I had to look at this again: Camtasia vs Sony Vegas! Just what I didn’t want, happened – Camtasia problems. Specifically, Camtasia crashing again.
I’ve been using Camtasia Studio for years to record my computer screen and make videos for HeyMalc.
It’s pretty good, it has many features, and it can make pretty good videos.
That is, as long as you don’t want to edit them too much.
If you want to do a lot of editing, Camtasia (at least the PC version) crashes.
Capture vs. Editing
First, let me clarify a point which eluded me for some time, when I started producing videos for HeyMalc.
There is a difference between screen recording and editing.
Recording the screen while flicking through some PowerPoint slides and showing your audience what you are seeing in your browser or some other program, is one thing.
Editing is something else. This is where you can zoom in and out, chop out mistakes or bits of fluff, “obfuscate” passwords or other secure information, and add in “transitions” between clips, intros an outros.
Once you have recorded the screen with Camtasia you have the option to either edited in Camtasia or export it for editing in a different programme.
And editing it in Camtasia is where I’ve been having problems.
Camtasia Problems – Doesn’t Like Multiple Edits
Because I want to make the best videos possible for HeyMalc I do a lot more editing nowadays than I used to when I started out.
Basically, this is a matter of taking out all the dull bits – like the two second pauses between sentences, and sometimes whole sections where I repeat myself (a bad habit).
This makes the videos punchier and gives them more meat and less fluff. It’s also more satisfying! Which is all in line with HeyMalc overall.
The trouble is, Camtasia Studio really doesn’t like lots of edits.
What Does It Do?
With lots of edits, Camtasia gobbles up more and more memory, until eventually it can’t handle it, and it crashes.
Poor Use Of Resources
The annoying thing is, when I had my last computer built (a PC), I ordered a high specification – mainly so video work wouldn’t slow it down.
Videos are the most resource intensive work I do on my PC.
But trying to use my tons of memory and super-fast chip just ends up giving Camtasia problems! Monitoring these using the CPU Meter from Windows 7 Gadget Gallery, I can see that Camtasia only uses 15% or so of my fast computer chip.
What a waste!
Camtasia vs Sony Vegas
So I have finally “bitten the bullet” and jumped over to Sony Vegas for editing.
This is the editing software of choice for the PC.
So I still record my video in Camtasia Studio, but then I immediately render it as an .AVI file and import it into Sony Vegas.
My first impressions of Sony Vegas are that the shortcut keys for editing the timeline are much more intuitive and easier than with Camtasia.
Also, the resulting video after production is crisper without a doubt.
So, up to now, my impressions are positive.
Oh – and it hasn’t crashed!
PC vs Mac
We all know that Apple Macs use CPU and memory more efficiently than the PC and that generally they crash less. But if Camtasia for the Mac has the same basic architecture I can still see it producing problems.
Please comment below one way or the other, if you use Camtasia on a Mac.
What do Camtasia support say?
Well, they had no answer to the fact that Camtasia Studio doesn’t use the CPU or memory efficiently. They sort of agreed.
The best idea I got out of them was before your multiple edits start giving problems, render your video as an AVI file, and then import that back Camtasia as a fresh file, and continue working.
Which is kind of funny, really, because it’s saying: “We appreciate it doesn’t work very well, so go to all this trouble to avoid problems.”
I treated that suggestion with the derision I thought it deserved – until last week, when I gave it a go.
After multiple edits of my latest video, things were slowing down with Camtasia – as usual for me. So I did, indeed, render the video as an AVI file and import it to a new project file.
I started editing a fresh, and five minutes later it crashed. Ha ha!
That cemented my move to Sony!
I’ve summarized my recommendations in the illustration just taking into account Camtasia Studio, Sony Vegas Studio plus CamStudio (because if you are going to use Sony Vegas for editing, you might not want to pay for the editing capabilities of Camtasia, when you could use the free CamStudio).
I hope it goes without saying that for any video work, the more RAM and the faster your CPU the better it’s going to be. Slow CPU and small amount of RAM means you’ll get problems with any video software.
I’ve organised my recommendations in terms of cost vs hassle and this is what I have concluded.
- If you want the best solution with the least hassle then use Camtasia Studio to record your screen and then Sony Vegas Studio to edit the recording. It’s what I do and I love this combination. Any time I want to do a simple video, I can then use the editing features of Camtasia. This is the least hassle solution: but also the most pricey.
- Next comes just using Camtasia. This is fine as long as you limit the number of edits you do. Camtasia for the PC is going to cost you several hundred dollars. (For some reason knows only to Techsmith, the makers, the Mac version is much cheaper. Doh?)
- If you must have a free solution, then CamStudio is indeed free but it will take time for you to get it working. Some desirable features are absent – or problematic. For example, recording the “system audio” (which you will need to do, at some point, if you are making tutorials) is a problem. There is virtually no editing possible with CamStudio. Probably better to use Active Presenter – see this, and more options, on my Internet Marketing Tools video section.
- CamStudio (or Active Presenter) plus Sony Vegas Studio (the consumer version) will enable you to do great editing – once you’ve gone through the hassle of getting CamStudio to record your screen. This is fairly low cost answer because Sony Vegas Studio is only $50-$100, depending on the version.
I’ve Had It!
For myself, I’ve had enough of Camtasia crashing – I’ve gone for the first solution above. If it’s Camtasia vs Sony Vegas there’s no competition. I’ve made the move to Sony Vegas for my video editing.