One of the best solutions when you capturing analogue sources, using a typical Video-In card (of any kind) and programs like Virtualdub.
Once Freeware, now needs registration and cost about 28$. (I was lucky and I registered before it turned commercial :) )
It is for sure highly optimized for speed. Just imagine that it is capable to capture 640 x 480 (Pal: 576) framesize, 30 (Pal: 25) frames per second, on an "ancient" Pentium II @233Mhz!.
It supports color and grayscale Motion JPEG streams and DirectShow surfaces including YUV, YUY2, RGB for fastest display
You can also adjust compression versus quality using a slider control or specify exact settings. Use "18" in the slider and the picture is really great. Use "20" and the picture is perfect.
Because of the relation with MPEG in general, it is somehow better Huffyuv(IMHO), when you need to decompress Interlace MPEG 1 or 2 sources to Avi. Also, TMPGenc seems to like it more CCE...
A typical example of how "light" for modern CPUs this codec is:
On a PC based on a Duron 1.2Ghz CPU, I'm able to capture with virtualdub @ 352 X 576, using "19" for quality and at the same time encode with TMPGenc plus! No framedrops with Win2K!.
Just try do this with any other codec.....
Review by SatStorm
Jun 20, 2003 Version: MJPEG Codec v2
OS: Win2K Ease of use: 10/10
Value for money: 10/10
Out of all the codecs I have used when capturing to .avi, PicVideo M-JPEG is the best. It has very low CPU consumption and produces smooth, block free, vivid colour and captures at DVD resolutions with ease. It handles high motion scenes very well indeed and the file sizes it produces are quite reasonable, providing you set the quality setting to 18. I HIGHLY recommend this codec!
Review by Ego_Shredder
Jun 16, 2003 Version: 22.214.171.124
OS: Win98 Ease of use: 10/10
Value for money: 7/10