Camtasia 2018 First Impression

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My first impression of Camtasia 2018 after editing a large project is not too good. The overall experience is similar to that of version 9. Interface and workflow is the same. Nothing wrong there.

However, when editing a larger project with transitions and animations, after a while the preview screen blacks out or starts flickering and it won't stop, unless the project is reloaded. Flickering only stops when restarting Camtasia. This seems like a possible hardware acceleration problem that does not exist with version 9, at least on my Windows 7 system.

There is no noticeable improvement in rendering speed, but Camtasia still does a good job there overall. Transitions in the preview screen are not as fluent as in version 9 and I noticed one hick-up with an animation after rendering.

While the 60 fps may be a great feature, I don't recommend Camtasia 2018 for serious production yet. Being forced to reload the project while editing, or worse, having to restart the program, is not an option if a fast work flow is required. For now I will stick to Camtasia 9.
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Frank

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  • not excited

Posted 5 months ago

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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi Frank;
The behaviors you're seeing are not the expected ones, as we have seen very good results with large and complex projects. Have you opened a support ticket yet? It may be best to so our support team can look into the problems that you are running into. You can open a ticket here, or if you'd like, I can create one for you.

-Robert
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Frank

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Just to be clear, our system uses Windows 7 SP1 with the latest updates, which meets Camtasia's requirements, even though Windows 10 is recommended. If Windows 7 is already being phased out in Techsmith's current development schedule, we would very much like to know. Upgrading to Windows 10 is not an option for us, and won't be in the next two-three years.
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Kevin Mojek, Employee

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We still support Windows 7 but it's worth noting that some of the performance improvements we've made use newer hardware-accelerated features that were added in later versions of Windows. These will help with playback of MP4 video, especially at higher frame rates and larger dimensions.
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Clint Hoagland, Employee

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"Upgrading to Windows 10 is not an option for us, and won't be in the next two-three years."

Like Kevin said, we do support Windows 7 for now, though Windows 7 doesn't support some of the things we used to improve performance. It's probably worth mentioning that Microsoft itself is dropping support for Windows 7 in January 2020:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet
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McG

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The problem I have with Camtasia 9 on Win7 or 10 when editing, comes when I run the playhead into transitions.  Camtasia, tries to read the next media file from the machine's hard drive, and does this for every new piece of media.  If I have a project with several larger media files, (MP4 for example) and some narration, Camtasia halts while reading the media in.  Then jumps .5 to 2 seconds further in the video.  Testing transitions is useless with larger projects.

This is the break point, where I move the assets off to Premiere Pro, and finish with that app.  I have several projects where I've started with Camtasia, and moved it to PP after it started slowing the editing process.
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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perhaps try adding transitions as one of the last steps when editing

both transitions and captions can affect editor performance; lots of both can be an issue; so my practice is to add them at the end of editing
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Sylena.Measles

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I produced the same 30 minute video in Camtasia 9 and 2018. I even made sure the settings were the exact same for both versions of the software. It actually took longer to produce in 2018 than 9. Camtasia 9 took 4 minutes and 12 seconds. Camtasia 2018 took 7 minutes and 18 seconds. With as many videos as we produce a day, that is going to drastically slow us down. I am extremely disappointed.
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ron

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Thanks for saving me $100 for the upgrade.  Slower performance and no audio enhancements... Not sure why I'd want to spend $100 for the "upgrade"...
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kayakman, Champion

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I've produced several hundred projects with 2018; based on CS9 vs CS2018 bench marking, 2018 produces same project 20% faster

perhaps load up the 30 day free trial and try for yourself
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Kevin Mojek, Employee

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2018 will use the graphics processing unit (GPU) to help with production. For most systems with a mid-range or better graphics card, this results in faster production. On systems with integrated graphics or some other low-end card, software-only mode may be faster. In the Edit -> Preferences dialog, on the Advanced tab, if the drop-down in the Hardware Acceleration has something selected similar to "Use graphics card - Intel HD Graphics", try changing that to "Use software-only mode" and reload your project. That can make a noticeable difference on some machines.
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Mal Reynolds

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As I mentioned in another thread I got about a 10% improvement on a 42 minute video using a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060. It's not a speed demon, but not exactly slow either. That's on one example video, though. I'll do some more tests on the weekend but at this point I'm not really expecting a blistering improvement.

