If you haven’t tried Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 (available here,) Microsoft finally put back the ability to record direct from the webcam:


The last time this was seen was in Windows Movie Maker for XP.

Capturing direct from webcam is fortunately very simple and works better than it did in Movie Maker XP, however there are a few things you should be aware of:

Changing audio settings

This is done via Options:


…and then Webcam from the left:


This is important to know just in case you decide to use an alternative USB or headset microphone instead of the one built-in to the webcam.

Changing webcam settings

You’ll notice when going to capture there are no webcam settings within WLMM 2011. That’s done on purpose so you can use your proprietary webcam software to do it with. For example, if you have a Logitech webcam, the bundled software is "Logitech Webcam Software." Launch this but don’t launch the capture window. Start a capture with WLMM 2011 and you’ll notice the settings you modify in the Logitech software will show up in WLMM during capture as intended.

Granted, this is not the most elegant solution in the world, but this is all free software and at least Windows users have the ability once again to capture from webcam with Movie Maker instead of having to capture with something else, then import into WLMM, render everything twice, etc.