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A screencast is a video recording of what you see on your screen. It’s an awesome way to illustrate the use of software or games. Among many other screencasting tools, Bandicamp distinguishes itself from the rest through simplicity and speed.

Bandicam comes in two versions. The first is free, and overlays all videos with a watermark and limits the recording time. A premium license costs about $39, but is it worth it? Let’s find out.

Meet Bandicam

Bandicam is a Windows exclusive utility that can take screenshots – just like the Microsoft Snipping tool – and capture video and audio from applications running on your computer.

bandicam-home

What differentiates Bandicam is that it works well on computers with limited hardware, shifting a lot of the heavy-lifting from the CPU to the often under-utilized graphics accelerators. Bandicam also compresses videos whilst recording, meaning that the final file size is considerably smaller.

Bandicam can also record continuously for over 24 hours without stopping, and produces video at resolutions of up to 2560×1600 pixels. That’s the equivalent of 1080p HD video.

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Given that Bandicam promises to work nicely with limited hardware, I decided to put this to the test, pitting it against an aging Lenovo laptop. This machine is packing an AMD APU, 8GB of RAM and a meagre 120GB solid-state drive. Hardly a speed demon.

Configuring Bandicam

Although, Bandicam works out of the box, you can make a number of tweaks that will fundamentally alter how Bandicamp outputs videos and how it records activity.

bandicam-codecs

Changing the video and audio codecs used in the outputted files is trivial, although the range of codecs bundled with the product aren’t terribly impressive. On the other hand, it is possible to use an external video codec, if you so wish. Audio codecs available are limited to MPEG-1 and Pulse-code modulation. Not exactly sure what I’m talking about? Learn all about codecs here An Introduction To Codecs, Converters and Rippers An Introduction To Codecs, Converters and Rippers Read More .

bandicam-pictures

Taking screenshots of applications is a small, but important part of Bandicam. You can configure the application to take multiple screenshots, with a timed interval between each capture. You can also tell the application what codec to use when capturing photos.

Recording Games

Recording applications with Bandicam is super simple. Just click on the game or application you’re interested in, and then press record.

But what about performance? I decided to give it a try with two different games, each operating in different screen resolutions and sizes.

The first was Red Rogue. This challenging side-scrolling roguelike Roguelikes: A Unique & Challenging Spin On The RPG Genre Roguelikes: A Unique & Challenging Spin On The RPG Genre In 1980 a game called Rogue was released that spawned a whole sub-genre of role-playing games, aptly named roguelikes. The dungeon crawling game procedurally generated in-game content, providing infinite replay value by guaranteeing a different... Read More game has you descend into the dungeon of chaos, retrieve a magical amulet and return to the outside world with your prize. It runs in a windowed environment, and when recorded there’s no noticeable slowdown.

The second game recorded was Spelunky, which runs in a full-screen environment. This Japanese cave adventure game has you exploring a series of caves whilst collecting treasure, saving damsels and dodging traps.

Here, my moribund laptop started groaning uncomfortably under the weight of the game and Bandicam, resulting in an almost unplayable gaming experience. This suggests that Bandicam can reduce performance when faced with the task of capturing high resolution or full screen video.

Recording Screen Selections

It’s never been much of a challenge to record the entirety of a screen, or an application. But what about individual selections of a screen?

bandicam-capture

Thankfully, Bandicam makes it easy to record a selection of a screen. Handy if you’re trying to demonstrate an individual part of an application, or are trying to record a browser-based video game.

I tried this out by recording myself playing One Chance by Awkward Silence Games. This interesting Flash game puts you in the shoes of a biologist trying to save the world from a virus that would end all life on earth in a matter of days.

As you can see, there was no obvious slowdown. Sound was captured in its entirety, and didn’t feel obviously laggy or distorted. For recording browser based games, it’s hard to think of anything better.

Other Uses For Bandicam

It’s not just for creating screencasts. Bandicam can be used to create educational material, and even recording the likes of BBC iPlayer and Hulu. You can make your screencasts even better Make The Perfect Screencast With These 6 Great Tips Make The Perfect Screencast With These 6 Great Tips Read More  with these tips.

Ever used Bandicam? Are you a vlogger who has came to depend on Bandicam? Tell me all about it. The comments box is below.

Image Credits: video camera Via Shutterstock

  1. Anna L
    July 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    When can we expect Bandicam at MakeUseOf Rewards?

    • Matthew H
      July 27, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Right now! Go, go go!

  2. Lee
    July 9, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Can you no longer redeem this on the rewards site? It just says "No rewards left" under Bandicam.

    • Matthew H
      July 27, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Er, how about now? To be fair, we do have a limited stock of some rewards.

  3. Matthew U
    July 8, 2014 at 6:10 am

    It's not on the rewards program yet

    • Matthew H
      July 27, 2014 at 11:36 am

      It is now!

  4. Testuser
    July 8, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Nice to see a recommendation for this with this program :) I'm using it since 2 years when someone told me about it when I was looking for a nice Fraps alternative. And I'm still amazed of it's features and possibilities to use it for non-gaming recordings. Personally I love it because it's able to limit FPS in games (I hate wasted energy and heat) and it's great performance while recording. I'm using it in combination with Avidemux or Virtualdub because I'm mostly recording in games in hope to see something unusual, and it was great so far. When I see something unusual I'm pressing the screenshot key to see where it was exactly later. For me it's a great alternative to Shadowplay, I'm an AMD user.

    • Matthew H
      July 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Nice. I should add that I use a mac for about 80% of my general computing. When I need to record my screen, I tend to use Quicktime.

  5. Flatlinebb
    July 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    " resolutions of up to 2560×1600 pixels. That’s the equivalent of 1080p HD video."

    1080p video is at resolution of 1920x1080. That's not equivalent to 2560x1600 pixels.

    • Matthew H
      July 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Ah, good catch.

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