Techsmith’s Camtasia Studio 8 – Now Truly The Rockstar In Video Screen Capture for Windows

June 19, 2012

Mel Rank - Camtasia Studio 8In Episode 3 of the Best Video Screen Capture Software Series, I had given Camtasia Studio an overall “Mel Rank” of 3.5 out of 5.  The Mel Rank is my subjective assessment of 4 advanced features that I used as a baseline to compare the professional-level capabilities of several video screen capture software packages.  (i.e., Camtasia Studio, Camtasia Macintosh, Screenflow, Jing/Snagit, Screenr, CamStudio.)

Curiously, even with  a middling score of 3.5, Camtasia Studio (v7) was still the 400 200 pound gorilla for Windows-based video screen capture software packages.  At that time, if you wanted video screen capture software that ranked all 5s, you had to shift to a Macintosh environment — opting instead for Techsmith’s Camtasia for Macintosh (Mel Rank: 5.0) or Telestream’s Screenflow (Mel Rank: 5.0).

That’s no longer the case.  The proverbial gorilla is now about 400 pounds. 🙂

Camtasia Studio 8 Delivers The Sought-After Pro Features

With today’s release of Camtasia Studio 8, Techsmith has finally stepped up the ability of Camtasia Studio to deliver the pro-level features in their Windows flagship that many of us in the industry have been clamoring for for years.  Don’t get me wrong, the old Camtasia Studio (v7) was fine for the basics — and indeed was awesome when it was first released.  But, over time, I think the expectations in the industry for similar features on the Windows platform was raised after seeing what else was possible in Mac-based software environments.  Not the least of which were features like:

  • The ability to dress up the cursor with different effects (Mel Rank: 5.0)
  • The ability to have multiple video tracks (Mel Rank: 5.0)
  • The ability to have multiple audio tracks (Mel Rank: 5.0)
  • The ability to animate callouts/annotations — including the ability to animate pixelation (blurring) effects (Mel Rank: 5.0)

(See why the effects above are important in video screen capture software.)

camtasia studio 8 sneak peek

Above is a link to a video of the sneak peek meeting Techsmith hosted last week with past interviewees of Techsmith’s weekly online program, The Forge.  Some of the key highlights include:

  • 00: 55 – Overview by Shane Lovellette, Product Manager
  • 2:39 – Demo reel
  • 4:55 – Dave O’rourke, Camtasia Studio Lead Developer’s key highlights overview — especially with discussions about the new Techsmith codec
  • 9:15 – Multiple video and audio tracks
  • 10:00 – The ease with which layering and animating other videos is now managed
  • 11:00 – Changes made to the library
  • 12:15 – Upgrades made to the ability to now animate callouts across all three axes (x-, y- and z-axes)
  • 17:10 – Grouping! This is huge, it gives the ability for you to bundle multiple clips and animate them in unison, for example
  • 19:00 – Produce and share options – including HTML5 support (so you can play your productions on iDevices)

With Camtasia Studio 8, Techsmith has definitely solidified their lead in Windows-based video screen capture software.  (And that’s without saying anything yet about today’s simultaneous release of v2.2 of their Macintosh-based Camtasia product.  [Expect a review of those features this week, as well.])  In fact, there are no other video screen capture/editor software packages in the market for Windows that I’m aware of that are even trying to seriously compete.  Check me on that: Are you aware of any?

For my part, I’m just totally tickled that everything I’ve oggled about in the Camtasia for Macintosh environment, you can now do in the Windows environment.  I recommend giving it a shot – try the 30-day free trial.  Then, let me know what you think.

(Ep. 6) Best Screen Capture Software Comparison Series – CamStudio vs. Screenr

This is the last episode in the Best Video Screen Capture Software Series.

If you’re just jumping into this series, then you’ll want to start with Episode 1: Six of the Best Screen Capture Software – Compared.  You’ll also want to subscribe to my updates on this blog so you get notified when new updates come online.

In this episode:  My recommendations about CamStudio and Screenr for video screen capture

Here’s the high level:

Two questions I get asked a lot is “…which video screen capture software do you recommend…?”  The other one is, “…are there any free software you’d recommend for recording my computer screen…?”  I answer both questions in this video.

Here’s the summary:

  • Screenr – for free video screen capture software to record Q&D-type (“quick-and-dirty”) screencasts
  • Camtasia Studio – for professional grade video screen capture software if you’re using a PC platform
  • Camtasia Mac or Screenflow – for professional grade video screen capture software if you’re using a Macintosh platform
  • Snagit – for capturing the occasional (and highly frequently used) stills on your computer screen

Related episodes:

Update: Best Screen Capture Software Series – Camtasia Mac v2.1 Now Sports a Chroma Key Effect

Camtasia Mac v2.1 - see what's newIn Episode 2 (Camtasia Mac) of the Best Screen Capture Software Series, I showed you some of the nifty features that earned Camtasia for Macintosh a Mel Rank of 5 out of 5 for professional grade video screen capture software tools.  With this week’s version 2.1 update, they (the cool kids at Techsmith) have kicked it up a notch.  Among other tweaks and updates, they’ve added the following features:

  • Remove a color (similar to chroma-key / green screen effect in video editors).  This effect lets you superimpose a live action video subject onto your screencasts.  This feature is huge.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t seen this feature in any other video screen capture software — including Camtasia’s PC cousine, Camtasia Studio, nor Techsmith’s closest rival, Telestream’s Screenflow.  Traditionally, this effect has been limited to the realm of video editors (i.e., iMovie, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, etc.) … then again, I’ve maintained that Camtasia for Macintosh is, in my opinion, pretty well a different animal entirely from its PC-based cousin.  Cam-Mac straddles a nice little sweet spot between video screen capture and video editor that few other video screen capture software programs have matched.  (One exception I’d say is Telestream’s Screenflow.  But, this update, plus my assessment in Episode 4: Screenflow, highlight the lead that Techsmith continues to gap ahead of Telestream.)

  • Clip speed effect.  Finally!  The addition of this effect in v2.1 I think adds one of the features that has lagged behind Camtasia’s PC-based cousin and Telestream’s Screenflow.  In fact, when I produced the Mindmap Evolution: “Group Think” video, I had to revert back to Camtasia Studio (the PC version) because it had the clip speed effect, whereas Camtasia Mac was still working on incorporating it.  But, now there’s no need.  I can take care of all that inside Camtasia Mac without having to splice-in video rendered via other programs.

The Bottom Line

If you work off of a Macintosh, and are hunting for a robust and very capable video screen capture software program, you’ll do very well to check out Camtasia for Macintosh.