Mon, 12 Oct 2009 Camtasia for Mac review
Screen recording and editing in one application
- Manufacturer: TechSmith
- Pros: Excellent editing interface; easy-to-use actions and filters; easy zoom-and-pan on video; Smart Focus works well for some captures
- Cons: Audio may not capture in all apps; only captures main screen; limited customization of transitions; choppy capture of high-CPU-usage activities; can't align text; no cursor control.
- Min specs: Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS X 10.6, Intel only.
- Price: £74 including VAT
- Star rating:
Techsmith’s Camtasia for Mac is a new entry in the field of screen recording and editing tools available for OS X, but Techsmith isn’t new to the field of screen recording - their Camtasia Studio for Windows is a powerful and widely-used program.
Unlike the screen recording tool built into OS X 10.6, Camtasia for Mac (Camtasia from here on) is a full capture and edit solution. It not only captures the action on your screen, but also (optionally) captures video from a built-in iSight (or connected camera) at the same time. In addition, you can record audio from both your Mac and an external microphone, if you wish.
Techsmith has a great collection of online tutorials to get you up to speed with Camtasia, as well as a free 30-day trial. I found the tutorials very useful, as they clearly discussed each subject in an easy-to-follow manner.
Once captured, you can edit your production directly in Camtasia, theoretically taking your project from start to finish using just one application. So how well does reality match up with theory? Pretty well, although this first release of Camtasia does have a few rough spots.
Those who have had experience with Camtasia Studio for Windows will probably be disappointed by this first version of Camtasia for the Mac - the Mac product is not a clone of the current Studio product. From a user interface standpoint, that’s a good thing, as the program feels completely Mac like, and not at all like a poor Windows port.
However, on the features front, Mac users aren’t getting all the bells and whistles of the Windows version. Techsmith has a comparison table on its site, highlighting the differences between the two programs.
While there are a few things the Mac program can do that the Windows version cannot (capture DV camera, upload to iTunes or YouTube), there are many more features available in the Windows product that are not currently in the Mac release. That doesn’t necessarily make the Mac version a bad program, but it does mean you can do more with the Windows version.