Camtasia costs $299 and that should be a big enough incentive to at least investigate if there are free or lower priced alternatives. I checked out a few of these alternatives and found CamStudio to be one that could hold its own.
With a simple interface, CamStudio is particularly easy to sit down and use for the first time.
You simply sit down, hit the record button, and you’re off! To make it more professional, you might minimize it to the system tray and start your recording with shortcut keys. Just go to Options, Keyboard shortcuts and you can see what shortcuts already exist or assign them to your preference.
Simply record everything you do on screen, a particular window, or a fixed region to create an easy-to-follow tutorial. Pause the recording and add your own annotations to expand upon the tutorial. I’ve made a few of these just to give quick IT procedures for individuals that they can always easily look back and refer to later.
You can record to AVI or SWF (flash) for an easy web, streaming version. With the AVI version of your movie, you can use some more free software to edit and clean-up your movie like VirtualDub and SolveigMM AVI Trimmer.
Get the free Camtasia-alternative, CamStudio.
Even more alternatives that didn’t quite make the cut (but still might have their uses) for screen-cap programs:
Screen Coder 2.0
Microsoft Labs Community Clips