Updated · Jun 06, 2022
Best for: Screen recording and video editing
What Is Camtasia
Created by TechSmith, Camtasia is a two-in-one screen recording and video editing software available for PC and Mac. That means you can:
- Record your screen, along with your webcam, mic, or system audio inputs
- Edit and embellish your video to your liking with various effects, transitions, and animations
- Export and share your video with a service of your choice.
And best of all, its simple drag-and-drop mechanic and user-friendly interface make it a no-sweat experience for beginners.
So, what does that mean for you?
Camtasia software could be an elegant solution for creating professional-looking training, explainer, and how-to videos. It’s also a convenient tool for webinar and presentation recordings. Seems promising, right?
That’s why we’ve decided to give Camtasia a chance and explore its potential in our Camtasia review.
Now, let’s get started!
Camtasia is positively brimming with simple yet effective features. They are in the spotlight of many Camtasia reviews, and we made extra sure not to miss anything in ours.
First things first, Camtasia is primarily a recording software. The Camtasia screen recorder can capture your screen, webcam, and audio.
You can toggle on/off any of these. This means you can only record your screen, without any audio, for example. All that you record will appear in your media bin, and you can drop it into your timeline later.
Let’s go through those recording options together.
Once you’re about to record your screen with this TechSmith screen capture feature, you don’t need to get any potentially embarrassing opened tabs out of the way. Instead, you can frame the area you want to record by clicking and dragging your selection. In addition, you can type in the dimensions of the section you want to capture.
Of course, you can simply record your entire screen if you have nothing to hide! Camtasia screen capture also has built-in Instagram (640 x 640) or Facebook cover video (820 x 462) frames that you can move around your screen to record with.
Camtasia allows you to record from your integrated webcam or connected device. You can also insert your webcam footage into a screen recording for a nice picture-in-picture effect.
You’ll probably need sound to complete your Camtasia project. Luckily, Camtasia lets you capture your system audio and mic audio — whether it’s your built-in microphone or connected device. You can control the volume of your audio recording and enable auto leveling as well.
If you don’t feel like making a video from scratch, Camtasia offers you various templates to play around with. They are a great way to ensure your videos have a consistent look.
So, how do they work?
The Template Manager will help you along the way, but here are the basics:
You can import video templates as .camtemplate files from the TechSmith Assets Library or your computer. Of course, when you start your project from a template, you can rearrange and replace the placeholder parts of the template to your liking.
Essentially, Camtasia templates save you a lot of time and effort, and they look pretty good too.
In the Camtasia Library, you can store media and assets to use in any Camtasia project, not just your current one. You can preview all of your assets by double-clicking them. If you like what you see, drag them to your timeline to use them in your video clips. You can resize, rotate, position, and adjust the opacity of all your media.
It’s as simple as that!
The library’s packed with:
- Lower Thirds
- Motion Backgrounds
- Music Tracks
Just like with Camtasia templates, you can import more assets from the comprehensive TechSmith Library or your computer. Also, you can share libraries with other people.
All in all, the Camtasia Library is a great way to keep your assets organized and right at your fingertips at any time. The only problem we have with it is that there’s not a lot of default assets — you will have to fill up the library yourself.
Camtasia Video Editing
Let’s start with the basic editing features first!
You’ll be primarily working with your timeline and canvas. You can drag and drop media onto your timeline. There’s a zoom-in option if you want to go over your video with a fine-tooth comb. Meanwhile, the canvas offers a preview of your video, and it’s where you can rotate, resize and move around your media.
With the Camtasia video editor, you can:
- Trim your media
- Split your media into parts
- Cut out mistakes in your recordings
- Delete errors and replace them with new recordings.
And there’s more where that came from!
Colourful annotations like speech bubbles, arrows, and text are a surefire way to grab your viewers’ attention. Camtasia editing makes it easy to create engaging videos, and you’ll see why.
You can experiment with:
- Callouts — thought and speech bubbles, arrows, and text
- Arrows and Lines — double arrows, dashed and solid lines
- Shapes — ellipse, star, rectangle, octagon, triangle
- Special Effects — blur, pixelate, highlight, and spotlight
- Sketch Motion Callouts — animations in the form of a circle, checkmark, arrow, etc.
