Best Screen Capture Software Comparison Series (Ep. 2) – Camtasia Macintosh

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If you’re jumping into this series for the first time, then you’ll want to first take a look at episode 1:  6 Of the Best Screen Capture Software – Compared (Ep. 1).  You’ll also want to subscribe so you get notified when the new updates come online.

In this episode: Camtasia (v2) for Macintosh (Camtasia 2 Mac)

For purposes of having a reasonable standard for comparison, I opted to fly above the “basic” feature sets like:  video and audio capture (duh), annotations, callouts, text overlays, and the like.  I’m conceding that each of the screen capture software programs I’ll be looking at in this series already have that ability.

Rather, what I thought would be better was to use, as a basis for comparison, those features that I don’t always see in ALL screen capture software, AND are those that I’ve found invaluable in my professional screencasts.  I also wanted to keep the list relatively short.

Features For Comparison

Ultimately, I settled on the following five simple (yet highly influential-for-user-experience) features for comparison:

  • Cursor effects and animation (e.g., being able to adjust cursor size; various options for highlighting the cursor; and so on)
  • Capacity for supporting multiple video tracks (i.e., at least 3.)  This is especially helpful for overlaying supporting visuals, websites or other guides that you otherwise verbally reference in your screencast.
  • Capacity for supporting multiple audio tracks (i.e., at least 3)  Helpful for overlaying additional or corrective narration, music tracks, hit files, etc.
  • Pixelation feature.  A simple, yet often not included, tool for masking passwords and other confidential information in video screen captures.
  • Ability to animate and keyframe (same thing?) various annotations and callouts around three axes:  x-, y-, and z-axes.

Executive Summary: How Was Camtasia for Macintosh Ranked?

  • Overall:  5
  • Cursor effects / animation:  5
  • Multiple video tracks:  5
  • Multiple audio tracks: 5
  • Pixelation: 5
  • Annotations / Callouts key-framing around 3 axes: 5

6 Of the Best Screen Capture Software – Compared (Ep. 1)


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In 5 (plus 5 more!) Tools For Creating a Screencast I listed 10 screen capture software programs you can use for video screen captures and online presentations.  But one thing we didn’t do in that article was compare them against each other.  Let’s fix that, shall we?

With this article, I’m kicking off a series that I’ve wanted to do for a while.  It answers a question I get a lot:  what’s the best screen capture software to use?  (The other one I get is, what’s the best free screen capture software?  I don’t know that we’ll necessarily set out to answer this latter one, but I will be reviewing a couple of freebies–or near freebies.)

So, over a 7-part series (beginning with this one), I’ll go on to compare 6 popular screen capture software programs.  In the video above, I list the criteria we’ll be using as benchmarks for the comparison.

Let me know if there are other criteria or features you think are worth comparing.