Camtasia 2021 Review!

Quick summary

Camtasia is a powerful video editing program available for both Windows and macros. It supports a variety of popular media formats and provides an impressive degree of control over the videos you create, yet easy to use. Smith (creator of Camtasia) even has a free mobile app for Android and iOS that makes it easy to transfer media from your device to use in Camtasia. Once you're done editing, you can render and share your video files from within the program on YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, and Screencast.com.

Even for people who have never used video editing software before, it's easy to learn thanks to the great tutorial support provided by Camtasia TechSmith. This is somewhat limited by the amount of preset media created in the program and is no longer available on the web, but at this level, presets are not the primary concern. You can try Camtasia for free for 30 days or buy it directly.

Camtasia FAQs

What is Camtasia?

Camtasia is a professional-grade video editor for Windows and Mac. It provides a good balance of controls, a well-designed user interface and high-quality output that makes it suitable for videographers and web content creators who need their videos to look professional and unique.

The program (formerly known as Camtasia Studio) has a long development history for PCs, and its success inspired TechSmith's Mac version as well. Both have been around since 2011, although earlier and slightly different versions of the software have existed for both platforms. With such a long history, TechSmith has done a great job of pushing the boundaries of continuous development by keeping the software relatively bug-free.

Is Camtasia safe?

This program is absolutely safe to use. Installer files and program files pass all checks from Microsoft Security Requirements and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. The installer does not attempt to install any unwanted or third-party software and provides the option to customize the installation process to suit your needs. The JP Mac installer also left the file to scan with Drive Genius and it became clear.

It is still quite secure once it is installed. Camtasia does not communicate with your file system by excluding opening, saving and rendering video files, so there is no risk of damaging your computer or your other files.

When uploading video files to Google Drive, the program requests access to upload to your YouTube account, but this is simply because YouTube and your Google account are doubled as YouTube accounts. These permissions may be revoked at any time.

Is Camtasia free?

Camtasia currently costs $249 for both PC and Mac versions of the software. Only if you have purchased the program before. You can upgrade to the latest version. $99.50.

While the program is free, it comes with a 30-day trial period. You can use the program as normal during this test, but any video you render will be watered down, as you can see below. If you choose to purchase the software, any project files you created during the test can be rendered without a watercolor.

Camtasia Studio (Windows) vs. Camtasia for Mac

Smith has finally updated to update the naming system on both platforms but the program is basically the same no matter where you use it. The user interface looks very similar, although naturally, the keyboard shortcuts are different

The two programs are compatible in most cases as long as you are using version 9 of Windows or version 3 of Mac, allowing you to transfer project files from one platform to another. Unfortunately, some media and effects types are not compatible with cross-platform, which can cause problems when downloading third party media presets.

Since I tested the Windows version, JP will share his personal views on the Mac version as he has been using it on his MacBook Pro for many years.

A close look at Camtasia

Note: This is an incredibly powerful program with lots of features, so I'm going to stick to the most used and most interesting ones - otherwise you'll get tired of reading before we're done. Also, as Smith is improving the software, the latest version of Camtasia will look different.

The first thing you notice when you load the software is that the interface is a bit busy. This impression goes away quickly as you begin to realize how carefully you designed it.

Luckily, you don't have to worry about not knowing where to start, because Camtasia runs for the first time, it loads a sample project file created by TechSmith, contains a video tutorial in basic interface format, and starts playing automatically. It’s pretty clever to show first-timers how to use a video editor

It even shows you where to find more video tutorials on the TechSmith website, which includes almost anything you want to do with the program.

The interface has three main areas: the timeline of the track below, the media and effects library at the top left, and the preview area at the top right. Once you start associating effects with customizable options, a "Property" panel appears at the top right.

Importing media is a snap because it works just like any other 'File Open' dialog. Everything you import sits in the Media Bin, and you can access the library of all preset media created in the program.

You can import files directly from Google Drive which is a great touch, but one of the most useful features is the ability to import directly from your mobile device using TechSmith's collaborative app Fuse.

Working with mobile devices

If you use your smartphone or mobile device to shoot videos, this is an incredibly effective function, which is becoming more and more popular as their cameras become more capable. Click File, then select ‘Connect Mobile Device’ and you will be presented with a series of simple instructions.

I don’t want to go too deep into the process of using the mobile app, but since both my devices were connected to the same network, I was able to quickly add the app and installation to my PC.

I can then transfer images and videos directly from my phone to my Camtasia Media Bin with just a few taps, where they were ready to be included in my test project at the very end of the upload process.

The only thing I ran into was that the fuse tended to temporarily disconnect itself when my phone's screen was locked, but it would restart within seconds of running the app.

