This Is Not Your Typical Camtasia Vs Screenflow Review (Hint: I Got A Refund)

After years of using Screenflow on the Mac, I decided to test out Camtasia for screen recording on Windows. It did not go according to plan.
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If you go search for Camtasia Versus Screenflow on Google or Youtube, you're sure to find plenty of comparisons. They'll go through features and such and try to declare a winner (often with affiliate links, of course 😉 ). 

This is not one of those comparisons.

This is just a short tale of my experience with both of these titles popular for screen recordings.

I wanted to share it because I know I have students and readers who, themselves, are creating online courses or Youtube videos and may be looking at these options to get it done.

I have used the Mac exclusively for over 10 years. And almost all of my work for recording online courses and video blogs has been done with Screenflow.

I really like Screenflow.


I recently bought a gaming PC. And, I wanted to set it up for work purposes as well. After all, Windows has advantages in some areas and this is certainly a pretty nice PC.

I wanted to see if I could re-create the same streamlined workflow for videos on the PC as I do on the Mac. It doesn't need to be identical. Just... convenient.

And the cream of the crop of screen recording and editing for Windows is Techsmith Camtasia.

Long ago in my pre-Mac days, I used Camtasia. And it worked just fine.

Unfortunately, here in 2020, I cannot say the same.

Despite my PC being a gaming PC with plenty of horsepower, Camtasia couldn't seem to operate in a streamlined, trouble-free way.

Some of the issues I experienced included:

  • Video footage from the camera playing back at a lower frame rate, giving the footage a jittery look.
  • Slow playback and movement through the video while editing
  • Slow exporting, or exports hanging up mid-way and failing to complete. Sometimes getting stuck at 99%.
  • Periodic issues with audio and visual getting out of sync

When I go into the Techsmith support forums, I see plenty of people experiencing similar issues. You can view my support thread right here.

Dealing with Techsmith support was unsatisfying. He was clearly running through some flowchart with me, having me export logs and send all this stuff to them. It was a big pain in the ass.

And so... I gave up and requested a refund for Camtasia.

I'm not going to pay $249 for something that I have to invent weird workarounds in order to use. My PC has plenty of power and is fully updated and there's just no excuse for Camtasia running so unreliably on this machine. And I'm not alone in this experience.

My experience with Screenflow on the Mac continues to be FLAWLESS.

It just works, as they say in Apple land. 😉

And so.... while I use the PC for a lot of my daily work, I keep the Mac right next to it and still use it regularly. I do all of my video recording on the Mac.

Yes, I could absolutely record videos using other software on the PC. I'm well aware of that. I could record in OBS or vMix and edit the footage in some other editor.

But, the recording and editing experience of Screenflow is just streamlined. I can do it all in one piece of software. It is a nonlinear editor so I have full flexibility. I don't have to record videos externally and import a pile of MP4 files. I can do it all in one place.

And so, I just stick with Screenflow.

My experience is such, in fact, that I would always keep a Mac in my office just for this. If I didn't already have a Macbook Pro, I'd go pick up a Mac Mini just for video work.

It is unfortunate that Camtasia isn't 100% reliable. I wanted it to work. It is as close to the same Screenflow-like convenience as you can get on Windows.

But, it wasn't meant to be.

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  1. I’ve tried lots of different recording/editing software including Camtasia. I now use Screencast-o-matic. Don’t be put off by the 90’s name, or the cheap price. It works on mac and pc (I use on mac). I like the stripped down editor – I don’t need all the features of something like Camtasia, but best of all is the tight integration between the screen/webcam recorder and the editor. Plus uploading to vimeo, youtube etc is built in. It’s a little slow in the rendering but that doesn’t get in the way of producing short videos. I’ve recently ditched Vimeo in favour of screencast’s own hosting which I prefer over Vimeo’s clunky UI. It seems to stream just as well and has a nice player.

    1. The recording isn’t the issue. I can do that with OBS, too. It is finding a good option for both recording and editing in one streamlined app. I can (and have) recorded from the PC with OBS. And you’ve seen me live stream from it. But, finding the same kind of workflow as I have with Screenflow has proven very difficult on Windows so far.

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