There are no better paid or free solutions for recording audio/video than the free (as in beer) OBS Studio or Shadowplay if you have an Nvidia card in your machine.
Of the two, Shadowplay often has the least overhead because it utilizes the GPU instead of the CPU, but it lacks the sheer number of options that come with OBS Studio. If you are recording gameplay that does not require the full power of your CPU, I would recommend OBS Studio because the quality that can be produced with the correct settings is superior. Be warned though, OBS Studio takes more setup time and is more complex. However if you are willing to learn, it will be considerably more useful in the long run or until Nvidia actually puts out more options.
For recording GIF animations, I recommend either Licecap or GifCam.
I have had bad luck recently with GifCam not being able to reserve more than maybe a gig in RAM, but Licecap also cannot record at the same rate and consistent quality at which GifCam can. it's pick your poison at this point, whichever you use that works for you. I don't have other recommendations because AFAIK there's no other superior alternative unless someone else in the forum can comment on that.