Is there a decent, cheaper alternative to Camtasia?
January 31, 2014 8:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm working on a load of small projects for the education arm of a small charity. In order to make the training more interesting, I have been tasked with finding out what can be done in the realm of screencasts. As we don't have any kind of budget, I thought we might be able use something like Camtasia, which our web developer has on his machine. Problem is, I'm pretty sure we only have one licence and I'm even surer that it's going to be a struggle to get anyone to agree to pay for any new software right now. Looking at the tutorials, I was thinking of starting (relatively) simple and maybe using a mix of Powerpoint and animations to enhance an audio lecture. I therefore have multiple parts to this question: 1) Is there a free or really cheap alternative to Camtasia that I should be looking at? or 2) Is Camtasia worth fighting for? If it is, I am willing to learn how to do awesome things with it. 3) Am I even looking at the right kind of software to do this? Thanks very much!
posted by joboe to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Camtasia's nice. I think it hits a sweet spot with affordability and features. I think you can (illegally) install it on multiple machines without it yelling at you, but a much better option is get the one license you do have on a machine that can change hands. Either a laptop people can check out or a workstation that people can schedule time on.

You already have the right tool for the job, it's just not being utilized well.
posted by jsturgill at 8:37 AM on January 31, 2014

I do really like Camtasia, and use it all the time for educational videos. I think it's worth trying to get access to it. But, as far as alternatives, the best I know of is CamStudio, which I used with pretty decent results for a while, although I still though dishing out for Camtasia was worth it.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:40 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have to say that Camtasia is the only software I brag about to others. It is very cheap compared to other video editing software. And it is much more intuitive to use. You will have no troible figuring out how to do what you want to do.
posted by jander03 at 8:44 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

One alternative I've used is Screenflow, but it's the same price as Camtasia so that's kind of a non-starter.

Jing is a decent piece of software, but definitely not a full replacement for Camtasia.
posted by kellygrape at 8:47 AM on January 31, 2014

Best answer: Camtasia's kinda of the go-to for screen casting in education. If you're interested in a free, no frills version, there's Screencast-O-Matic. It doesn't have the nifty features of Camtasia or other paid Screencasting software, but does a fine job if you're looking to just record your screen & audio. But if you're looking to do a lot of this and make it look nice, I would fight more for Camtasia.
posted by jmd82 at 9:09 AM on January 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you're running on a Mac- (or have access to one)- the built-in Screen Recording in Quicktime 10.X is quite handy for this...
posted by oldefortran at 9:11 AM on January 31, 2014

Seconding CamStudio for free software; basic but free and functional. I use Dxtory myself, which is great, costs about $35, but I think that can only record individual programs, not the whole desktop. There's also Bandicam ($39) and FRAPS ($38), FRAPS being the more popular and well-supported one.
posted by Drexen at 9:25 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

CamStudio kept on crashing for me; YMMV. Not only that, you can't do basic video editing, so joining clips together or adjusting sound levels has to all be done in other software, etc. Personally, I find camtasia to be a total time-saver.
posted by suedehead at 9:50 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

The OSX version of camtasia is far cheaper - can your elearning stuff run on a mac? 99 vs 299.
posted by TrinsicWS at 10:24 AM on January 31, 2014

Response by poster: Sadly, we are all Windows based. I did notice that there was a huge difference in price.

Thanks for all of your comments! I guess I'm gonna have to get ready to make a case for this on Monday.
posted by joboe at 10:34 AM on January 31, 2014

Best answer: CamStudio is free, powerful, and I found it easy to use.

I used my phone with a headset to record using Smart voice Recorder

And I bought Corel VideoStudio Pro x6 from amazon for $35 direct download.

A very crude example of my handiwork is here
posted by exparrot at 12:38 PM on January 31, 2014

Best answer: There are some features in Camtasia Studio [Windows] that are not available in Camtasia for Mac. I don't know the differences personally, but the Mac version is limited in a way that our teachers wish they had the Windows version. I believe it's the ScreenDraw feature. Though that really doesn't affect OP, so more others.
posted by jmd82 at 2:08 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Reclaiming safe space after suicide attempt   |   Should I take the unpaid internship? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.