For a long time I have used "Acer Crystal Eye Webcam" to take photos and videos with my Acer Laptop webcam. However, this software isn't really flexible, it shows the screen only in a fixed size window, creates lossy JPEG images and probably won't run with other webcams I will have in the future.

I need an alternative with the following features:

  • free (no shareware)
  • compatible with Windows 8
  • see the connected Webcam's image in real time
  • take images of it (perfect would be if I can choose in which quality / format)
  • take videos of it (perfect would be with sound from a sound input like microphone)

3 Answers 3


VLC media player

  • Free (Opensource!)
  • Compatible with Windows 8
  • Display of the webcam's image in real time
  • Snapshots are possible (as far as I know, you can only choose between two the output formats JPG and PNG)
  • Recording of videos, including a selectable audio channel, is also possible

Instructions for recording a video

  1. Menu 'Media' --> 'Convert / Save'.

  2. Select the tab 'Capture Device'. Choose your video and audio devices. Click 'Convert / Save'.

  3. Choose Video - WMV + WMA (ASF) as the profile and select a destination file. Note: you can later safely rename *.asf to *.wmv.

  4. Click the stop button (the square) if you are finished.


  1. Menu 'Media' --> 'Convert / Save'.
  2. Select the tab 'Capture Device'. Choose your video and audio devices. Click 'Convert / Save'.
  3. Choose Video - WMV + WMA (ASF) as the profile and select a destination file. Note: you can later safely rename *.asf to *.wmv.
  4. Click the stop button (the square) if you are finished.
  • 1
    This must be one of those features noone knows about? :) Since I have it portable lying around anyways and it's also fulfilling some other jobs for watching video, this would get my bounty soon...
    – Ray
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 19:29
  • Can you describe how to show the webcam, record a wmv video for example and take a PNG shot? That will make my bounty for sure :)
    – Ray
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 19:35
  • @PacMani Unfortunately, I do not have any connected webcams at the moment and it's rather late here. I'll add some screenshots tomorrow :)
    – ComFreek
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 21:13
  • @PacMani Please see my update! Ironically, I used ManyCam (as suggested by Mr. Alien) for faking the video and audio sources :P
    – ComFreek
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 10:52
  • That's actually pretty simple. You got my bounty :)
    – Ray
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 10:55

ManyCam will suit your requirements.. It's free, it covers all the features you've requested for.. Software is really excellent, I've installed on my computer as well (Windows 7 though) but it's supported on Windows 8 as well....

Below are the Features listed for the software..

Use your webcam with many applications simultaneously

Use your webcam with multiple chat applications at the same time. Use Skype, MSN, and Youtube at the same time with ManyCam's virtual webcam driver software.

Add amazing webcam effects & graphics to your videos and photos

Add thousands of amazing webcam effects and custom graphics inside any webcam application. Change your face, eyes, hair, add backgrounds, and much more!

Switch between different video sources

Quickly switch between video & audio sources with our ManyCam Pro live video studio switcher. Learn how to live stream with our video production software.

Screencast desktop and draw over video

Draw over your video window or screencast your desktop online with our software for your webcam

Add amazing microphone audio effects to your broadcast

Try our live audio effects & voice changer. Improve your microphone audio quality, make a funny high voice, low voice, or disguise your voice with any app.

Create your own webcam effects.

Create your own custom webcam effects & graphics.

Screenshot from my Computer enter image description here

Record various screens...

enter image description here

Toggle between Camera and Video

enter image description here

Set the resolution yourself, customize various options..

enter image description here

Bad point about the software - Buy else it will Watermark.

You can also try out CamStudio but there is no screenshot facility here. But rest is pretty good, it's free, it has loads of features as well.

For screenshots you have a great inbuilt functionality in Windows 8 itself.

  • 1
    Looks great! I test it a bit. I give you the bounty in a few days so others have the chance to answer too :3
    – Ray
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 8:18

When I was using a Windows 8 Computer, this software was in my opinion the best. http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/webcam-picture-taker/e80c7bf5-0fe0-467e-89e3-3a8f410db21c

It allows you take photos and Videos and has some more minor features. It's for Windows 8 and runs with nearly no crashes.

  • Sadly, Metro Apps are not available to me as I disabled UAC :/
    – Ray
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 12:53
  • I've heard that you can get around that - but haven't tried it myself/investigated security ramifications etc. and I don't have a Windows 8 box to test it on handy Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 13:06
  • Could you expand in how you think it's the best for recommendation for OP? Have you used it?
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 18:27
  • @NickWilde: These workarounds often just want you to take ownership of all your files and folders and turn UAC back on, so it just "fakes" the possibility to write and do everything everywhere, but fails for other things, so it's not really an option (except there's a new trick! :D)
    – Ray
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 7:47

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