Tech & Work

Five versatile web camera recorders

Recorded web cam video is used for everything from instructional videos to YouTube posts, make sure you have the right tools.

Web cams are great for video conferencing, but they have other uses. Recorded Web cam video is used for everything from instructional videos to YouTube posts. This article lists five utilities that can record Web cam video.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Five Apps

1. Debut Video Recording Software

Debut Video Recording Software Professional Version is much more than just a utility for capturing video from a Web cam. The software can actually capture video of anything that happens to be on your screen. You can even configure the output file type. As if that weren't enough, the software lets you schedule recordings and create snapshots of what you record.

The software sells for $60, but there is a 14 day free trial available for download.

2. Active WebCam

Active Webcam is an application for recording the output from any number of Webcams. The Web cams can be locally connected to the computer (such as a USB camera) or they can be Web based.

Besides basic recording capabilities, the software offers a number of other nice features. For instance, you can perform motion based recording. If the software detects motion on a camera it can send you an E-mail message alerting you to the activity. The software also has the ability to create Web pages and to do some low end video editing.

The software sells for $29.00, but a free trial is available for download.

3. Webcam Video Capture

Webcam Video Capture is a basic tool for capturing the output of a Web cam. The software lets you set the output frame rate and choose the video codec to use, and you can also set the capture area. Aside from that the software doesn't have a lot of features. Even so, the software does one thing and does it well.

Webcam Video Capture sells for $19.95, but a free trial version is available for download.

4. ArcSoft WebCam Companion

ArcSoft Web Companion could best be described as a utility for having fun with your Web cam. Yes the software can capture Web cam output, but it can also do a lot more. For starters, the software supports 3D captures.

Another cool feature is something called Masque, which lets you morph your face into another. The Fun Frame feature lets you capture a Web cam image and place it within a decorative template frame. Finally, the Monitor utility lets you use your Web cam as a motion detector.

The software sells for $34.99, but a free fifteen day trial is available for download.

5. LiteCam

LiteCam is a different type of Web cam utility. While many such utilities are simply designed to let you record and / or manipulate Web cam images, LiteCam puts your Web cam to work in other ways.

The software is actually more of a screen recorder than a Web cam recorder. The software is designed to record anything that is displayed on your computer screen, and is optimized for recording games. Although screen recording is the software's major function, it also supports Web cam recording and even offers a picture in picture feature that allows you to create videos that use both screen capture video and Web cam video.

LiteCam sells for $34.00, but a free trial version is available for download.

Also read:


Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.


Nobody at techrepublic ever heard of yawcam?? it is free and on sourceforge. ..and and at least as good as the others here..


This software fails on installation on a Win 7 laptop. Did a quick search on the error message and there seems to be a very high number of complaints on cycle stealing, bad driver(s) and general system problems with this software.


Unsure if there are any free ones [I'm sure there are] but some apps you have may already have it built in. In particularly any video editing software from Roxio, Corel, Nero, etc.


If ArcSoft's support for their WebCam Companion is comparable to their support for their bundled software that comes with Kodak's Zi8 camera, it equals a big "zero." There is no way to reach a live person, either by phone or the USPS. So, consider yourself having been "warned."

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson

I've been using VisionGS from an independent German programmer for nearly a decade. It supports nearly any video source. How I currently use it: An old XP Pro based notebook with minimal resources running unattended 24X7 3 IP based cameras (each a different brand and I started out with a USB camera) VisionGS uploads one frame from each camera to a web site every 5 minutes. One of the cameras has an elaborate overlay including a logo and is a prominent public link on the site. Each camera has its own customized mask and only motion within that masked area of the frame is detected. Motion outside the mask is ignored. (e.g. people on a public sidewalk are ignored, but a person at the door is not) Detected motion triggers a 30 second (customizable) recorded video stored locally and a single frame sent via email. and there are many more options which I am not using.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Are you using web cameras in interesting ways - we'd like to hear about it? What tools do you use?

Editor's Picks