated into their RoboDemo software. RoboDemo was later acquired by Macromedia and developed into their Captivate software. I've been informed that the free CamStudio software reviewed here was released under the GPL (General Public License). You can still download CamStudio from the CamStudio Site or its SourceForge project page.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 2 out of 5
Not quite as good as promised, Member dickelkin

Starting out as a complete novice, there is no obvious help. But videos on the net gave me a start. The program was usable, but difficult. It fails to remember program options, so these must be set every time. And, there are about half a dozen things to set, such as where the files are to be saved, etc. If you forget any one, you have wasted your time. Also, it is not obvious how to stop this monster. I get a little box called flashing, and if I close it, it takes over the screen and I have to log out.

14 out of 15 people found this helpful.

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