Screen capture and screen recording technology have both taken the art of video production and sharing to new heights. The concept of making a video from an already existing video straight from the screen is remarkable.
Those who are old enough to have used the first sets of commercially produced computers would have never dreamt of such an innovation. However, all this wouldn’t be possible without the right software.
While there are several flag bearers of this technology, two are among the most popular; OBS and Bandicam.
Both are awesome, thanks to their groundbreaking features. But there’s always going to be a winner.
That’s why I’ve created this article—to outline the features of Bandicam vs OBS—head to head.
If you’re caught at crossroads regarding which of these screen recording technologies is best for you, then you’re in luck. I’m here to help you make that decision.
How? By doing an in-depth, unbiased comparison, which will give you better insight into both software, their main features, pros, and cons. The information provided here will help your decision making.
So, let’s dive in!
Bandicam is a closed-source screen capture/screen recording software, which was initially conceived by Bandisoft, before being further developed by Bandicam Company.
Typically, Bandicam allows you to take screenshots and record screen changes and you can do this via 3 unique modes.
Screen Recording Mode – This mode allows you to record a specific area on your PC screen.
Game Recording Mode – This mode allows you to record the target created in DirectX or OpenGL.
Device Recording Mode – With this mode, you can record webcams and other HDMI devices.
But that’s not all.
The frames per second (FPS) count is clearly displayed in the corner of your screen while the DirectX and OpenGL windows are in active mode.
You can find Bandicam’s FPS count in two colors, which both have their unique meanings.
If you find the FPS count in green, it implies that the software is prepared to record. As the recording begins, the color of the FPS count switches to red.
While the program is recording on the screen (on recording mode), the FPS count will become invisible. Bandicam’s frame rate can go as high as 480 frames per second.
You can get a Bandicam screen recorder with a one-time payment of $39.95.
It also comes with a free version with limited features. So, the free trial version doesn’t have nearly as much functionality as the main version.
Also, every video made with the free trial version carries the Bandicam watermark at the top.
Plus, the free trial version doesn’t allow you to record videos longer than 10 minutes.
Unlike Bandicam, the Open Broadcaster Software, popularly called OBS, is an open-source software suite. Similarly, it can be used for screen recording, as well as live streaming.
It is written in C, C ++, and Qt, and it offers you real-time device capture, encoding, scene composition, broadcasting, and recording.
All this data transmission is made possible, thanks to its Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), which lets you send data to any other RTMP supporting programs. These include most presets used on streaming platforms such as Instagram, Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube.
The OBS studio has the ability to use the x264 free software library for the purpose of encoding videos. It can also use the Intel Quick Sync Video, AMD video coding engine, and Nvidia NVENC to encode video streams into the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format and the H.265/HEVC format.
If you wish to encode multiple audio tracks on OBS, you can do so using the AAC codec. For more advanced users, you can decide to use any codec or container available in libavcodec or libavformat. You can also choose to output the stream to a custom FFmpeg URL.
The OBS recorder is 100% free, and it doesn’t have a trial version.
Now that you have a fair idea of what these two screen recording software bring to the table, let’s turn it up a notch and see how they fare against each other in various aspects.
Here, I’ll be talking about the installation process of Bandicam and OBS.
To enjoy the benefits of any software, you have to install it first. So, how easy is it to install the Bandicam Recorder software?
Pretty straightforward if you ask me. Here are the steps to take.
1. Visit Bandicam’s official website and purchase/download the software.
2. Choose your installer language from the list.
3. Set up Windows.
4. Read the license agreement.
5. Choose components.
6. Select your preferred installation location.
7. Finish the installation.
8. Launch the Bandicam program.
Installing the Open Broadcaster Software is fairly easy too. It requires a few simple steps to get it done.
They are as follows:
1. Open your favorite browser then go to the OBS studio website.
2. Download the software.
3. Open the OBS file after the download is completed.
4. Then, click “Open”.
5. Click “next”.
6. Take a quick look at the terms of agreement (study it carefully). Once you’ve understood the terms and are willing to proceed, click “I Agree”.
7. Choose your usage information.
8. Click “Next”.
9. Choose the best resolution for your laptop.
Installing both software is pretty much as easy as other screen recording software. They are both uncomplicated, and first-timers can get to it quickly and easily.
In this regard, I’d say they are both tied.
Good interfaces allow you to enjoy the best of your newly installed software. So, how do Bandicam or OBS fare against each other interface-wise?
Let’s take a look.
Bandicam’s interface is very easy to work with. Besides recording, you will find that capturing screenshots can be done easily too.
