Video Editing Software: Camtasia Studio

by Lauren Treece

Camtasia Studio is one of the most popularly recommended video editing software programs. For what it is, Camtasia is a great program BUT (and this is a very BIG BUT) it is absolutely NOT the right software for most video editing projects.

To hear some people recommend it though, you sure would get the impression that it is the be-all and end-all for video editing.

It’s NOT.

A question from a reader the other day really drove this home. He is in the cooking niche and he wanted to produce a cooking show, kind of like Emeril. He bought a bunch of video equipment, including Camtasia for editing. Problem is, for him, Camtasia is essentially worthless.


Camtasia is designed to make screen capture videos. This means that the main function of the software is the ability to record whatever is on your computer screen. Let’s say you want to make a video tutorial about how to use a computer application. Camtasia will allow you to record screen shots of the application when it is open on your computer. You can demonstrate how the software works using these screen shots. You can add audio, transitions and titles.

Camtasia is also good for making videos out of Power Point slides.

But my friend who wanted to edit his cooking show was out of luck because Camtasia is NOT designed to edit an entire show out of nothing but video you shoot with a regular video camcorder.

You can add a little bit of camera video to a Camtasia production, but it is recommended that you use that video as a small inset, a picture-in-picture (PIP) display. In this way, the camera video is designed to be an adjunct to the screen capture video. The screen capture video (or power point video) makes up the bulk of your show.

If you want to make a show out of video you shoot with a standard video camcorder, then you need a standard video editing program, like Windows Movie Maker, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier or Final Cut, to name just a few.

Those video editing programs are for editing camera video. Unlike comtasia, they can not record a screen capture shot. So if you wanted to show your computer screen in a video you are editing with Windows Movie Maker, you would either have to use a jpeg or you would need to videotape your computer screen using a video camera and then capture that video into Movie Maker in the same way you captured your vacation video. I do that all the time because I haven’t wanted to spend $ 300 for Camtasia.

Whether Camtasia is right for you depends entirely on what kind of video you want to make.

Is your video going to be full of computer screen shots or is it going to be full of video you took at the beach?

Camtasia is good software, please do not get me wrong. For what it does, Camtasia is probably the best program out there. BUT, if you want to edit videos that consist primarily of video you take with your camcorder, i.e. live action video, then you need software other than Camtasia.

I felt real sorry for my friend the chef who completely misunderstood this vital distinction before he bought his video editing software. $ 300 is a lot to waste when Windows Movie Maker would have been a better choice for him and it is free.

Thanks for reading Video Production Tips
Lorraine Grula
Internet Video Gal

Lorraine Grula is a well-respected, award winning video professional. Lorraine has done virtually every kind of video production imaginable and now shares her expertise on the web. If you are interested in making video, her blog, www.VideoProductionTips.com is full of free information and video tutorials.
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