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Camtasia 2020 review

Camtasia is the biggest name in video capture, and this is a superb editor... but is it too much for most?

Camtasia 2020 Review
(Image: © Techsmith)

Our Verdict

It's hard to go wrong with Camtasia 2020: it's been the industry standard for over 10 years, and is still market-leading. But it may be too much for casual users.

For

  • Unmatched tools and excellent end results
  • Built-in editor

Against

  • Automatic scheduling could be easier

Camtasia 2020 sits near the top of our best video capture software listings for many reasons: It's a pro-level application that beats almost all the other screen recorders and video capture utilities in our product lineup. It also produces the best quality videos among the applications we reviewed. In fact, Camtasia boasts nearly every capture tool we look for in our testing, plus a set of editing tools that will give even the best video editing software packages a fright.

(Image credit: TechSmith)

Camtasia's major function is to capture the output from your computer's display and convert it to a video file. You can record your entire screen, a particular region, window or just an app. If you give it access to your webcam, Camtasia can record your face and voice too, and it can use any microphones you may have plugged in as sources of input too.

With Camtasia you have the ability to capture everything that happens on your computer: from office applications to video streams and even videogames. You can even record video VoIP calls through programs like Skype and others.

The software is surprisingly easy to learn and use, despite its breadth of tools. While it may take some time to explore absolutely everything Camtasia has to offer, the application's interface itself is quite an intuitive one. Anyone with a moderate level of computer skills should be able to master Camtasia's basic functions with few problems.

(Image credit: TechSmith)

From the welcome screen, you can launch the recording tool with a single click. You select the portion of the screen you want to record, and click the red REC button. It really couldn't be simpler. The software also allows you to easily select your webcam and audio options. Camtasia allows you to program hotkeys, or keyboard shortcuts, that allow you to quickly start, pause, and stop a recording - this makes it even easier to use. Advanced users can place markers, and choose regions of the screen to record. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to schedule an automatic screen recording from within Camtasia's interface, but we discovered a way to do it. There are step-by-step instructions in one of TechSmith's knowledgebase articles, but it's not a user-friendly option.

If you want to record the screen of a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet, TechSmith offers Fuse, a free mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Fuse captures the action on your device and syncs the footage to both Camtasia and its sister program Snagit.

When it comes to editing what you've captured from your screen, Camtasia's tools blow nearly all the competition out of the water. It offers a comprehensive array of video editing tools. Not only can you perform the most basic video-editing tasks, but you can add effects, adjust the audio and include media from your computer, plus insert titles, annotations, and captions. You also have options to add transitions, cursor effects, animations and more. Camtasia's editing offerings are on a level with the some of the top-rated video editing apps.

(Image credit: Techsmith)

During testing, we created a test video using each application on our lineup. Our video experts then examined the results looking for flaws in the picture and audio.

What they found with Camtasia was an excellent quality video. There was no pixelation, hesitation, blur or any other imperfection to be seen. When you use Camtasia, you can count on the highest-quality picture possible.

Camtasia allows you to export your video in five formats: MP4, WMV, MOV, AVI and M4V. These are quite common formats, so you shouldn't have a problem playing back your files on any devices. You can also export your project as an audio file, but you only have a single format option: MP3. These should meet the needs of most users, but other applications we've tried offer more than double the number of video formats Camtasia does, and six different audio formats.

This video capture software also allows you to upload your finished projects directly to video-sharing sites Vimeo, YouTube and Screencast. You also can send them to your Google Drive or My Places, TechSmith's cloud service. This may seem trivial, but it cuts out the need to upload videos manually. And if you make a lot of videos, uploading time really adds up.

You can learn how to use the software to its fullest potential by reading articles in their knowledgebase or watching step-by-step video tutorials. If there's a feature in Camtasia, TechSmith wants you to know how to use it.

Should you buy Camtasia?

Camtasia is used by professionals all over the world, and with good reason. It offers more tools and features than nearly every other program on our lineup. It's also easy to learn and use. If you run into any difficulties, you can consult tutorials on TechSmith's website. You also get a nearly compressive array of video-editing tools that rival standalone editing apps. Perhaps most importantly, the finished videos are the highest quality of any video capture software we reviewed. It has a higher price tag than other software, but it's worth the investment if you plan to use it regularly.