Whether making a tutorial for a DIY project, creating a local news broadcast, or performing for live fans, Camtasia and ScreenFlow can expand creative capabilities. Neither piece of software is cheap, though, so it helps to have a good idea of the differences before making a purchase. Below is a look at a comparison between Camtasia and ScreenFlow, including features, pricing, and performance.
The tools a video creator uses can make the difference between a creative idea that sticks in their head and one that escapes to change the world. Storytellers and visual creators both have more options than ever, including the ability to share their vision with the entire world from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Feature Comparison of Camtasia and Screenflow
The core functions of both programs are streaming the on-screen display and incoming audio from a computer, recording the display and editing the video both as it is being streamed and from the video file. The video and audio can be streamed through an online service or uploaded later after making further edits to the file.
ScreenFlow supports recording and editing at 4k resolution at 60 frames per second. Camtasia can edit Ultra HD files, but 4k and higher resolutions aren’t currently an option.
ScreenFlow has a mix of performance, interface, and editing features designed to make quality broadcasts with ease. A customizable and intuitive UI takes you from installation to recording multiple input streams from your mac or linked iOS device.
Helpful tools like background remover, partial screencasting, and on-screen annotations let users replicate the play-by-play features seen in professional sports broadcasts.
Camtasia does almost all of what ScreenFlow does, but its focus leans slightly more towards high-end video production. The sheer variety of tools can be overwhelming for new users, even those with some video editing experience.
The features can also be harder to use in exchange for the degree of control that they offer more technical users. For more streaming-focused benefits, Camtasia supports on-screen quizzes and surveys, while ScreenFlow doesn’t.
Some common tasks like picking specific sections of the screen to broadcast are much easier to accomplish in ScreenFlow. Once the broadcast team has a handle on its capabilities, it can create stunningly unique streams on the fly.
When measuring performance as the speed and ease at which the software completes the task, ScreenFlow performs its intended tasks without overly taxing the hardware. Camtasia doesn’t perform much worse, though, and it can manage more detailed editing short of matching ScreenFlow’s 4k resolution editing.
Ultimately, there isn’t too much of a difference worth noting, but it can help to run trial versions of both software under a typical workload to see how they handle the job.
Operating System and Other Requirements
For dedicated Mac users, Camtasia’s macOS compatibility extends back to macOS 10.14 Mojave. ScreenFlow needs a system running macOS 10.15 Catalina or newer. If your project runs on software that requires Mojave, then you might need to install multiple operating system versions, run a virtual desktop, or use another computer to bypass the issue.
If you find yourself also needing or wanting to do video editing on a Windows machine, Camtasia is also compatible with PCs running Windows 10 with update 1709 or newer.
ScreenFlow needs a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, an i3 or better CPU, a 20 GB hard drive, and a macOS approved graphics card. None of these are very high, so the software can perform well on older computers.
Camtasia’s minimums start with 8 GB of RAM and a 6th-generation i5 CPU with recommended specifications of 16 GB and a 10th-Generation i5 or an M1 Apple Silicon processor. Having the recommended requirements enables users to make the most out of the variety of advanced editing tools in the program.
Both products have similar levels of active support from both the company and the community of users, including paid premium support options. Aside from the user documentation, there are tutorial videos and guides available from a number of sources.
Comparing the Price of Screenflow and Camtasia
Keeping in mind that the pricing of a piece of software can change more rapidly than its features, looking at the current prices can help you pick in the moment, and readers who find this after a change can use it to see the products’ historical pricing trends.
Camtasia starts at $299 for individual users. ScreenFlow’s base cost is $149 per user license. This marks it as the clear winner in this portion of this heads-up competition at about half the price. This trend has been consistent over the past price hikes in their short stint of market competition, with ScreenFlow costing $99 back when Camtasia was $199.
You don’t have to continue paying for the software once you buy it, but both companies charge for upgrades, additional features, and priority technical support. ScreenFlow charges for access to premium support services and its library of stock media assets. The library runs $79 a year, and the support is $39 a year.
Camtasia includes the next version of the software as part of its cost, which does cut down on the price over time. The annual cost for the Camtasia Maintenance support service is $50, but the price includes continued access to the next version.
For companies that have several content producers and editors who will benefit from sharing the same software, additional licenses can be purchased at a discount.
ScreenFlow’s bulk Super Pak includes 5 licenses with a year of access to the stock media library for the price of just the licenses, and the bulk premium support package also cuts the cost of the first year of media access. If you don’t plan on utilizing the assets, the promoted bulk packages offer no benefit.
The company does have a general policy on desktop applications that gives a 5% cost reduction when buying 10 to 20 copies, which rises to 10% for larger orders.
Camtasia’s bulk discount has a larger range of price drops with the suggestion to contact sales for orders of over 100. In the 10-14 range, the discount is just over 9%. Once you go beyond that, the discount is greater than ScreenFlow’s by percentage up to about 20% for 50 to 99 units.
ScreenFlow’s company offers a 10% discount to educational institutions and non-profit organizations. Subscribers to the premium support service receive a 25% discount on upgrades.
Camtasia’s educational discount is over 25% off of the sticker price, taking it down to $214.71 per unit. The government discount is not quite as large, at $268.99 to start with. The bonus combined with the bulk discount lowers the minimum listed price to $190 for the educational version.
Which Video Editing Software Should You Pick?
Both options have a mix of advantages and disadvantages when making a direct comparison. ScreenFlow’s price is substantially lower, which pairs with its more intuitive interface to make it the most accessible option. Being able to handle 4k video better than Camtasia gives a slight edge in the quality department, as does the quality of its audio recording and ability to record from multiple input streams.
For the bulk of modern usages, such as streaming content, ScreenFlow does everything that it needs to do without additional features inflating the cost. Its infinite trial makes it easier for busy amateurs who are experimenting with streaming in their rare downtime to test out the software before committing to a purchase.
Where Camtasia will pull ahead is for creators and teams working on more advanced projects where the details of every frame will matter. The drop to UHD can be disappointing, but the suite of tools can allow the full realization of the creators’ ideas to come to life. I
f you stick with Camtasia over time, the value of the Camtasia Maintenance can potentially make it cost less than ScreenFlow, but the initial investment will be higher.
Educational institutions like digital art or broadcasting schools may find the combined discounts and enhanced performance combination very attractive.
If the initial price doesn’t immediately make the decision for you, the best bet is to give both an honest attempt through their trial version.
FAQ for Camtasia and ScreenFlow
Do you have to keep paying for Camtasia or ScreenFlow?
For both Camtasia and ScreenFlow, your initial software purchase is yours to keep. New versions and additional features may require further payments.
Is there a trial version for Camtasia or ScreenFlow?
Both Camtasia and ScreenFlow have trial versions available for testing the software. Camtasia’s has a 30-day limit, while ScreenFlow will let the trial version run indefinitely. Both produce watermarked versions of content until a license is purchased.
Can ScreenFlow and Camtasia stream in high definition?
Camtasia supports editing of videos up to ultra HD, and it can import 4k and 5k videos for other purposes. ScreenFlow can stream, record, and edit at up to 4k resolution.
Can I stream from multiple sources using Camtasia or ScreenFlow?
ScreenFlow supports streaming from multiple video and audio sources at the same time. Camtasia has no current way to do so.