Camtasia 2018 $249(upgrade $99.50)
Camtasia is one of the best-known and best-liked screencasting programs for Windows and Mac. It gives you the ability to make video recordings from your computer monitor and edit them on a multi-track timeline. I reviewed the last major version of Camtasia (version 9) back in 2016. The new release, Camtasia 2018, adds on some new features and optimises some existing features. So let’s see what’s changed…
|That’s Camtasia 9 in the background (top-left) and Camtasia 2018 in the foreground. At first sight, nothing much seems to have changed. You need to look more closely to spot the differences…|
|The Library now has its own dedicated panel (show at the left) and it it includes various assets such as the animated background that is being previewed here.|
User-defined theming is another new feature. This lets you define the colours and fonts to be used for elements such as text and speech-bubbles. Then, when you add an element to the timeline you can select a theme from the properties panel to apply the preset fonts and colours to it. There is no way to set a default theme, however – one that atomically applies settings to elements as they are used. There is a theme called ‘Default’ but even that has to be applied on an element-by-element basis.
|Themes let you define colours and fonts so that they can be applied quickly to text and callouts|
|Camtasia 2018 can render at up to 60fps. Previously 30fps was the maximum.|
Final Thoughts…So it’s been a two-year wait for this new edition on Camtasia. Has it been worth it? Well, I have to say that the software has changed very little since the previous release. The addition of 60 fps support is welcome and changes to the library and themes are also useful. But in all essentials Camtasia 2018 looks and feels just like the previous release. Arguably, of course, that is no bad thing. If something does a good job and users like the way it does it, why change it? Camtasia remains my preferred screencasting software on Windows. I also like the Mac version (especially its ability to swap recordings easily with the Windows version) though it has to be said that on the Mac, Camtasia faces stiff competition from Screenflow.
Even so, I am surprised that the existing features have not been expended to a greater degree. Why are there no extra transitions, video effects, audio effects, annotations and behaviours for example? If you already have Camtasia 9 and are wondering whether or not to upgrade, frankly, I would hesitate. Unless there is something among the new features that is a “must have” for your work, the $99 upgrade cost seems to me to be a bit steep for a product that has changed so little.
If, on the other hand, you are not an existing user and you considering buying a screencasting suite, well, in that case I would certainly recommend Camtasia. But bear in mind that Camtasia is a screencasting application that does ‘pure’ (camera-recorded) video editing as a bonus. If your main requirement is to create videos from camera recordings then you should invest in a general-purposes video editor such as PowerDirector. PowerDirector, and some other general-purpose video editing packages, also provide screen-recording capabilities. So if you don’t do much screen-recording a package such as PowerDirector might be a good all-rounder. But if screen-recording is your main requirement and you want a fast, simple and efficient package, Camtasia remains my first choice.
For more reviews of screencasting and video editing programs see here: http://www.bitwisemag.com/search/label/video