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
#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 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 morpheyous
      Hi,

      I use Jing to make short instructionals for my VA's because it is free, but it is not real good for producing youtube vids

      Pete
  • 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 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 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 nmh
      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

      My husband has Vegas Platinum Pro for videos we have for our kids sports stuff. Will that work? It seems to be 2 levels higher than the regular $54 Vegas. Neither I have used but I would be willing to try it if it works! This information is great! Movie Maker seems easy to use and I will have to try CamStudio. Will Jing also work w/ Movie Maker and Vegas?:confused:
  • 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 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.
  • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
    Vince, is the no sound due to the program not being able to rvord voice or to something else.

    I have never use movie maker on my computer. Anyone got instructions on how to do it?

    Great thread, thanks Sylvia

    Norma
  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    CamStudio - Free Screen Recording Software (free) will work just fine for you.

    Don't be fooled into thinking you need camtasia. You don't unless you need some of its advanced features.

    If all you are doing is creating screen capture videos all you need is camstudio, a good flv encoding software, and a player to embed your flv video in your site.

    Camstudio is free, Flix 8 standard (flv encoder) is $39 from On2.com and uses the best flv codec in the industry, and you can use either JW player or Flowplayer as a free player.

    I own Camtasia.... but I prefer to use camstudio for my own screen capture because I know how to use it to get the best results :-)
    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Wow... Where did THIS come from?

      For some reason I haven't been getting notification that this thread has new comments. I'll definitely re-bookmark it.

      It had to have been buried pretty deep by now, but thanks, whoever dug it back out. I'd forgotten about it. And now I see all these fantastic responses.

      Thanks everyone for your great input.

      Time to open up my CamStudio and see what it's all about. Thanks for the video, Vince... and all the tips about what I need to get a video built. I didn't realize I'd need other programs to get it on my site... or on YouTube.

      Sylvia
  • Profile picture of the author sparky.ebiz
    Another great solution is CamStudio Pro. This is CamStudio on steroids. I picked up my copy online for $20. It comes packaged with a ton of features that make it compete with Camtasia. (Actually the Camtasia owners would know better about this part - but I think CamStudio Pro actually has new "web friendly" features that go beyond what Camtasia 6 can do) It's pretty clever how the author did this - mostly adding on 3rd party free or open source software to the menu so it's transparent to the operator. Also, has tons of free video tutorials on their website. I plan on using this for my next 2 youtube videos!
    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by sparky.ebiz View Post

      Another great solution is CamStudio Pro. This is CamStudio on steroids.
      No its not.

      Its the exact same screen capture features as camstudio.

      Please understand that I think Dave did a great job resolving the two major flaws in the software as well as making it more appealing to use... but since then the opensource project at Camstudio.org has released those same two improvements in the free open source version.

      This version: http://camstudio.org/blog/camstudio-...-1-released%3E Fixed the embed issues and added a redirect feature.

      Those were the two main improvements made by Dave in Camstudio Pro but they now exist in Camstudio.org the free version. He did do other improvements but they are mostly design improvements so there is no real advantage in his Pro version over the new 2.5 free one at Camstudio.org.

      Also those features only matter if you use camstudio to encode your videos and embed them which you should NEVER do for many reasons but here are the primary reasons:

      1. It uses inferior opensource codecs for compression and encoding sacrificing image quality and file size.

      2. It lacks many play controls that are essential to optimized publishing and response boosting performance.

      This has little to do with camstudio pro but more to do with the fact that it is based on an opensource software and that the industry leading codecs and encoding are prohibitively expensive for most projects like camstudio.

      This is one area where camtasia has an edge because they can afford to negotiate and pay the licenses for industry leading codecs such as vp6 and h.264 to include them in their encoding options...

      However, encoding and embedding with camtasia introduces major flaws as well in both optimization and response boosting deployment...

      Which is why even if I do use camtasia to screen capture I always save as avi and encode with professional industry leading encoding solutions and always embed with professional video player solutions that offer me more control over things like bit rate, frame rate, vbr vs cbr, codecs, playback performance etc.
  • Profile picture of the author Joe Giannetti
    Camtasia all the way.....Forget Cam Stidio piece of crap
    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by Joe Giannetti View Post

      Camtasia all the way.....Forget Cam Stidio piece of crap

      Joe, you get the least helpful post of the day award.

