NCH Software offers a lot video editing tools for both Mac and Windows users. Debut is one of – one screen recorder that allows you to capture your screen, webcam and audio in one go, for a very reasonable price if you upgrade from the free version.
in our last Debut Review, we called it “an incredibly capable free screen recorder,” packed with features, such as scheduled recording, that you’d normally associate with premium paid software. It was then highly recommended. But how is Debut Video Capture faring in 2022?
NCH Software Debut Video Capture: Pricing
- Free for personal use, subscription or lifetime commercial use license
As you might expect, this is software that you have to pay for, but you might be surprised to learn that if your needs are solely for personal use, this is actually a free screen recorder.
Download the software from the Debut video recording (opens in new tab) homepage and you see this quote: “Get it Free. A free version of Debut video recording software is available for non-commercial use only. If you are going to use Debut at home, you can download the free version here. No registration required.”
Be warned: Every time you launch the screen recorder app, you will receive constant reminders to confirm your non-commercial status.
There are several different editions of the software. However, we have searched the NCH website and have not been able to find any comparisons between the different options offered to you. For example, there is a Home Edition – which is also not for commercial use – that claims to offer more tools than those in the free download. But the site doesn’t list what these are.
The Pro edition, which supposedly has even more tools to offer, gives you a commercial license, meaning you can take advantage of the screenshots you take.
You also have a subscription option. This subscription is billed quarterly and includes all future upgrades. If you prefer to rent your software, this can provide real value.
NCH Software Debut Video Capture: Interface
- So many options can be a bit overwhelming for newbies
At first glance, Debut’s interface isn’t particularly stylish. It feels extremely dated, like straight out of the 90s, with large square buttons at the top filled with what appear to be low-resolution icons. It is not the best introduction to the free screen recording software.
But what it lacks in style it makes up for in options. There are so many.
You’ll find tools to capture the entire screen, narrow it down to a cropped portion of that screen, or just select one open window.
You can control your webcam, choose the resolution, decide to make it full screen or overlay.
You have the option to connect other devices and record from there, even over a network, and if you have more than one screen connected to your computer, you can choose which screen you want to focus on.
This is all very impressive, especially for software that is free (or, if your usage requires it, relatively cheap compared to competitors like Camtasia, EaseUS RecExpertsand FlashBack Express).
You’ll also find a handful of VFX. This includes adding text captions and watermark imagery. There’s also a green screen tool and a handful of color filters (black and white, negative, and sepia).
Keep in mind, however, that these effects are applied during the recording process. So that means you can’t change them afterwards, which limits their usability and versatility. Still, having tools is better than not having them.
Go to the Preferences tab to see all the ways you can customize the software. These are conveniently divided into categories, such as video, audio, hotkeys, cursor, and so on. There’s even an option to schedule your screen recordings, and even have that happen regularly.
We do like the option to show mouse clicks, as it can really help when creating a video to explain how something works.
But we recognize that so many options can feel intimidating, especially if you’re new to screen recording software.
The good news is that all you have to do is press the red Record button to start a new video (by default, this captures your entire screen). You may worry about the fine-tuning as you become more familiar with the software.
NCH Software Debut Video Capture: Recording
- Great on a PC, audio issues on a Mac
When it works, Debut Video Capture works great. We were able to capture video, record the audio from the computer, have our webcam overlay – everything worked as expected.
The video streams are recorded separately and it is recommended that you wear headphones so that the audio from the computer does not overflow into the audio from your microphone. But this is the standard rate for screen recording programs.
You will be given the option to do ‘quick selection’. For example, it is recommended when capturing gameplay to ensure you get the highest frame rate while recording. We found that this setting produced better results everywhere, so we kept it as the default for all future shots.
There is one major caveat though: this is all fine on the PC, but we ran into a pretty big problem when trying to do the same thing on the Mac.
It wasn’t the images – they were fine, as was the webcam. The problem we had was with the audio. No matter what we tried, we couldn’t get the software to record audio coming from the Mac itself.
One solution we eventually came up with was to record it through the microphone, but that’s far from ideal, leading to much lower quality audio (and the need for a post-production audio editor). And we found that it was impossible to take it apart from whatever we wanted to say.
Your mileage may of course vary. Perhaps one magic button was hidden from view, as we had no similar problems trying out competing software. Unfortunately, our experience during the review was marred by this.
NCH Software Debut Video Recording: Editing
- Top and tail your video, like a green bean… but that’s about it
Other than being able to trim the beginning and end of a clip, you don’t have any editing options here. That puts Debut Video Capture on a par with even some of the best free screen recorders. But it’s a disappointing miss in hit-packed software.
Fortunately, since your recordings are saved separately, your clips are ready to be edited elsewhere. You even have plenty of format options when it comes to exporting them.
By itself, Debut Video Capture isn’t meant to edit your footage, but NCH Software doesn’t shy away from being VideoPad video editing software packages, if you need one.
NCH Software Debut Video Capture: Scorecard
|Prices||Free for personal use, budget pricing for commercial use||4|
|Couple||So full of great features it might overwhelm||4|
|Record||Great on PC, audio issues on Mac||3|
|To process||Besides no video editing tools||1|