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So let’s jump into it. Now, screen captures are a great way to step your audience through a process on screen, teach them how to use an app or software, record presentations with slides or even capture B roll of products or websites for your videos.
Screen captures are one of the easiest ways to create B roll, so if you’re not using them, then you definitely should be. In this article, we’ll be covering exactly how you can capture your screen on a Windows PC with a range of options, both free and paid.
The paid options do have some advantages, so we’ll cover our pick first and then follow up with a run-through of the best free choices that were found to get you started. So in regards to the paid options for screen capture on Windows, there are four reliable options.
The first one is We Video. Now, We Video has plans for $4.99 and $7.99 per month, but what it lets you do is, it runs the whole process, the entire application is run through your web browser, so there’s no need to download and install any software, also means that you can use this on low-end computers, things like Chromebox as well.
So when you’re screen capturing in We Video, you get the option to either record your entire screen or draw out a section of your screen. Now, that’s pretty common with most screen capture software, where We Video stands out, is that it’s an online cloud-based editing solution.
So because it’s all run through your browser, it makes it easy to collaborate on your video editing with other team members or other people anywhere in the world. We have done a video on We Video, I’ll link it up in the cards now, so make sure you check it out.
But, We Video is a reliable option for screen capturing because once you’ve done the screen capture, you’ve then got We Video as the editor, to be able to edit that down and to add a heap of effects and titles and things to it to make your screen captures look good.
But also the fact that it is an online cloud-based editing platform, meaning that you can get other team members from anywhere around the world to help you edit that down. Option number two for screen capture on Windows is Bandicam, now this is one that’s come through pretty highly rated, and there are some cool features in here as well.
This one is a popular one with gamers, its got a heap of screen recording features specifically for gaming, like bringing up your frames per second on-screen, allowing you to have a picture in the picture from your webcam, so that you can have your cell phone screen while you’re recording your game or recording your screen, so there are some pretty cool features like that in there.
There is a free version of this available as well, but the screen recording is limited to 10 minutes. It has a watermark on it, so $39 is the one that we’re talking about here, no watermark, unlimited record time, you’ve got some pretty cool features like, as I’ve just said, being able to record your webcam and bring it as a picture in picture, so you can show both on screen.
You can also do annotations and draw out things on your screen recording at the time of recording, so there’s no post-production in Bandicam. Meaning that it’s not editing software, so once you’ve finished your recording, you’re left with a video file, so anything that you do, all the tools for annotations and things, are there for a while you’re recording life, once you’re done, if you want to make any further changes, you will need video editing software.
Option number three is, Snagit, now Snagit is an excellent screen capturing and screen recording tool, not just for Video but for still images of your screen, it’s got some cool features in there, and it’s probably one of the leaders when it comes to screen capturing on Windows.
Now just like Bandicam, you do have the ability to record your webcam as well, simultaneously, so that you can do some basic editing and switch between your webcam and your screen recording while you’re creating these videos.
There is some basic editing built into Snagit, more so around the annotations and arrows and text and things that you can overlay on your videos to help your viewers follow along with what it is that you’re showing them.
Now if you are looking to edit your screen recordings down after capturing them, then you’re probably better off looking at either standalone video editing software or look at Snagit’s big brother. He is our option number four, Camtasia.
Now Camtasia’s a big step up price-wise from Snagit. Now Snagit was 49.95 USD, Camtasia sells for 199 USD, but both Snagit and Camtasia are cross-platform, meaning you can install them on both Mac and Windows and if you’re working with different people or across other computers, you can share your projects. They’ll both open and perform the same on both.
But where Camtasia stands out is that it’s a complete end to end solution on Windows for screen recording and editing. So not just annotations, it’s also actually editing the video files down, editing your webcam footage in with your screen captures and having the ability to bring one up fullscreen, move it around to a picture in picture effect, to add titles and create professional videos, Camtasia is the go-to, end to end solution for a lot of businesses out there for creating professional screen captures and professional videos.
Now in regards to the actual screen recording, if you’re comparing Snagit to Camtasia, there is a lot of similarities, I mean essentially, one’s just a cut down version of the other, but the main differences come in when you’re looking at simultaneously recording your webcam or external microphones and external audio as well, that’s where Camtasia is the much more professional solution.
If I’m looking for one program that does everything and I don’t need to export and reimport into different programs and do another editing there, Camtasia’s the no brainer here. At the $199 price point, it is an excellent video editing application regardless of the screen capture or not, and it does have colour correction, it does have motion graphics and motion titles, it’s a reliable solution for a $199 and that would be my pick.
So those are the paid options, now let’s take a look at a free choice. Now you can also get excellent results in this option. Still, you won’t have any editing capabilities, so if you’re already using other editing software to edit your videos and that’s not going to be a deal-breaker for you.
Through my opinion, the best free screen recording software you can get on Windows is OBS Studio, and it is 100% free. Now typically, OBS or Open Broadcast Software is live streaming software, but it also has screen recording capabilities built-in.
It’s also a smart option for screen recording on Windows because it doesn’t put your computer system under a heap of load, so it’s a low CPU and low GPU usage while you’re recording.
So a lot of people use it for recording games, a lot of people use it for recording their live streams as well. But it’s not the most accessible program out there to use; you will get a heap of options and advanced options around the different sizes, resolutions, bit rates and codecs that you can do your screen recordings in and it will let you either draw out a section of your screen or record the full screen. It will also allow you to bring in webcams and position your webcam as a picture in picture as well.
But once again, you won’t get that control afterwards in your editing to resize that webcam, it’s all baked in, whatever you’re recording at the time of recording, is what your end file is going to be.
So in summary, four paid solutions are worth considering, the first is We Video, which is a cheap option, that will allow you to store your screen recordings and edit them collaboratively with other team members.
You’ve got Bandicam, which is a bit more expensive but gives you a heap more options around your screen recordings. You’ve then got Snagit, just a little bit more again at $49.99, which provides you with a whole suite of tools for your screen recording and your screen capturing.
But it still doesn’t have all your full editing capabilities, or you’ve got the complete end to end solution, Camtasia at $199, and you’ve also then got the free option of OBS Studio, which once again, has no editing capabilities built-in.
So what’s my recommendation for you? Or what I’d suggest is that you grab the trial versions and give each of these a go and see which one works best for you, for your workflow and for the types of videos you’re going to be creating.
The only real complete end to end solution here is Camtasia, so if you’re looking for one application to do all your screen recording and all your editing start to finish, then it’s a no brainer, Camtasia is the software for you.
If you’ve already got editing software, then that’s where you can look at Snagit, you can also look at Bandicam, you can also look at OBS as well. Or if you’re looking to edit your videos collaboratively and edit them remotely and with team members anywhere in the world, then We Video will be the one for you.
Now if you’re shooting Video with your iPhone or your Android smartphone, then we’ve put together a video that runs through the step by step process that will make a massive difference in your results vast.
Check out the two videos linked on screen now, and I’ll see you soon.