CATS2008 session: Captivate v. Camtasia smackdown!

Patrick Crispin has created an evaluation rubric to pit these two worthy competitors against each other, specifically Adobe Captivate 3 vs. Techsmith Camtasia 5 (newer than what we’re using in TLP). His matrix weights ease of editing very highly (appropriately, I think) but gives nearly equal weight to ease of recording and captioning.

In his live demo of Captivate, I’m seeing some very nice features – simulation mode, snap application window size to a recording window (instead of having to to it the other way around). There’s a MS Vista bug that’s very annoying. Doesn’t record mouse movement, records a path and simulates the motion on playback: excellent compression – this really isn’t a movie recording. Wow – easy to time-compress segments in editing, alter mouse paths, and more with Adobe’s very sleek multi-track interface; of course, they make Premier!
Camtasia 5 also has some improvements in the recording interface with app window resizing. Camtasia is creating a true movie, of course, and scores much higher for Patrick on the recording, even though you can’t create interactive simulation.
On the production side, camtasia now has presets for iPod video and blog posts, where the cool pan-and-zoom functionality is very preferred to shrinking the end product.
They score pretty much equally on editing. As for output, Captivate cretaes an attractive flash product (4 files), as you might expect. Camtasia, however, has the very flexible output module we know and love, with the ability to link an mp3 and iPod file as bonus downloads with your video version! We should really take advantage of this more often.
Camtasia has a much better captioning system, and despite some keyboard access issues with their flash interface, they are a pretty clear winner in this competition.


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