Camtasia vs. Snagit

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I'm trying to evaluate the differences between Camtasia and Snagit. When do I use one verses the other? They both do video capture and Snagit is great for screen shots. Why would I ever use Camtasia?
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Max Holloway

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Posted 7 years ago

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Mike Curtis, Employee

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Sure, I would love to John. I hope others will share their experiences too.

I still use Snagit all the time, even though I have Camtasia Studio as well. Here might be some scenarios that highlight where each product might particularly shine.

I prefer to use Snagit when...
1. I am making a handout and need some images or examples.

2. Whenever I need to edit or annotate an image. For example, I recently cropped and scaled a logo for a PowerPoint presentation.

3. I am making a "disposable" video. These videos tend to be short and have a short shelf life. Snagit can't edit video, but when the audience is just a few people who are looking for a quick answer, I often don't choose to invest the time using Camtasia to make a more polished video.

4. Snagit has a batch conversion tool that lets you process a folder full of images all at once. This is great when you need to turn a bunch of SNAG images into PNGs or perhaps you need grayscale images instead of your color ones.

5. Anytime I need to make a rough mockup.

6. Here's a little-known or under appreciated trait regarding Snagit video. Like Jing, Snagit records and prepares the video in real time. This means that if you need to make a one minute video, it will take you almost exactly one minute. Most video creation software, (like Camtasia Studio) will have to render (produce) your video. So, creating a one minute video might take 3 minutes. (It's hard to say exactly, as it depends on content recorded, size, etc.) It might not seem like a huge difference, but for recording and sharing informal videos in the speediest way possible, Snagit takes the title.

7. I often include annotated images in emails.

8. I use Snagit whenever I have to give feedback to a colleague. I'm probably 50/50 on whether I uses images or videos depending on the type of deliverable I am reviewing. I like how I can easily "flip" between images and video.

Here's a list with some examples of people using Snagit for various purposes:

I prefer to use Camtasia Studio when...
1. The highest quality video is most important to me. (Higher frame rate, compression and production options, robust editing so I can smooth over my mistakes.)

2. I have a specific audience and I want control (or multiple types) of video formats and dimensions. For example, I want to have a video optimized for mobile delivery.

3. The video will be around for a long time and seen by many people. Therefore I'd like for it to be as professional as possible.

4. I need to record system audio (the sound from my computer) or need editable or the highest quality audio as possible. Or, I want to add music to the video.

5. I need the cursor and keystroke data captured in the Camtasia Studio Camrec file.

6. I would like to have some title/intro as well as some zooms, cuts and maybe some clip speed so I can speed up the slow parts for the viewer.

7. I would like to incorporate non-screen content. For example, live video from a Flip cam.

8. I would like webcam or Picture in Picture

9. I am making a long (10 minute +) video. The reason I use Camtasia for these are that I know I'm probably going to make substantial mistakes during my 10 minute investment in the recording. With Camtasia Studio, I can still recover and not have to do another take. Also, real-time encoding like you have in Snagit is really computer-intensive, so I'm not sure what kind of computer you have, but I find the longer I record the more likely my computer gets a little sluggish.

I hope this helps. I'm sure I'm forgetting some good cases. If images are important at your job, I think the need for Snagit is really clear. If you're only doing video, I suppose a case could be made for only needing Camtasia Studio. I tend to make a lot of "disposable" videos so I really appreciate the speed and flexibility Snagit gives me.

We have a bundle package where instead of essentially 300 + 50 = $350, you get Camtasia Studio and Snagit for $324. ( )

I'm curious to see what others think. I did my best to share my point of view, but I recognize that I could be biased. :)

We offer a fully functional 30-day trial too, so if you have the time and desire, it might be neat to try and simulate a few different types of videos you'd likely find yourself creating.

I'll be here if you have more questions, and good luck with your boss!

Mike Curtis
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Matthew Theis

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Agreed--thank you very much for the in depth summary.
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In Summary,... "Right tool, for the right job."
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Gray Bailey

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Camtasia 8 Free 30 day trial does not install. I have downloaded it five or six times it does not work.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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@Gray Bailey: For install issues, it's best to get in touch with our TechSupport staff by visiting and submitting a ticket there. Someone will follow up with you by email to help troubleshoot further.
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Honor M

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Thanks - this helped a lot with the decision process.  I need to make training screencasts for clients, so it's probably gonna be the combo pack - if for no other reason than, I'm a web developer and when I saw the scrolling capture feature of Snagit in the YouTube video, my brain instantly said "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!" :)
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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Official Response
This is still a great question. I thought I would add an updated list of common tasks. Personally, I prefer to not think of this as an 'either-or' question. Snagit has become something of a standard for anyone who works with a computer. The real question is whether to add on Camtasia and get both--using Camtasia for specialized video-related tasks. There is a discount in the TechSmith store for buying both products together at the same time. 

In general, people prefer to use Snagit when...
  • Creating simple, quick-response screencasts that show a colleague or customer how to accomplish a specific task.
  • They are making documentation and need clear images or examples.
  • They need to edit or annotate an image. For example, cropping or scaling a logo for a PowerPoint presentation.
  • They are making a “disposable” video. It’s super fast and Snagit now supports webcam. These videos tend to be short and have a short shelf life. When the audience is just a few people who are looking for a quick answer, good enough is good enough.
  • Giving feedback to a colleague (image or video). Sending a video is the next best thing to being there. Some people call it a “video voicemail”.
  • They need to extract text from an image--either during capture or afterward.
  • They need to capture screen content that extends beyond the actual screen (like Excel, web pages, PDF). We call this Panoramic Capture. 
People prefer to use Camtasia when...

  • Creating polished, planned videos for software training.
  • They want to engage their viewers with interactive content and they want to know if their content was effective.
  • They know the video will need to be updated in the future.
  • They want to add music or outside audio, including system audio from the computer.
  • They want to add effects like callouts, clicks, keystrokes, spotlights and zooms so that the viewer can easily follow along with the instruction.
  • They want to bring in outside video content, perhaps from a camcorder, colleague, etc.
  • They want to caption videos for social media viewing and/or accessibility.
Let's talk video specifically for a moment. Both Snagit and Camtasia can create videos.

When our customers describe Snagit video, they tend to use words like reactive, spontaneous, limited audience, disposable, speed.

When our customers describe Camtasia video, they tend to use words like planned, scripted, large audience, long shelf life, polished/creative, control.

This page may help too.


Mike Curtis