- Keystroke Callouts — show onscreen keyboard activity
Of course, you can edit each annotation — move, resize, rotate, and edit text.
Naturally, you will need a smooth transition between clip A and clip B. The Camtasia editor has a rich selection of transitions, from plain to even a bit trippy (don’t stare too long at those).
They are grouped in types, such as:
All you need to do is, you guessed it, drag and drop them between the end of a clip and the beginning of the next one.
Behaviors are pre-made animations that you can drag and drop on your media and make them come alive.
We’re talking about Camtasia effects like:
- Fly in
- Jump and Fall
- Pop Up
And the best part:
You can combine multiple behaviors in one clip for a dizzying effect. Your text and media will slide, pulsate, jump up and down, fly — do a whole gymnastics routine!
The Camtasia video editor also lets you customize how the selected behavior enters the screen, what it does when it’s on it, and how it leaves.
Unlike behaviors, which are focused on media, animations affect the video as a whole. We can split Camtasia animation into two groups: Zoom-n-Pan animations and Motion effects.
Let’s take a closer look.
Zoom-n-Pan animations are great for focusing your viewers on crucial parts of your video by enhancing and enlarging them.
Motion effects make your videos pop with various motions, tilts, scalings, and Camtasia Smart Focus.
Now, Smart Focus is especially interesting. It predicts where to apply zoom and pan animations based on your mouse movements and clicks during your recording. There are a lot of conditions to be met so that it works correctly, though. You need to mind the length of your video, limited mouse movements, clicks, screen dimension, etc. We tried to keep those in mind, but Camtasia Smart Focus was still a bit buggy and didn’t work correctly.
Video effects are similar to animations in the sense that they apply to the entire video. They are both aesthetic and practical effects.
You can choose between Camtasia effects like:
- Color Adjustment
- Color LUT
- Color Tint
- Corner Rounding
- Device Frame
- Clip Speed
- Drop Shadow
- Interactive Hotspot
- Media Matte
- Motion Blur
- Remove a Color
Check out the Clip Speed effect to make Camtasia slow-motion videos.
Perhaps the most practical effect is the Remove a Color effect because of its greenscreen uses.
We tried it — it works like a charm! Thanks to the Tolerance, Softness, Hue, and Defringe editing options, you can delete the colour completely.
Camtasia cursor effects give your cursor the extra oomph it might need. Other than “plain” cursor effects, there are also left click and right click cursor effects.
Here’s the selection:
- Cursor Smoothing
In typical Camtasia editor fashion, you can edit your audio directly in your timeline by grabbing and dragging it. That way, you can:
- Increase or decrease the volume level
- Silence an audio section
- Add, move and delete audio points
- Fade audio in or out
- Separate system audio and screen recording.
You can also export only audio, as M4A or WAV — but not as MP3.
And, there’s more!
Your other Camtasia editing option is through Audio Effects.
Once again, you drop your selected effects onto your audio track. They are as it follows:
- Audio Compression
- Clip Speed
- Fade In
- Fade Out
- Noise Removal
Captions are a great way to ensure your content is perfectly understood by all who are watching it.
In general, there are three caption types to choose from: Closed Captions, Burned in Captions, and Under Video Captions. Keep in mind, though, that your viewers can only turn the Closed Captions on and off.
And here’s how you caption your videos with TechSmith Camtasia Studio. You can:
- Manually type in your captions as you view your Camtasia video
- Paste a prepared script and synchronize it with the audio
- Import subtitle files (SAMI or SRT)
- Use speech-to-text transcription.
Camtasia has also made an admirable effort to make your captions ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. That’s definitely a feature worth noting.
Quizzes and Surveys
If you want to add an element of interactivity in your videos, look no further — Camtasia software offers quizzes and surveys. This way, you can test your viewers’ knowledge or gather insightful information about them.
First, we must note that to use quizzes and surveys in your final video, you will need to either export your video to Screencast.com or custom produce it as an MP4 video with Smart Player.
You can have fun with multiple-choice, short-answer, fill in the blank, and true/false questions.