With regard to the one that rendered slower, it may be an idea to try it on some other projects as well to see if it's consistent.
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Sylena.Measles

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Kevin reminded me that I had Camtasia 9 set at use software-only mode so I changed 2018 to that same setting. However, it was still slower by several seconds. I honestly do not think 2018 is worth the money, but I will continue to test.
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drtoff

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I agree, on the free trial and I'm not impressed. I make primarily gameplay and animated music videos and when I try to use the footage, it plays the audio but doesn't show the picture. I'm sticking with Camtasia 9 until this gets sorted. If the free trial continues this way, I will not be investing in this upgrade (if you can call it an upgrade)
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McG

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Oops...

Project Test this morning.  Video duration=7:42.  Video assets total files size=136Mb
Running on HP ProBook with Intel i7-7600U (quad) processor @2.8GHz

Camtasia 2018 render time: 14:55
Camtasia 9.1.2 render time: 9:57
----------------------------------------------
Camtasia 2018 startup time (from file selection, to application ready): 1:07
Camtasia 9.1.2 startup time (from file selection, to application ready): 0:57
----------------------------------------------
Camtasia output settings (theoretically) identical, see attached images (thank you SnagIt)
Camtasia 2018 rendered file size: 41.56Mb
Camtasia 9.1.2 rendered file size: 40.8Mb





I wanted to add that in my very subjective observation, 9.1.2 was utilizing more of the CPU (on average), than 2018.
(Edited)
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McG

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I'd like to add something which, I'm sure, TechSmith would have asked for - Hardware Settings for each:




Based on my card, and other posts I've read, it seems like using the "software-only mode, may result in a better comparison?
(Edited)
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McG

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Oops2

When rendering is set to "software-only" mode in both apps:

2018: 17:56
9.1.2: 09:58
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi McG;

Have you opened a ticket with our Support Team to look into why you are experiencing the difference? I do see that your screenshot shows an Integrated graphics adapter which will not be able to take much advantage of the improved performance; do you have a system more tailored towards video production that you might be able to install Camtasia on in a test to see if it is related to your system's hardware/resources?
-Robert
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McG

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I'm not going open a ticket.

However, I will try the same comparison with my home machine, which is geared for video production (card/processor/raid, etc).  This (work) machine, while new, is a laptop operating on a state government IT infrastructure and configuration.  Maybe a typical Camtasia user!?

Thanks for responding, Robert!
(Edited)
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McG

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Interesting results on a different machine.
Same file as before, using same publish settings.  First, the results, then the computer specs:
File load time was about the same as the previous test.
Render with GPU:
Camtasia 2018 render time: 5:03 (14:55 with new laptop, and ineffective video card)
Camtasia 9.1.2 render time: 11:03
----------------------------------------------
Render using software-only setting:
*Camtasia 2018 render time: 13:55
Camtasia 9.1.2 render time: 11:05

* After changing the settings in 2018 from GPU to software-only, a re-start is required.
----------------------------------------------
Other notable observations:
When set to use GPU...
GPU utilization for Camtasia 2018, was about 20%, and CPU avg. was 50%
GPU utilization for 9.1.2 was 0.0%! and CPU avg. was 60%

So, 9.1.2 was not using the video card at all, even when asked to in the settings!
CPU utilization was the same for each app, whether in GPU or software-only mode
----------------------------------------------
Last evenings test machine:
Video: GTX 750 TI (bottom of the line for CUDA capable cards)
Processor: AMD FX 8350 (8 core) @ 4.1 GHz
Read/write to standard HDD, rather than available SDD or RAID array (closer approximation to real world)  Drives were really not a factor in the test.
----------------------------------------------
What have we learned?
9.1.2 wasn't using the video card at all, regardless of mode (with restarts)!
Software-only mode resulted in a slightly faster render with 9.1.2
GPU enabled mode, 2018 was considerably faster than 9.1.2 - and faster than yesterday's laptop test  (14:55 vs. 5:03 Wow!).

