Moving Away from Camtasia Studio?

By July 19, 2016 Software, Tutorial, Video

Introduction:

Screen recording software is available in many different flavours. They’re all essentially the same kind of thing and which one you use depends on what you’re producing and what you’re main focus is. If you’re a gamer, you might prefer something like Fraps or Shadowplay or maybe Bandicam. If you’re more about tutorials and distance education, then you will have undoubtedly come across Camstudio (free) or the extremely well established Camtasia Studio from Techsmith (not related to Camstudio despite the name).

Moving Away From Camtasia?

I have always opted for Camtasia Studio and have also invested in a licence for this software (it’s not cheap but is reasonable for what it does). It’s well thought through and the workflow for creating good presentation material is about as slick as it could be. The video above, however, looks at why I’m starting to move away from using Camtasia and considering using Bandicam as an alternative. Camtasia is starting to feel like an old 5 star hotel. Truly excellent at what it does but starting to look a bit old and tired. I also show here how you can use the excellent Techsmith codec in Bandicam but at a much more respectable 2560x1440px which is way above what Camtasia can support (with a Camtasia license). For this though, you will need an external editor as the Studio software is also limited resolution wise. All a bit rubbish really.

My main gripe here is that Techsmith don’t really seem to be developing the Camtasia platform much. Updates are few and far between. They have still not implemented support for anything over FHD despite a community of gamers, educators and even video professionals requesting this feature for years now. Even the long past upgrade from v.7 to v.8 didn’t really offer anything spectacular in terms of more 2016’esque presentation and graphic design standards. Camtasia Studio is basically a very simple video editing tool. It has specialist presentation features built in as standard but that’s really it. This is not a bad thing. It attracts those who don’t have access to or the desire to learn or work with a more in depth nonlinear editor (NLE) such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. It also has a market of gamers out there who find this a more flexible tool to use. They can either edit videos captured elsewhere or to actually capture action (though for technical reasons, it’s not really best for this). Then there are people like me…the tutorialists (this is not a real word but it should be) for whom it is ideal in so many ways.

In Summary:

In short, Techsmith have an amazing product. However, it needs 2K and UHD support and an update to the dreadfully Word 2000 library of graphics and callouts. I almost expect a paperclip to say, “Hello!” to me sometimes. Some of you may understand that reference but a very re-assuring increasing number will not.

If you are a Camtasia user or can suggest better alternatives or methods, I’d love to hear from you.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Troy Stein says:

    Hi Torsten, thanks for the generous compliments and the gentle prompting to improve recording frame rates. I checked with our lead engineer about Camtasia’s recording work that we are doing for Camtasia Studio 9. Here’s what he wrote: “For recording/recorder, CS9 uses the similar engine as it was in CS 8.6, except we fixed some bugs, syncing issues etc. For an average computer (i5 CPU based on out paid users), 4K resolution recording would not be ideal, usually less than 10fps. 2K recordings would be better, ~20fps usually. If you have a better hardware, eg: i7 CPU, 2K recording would be close to 30fps depending on the content (motion intensive or not).”
    I wish I could promise 4k / 60fps recordings in the very next release, but I can’t. But, its on our radar. Thanks for making an articulate and impassioned pitch. Feel free to reach out to me at any time. And if you’re open to a visit, I’m going to be in wessex in September and would love to meet a true tutorialist. :)
    Troy Stein, Camtasia Product Director

    • Torsten says:

      Hi Troy,

      Many thanks for responding and thanks for reading and checking into and sharing a little about your roadmap.

      For me personally, frame rate is not important. 60fps looks nice on certain types of filming and is much nicer in most gaming captures but it’s a little overkill for tutorials and presentations…particularly as YouTube still doesn’t re-encode and offer viewers the option of lower frame rates. WQHD footage at 60fps is still pretty CPU intensive to watch (though I did this video in 60fps more to demonstrate requirements :-) ).

      I actually did a tutorial demonstration in DCI 4K a while back to also show that, in my opinion, UHD capture is also not really required yet either. As you say, it’s much much more intensive to capture a screen reliably at that resolution, let alone deliver it. My web analytics reveal that out of people who look at this site, only 0.5% of those people are using a UHD screen.

      My main move is to WQHD (2560x1440px) (about 7% of users). It allows me technically nearly twice as much space to demonstrate software that requires screen real-estate such as Davinci Resolve, Lightroom, Premiere Pro etc. while remaining clear to see on e.g. an iPhone 6 screen. This would be a wonderful addition to Camtasia as capturing at this resolution together with the zoom & pan, cursor, callouts etc. of Camtasia Studio would be a perfect match for at least the next 2-3 years in my view (gamers may want more though I can imagine that is not your target).

      Will version 9 be a paid upgrade or available to owners of 8.6?

      Thanks again,

      Torsten.

    • Ethan says:

      For making tutorials on a budget, what do you think about pairing Bandicam with AVS Video Editor?

      Before purchasing Camtasia Studio I’m concerned about obsolescence when version 9 comes out, so I’m hopeful Techsmith replies to your question about version 8.6 to 9 upgrades.

      • Torsten says:

        Hi Ethan – Sorry for the delay in responding to you. Bandicam and AVS would be a great combo. Bandicam isn’t perfect but it’s regularly updated and outputs standard format video files. Upgrades between major Camtasia releases will unfortunately be chargeable. Not sure how much yet but probably 50% discount. Not certain if they’ve confirmed that yet. I’m not mad keen on spending another $150 but it’s an investment so doesn’t hurt as much :-)

      • Torsten says:

        Techsmith have confirmed that Camtasia upgrade pricing will be 50% discount with all current owners of Camtasia.

  • Paul Irvine says:

    Hey guys,

    So Camtasia 9 now supports 2K/4K and UHD along with some other cool stuff you could only find on the higher end platforms like After Effects and Premier Pro.

    And as an additional sweetner, 60fps is due for release in Camtasia 9.1 which hopefully is just around the corner.

    I’ve broken everything down in my review which you can see here:
    https://paul-irvine.com/software/camtasia-9-review

    • Torsten says:

      Really nice review and I totally agree. I have added an update to this covering my first impressions. It’s pretty positive and I am a happy Camtasia user again!

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