Export & Share
Finally, TechSmith Camtasia Studio offers the following share options:
- Local File
- TechSmith Video Review
- Google Drive
And you can export your videos as MP4, WMV, AVI, GIF, M4A, and WAV files on Camtasia for Windows; or MP4, MOV, GIF, M4A, and WAV files on Mac.
You’re free to mess around in custom production with the video framerate, video quality and encoding, audio bitrate, and more. Whatsmore, we found it helpful that you can save your favorite custom video production presets for future use.
Another cool thing:
You can always select a recording section and export it separately as a preview video.
Ease of Use and Interface
Like most Camtasia reviews, we have only words of praise for this software’s interface and ease of use. With a sleek, stylish design in a dark theme, everything is clearly marked and paired with helpful tooltips.
Right from the handy start menu, you can:
- Look at your recent projects
- Start a new project from scratch
- Start a new project based on a template
- Immediately start your screen recording
- Open one of your earlier Camtasia video projects
Camtasia also offers you tutorial videos, webinars, and help articles in the start menu. And the Camtasia workspace is where most of the action will be taking place. So, let’s have a look!
At the top of the screen, you can switch between Edit mode, Pan mode, and Crop mode. You can also adjust your canvas zoom level.
It’s hard to miss the bright red Record button at the top left corner. Right under is the list of features and assets at your disposal:
- Camtasia Cursor Effects
- Voice Narration
- Audio Effects
- Visual Effects
And at the top right corner is the clearly labeled Export option.
On the right side of the screen, you can find the Properties section. There, you can fine-tune the properties of the media you have selected. You have the choice of Quick and Visual properties for each item.
Finally, at the bottom of the screen is the Camtasia video timeline, with selection sliders and multiple customizable tracks.
To sum up:
The workspace is organized in a logical way, which makes navigating it an easy task. Overall, using Camtasia is easy — much easier than expected when you count in all the features and technical possibilities. Dragging and dropping your selected media and options onto your timeline is even kind of fun.
It’s our noble duty as Camtasia review creators to check out the solution’s customer support. And we did, of course!
There are three ways of contacting Camtasia: by phone, live chat, and email.
So, let’s get down to it!
Phone lines are toll-free (US & Canada only). They are open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST.
But if you’re feeling phone-shy, you can ask your questions via live chat anytime, 24 hours a day. Or, send them an email ticket during support hours — 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday.
We can confirm that TechSmith Camtasia Studio customer support is quick and helpful in both cases. The assistants immediately replied to us in live chat and responded to our email inquiry in less than an hour. Well done!
Here, we need to point out that there are two support packages — standard and premium. Premium support is for customers with maintenance (more on that in our Camtasia Pricing section below). The main difference between the two packages is priority support. As a priority support user, you have dedicated phone queues and prioritized online support.
And how to use Camtasia help section?
As we mentioned earlier in our Camtasia review, there are numerous educational video tutorials, webinars, and articles available. Let us explain:
The help video section is a first aid kit for all newcomers. The videos are concise, precise, and immensely helpful. If you seek a more in-depth approach, the webinars offer monthly explanations and demonstrations of basic and advanced Camtasia features. There are also hundreds of help articles if you don’t feel like watching videos.
One more thing:
TechSmith has a rich user community, with designated Q&A sections and news for all of their products — including Camtasia.
If you’ve been wondering if there’s a Camtasia free trial, look no further! There is no free version of Camtasia, but a 30-day free trial allows you to test the software.
If you decide to buy it, all of the pricing options are one-time fees, as follows:
- Individual — $249.99
- Business — $249.99
- Education — $169.99
- Government & Non-Profit — $223.99
- Upgrade - Camtasia 2022 Upgrade — $139.99
All of the above are single license pricing options. Each user with a Camtasia license can use one copy of the software product on up to two personal computers.
TechSmith offers a multi-buy discount for the business, education, and government & non-profit plans, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. There is also a pricing option for Camtasia Maintenance, which costs $49.75 per year. It includes upgrades to the newest version and priority support for one year.
Now, we find that a bit underhanded — on top of the usual one-time Camtasia price, you have to pay annually for upgrades.
Camtasia offers a decent deal if making video tutorials, training videos, explainer videos, and similar types of content is part of your business. But, if you’re looking for software that you won’t use that often, this is a bit costly for casual users. We’re not the only ones to think so — check out other Camtasia reviews as well!
