Camtasia or Camstudio?

by 134 comments
Huge question, I know, but maybe you can cut it down into short relevant parts.

What's the difference between Camtasia and Camstudio?

I haven't tried either yet, but I see that Camtasia is a bit costly. Camstudio, on the other hand, was a free download I got from somewhere... one of those giveaways, maybe.

I'm thinking of doing some videos to sell/promote products so the program doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just something that enables me to do screen capture, add text and audio, insert images and allow viewers to click to view at their own speed, ie: it doesn't start automatically until the viewer clicks the run button.

The finished product would appear on a web page, just like the ones you see with Camtasia. It would have to be of sufficient size for people to view the contents. I've seen some videos that are quite teeny (about 2 inches square). Don't know what program created those.

Are there any glitches or shortcomings with Camstudio that you know about? Perhaps too big a file size, only works on certain platforms, etc. Or perhaps it's too complicated to use? Useful features missing?

Yes, I know. I could go ahead and start using it and see for myself, but I'm not ready yet and was hoping to get some feedback before I waste time with it.

Your feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Sylvia
Last edited by sylviad on October 05, 2008 at 17:06 PM. Reason: expand on a thought
#product reviews #camstudio #camtasia

  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    Sylvia, it has been a very long time since I used CamStudio, but I do have
    Camtasia and I don't recall Camstudio having all the features that Camtasia
    has.

    Let me put it this way. Camtasia is in my top 5 of purchases I've made as
    an IMer since I've begun doing this, so that should say something about
    the quality of the software.
  • Profile picture of the author sylviad
    Thanks, Steven.

    From what I've seen, Camtasia certainly is the elite in this category. Unfortunately, it is pricey so I was thinking Camstudio would be sufficient for my needs at this time. I'm just wondering if there's something about it that I should know about before I proceed. I haven't even installed it and looked at it yet. You never know. Someone might know that it screws up your computer!

    Sylvia
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

    Thanks, Steven.

    From what I've seen, Camtasia certainly is the elite in this category. Unfortunately, it is pricey so I was thinking Camstudio would be sufficient for my needs at this time. I'm just wondering if there's something about it that I should know about before I proceed. I haven't even installed it and looked at it yet. You never know. Someone might know that it screws up your computer!

    Sylvia
    I do remember when installing it that I had no trouble with it. I wasn't all
    that impressed with it either, which is why after a few "tests" I stopped
    using it. I only even bought Camtasia because of so many recommendations
    and I can honestly say that I am not sorry.
  • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
    My message is consistent with Steven's... Camtasia

    You get what you pay for... And with Camtasia, you can also quickly create an MP3 recording of the video to submit to podcasting sites for more traffic... or list building freebie.

    People are making millions with this software.
  • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
    Also editing functionalities that come with Camtasia are just too valuable... you can eve add background music tracks... Take some nice royalty free music clips and get ready to create some killer videos to post onYoutube and get some dangerously high levels of traffic.

    ok... a little exaggeration is acceptable isn't it??
  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    Hi Sylvia,

    You may want to take a look at another free tool that has been receiving rave reviews: http://www.jingproject.com

    I have not tried it myself, but it seems everyone who has tried it has only good to say about it.
  • Profile picture of the author BerkleyStreet
    Could those of you that use Camtasia tell me what the limitations of the the following are?

    "Camtasia 3 Full Featured Education Version"

    Is this version better than the Camstudio?

    Thanks,
    Bob
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
    Jing project is great for videos that are 5 minutes or less.

    -Jason
  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    My recommendation is to take advantage of the free download from Camtasia after that then try Camstudio

    I own Camtasia now, but started off with Camstudio

    They both worked to get a simple video done and some of my videos from Camstudio are still brining people to an optin page daily

    After you have used both of them only you can determine if making the investment is worth it

    the previous year Camtasia was offering version 3 for free but since then it has been halted

    Give the free trial a try then make the decision

    Ed
  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    Sylvia,

    If all you need is "screen capture", then CamStudio is more than enough.

    But if you want some of the advanced features, like advanced timeline editing, adding callouts, inserting multiple voice tracks, re-dubbing sections, creating menu-based videos, etc, then you've just got to get Camtasia.

    Camtasia absolutely rocks!

    See some of the recent videos I've made (as recent as last night) here:
    DigitalAccessPass.com Videos

    Hope this helps.

    - Ravi Jayagopal
  • Profile picture of the author sylviad
    lakshaybehl...

    Hm. Hadn't thought of the MP3 capability. Thanks for the idea. Most certainly a valuable one.

    Jason...

    Good point. A 5 minute video wouldn't quite cover what I have in mind.

    Ed...

    Thanks Ed. I've never done a video before (not without an old-fashioned Camcorder or TV Camera), so this is pretty new to me. I'm kind of wavering between just doing a Powerpoint presentation for the web (which I've never done either) or getting started with Camstudio. I'd rather "save" my free trial at Camtasia until I get some exerience doing this to see if it's something I'll continue doing.

    Ravi...