      And since I can I am going to throw it back in your face.

      I wasn't going to post this because I normally sell this training but I want to make a point...

      So for anyone who is paying attention I am about to provide a video that should pretty well blow your mind and settle the debate about just how great camstudio can be:


      In yo face buddy

      I am probably going to remove that video from the pubic eye again soon because I sell this info normally so if anyone is not sleeping at the wheel and wants to know just how powerful camstudio can be watch the video and you will learn one of my biggest camstudio secrets.

      Combine that video tutorial with the links and notes I posted in my other resources and a few of the other quality comments in this thread and you will likely never need Camtasia.
  • Profile picture of the author nick1123
    If your goal with these videos is to make money then I would highly recommend using Camtasia. It's what I use to make videos and it's a fantastic tool that I wish I would've purchased a long time.

    You try to create videos with no intention of making money then the free solution might be best.
    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by nick1123 View Post

      If your goal with these videos is to make money then I would highly recommend using Camtasia. It's what I use to make videos and it's a fantastic tool that I wish I would've purchased a long time.

      You try to create videos with no intention of making money then the free solution might be best.
      Hey Nick,

      I bet I make more money producing training videos using camstudio than most people using camtasia ;-)

      The correlation has no validity whatsoever.

      Whether you choose camstudio or camtasia it will have zero impact on the amount of money you can make.
  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    I just completed a video course using cam studio for my day job to train the employees how to use a new site.

    It works great using Windows Movie Maker for the editing - the two combined are a professional free solution.
  • Profile picture of the author nmh
    I think you can use MouseZoom that is a Firefox add on as well to zoom in. I haven't tried it but that is free also.
  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Well I just slammed my cursor down on a thanks button. Josh you are the first person ever to get 2 of them from me. I appreciate the enthusiasm and experience and the detail. So many posts around here are opinions one way or another without a lot offered to back it up but some of us are really interested in the why? part of it. Thanks again.
    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Does anyone save web pages to their computer when they contain
      great information like this thread?

      I'm just wondering if there's anything wrong with that, because I
      do it all the time. It's a great way to save a resource like this. Many
      people say they just bookmark the page... but I've learned the hard
      way that the page can disappear and the excellent content with it.

      At the very least, I will copy the most important comments into
      Word and save that for future reference.

      Thank you everyone who contributed to this thread. It has proven
      very enlightening.

      Sylvia
  • Profile picture of the author CJontheweb
    Why Camtasia over Youtube if you don't mind me asking?
    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      :confused: What are you going to PUT on YouTube?
      Just a video from your webcam? Or a proper presentation,
      like a training course with visual aids? Can you build a training
      video on the fly, without any editing? It's tough, even for the
      pros, to get it right first time in one take.

      That's why.

      Sylvia
  • Profile picture of the author LastWarrior
    I have both and with small short segments, Camstudio worked fine. One thing I didn't like is the quality wasn't as good as Camtasia and the file sizes were too large, but that could be due to my lack of experience using it.

    I tried the 30-day free trial of Camtasia and LOVED it. It is awesome. However, somehow it errored on me and I only got to use it or had the ability to use for only about 13 days because it defaulted to 0 days left after using less than 2 weeks.

    Get the free download, save the $300 in the next month, then when you go to purchase, you'll have the money and know how to use it!

    LastWarrior
    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by LastWarrior View Post

      I have both and with small short segments, Camstudio worked fine. One thing I didn't like is the quality wasn't as good as Camtasia and the file sizes were too large, but that could be due to my lack of experience using it.

      I tried the 30-day free trial of Camtasia and LOVED it. It is awesome. However, somehow it errored on me and I only got to use it or had the ability to use for only about 13 days because it defaulted to 0 days left after using less than 2 weeks.

      Get the free download, save the $300 in the next month, then when you go to purchase, you'll have the money and know how to use it!

      LastWarrior
      File size is due to the codec you use to capture your video. For example the Camtasia Techsmith codec is great for high level of compression.

      In my own video I cover codecs so does the youtube video posted.

      Some codecs offer you more compression than others... also there are many other things that effect file size such as the frame rate, the audio capture settings etc. The codec I use many times is called MSU lossless Screen Capture codec which offers great compression. In the Youtube video posted to this thread the Divx codec also is suggested which too offers great compression.

      Also if you have an encoder you can encode and compress the video after capture.

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