Even when using a high-quality compression rate, you will still achieve good recording quality.
Bandicam’s overall interface is quite robust, and this allows you to seamlessly capture your snapshots and record your videos off your computer screen.
The more recent version of the Bandicam software, called Bandicut 3.6, boasts a high-quality video editor program, and an equally awesome user interface and video speed function.
The screen recording options are also quite impressive. They are clearly visible and easy to use.
In all honesty, OBS’s interface reeks of intimidation. Hence, you need to read through a tutorial guide before you begin.
Locating the record and snap buttons can also be a hassle, especially for first-time users. However, the more you use it, the more familiar you become.
Being free software, you would expect that it would have a more simplistic interface. One that can allow you to easily share or stream your videos across platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and Facebook.
To get the best out of the OBS Recorder interface, I advise you to download the most compatible version according to your system’s configuration.
With the OBS interface, it’s pretty hard for newbies to figure out how to record the screen or window. The fact that you even need a tutorial to get started pins the “complicated” tag all over it.
Users who want to execute simple projects would agree that OBS’s interface is nothing but overkill.
On the flipside, Bandicam’s interface is as user-friendly as you would like. No complications and no hassles whatsoever.
That being said, you already know who I’m crowning the winner of this round.
Bandicam takes the lead here.
Besides image quality, another aspect of screen capture that is very vital is the audio (in terms of audio quality, ease of setup, and ease of use).
Both Bandicam and OBS record audio during the screen capture process, but who fares better?
Let’s find out.
It’s already an established fact that you can easily capture your computer screen using the Bandicam software. As for the audio, this program does pretty well in that area too.
With Bandicam’s screencast function, you can capture your system sound, microphone, and audio, while recording your computer screen.
To Bandicam’s credit, you can record for as long as 24 hours without any glitches or breaks. That’s fair enough if you ask me!
Recording audio in Bandicam is quite easy. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way.
- Start Bandicam
- Go to video (settings)
- Choose “default sound device” and “microphone” at the “recording settings” menu
- Click the “two sound mixing” option
One of the sweetest aspects of OBS’s audio recording is that you can record multiple channels at the same time and still achieve crystal clear output.
You know what this means right? You can capture commentators, video conferences, and the like simultaneously. To add to that, you can also get several video sources like webcams, as well as different camera angles.
OBS’s audio recording feature helps you achieve a more professional video finish, which you can integrate into several streaming platforms like Twitch, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
The audio setup process is easy too. All you have to do is –
- Install the OBS software
- Create your new scene and insert your preferred sources
- Begin recording
Bandicam’s ability to record audio for 24 hours may seem impressive, but it’s really not. I’m saying this for 2 reasons.
First of all, the trial version doesn’t allow you to do any recording above 10 minutes. This means if you must enjoy the 24 hour recording time, you’ll have to spend $39.95 buying the main version.
On the flip side, OBS is free, so your money stays in your pocket. But the most amazing part about this tool’s recording is the “no time limit” feature—it comes with. You can record for as long as your system can carry.
OBS has the ability to record multiple channels at the same time, and the overall professional audio touch gives it the edge over Bandicam audio-wise.
OBS wins this one for me.
Let’s not forget, we’re talking about screen recordings here, which means image quality is a yardstick we have to measure these two programs by.
Bandicam has a decent image quality, and you can modify the settings once you have the software installed.
All you have to do is go to the Bandicam video format settings, and increase or decrease the video quality value between the range of 80 to 100. Tweaking this setting will help you get the best possible video quality that Bandicam has to offer.
In the video settings menu, you will also be able to do the following –
- Change the video size
- Change the video codec
- Adjust the FPS
Bandicam has a standard resolution of 1920 X 1080, which is typical of its trial version. However, the main version boasts 4k video recording support, as well as 120 FPS game recording with GPU hardware acceleration.
Similar to Bandicam, OBS also offers a high definition resolution of 1080 and an ultra-high-definition 4k resolution.
The manufacturers recommend that you use a 16:9 aspect ratio to achieve a 1920 X 1080 resolution.
Bandicam and OBS offer their users the exact same image quality in 1080 and 4k resolution. This one’s a no-brainer.
It’s a draw!
Let’s find out how compatible these two software are across different operating systems.
To use Bandicam, you need to have an operating system of Windows Vista 7, 8, or 10 (32 bit or 64 bit).
Bandicam 2.3.1 can be used on Windows XP, but that’s where it ends. You cannot use this software on another operating system.
