If you haven't already heard of TechSmith the chances are you soon will. As an innovative developer of useful and intuitive apps like SnagIt (which I have used for over three years) and Camtasia Studio it is steadily forming a name for itself and its latest evolution of the latter looks set to boost this considerably...
'Camtasia Studio 5' is being hailed by the company as a genuinely next generation knowledge sharing tool and based on the number of 'How to...' articles and shoddy videos currently circulating the web it could have huge appeal.
Taking the welcome, yet all too rare, step of adding features and still simplifying the interface Camtasia 5 enables users to create professional looking videos and screencasts with previously unknown ease. Impressive features such as 'SmartFocus' - which automatically tracks the movement of the mouse, tagging clicks and zooming into relevant areas or dialogue boxes - is a time-saving boon, while 'Snap-to-Apps' intuitively places applications, dialogue boxes and the cursor in the right recording position at the right time creating automate framing. 'ExpressShow' then keeps a real time track of your footage in a discreet side window.
Furthermore, embracing the YouTube/iPod generation Camstasia 5 enables sharing online in all popular streaming media formats including Flash (SWF, FLV), fixed media such as CD and DVD and even direct device output (iPods including iPhone/iPod touch, mobile phones, and more).
Finally, Camtasia is being integrated into TechSmith's new Screencast service which lets users share anything from documents and images to presentations and video for quick blog/ftp linking.
As for pricing Camtasia doesn't come cheap at £176, but it does come with a free trial and, speaking frankly, I haven't seen such intuitive software design outside of Cupertino.