2018 is noticeably faster for the render utilizing a capable video card (in my ad-hoc, single subjective test)
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Will

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Same experience - 2018 performance is seriously hampered when compared to 9 (both while editing and rendering times). I regret paying $100 for the same app with downgraded performance.
(Edited)
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Frank

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I see quite some emphasis on rendering speed when comparing version 2018 to version 9. When I said that we found no noticeable improvement, we tested our short videos, typically up to 10-12 minutes. Version 9 renders a 12 min video in 1:46. Version 2018 in 1:39. Both using hardware acceleration. So our decision to upgrade wouldn't be based on rendering speed. It is the editing that gives us serious problems with version 2018.
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brett.schechter

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I have three, very powerful workstations. Purchased Camtasia 9 in February, 2018. My videos are complex, and Adobe Premiere leverages the Nvidia GTX1080 or 1070 in each machine, and flies through the typically 30-50 minute timeline renders. Camtasia though, is my favorite editor, and it is much slower. All have 6-10 core Intel CPUs in them, minimum of 32GB of fast, DDR4 RAM, all using the latest Windows 10 1803 build.

So, although I did not want to upgrade a number of licenses at $100 each, I was stoked to see the rendering engine had been tweaked to leverage hardware acceleration!

So, I ran side by side tests with the trial version, and it correctly identified my GPU (even ran a fourth test with my daughters 1060 card and i5 CPU). Camtasia 2018 was equivalent or SLOWER in all runs.

I understand the need to get money from the base, have been a product manager a long time in tech. I understand marketing claims vs reality. I also understand Camtasia is an enthusiast/semi-pro tool. It does what I need, is reasonably stable. BUT, I would gladly pay for a PRO version that is faster, allows for a bit more time saving/automation. AND, I do not like being taken advantage of. When you have a KEY , foundational feature you hype, it had best work for the overwhelming majority of users.
(Edited)
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Sylena.Measles

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Since Camtasia 2018 released an update, I decided to run another test  using the same computer and video. I am still not convinced 2018 is worth the money. Here are the results:

Camtasia 2018

Total length of video: 22:48

Production Time

AMD Radeon R7 450: 4 min 19 seconds

Use software only mode: 2 min 42 seconds

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Camtasia 9

Total length of video: 22:48

Production Time

Use GPU for video scaling and effects:  2 min 19 seconds

Use software only mode:  2 min 12 seconds

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chris.kent

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Recently upgraded to 2018 and having serious performance issues with editing.  The timeline on the audio keeps disappearing and takes 30 secs plus to come back each time. Using a new Dell i7 laptop it is taking me hours to edit a 18 minute voice over PowerPoint where it was taking less than an hour before.  Will see if I can downgrade to 9.1!  Not happy!!!
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi Chris;
Have you opened a support ticket to look into these issues? Something to note with Camtasia 2018 is that it is very OS and hardware reliant; users running Camtasia 2018 on a machine that is not necessarily designed for video production, or users that are running Camtasia 2018 on a machine running Windows 7, will likely not see the improved performance benefits of Camtasia 2018, however there are other things that may come into play (such as media type/location, conflicting applications, unsupported hardware, etc) so it is key to report any issues to technical support.

-Robert
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Michael Maardt

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thanks for all the posts. If I worked with Techsmith, I would NOT be happy ;-)
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Mal Reynolds

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You have to give them credit for not censoring them, though.

Microsloth seem to be more actively patrolling their alleged "communities" these days, silencing criticism and locking threads. The only time Techsmith does it is when perhaps the line has been pushed a little too far.

Also I think it's fair to say that a lot of the criticism comes from a genuine desire to see Camtasia and Snagit be more than they are, than from any desire to berate the products as such. If I was a Techsmithian I'd be way more concerned if there was silence, because it would suggest that people had lost interest.