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Screen Capture Application Camtasia 9 Review

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As a longtime creator of video tutorials I have used a lot of different screen capture solutions over the years from open source to commercial. Throughout it all I have remained a steadfast user of Camtasia, to the point of remembering to make sure I take a laptop that has it installed when I go on the road. Nothing spoils a road trip faster not having Camtasia with me. It's like an old friend and when I upgraded to Version 9 my old friend had been made over with what Techsmith calls a "fresh, modern look that puts everything right at your fingertips".

Camtasia 9 has been released as an upgrade to both Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac which are now contained within the same release copy. This new version melds the two per this excerpt from a Techsmith statement, "One of the most exciting changes made to Camtasia is that a single license now allows you to install Camtasia on both the Windows and Mac operating systems". So according to them we will now have a unified user interface no matter which flavor we use.

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Behaviors in the Mac Version

Updates in Camtasia 9:

  • Enhanced Performance - Camtasia is now 64 bit with smoother playback and less render time, their words not mine as I've not used it enough to this point to test stability but render time is quicker.
  • Behaviors - Motion effects (Behaviors) for drag and drop animation of text, images and video.
  • Video Assets - From the Camtasia website: "Camtasia now includes specially created video elements. Choose from new animated backgrounds, music tracks, icons, lower thirds, intro slides, and more!"
  • User Suggested Updates - again from the Camtasia website: Updated callouts, Full canvas editing, Color and visual effects, Animated GIF support, New properties, panel, Pop-out the preview window, Quizzing enhancements.

Now to one of the most important parts... does the software operate the like it used to? What is the new learning curve? It took a few minutes to find my way around the new interface but that was about it. We are all used to new looks and added bells and whistles but for the most part as I sit here writing this I cannot recall a single hiccup on the way to using the new version. It must have been pretty seamless because multiple captures were made, edited into a basic linear video and exported without incident or new gray hairs. In fact, I don't recall much if anything that was different so it certainly passes with high marks in that regard. I was prepared to document some new drama that always comes with upgraded interfaces but alas, the process was so smooth and efficiently boring that I... well... forgot.

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Callouts in the Windows Version

Now let's talk about cost. $199 US for a download copy or $99 US for the upgrade downloadable. It's not cheap but for professional quality results with clean captures these prices in line. While we all wish apps could be free or very cheap that is just not possible in every case if you want dependable quality results every time. Other capture apps have left me wanting for various reason but mostly for quality of the capture. I don't really use the editor or the call outs, auto zoom and those things. I do a straight capture dumped on the timeline in order captured, then exported as a custom video out with no interface which I then use in other editors and tools. With this in mind I cannot speak towards the bells and whistles in Camtasia but just the quality capture and export are worth the price to me and my clients.

All in all, this was a non-event upgrade for me in that it went smooth and usage continues without missing a beat. I always welcome 64-bit performance and am surprised it took this long. Particularly being video. If stability and improved performance along with the convenience of both Windows and Mac in a single license appeal to you or you like to stay ahead of the curve with a new version, then an upgrade to Camtasia 9 should be fairly painless based on my review experience with the upgrade.


LINKS


CAMTASIA 9 OVERVIEW VIDEO

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M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. M.D. is currently working on VR projects and characters. You can learn more about MD at his website.

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Camtasia, Screen Capture, TechSmith
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