The main difference between the two products is:
- Camtasia records a full-motion video;
- Captivate records still images, keyboard strokes and mouse movements which it assembles into a video;
The two approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses:
- Camtasia is better at recording and displaying scrolling panes, progress bars and drag-and-drop operations;
- Captivate gives a lot more control on the output. In fact, Captivate produces not only demonstrations but also true e-learning content.
The new Captivate 3.0 closes the gap and introduces full-motion recording, not in replacement but in addition to still images. Captivate is clever enough to trigger the full-motion recording when it detects a scrolling pane or a drag-and-drop. Anyway you can trigger it manually anytime.
In my opinion, Captivate 3.0 is now far superior to Camtasia on all grounds except price. The Captivate product remains significantly more expansive but it is now justified.