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Best Video Capture Software & How to Choose the Right One

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Best Video Capture Software & How to Choose the Right One

Do you want to become the next big YouTube sensation? Or maybe you just need to record a video tutorial for your company’s website. No matter why you need it, video capture software will help you create high-quality videos using a webcam or recording your desktop or mobile screen. 

You can find many video capture software options on the market, some designed with specific types of content and content creators in mind. We’ll go over how to screen capture software can improve the quality of your video. You’ll also learn key factors to consider when selecting the best video capture software for your needs. Read on to find out which software we recommend for beginners, gamers, and business professionals.

What Is Video Capture Software?

Video capture software allows you to record video from your webcam or computer screen. You can download this program from a video capture website or use a browser-based version. Most capture software has at least some video editing tools you can use to improve your video quality after you’ve recorded. You can find free software for capturing video online or pay for a program to get more advanced or premium features. 

Why Use Video Capture Software?

You can use video capture software in education, professional, and entertainment settings to create content for several purposes. This type of software helps creators connect with others online through video content almost every day. The right video capturing software will help your content look professional and stand out.

Video capture software can be used in the following ways to create content: 

  • Recording a tutorial video, walkthrough, or webinar 
  • Capturing video interviews for podcasts
  • Creating episodes for a vlog
  • Recording a gaming session to share online

Video Capture Software Advantages 

Video capture software provides other benefits and makes your content look professional. Below are some advantages to video capture software you may not have considered.  

Simplify Your Workflow 

Several video capture software also includes video editing software and sharing capabilities to simplify your creation process. Instead of using multiple programs and importing and exporting files, you can do everything in one place. Capture software that includes editing and video sharing features significantly cuts down on the time you have to spend in post-production. 

Record Multiple Sources Simultaneously 

Without software, you can only capture what’s on your screen or what your device’s camera is recording. If you need to record more than one person at a time for your content, video capture software is key, especially if you need to record high-quality remote video for a podcast or vlog guests. 

What To Consider When Choosing Video Capture Software

Choosing the best video capture software will differ from person to person. You’ll want to look for a program that will help you best create the type of content you need. Below, we’ve highlighted a couple of key factors to consider when reviewing a webcam recorder and screen capture software. 

System Compatibility

The first thing to consider is whether or not a piece of software is compatible with your system. Many video capture programs work on both Mac and Windows systems, but some are only compatible with one or the other. Check the system specifications of the software to determine whether or not it’ll work with your setup. 

Price 

Make sure you have a realistic budget in mind when considering which video capture software you’ll use to create content. Great programs are available at all price points, but you usually have to pay more for advanced features. Use any special features you pay for to avoid wasting money on software capabilities you won’t need. 

Recording Features 

Have a clear understanding of the features you need before selecting software. Capture software can come with a range of features, but these are some things to keep a close eye on:

  • Recording quality: Be sure your video file will be recorded in HD.
  • Localized recording: Check if the software records directly to your device.
  • Separate audio and video recording: Separate track recording makes editing easier.

Ease of Use 

Some software programs for capturing video have much simpler user interfaces than others. Make sure the capture software you choose matches up with your skill level. If you’re a beginner, don’t select a program with advanced features you don’t know how to use efficiently. Alternatively, you shouldn’t choose software with an interface designed with beginners in mind if you’re a more advanced user.  

Reliability

You may experience recording quality issues if your software relies on the quality of your internet connection. Software that uses localized recording records directly to your PC or Mac so your video quality won’t suffer due to a poor connection. With localized recording, you can rest easy knowing you won’t lose any content due to a dropped connection or technical difficulties because everything is saved directly to your system. 

Editing Capabilities 

Look for capture software with a built-in video editor with editing features to create high-quality videos. Software options at all price points have features that allow you to add captions, place a transition effect between scenes, add music, and much more. Having an all-in-one, content creation platform will streamline your processes and save you money. 

Online Sharing Options 

Do you need to get your content out to your followers on social media? Many recording programs make it simple to get your video clips on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter with just a few clicks. Check to see which programs the screen capture software you’re considering integrates with to make sure you can upload videos easily.  

Content File Formats

Be sure the video capture software you’re considering saves files in formats supported by the sharing platform or other programs you may use. You can’t use any of the content you record if the video file formats aren’t compatible with the program you want to use unless you take the extra step to use a codec to convert them. Some of the most popular video file formats supported by most programs and platforms are mp4, wmv, avi, and flv.   

Best Video Capture Software

There are video capture programs on the market for every type of creator. Figuring out the best video capture software for the type of content you’re creating can get confusing. We’ve compiled a list of the best capture software for different kinds of creators to make narrowing down your options a little easier. 

The Best Video Recording Software for Beginners: Streamlabs OBS

  • OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac
  • Localized Recording?: No 
  • Editing Capabilities?: Yes
  • Online Sharing Features?: Yes

Streamlabs OBS is a stripped-down version of OBS Studio, beginner-friendly with a more intuitive interface. It’s free to use, easy to set up, and has all the basic features you could ask for in a free screen recorder. Though it lacks more advanced features, this video capture software is great for any creator just starting. 

