TechSmith Camtasia Studio 8
When we first reviewed Camtasia many years ago, it was the only application of its kind. Sure, there were other screen recording applications available, but none of them offered the flexibility and quality of output that Camtasia produced. Over the years, we've seen a few other screen recording applications start to encroach into Camtasia's domain, but Camtasia Studio still maintains a comfortable lead in our opinion.
In our testing, it was drop-dead simple to record a high quality 1080p video for YouTube using Camtasia Recorder.
The Camtasia Recorder is used to record either the entire screen or a portion of the screen. When you start the Recorder, you select an area of the screen that you want to record. You can either select a region or an application. You can also select from common screen sizes and Camtasia will highlight a section of your screen of that size so that you can easily record in exactly the dimensions you wish. In our testing, it was drop-dead simple to record a high quality 1080p video for YouTube using Camtasia Recorder.
We were pleasantly surprised at the high-quality video the TechSmith Screen Codec 2 compressor provides, especially when producing HD videos.
You can also lock the recorder to your application and Camtasia Recorder will automatically track both the position and size of your application's window. This is one of many features that you won't fully appreciate until you've used it for a while. Because Camtasia Recorder locks itself to your application window, you won't introduce unwanted shifts in your recording if you pause recording and move the application window.
After you've finished recording and you're ready to edit it, Camtasia makes it convenient and easy to ensure you end up with a video that's the size you need. Before you even get started editing, Camtasia will ask you what size you want the video to be. You can choose from a list of common video sizes and you can also specify your own size. You'll likely want to use one of the preset sizes, and it's best if you use this same size when you're recording.
When you're ready to produce your video, Camtasia offers a generous number of production options for MP4 video (including H.264 for HTML5 pages), one-click publish to YouTube and TechSmith's own Screencast.com, and many other options. Custom production options provide the ability to produce video in formats such as QuickTime, AVI, M4V, Windows Media, and much more. If you're going to use AVI as your format, our recommendation is that you use the TechSmith Screen Codec 2 compressor. We were pleasantly surprised at the high-quality video the TechSmith Screen Codec 2 compressor provides, especially when producing HD videos.
The bottom line is this; if you want to record your computer screen and produce those videos in stunning quality, there's no better choice than Camtasia Studio.
We did notice that Camtasia had a tendency to get slow when loading large projects or longer recordings. However, once the project completed loading in the editor, everything was fine and we were able to edit without any problems.
We did encounter one other snag that caused quite a long head-scratching session. One of our test projects crashed Camtasia, and when it did, it somehow managed to mute the audio for Camtasia in the Windows mixer. After quite a long troubleshooting session, we finally discovered what had happened. Once we unmuted Camtasia, everything was fine again.
The bottom line is this; if you want to record your computer screen and produce those videos in stunning quality, there's no better choice than Camtasia Studio. The fact that TechSmith has remained the king of this hill for so long is quite a testament to the conviction that they have for producing the best screen recording software money can buy.