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DaVinci Resolve review

This DaVinci Resolve review will discuss the software’s various features and help you figure out if this editor is right for you.

DaVinci Resolve review
(Image: © Blackmagic Design)

Our Verdict

Used by top Hollywood studios, DaVinci Resolve is powerful video editing software. It brings together various post-production solutions in one space and offers advanced tools to delight proficient editors.

For

  • One-stop solution for various post-production needs
  • Powerful software free of cost

Against

  • Needs a powerful system to run
  • Steep learning curve

Although it’s free, DaVinci Resolve puts up tough competition against other industry-leading video software, like Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Both of these come with hefty price tags and don’t offer as many post-production solutions in one space as DaVinci Resolve does. 

DaVinci Resolve has a host of powerful tools for different post-production processes and has been used on many top productions, including The Avengers and The Hunger Games. 

DaVinci Resolve’s latest version (v.17) packs plenty of power, and already made it to our best video editing software roundup. In this review, we look in more detail at just a few of its many impressive features. 

DaVinci Resolve: All in one 

DaVinci Resolve review

The cut page on DaVinci Resolve (Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

DaVinci Resolve first started as colour correction software, but it evolved over the years and now houses all the post-production tools you’ll need to get a film ready. It offers support for editing, colour correction, visual effects, motion graphics, and audio post-production.

To ensure the whole gamut of high-end tools doesn’t overwhelm users, DaVinci Resolve is split into dedicated workspaces known as pages. Each page gives you tools to handle specific post-production tasks. You’ll find editing on the Cut and Edit pages, colour correction on the Color page, motion graphics and visual effects on the Fusion page, audio on the Fairlight page, and media organisation and output on the Media and Deliver pages. Everything is well organised and you can switch between workspaces with just a click. 

This one-stop solution will be appealing to a proficient editor working on a complex project that involves various aspects of post-production.

DaVinci Resolve: Audio powerhouse

DaVinci Resolve review

There’s support to edit 2,000 audio tracks (Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

The Fairlight page on DaVinci Resolve is filled with hundreds of advanced audio tools. It’s design makes it easy for new users to get started, but at the same time, it’s incredibly fast and professionals can work on colossal projects, editing up to 2,000 tracks at a time with realtime effects and EQ. It offers familiar keyboard-based editing tools that make it convenient to work with if you’re switching from another system. 

A great new feature is the Transient detection tool, which automatically finds words and beats and creates markers throughout the clip, making it easy to remove unwanted sections.

DaVinci Resolve: Fusion

DaVinci Resolve review

Remove unwanted objects using the Fusion page (Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

On the Fusion page, you can create visual effects and motion graphics using several 2D and 3D tools. With this, you can get rid of unwanted objects in the frame, place characters into 3D scenes, or even create animated titles. 

One of the updates lets you create any effect with the effect template and apply it to clips on the Edit and Cut pages with a simple drag and drop. There are also 27 new special effects, including noise reduction, lens blur, and image restoration.

DaVinci Resolve: Targeted grading 

DaVinci Resolve review

Track specific objects to color correct them (Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

Targeted grading is a brilliant feature that lets you select specific sections of a video and color correct it. Magic mask uses the DaVinci Neural Engine to isolate and track objects. It automatically creates a mask for an entire person or for specific features such as the face or hands. You also get matte finesse tools, along with tools to add and remove strokes. 

DaVinci Resolve: Multicam editing

Blackmagic Design

Edit footage from more than 16 cameras (Image credit: DaVinci Resolve)

The edit page has an elaborate multicam interface to edit complex footage from multiple cameras. You’ll find support to edit projects that have 4, 8, 16, or more cameras, and you can view footage from all the cameras playing back at the same time. There’s high accuracy syncing through audio waveform, you can switch between separate audio or video only options, and you can even trim and colour correct angles independently. 

DaVinci Resolve: Scene cut detection

DaVinci Resolve review

Scene cut detection simplifies things for you by analyzing and cutting long clips (Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

The DaVinci Neural Engine can help you analyse images, find edit points, and cut long clips into multiple shots so that you can colour correct or re-edit them. When you don’t have the original source files, this feature can save you plenty of time since you won’t have to search for edit points manually. 

DaVinci Resolve: Multi-user collaboration 

DaVinci Resolve review

Effortless collaboration for multiple departments (Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

The post-production process typically has a linear workflow where each department does its bit and passes the project on to the next department. With DaVinci Resolve’s multi-user collaboration, users can simultaneously work on the same project. Each artist gets their own workspace with the specific tools they require.

The entire workflow is tied together and managed by a robust multi-user database, universal timeline, and advanced sound and image processing engines. This means editors, colourists, VFX artists, and even sound engineers can work on the same project simultaneously. A workflow like this streamlines post-production and helps you get the project ready expeditiously, even with teammates working from remote locations. 

DaVinci Resolve: Should I buy it?

DaVinci Resolve is powerful video editing software, and version 17 is even more intuitive and streamlined. With its all-in-one post-production solution, wide range of audio, video, and color correcting tools, and multi-user collaboration feature, it’s equipped to meet all your editing needs.

Although it’s free and beginners could use it, this is complex software with hundreds of powerful tools and features that can overwhelm a beginner. If you’re looking to do basic editing, there is simpler software available, like Filmora9 or VSDC.

DaVinci Resolve Studio is the paid version and is available for a one-time fee of USD 295. With it you have access to even more advanced features, like support for 3D audio production, the DaVinci Neural Engine to simplify editing, and much more. DaVinci Resolve Studio has a steep learning curve too and is ideal for professionals working on large and intricate projects or those who are seriously considering to delve into video editing and other aspects of post-production.

DaVinci Resolve 17: System requirements 

Minimum system requirements for macOS:

  • Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7
  • macOS 10.14.6 Mojave or later
  • 16GB of RAM. 32GB if using Fusion
  • 2GB of GPU VRAM

Minimum system requirements for Windows:

  • Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7
  • Windows 10 Creators Update
  • 16GB of RAM. 32GB if using Fusion
  • 2GB of GPU VRAM

Read more:

The Verdict
9

out of 10

Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Studio 17

Used by top Hollywood studios, DaVinci Resolve is powerful video editing software. It brings together various post-production solutions in one space and offers advanced tools to delight proficient editors.