The Best Video Recording Software for Gamers:  OBS (Open Broadcast Source) Studios 

  • OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac
  • Localized Recording?: Yes
  • Editing Capabilities?: No
  • Online Sharing Features?: No

OBS Studios is a favorite among all different types of content creators because it’s free to use and has a lot of functionality. Gamers love this capture software because it’s simple to record and upload video content directly to sharing platforms like Twitch and YouTube, or you can save recordings online to Google Drive and upload them later. OBS comes with many advanced features and plug-ins, so what you can do with it is only limited by your imagination. 

The Best Video Recording Software for Podcasters: Riverside.fm

  • OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac
  • Localized Recording?: Yes
  • Editing Capabilities?: Yes
  • Online Sharing Features?: Yes

Riverside.fm is an all-in-one powerful content creation platform podcasters can use to record, edit, and share their programs. The software has automated editing and transcription features that simplify the production process. Riverside.fm allows you to record multiple guests simultaneously and records video in up to 4K quality. You can easily invite guests to your show with a single link, and they don’t have to download any software to participate. 

Riverside's video capture software for remote recording.

The Best Video Recording Software for Business Professionals: Vimeo 

  • OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac
  • Localized Recording?: No
  • Editing Capabilities?: Yes
  • Online Sharing Features?: Yes

Vimeo is an enterprise-level recording solution made specifically to help businesses and other organizations create and host video content. A Vimeo subscription may seem expensive when compared to other capture software. However, keep in mind that this pricing is for enterprises and not individuals. Vimeo allows you to create, edit, and store all of your content in one place for easy organization. Companies that support remote work can get a lot of Vimeo’s features for hosting online business content. 

The Best Free Video Capture Software: OBS Studio

  • OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac
  • Localized Recording?: Yes
  • Editing Capabilities?: No
  • Online Sharing Features?: No

We’ve also chosen OBS as our best free video capture software because of the amount of functionality you get for the price (free!). OBS can’t be beaten because it’s an open-source program, so developers are creating new ways to enhance it all of the time. OBS Studio can be a bit overwhelming initially, but it becomes easy to use with a bit of practice. Though anyone can record on OBS Studio successfully, intermediate and advanced users will get the most out of its ever-evolving features. 

How Do You Record a Video?

You can also use the built-in features on your desktop or mobile device to record audio and video on your system using your device’s microphone while capturing your screen. We’ll provide step-by-step instructions to show you how to capture video with audio on different types of devices. 

How do I capture a video on my computer?

If you don’t have the budget or need for a video capture program, you can record your screen to create content. Macs and PCs both have programs you can use to take screenshots or record your screen. The programs allow you to record your full screen or just a portion of what’s on your screen. We’ll explain how to record your computer screen using each operating system.

How do I record my computer screen on a Mac?

QuickTime Studios comes standard on Mac devices and can be used to quickly capture stills and video from your video screen. Follow these instructions to start recording your computer screen using QuickTime: 

  1. Open QuickTime.
  2. Select File
  3. Click New Screen Recording.
  4. Click Record to begin capturing video. 
  5. To stop recording, click the Record button again. 
  6. Choose where your recording is saved by selecting File and then Save

How do I record my computer screen on a PC?

You may not know it, but PowerPoint can be used for more than just giving presentations. The program comes with a built-in video capture feature to record your screen. 

Follow these steps to capture video from your computer screen with PowerPoint:

  1. Open PowerPoint from the Start Menu
  2. Choose Blank Presentation.
  3. Click on the tab labeled Insert and then select Screen Recording.
  4. Once your screen grays out, you can select the area you want for a partial screen recording or record your whole screen by doling down the Windows Key + Shift + F.
  5. Click the Record button. 
  6. Hover your mouse over the top of your screen at any time to access video controls. Click Stop when you’re finished recording.  

How do I record a video of myself on Windows 10?

Windows 10 has a built-in recording feature that older versions of the operating system don’t. Xbox Game Bar was designed for gamers to capture gameplay to share online, but it can be used to capture any type of video on your screen. One thing to note is the Xbox Game Bar can only capture video from a specific window on your screen. 

Capture video on your screen with the Xbox Game Bar using the following steps:

  1. Select the window on your screen you want to record.
  2. Choose Xbox Game Bar from the Start Menu.
  3. Click on Record in the upper left corner of the screen 
  4. When you’re finished recording, click the Stop button. 

Access the footage you recorded in the Videos folder on your PC.

Read more: How to Screen Record on Any Device (Desktop, Mobile, Tablet)

Choosing the Best Video Capture Software

Selecting the best video capture software gets a little confusing with so many great options on the market. Consider the features you need, understand the systems you’ll be working with, and have a clear budget in mind. If you don’t have the budget or technical skills to use capture software, you can use the built-in recording features on your Mac or PC instead.

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