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TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7 review

Jim Martin
10 May 2010
Camtasia Studio 7
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
220
inc VAT

A powerful screen recording tool that's very easy to use. It's expensive, though, and for this reason misses out on an award.

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Camtasia Studio allows you to create videos of your Windows desktop. Whether you want to create a tutorial showing others how to achieve a certain task or you simply want to demonstrate something, Camtasia makes the job simple.

When you run the software, a small toolbar sits on your desktop showing basic settings and a record button. You can choose to record full screen, just the active window or a certain resolution. You can even record picture-in-picture with an overlay of your webcam feed, so people can see you talking through your video. Audio options include recording system sounds and microphone inputs.

Once you've finished recording, the video editor loads. This behaves much like any video editing software. There are library, preview and timeline sections and it's easy to trim the beginning and end of your video to show just the portion you want. If you realise a section in the middle need to be cut, simply highlight it and click on the scissors icon. As you'd expect, there are transitions to link clips, and titles and intro sequences to add polish to your video. There isn't a huge selection, but production values are high.

It's easy to add narration after you've edited your video - you simply click the Voice Narration button and talk as your video plays. There are various ways to highlight your cursor, including enlarging it, highlighting it and applying effects when you click the left or right buttons so your audience knows what you're doing. The same now applies to keystrokes in version 7, so key combinations such as Ctrl-C are shown on screen.

There's a whole library of 'callouts' so you can add arrows or speech bubbles on top of videos. New in this version are animated arrows and circles that look as if you're drawing in real-time. As with transitions, their duration is easily customisable.

Smart panning and zooming can automatically enlarge certain areas of the screen to highlight the action. This is automatically applied when you select low-resolution output, such as for the iPhone's 480x320 screen. We found it worked well and it's easy to edit mistakes. Camtasia will output to all popular formats including iPhone, YouTube and 'HD' but you can create custom presets to suit.

At £220, Studio 7 isn't cheap, but it's very easy to use and comprehensive. For some, it's overkill but if you want a professional-looking finished product, it's a great choice.

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Price£220
Detailswww.techsmith.com
Rating****

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