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Review: Camtasia Studio screen capture

Camtasia Studio is for any individual, SMB, or enterprise needing to create desktop screen captures for training, PR, or any other purpose.

Whether you are creating training material or demonstrating a software feature on line, one of the better tools for this job is TechSmith's Camtasia Studio. Camtasia allows you not only to record your desktop, it also allows you to edit your newly created video, and save it in multiple formats. Camtasia is one of the only desktop recording applications that adapts to your work flow by keeping track of where the on screen action is taking place. With SmartFocus, Camtasia makes your final editing process much easier and quicker.

Specifications

  • System requirements:
    • Microsoft Windows XP or greater
    • Microsoft DirectX 9 or greater
    • 1.0GHz processor minimum; Recommended: 2.0GHz
    • 500MB RAM minimum; Recommended: 2.0GB
    • 115MB of hard-disk space (minimum)
  • Optional requirements:
    • Camtasia Studio Add-in for PowerPoint
    • Apple QuickTime 7.2 or greater
    • Dedicated Windows-compatible sound card, microphone and speakers
    • Camera video recording requires a USB Camera (for camera video recordings)
  • Price: $299
  • Additional vendor information
  • TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

Camtasia Studio is for any individual, SMB, or enterprise needing to create desktop screen captures for training, public relations, or any other purpose.

What problem does it solve?

Camtasia moves the user away from creating amateur screen captures and raises their work to a much more professional level. And with the ability to edit your screen captures, you can keep the focus of the video on the key aspects of the work.

Standout features

  • SmartFocus keeps focus on actual work
  • Independent audio and video editing
  • Hot keys
  • Reuse any self-contained .mov or MPEG 4 video
  • 3D tilt perspective
  • Precision transition timing and fade out control
  • Free screencast.com account (for sharing videos)

What's wrong?

Although recording a screen cast is simple with Camtasia (you'll be recording your desktop without reading a single word of the manual), making your edits will require a sound knowledge of the editing studio. If you are hoping to create professional-looking screen captures out of the box, you may be disappointed and should probably make plenty of time to go over the editing section of the manual. Although the price is not on the level of Adobe Captivate, the $299.00 price tag will turn many users off.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you are looking for one of the finest screen capture tools available, you need look no further than Camtasia Studio. Although the editing tools are far more complicated than capturing a screencast (as one would expect them to be), you can have professional looking screen captures in no time. With Camtasia you will not find the lag so often associated with lesser screen capture tools. And with a price resting nicely at over half the cost of the Adobe alternative, Camtasia Studio is a much more accessible solution for SMBs and individual users.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Camtasia Studio? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

5 comments
singsonj
singsonj

is this different from PowerDirector 8? I need something for presentations

cmg21228
cmg21228

Don't forget that one of the best features of Camtasia Studio 6 is the option for Picture-In-Picture making it ideal for "lecture capture" or "meeting capture" and allowing for true stand-alone tutorials....

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What applications do you use for screen captures?

knudson
knudson

I used Cam for a number of things, screen capture and editing were simple and relatively straightforward. I did find that sometimes to optimize the output, size and/or quality, was a bit trickie. And I'm a techie, although not big into audio or video stuff. The end result was well worth it though. Although I only used their E-mail support it gets nothing but A+ marks from me.

VtNonna
VtNonna

Are you asking how one would use a screen capture, or are you asking about other applications that do screen capture? Assuming the first is your question, I use Camtasia when creating a training video on Excel basics to capture what I'm demonstrating at the time: creating a formula, sorting data, formatting a cell, etc. It will capture every move I make (including the mistakes but I can edit them out!)that show up on the screen.