Thankfully, Windows OS is one of the most popular in the world, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Just like Bandicam, OBS can also function on the Windows operating system. However, it can also run on Linux and Mac operating systems.
OBS scores extra points for the fact it can operate on more systems than just Windows. Linux and Mac users would appreciate this.
OBS wins this round.
Since YouTube is the largest video-sharing platform in the world, I can’t help but pair these two up in terms of YouTube sharing.
After recording your videos on Bandicam, you can easily share them on YouTube without the need for any format conversion.
You can share your 1080p HD or 4k UHD video directly to YouTube with a single click.
You can also share your OBS-made videos on YouTube with relative ease. There’s just one downside, you will need to convert the video first using an OBS file converter.
File conversion can be a real headache for some users, especially first-timers. And since Bandicam saves you the stress of converting before sharing, I give it the win over OBS in this round, once again.
What good is software if it can’t offer you a smooth and seamless overall performance?
Let’s see how high OBS and Bandicam rank in this regard.
Let’s start off with Bandicam’s frames per second offering. From my research, I discovered that this software offers you a higher FPS. This allows you to create higher-quality, more natural-looking videos.
Let’s face it, the kind of technological advancements we continue to witness in the modern day have prompted users to lean towards higher FPS.
With Bandicam, you can record your gameplay at an FPS as high as 480. The best part is, you can achieve a higher FPS on Bandicam, but you’ll have to minimize your resolution during recording.
Besides its FPS offering, Bandicam has the ability to record external video devices like smartphones, webcams, PlayStations, Xboxes, and so on.
It offers you more than enough options and so many user-friendly features.
Since OBS is an open-source, free streaming software, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume it is lightweight and fairly easy to use in general. If this is your assumption, then you’re 100% correct!
It’s true that the interface may seem daunting at first, but you’ll be inclined to pardon the manufacturers along the line. That is after you’ve tried your hands at it and discovered that it isn’t that hard to get around.
In short, I came across some user reviews, which implied that OBS has better all-around functionality than Bandicam.
While this could be chalked off as mere opinions, I can’t ignore the fact that OBS has a customized version, which offers you a ton of easy-to-use features.
Included among these features are:
- An automated live streaming setup for broadcasters
- Secure and easy video uploading features
- A special mode for game capturing
- Ability to insert various images, even while you’re recording
- Source support (including webcams, desktops, web pages, video via capture cards, and images & GIFs
This is definitely a tough call. What OBS lacks in Bandicam’s 480 FPS and ability to record external video devices, they make up for it in source support, easy upload features, and automated live stream setups.
Both of them have superb overall performances, I guess that’s why they’re both popular right?
I call this round a draw!
I won’t take too much time analyzing and calling this round, since the winner is already obvious. But, let’s fulfill all obligations and do a quick rundown.
Bandicam is a closed-source suite, and it costs $39.95 (one-time payment). There is a free trial version but that doesn’t have any features worth boasting about.
OBS is 100% free, and it is loaded with all the features needed to work with.
OBS is free, OBS wins!
Here are the key similarities between Bandicam and OBS software.
- They both integrate well with video streaming platforms like YouTube
- They both have 4k resolution
- They both record audio
- Both can run on Windows OS
- OBS can run on Linux and Mac operating systems, Bandicam cannot
- You can share Bandicam videos to YouTube without conversion but you can’t do the same with OBS
- OBS allows multi-track recording, Bandicam does not
- OBS is free and open-source, Bandicam is closed-source and costs $39.95
- Multi-screen recording
- You can draw in real-time while recording
- You can add boxes, arrows, and numbers while you record
- Webcam overlay as you record
- Free trial version has a watermark
- Only runs on Windows
- Free trial version cannot record more than 10 minutes
- Can record in many popular formats
- It’s free and open-source
- It’s great for high-performance game streaming
- You can create your unique plugin using OBS’s API
- It can be run on Windows, Linux, and Mac
- Unlimited number of scenes and sources
- You need a tutorial before you begin (thanks to its more complicated interface)
- Videos need to be converted before sharing on YouTube
So, we’ve come to the end of this comparison article; Bandicam vs OBS and it’s time to pick a winner. Both OBS and Bandicam are great video screen recording apps, but the overall winner is OBS.
The reasons are simple!
First off, it’s free.
But price isn’t the only factor here, as OBS also allows you to record videos in several formats like flv, mkv, and mp4.
It also gives you full control over the bitrate. Even though you need to convert the videos before sharing them to YouTube, it takes less than a minute to upload.
Then, add OBS’s unlimited multi-track recording into the mix and it’s a wrap!
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.