Camtasia Studio 6
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
November 8th 2008
TechSmith's Camtasia Studio product may be branded as a screen recording program, but that description doesn't do it much justice, since we consider it to be the Swiss Army Knife of video capture, edit, and sharing. At Indezine, we have been users of Camtasia Studio for a long time, and any new release of this product is an opportunity for us to play with the new features.
So let us explore this new version 6 of Camtasia Studio.
Camtasia Studio 6 is from TechSmith, a company based in Okemos, Michigan, USA. TechSmith also creates SnagIt, a screen capture tool with built-in editing and cataloging capabilities. You can learn more about these products from their site...
Camtasia Studio 6 is the newest version, with several updated features that we will list later in this review. You can read a review of Camtasia Studio 4, and how it works with PowerPoint here. In this review, we are looking at Camtasia Studio more as a standalone product rather than as a PowerPoint add-in.
My contact at TechSmith for this review was Betsy Weber -- thank you, Betsy.
Here's an extensive listing of the changes in version 6 of Camtasia Studio:
- Defaults to previous dimensions so you can record a series of
- Added a "Restart" button for faster "Take 2" recordings.
- Redesigned the interface so it can be used unobtrusively during
live presentations, like a class.
- Ability to turn cursor effects on and off during the
- Added an option to load Camtasia Recorder at system startup.
- You can unlink audio from video tracks for independent editing.
- Ability to move multiple clips together on the
- 3D tilt option in the Zoom-n-Pan view.
- Ability to import an MOV and edit it on the timeline.
- Image size limitation of 1280x1024 maximum is removed.
- Ability to adjust the Callouts fade in and out speed.
- Hot keys added to streamline editing (C=callouts, T=transition,
Z=zoom, M=marker, A=caption, S=split, E=extend frame).
- Maintain the aspect ratio in Project Settings.
- Transition speeds, callouts fades and image durations can now be 1/10th of a second (eg., 0.8 seconds or 3.2 seconds).
- A default Flash output which plays an MPEG4 file with
H.264 video and AAC audio with great compression and quality,
regardless of the content -- users don't have to choose between SWF
- Flash customization options.
- Quiz opacity, so quizzes can be overlayed on top of images.
- A free, enhanced Screencast.com integration (2GB storage and
- Increased keyboard accessibility of the flash output, including
TOC, navigation, quizing, volume, etc.
- A YouTube preset, which optimizes settings for YouTube delivery.
Some of the old features are removed such as:
- FLV is replaced with Flash/MPEG4 as a production option. Flash/MPEG4 has better
quality, file size and iPod playback.
- Removed Audio Editor as a stand alone application (became
superfluous as Audacity does a great job).
- Callouts are replaced with ScreenPads.
- Removed the Live Output driver from Camtasia Recorder.
- Removed the 'Add Index' option from WMV production. All WMV
productions now have an index.
Follow this steps to get started with Camtasia Studio 6:
- Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | Camtasia Studio 6 | Camtasia Studio 6.
- This opens the Camtasia Studio 6 interface, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Camtasia Studio 6 interface
- Click the Record the Screen option.
- The captured area is then previewed inside a rectangle, as shown in Figure 2 -- adjust the dimensions further if required and click Rec button. Camtasia Studio 6 will now record the content and the activities of the screen within the rectangle.
Figure 2: Recording area
Press F10 to stop the recording.
- Once the recording is finished, the Preview window (See Figure 3) opens where you can play the recorded activity.
Figure 3: Preview
Once you have previewed the movie you can choose Save, Delete or Produce and if you want to edit the movie, choose the Edit option.
- Edit will open the Project Settings dialog box as shown in Figure 4. Choose the project dimensions as per your requirements.
Figure 4: Project Settings
- Once the dimensions are chosen, the captured movie will be placed inside Camtasia Studio 6 video editing interface (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Movie inside camtasia studio interface
- Once done with the edits (if any), save the project and produce using the File | Produce Video As option.
- This opens the Production Wizard dialog box, as shown in Figure 6. Choose the output option from the drop down menu and click Next to go to next step of the Production Wizard.
Figure 6: Produce Wizard
- Provide a name to the production file and choose the output folder. Click Next to proceed to the last step of the wizard.
- The final window shows the recommended production settings -- click Finish to start the production process.
Camtasia Studio is priced at $299 -- upgrades from previous versions of Camtasia Studio are cheaper. There are also discounts available for education, non profit, and government use. In addition, you can also buy a Camtasia-SnagIt combo pack for a discounted rate.
Support includes an online FAQ, a learning center, user to user forums, and phone support.
Camtasia Studio 6 is better than ever -- and it's amazing how TechSmith creates these new improvements to a product that already has an amazing feature set.