Camtasia Studio 5.0 is a specialist program for those who need to record applications on their PC for training or promotion purposes. These screencasts can be saved in a range of formats, including Flash, WMV, AVI and QuickTime.

There are several competitors, including AllCapture and (for basic requirements) Easy Screen Capture Video, but none are as comprehensive as Camtasia Studio 5.0.

Not only does it capture audio and video from your PC, specifying particular parts of the screen to be recorded and annotated as necessary, but Camtasia Studio 5.0 also includes extremely useful editing tools, enabling you to correct mistakes or fine tune your recording as necessary.

What is more, Camtasia Studio 5.0 integrates with PowerPoint 2000 (and later versions) so that you can record and cast your presentations.

New to Camtasia Studio version 5.0 is a streamlined recorder that runs alongside other applications and uses crosshairs to specify the area to be captured, with recording taking place once you click a single button. SmartFocus allows you to record an entire screen and zoom into important areas while maintaining a sharp image, and ExpressShow bundles the whole recording into a single Flash file.

Many of these improvements make particular actions much easier to achieve, but the sheer amount of options means that Camtasia Studio 5.0 is not really a program for novices. However, screen capture quality (up to 30 frames per second) is superb, and the ability to tweak just about every property of a screencast – as well as add such things as quizzes and survey questions – will really be appreciated by experts.

Camtasia Studio 5.0 developer Techsmith is currently developing a video sharing site at screencast.com to which Camtasia users will easily be able to blog presentations, documents and files. The aim of the service is to provide easy sharing for high-quality video feeds.

Camtasia Studio 5.0: Specs

  • 1GHz processor (2.5GHz recommended), 512MB RAM (1GB recommended), Windows XP/Vista, 60MB disk space, DirectX 9.0
  • 1GHz processor (2.5GHz recommended), 512MB RAM (1GB recommended), Windows XP/Vista, 60MB disk space, DirectX 9.0

OUR VERDICT

In terms of features, Camtasia Studio 5.0 is the best choice for professionals, although the sheer wealth of options means it takes time to learn properly. The only down side is the fact that it is possible to buy (low-quality) recording software for £10, while AllCapture 2.0 has many features for half the cost. Camtasia beats them all – but at a steep price.

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