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Ambrosia Software Snapz Pro X 2.1.2 review

It grabs screens and movies with ease, but can it capture our hearts?

Our Verdict

Pricey, but great for video capture. Stills capture could do with some changes, though

For

  • Lots of settings for captures
  • High-quality movie capture
  • Useful preview and FatBits windows

Against

  • No timed grabs
  • Somewhat awkward interface
  • Too expensive

Yeah, yeah, we know: Mac OS X already provides screen-grab keystrokes and a standalone capture app (the simplistic Grab).

But Snapz Pro X bills itself as the crème de la crème of such tools, and is aimed at professionals who've outgrown Apple's built-in freebies.

A step above the rest

Since us journo types take hundreds of grabs every year, we're ideally suited to putting Snapz Pro X through its paces, and it comes out smelling of roses, albeit roses with a bit of dung on the stem.

For movies, Snapz Pro X excels. On our test machines (a year-old MacBook and a decked-out Mac Pro), full-screen movies were recorded with no apparent loss of frames.

The number of capture options is impressive, offering a fixed camera or one that follows the cursor, various framerate and scale options, and the ability to capture audio. The preview screen is also handy for sanity-checking your settings.

Awkward interface

When the movie's done, plentiful encoding options are made available, although obnoxious sound effects ('Action!', 'That's a wrap!') and the inability to pause movie captures take the edge off perfection.

When it comes to stills, we're less impressed. Yes, Snapz Pro X offers loads of settings when capturing a screen, object or selection (including watermarks, file types, and options for scale, clipping, borders and colour changes), but the lack of timed grabs is a pain, and its inability to grab Mac OS X's drop-shadows is irritating.

The slightly awkward interface is also old hat. The zoomed-in FatBits window is useful, however, for ensuring selections are just right.

Overall, Snapz Pro X is great (if a tad on the pricey side) for capturing video, and not bad for nabbing stills, although occasional screen-grabbers are probably better off saving 15 quid and using Mac OS X's built-in capabilities instead, which work just as well.