Camtasia vs Snagit
Camtasia and Snagit are TechSmith siblings, each with their own strengths. Snagit is focused on screenshots and working with images, while Camtasia is more about that life in motion — videos! That also means that inevitably, one of them will suit your needs better.
With that established, let’s make a Snagit vs Camtasia deployment, pricing, and features comparison.
Unlike Camtasia, Snagit works on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. Friendly reminder: there’s only Camtasia for Windows and Mac.
Their pricing options are similar, but Snagit is overall much cheaper. Check out these single license prices:
- Individual — $49.99
- Business — $49.99
- Education — $29.99
- Government — $42.99
Like Camtasia, Snagit offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free trial. The difference is the Camtasia free trial lasts 30 days, while Snagit’s is 15!
So, it makes sense that though Snagit is cheaper, it’s also more basic when it comes to editing, especially video editing. In that regard, Camtasia is the clear winner.
Still, let’s have a quick look at what Snagit has to offer.
Snagit can capture not only any part of your screen but also your webcam, audio, and mobile screen. The Camtasia screen capture feature doesn’t extend to mobile screens.
You can also:
- Add text to your screenshots and videos
- Grab text — copy text from documents and websites that you otherwise can’t copy
- Add annotations
- Cut out or blur out parts of your recording
- Highlight and draw on your recording
When it comes to editing powers, Camtasia wins by a landslide. But honestly, it’s to be expected, considering that it’s specialized for video editing. On the other hand, if you need lighter screen capture software for making perfect screenshots and presentations, Snagit should be your pick.
Camtasia Review — Verdict
Often when a software touts its user-friendliness, you can expect that it sacrifices a lot of functionality to keep it simple. Camtasia isn’t like that! It truly hits the spot between editing versatility and ease of use.
We’ve loved the array of tools and effects that can turn any boring old teaching video into an experience. The quiz tool was especially enjoyable and valuable in that regard!
As a screen recorder/video editor combo, Camtasia software is an entirely practical solution. You don’t need to flip through multiple video editors for one project.
We also have to praise the Camtasia support for its outstanding responsiveness and video tutorial and help article coverage.
Since this is an honest review, we also have to be critical in our appraisal! In truth, there isn’t a lot that we’ve disliked about Camtasia, but here it is.
The fact that you have to pay for annual Camtasia upgrades is a downer. We know it’s a business, and TechSmith has to run it, but still… In general, the Camtasia prices are a bit on the pricey side.
We’ve loved the functionality of the Camtasia Library, but we didn’t love the number of default assets. There’s not a whole lot of them, and they look bland as well.
The Smart Focus effect needs some readjustment as well. For now, it’s rather finicky and buggy.
Other Camtasia reviews have reported this, and we can confirm it: it may freeze or crash unexpectedly when you’re working with larger projects. It happened to us twice, and we had to restart Camtasia. The good thing is that we didn’t lose any of our progress.
Is Camtasia worth the money?
If you’re fully dedicated to making training videos, explainer videos, webinar recordings, and similar types of content as part of your business — then yes, definitely! But if you only need to do occasional screen recording, there are more affordable options that would suit your needs better.
Is Camtasia free to use?
It’s free to use only as part of its 30-day Camtasia Studio free trial only. It’s an important distinction to make since there is no actual free version of Camtasia. But believe us: you can do a lot during those 30 days, so why not give it a try?
What is Camtasia good for?
Camtasia is the best of both worlds for beginners in screen recording and video editing. It’s good for both quick video corrections and more elaborate additions like video effects, cursor effects, annotations, animations, and more.
Is Camtasia a good editing software?
We can confirm without any hesitation that, yes, Camtasia is a good video editing software. It’s well rounded so that even complete beginners will be able to make high-quality videos in no time. Just take a peek at the Features section in our Camtasia review, and you’ll see why.
Selma is a content writer with a love for all things nerdy by day and an internet archaeologist that likes to dig up obscurities by night. Mostly she's trying to balance between many obsessions. Right now, it's bass playing and reading hard sci-fi about vampires in outer space - next week, who knows.
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