    Those features are certainly desirable. Does Camstudio not give you editing capabilities? I assume re-dubbing enables you to go back and fix mistakes in your video. Does Camstudio not have that either?

    Don't get me wrong, Camtasia is my dream product. Was sold the moment I read the sales page and features. It's just not in my budget at the moment, so I want to start off as affordably as possible, like... free!

    Sylvia
  • Profile picture of the author Fender85
    Yeah, Jing is sweet for 5 minute vids. The drawback to it is that it's "live" - ie, no video record and then adding in a voiceover later.

    The one thing I didn't like about Cam Studio is that it didn't let me "set up" before it started recording. You'd hit the button and BAM there it goes, no delay or anything, so the Cam Studio display is still in the way and everything!

    Here's what I do, though - Buy Sony Vegas (you can get it on CD for like $70 - if you want purely digital, it's like $55) and then use Cam Studio. You can just edit what you create in Cam Studio, and then add in music, voiceovers, transitions/effects, all kinds of stuff. And that's still HUNDREDS of dollars cheaper than Camtasia.
  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Cam Studio is every bit as good as Camtasia for screen capture.

    For editing you already have Windows Movie Maker on your computer
    if you have a PC. I have Camtasia Studio 3 and, frankly, I don't see a
    huge difference between that and Movie Maker.

    Here's a better alternative... use Cam Studio for screen capture
    and get Sony Vegas for the editing... it's much better than either
    Camtasia or Movie maker and costs a WHOLE LOT LESS than Camtasia.

    You can download a full functioning free 30 day trial of Sony Vegas.

    Tsnyder
  • Profile picture of the author Dixiebelle
    Sylvia: When TechSmith upgraded to version 5, they were giving away a free full version of #3. I got it but didn't keep the key to open a new copy.

    I'm not sure if you can still get a key, but you can try emailing them and asking for one.

    Here is the original download link. Good luck.

    Techsmith offers free Camtasia Studio download - Download Squad

    Dixie
  • Profile picture of the author sylviad
    Originally Posted by Dixiebelle View Post

    Sylvia: When TechSmith upgraded to version 5, they were giving away a free full version of #3. I got it but didn't keep the key to open a new copy.

    I'm not sure if you can still get a key, but you can try emailing them and asking for one.

    Here is the original download link. Good luck.

    Techsmith offers free Camtasia Studio download - Download Squad

    Dixie
    Close one, Dixie! I actually found this Camtasia 3 in one of my download folders. Unfortunately, that link to get a key has been withdrawn and only a trial version of Cam5 is available.

    However... Fender85 & TSnyder have an idea I'll check out with Sony Vegas and Windows Movie Maker (which I've never used or looked at). Next option... Powerpoint! since I don't have a webcam anyway.

    Sylvia
  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    Let me go against the normal replies posted in here.

    Sylvia,

    if you are just planning to do a one time use of video creation, i will rather say keep your money, and use the free ones instead. Camstudio, or heck Windows Movie maker could do the trick. Another option is to use the trial copy, and remove it after your done in 30 days.

    If you still insist on doing a reliable and pro looking video creation, then outsource it off. Nowadays, things like this can be outsourced dirt cheap if you know the right place to look.
    There was once a Warrior who did this as a WSO but nowadays i will just give it off at freelancing sites.

    There is many ways to "slaughter the chicken", so i hope i gave you some ideas on how you can do it.

    Hope it helps
  • Profile picture of the author Ben Roy
    Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

    Cam Studio is every bit as good as Camtasia for screen capture.

    For editing you already have Windows Movie Maker on your computer
    if you have a PC. I have Camtasia Studio 3 and, frankly, I don't see a
    huge difference between that and Movie Maker.

    Here's a better alternative... use Cam Studio for screen capture
    and get Sony Vegas for the editing... it's much better than either
    Camtasia or Movie maker and costs a WHOLE LOT LESS than Camtasia.

    You can download a full functioning free 30 day trial of Sony Vegas.

    Tsnyder
    This is my thought exactly. Full disclosure: I haven't produce a lot of screen-recording based videos, but I can't imagine buying Camtasia just because it has video editing capabilities. They are far from the market leader in that department. If you want fancy editing, buy an editing tool. If you want basic editing, use something free like Windows Movie Maker. In either case, you can probably use a free capture utility to get the source video to work with.
  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    Sylviad, you can create an mp3 of your video. You need to get the A0A Audio extractor which extracts audio from many different movie formats and imports to mp3 etc. Very high quality and freeware...DVD to AVI, iPod Video Converter, DVD Creator, DVD Ripper. Now you can use camstudio and still get the benefits of an alternate format...
  • Profile picture of the author Vince Courtney
    Hi Sylviad

    There is an excellent tutorial for cam studio on .

    Take a look at that as it shows you exactly how to download, optimize and use the program for best results.

    Hope that helps.
    Vince
  • Profile picture of the author gxd5
    I use Cam Studio. If you decide to try it, make sure to use the settings Vince showed you. You will get horrible results if you don't change those.

    The default settings in Cam Studio are BAD. You CANNOT use it out of the box. But if you tweak the settings, you get very good results.

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