Working with your media

Once you add the media you want to work with, Camtasia continues to be very easy to use and well designed. Simply add a preview window or timeline of your selected media to your project, and automatically populate a new track if necessary.

You can create as many tracks as you need, rearrange them, and change your name as long as you want to keep your media organized during long media complex projects.

Cutting and pasting sections of video files is final and easy - just select the section of your video, then cut and paste it into a new track just like the text in the word processor was

Maybe it’s just because I’m working on an incredibly powerful computer, but I had no back time when I cut this HD video of my cat Juniper into separate sections.

Adding overlays and effects is as easy as adding your primary media files. Select the type of object or effect you want to add from the list on the left, select the appropriate type, and then drag and drop it into the Timeline or Preview window.

You can fully customize each aspect of the overlay to fit your style using the Properties section on the right side of the preview window.

Adding visual transition effects is just as easy - choose the one you like and then click and drag. As soon as you start pulling, each element of each track will display a yellow highlight that will affect the regions.

It has a great user interface design and easily shows how much overlap you will need to successfully forge your various components.

Only when I got really deep into the design of some of the previous effects did I get a little confused with the interface. I wanted to edit some animation behavior and it started to get a bit messy.

All of Camtasia's presets combine groups of different elements into one package that can be easily dragged and dropped into your project, looking for a piece you want to edit a bit - especially when you have to sort through groups.

You don't have to dig deep to get great benefits from its presets but you have to get used to working at this level to create something really professional and unique.

With a little practice, this will probably become easier, although this aspect of the interface will probably be better managed through a popup window that lets you focus on the editing element.

The animating sections of your videos are also quite simple. Without bothering with key frames or other confusing terminology, you'll see only an arrow overlay of the track you're working with and can be moved to the full right, including start and endpoints.

A tooltip with the correct timecode will show up to get frame-level accuracy, click and hold the point, another great user interface touch that makes it easy to get accurate.

Working with audio

Camtasia doesn't have the audio editing features as much as you would an audiophile, but it can do a lot more than that for most tasks.

You can quickly separate audio from any imported video for cutting and trimming into separate tracks, and there are several standard editing options such as listening removal, volume leveling, speed adjustment, and fading.

One of the more interesting and useful audio features is the ability to add statements to your video directly into the program while you're playing. This means you don't have to worry about making sure your audios are in sync with your video since you'll be able to record the video in real-time while playing.

If you were wondering, Sir David Attenborough made the horrible impression of doing a natural documentary on Juniper for testing. Somehow he's using Scottish words instead of English...

Additional video features

Camtasia has an overall video effect for Chroma keys ("green screen" editing), video speed adjustment, and general color combinations. The Chroma Key feature is remarkably easy to use, and you can set it to remove color with an eye dropper in just a few clicks.

It helps to create Chroma Kid videos with almost any consistent background color, it works amazingly well. It doesn’t work so well in my example video, because the juniper is very similar in color to the wood floor, but it’s pretty easy to use.

Interactive function

One of the most unique functions I've seen in a video editor is the Camtasia interactivity feature. It is possible to add an interactive hotspot that acts like a simple web link and even adds interactive quizzes.

This feature is going to be most effective for video tutorials and interactive learning applications, making it incredibly useful for online educated teachers and other trainers.

The only thing to consider when using interactive features is that you need to create an MP4 video that comes bundled with TechSmith’s Smart Player, otherwise the interactive content won't work.

Screen capture

For those of you who are creating tutorial videos or other screen-based video content, you'll be happy to know that Camtasia comes with a built-in screen recorder that can easily access the big red 'Record' button at the top left.

Complete with audio, mouse-click tracking, and webcam peer-to-peer recording, this is exactly what you wanted on a screen recorder. As a result, the video appears in the media bin of your project along with the media of your other projects and can only be added to the timeline like other files.

Rendering and sharing your videos

Once you get your masterpiece exactly the way you want it, Camtasia has a variety of options for creating your final video. You can create a local file on your computer using any settings of your choice, or you can create a file and upload it automatically to Camtasia on YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, or TechSmith’s Screencast.com.

I don't have an account with any of them except Google Drive, so let's take a look at how it works. A quick sign-in and approval of my two-factor authentication (if you haven't already used it, enable it for your own Google Account - it's a dangerous web), and we're off!

The file was rendered and uploaded without any files! The program even opened a window to preview my Google Drive, although it was gone so quickly that Google was still processing the video as soon as the preview window opened.

Conclusion

For users looking for professional-quality video editing with an easy-to-use interface, Texmith Camtasia is a great piece of software that is easy to learn to use and can upload your first movie in less than an hour from the download.

The added bonus of adding a companion mobile app makes it easy to transfer files from your mobile device to your workflow. You will need to spend some more time learning how to use it.

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