If you're aiming for professional-level color grading and intricate control, DaVinci Resolve is your best bet, endorsed by industry experts for its advanced features. For simpler projects like social media posts or digital courses, Filmora's user-friendly presets offer a quick and effective solution.
If you're an aspiring film editor, a vlogger, or just someone who loves creating videos, you're in the right place. Trust me, I've been in your shoes.
First, let me share a bit of my personal journey. I've been editing videos for over a decade, and I'm a certified expert in the field. I've used a variety of software over the years, but DaVinci Resolve has become one of my go-to programs (amongst Premiere Pro & After Effects. That said, I have also used several online video editors such as Filmora and Movavi, especially for small, bulk projects (you'll find out why later in this comparions article). I use it for everything from personal projects to high-stakes client work. But before I became a DaVinci Resolve aficionado, I had years of hands-on experience with Premiere Pro. And even before that, my first love in the editing world was Filmora. I have a personal connection to these tools, and I've seen their real-world applications.
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both DaVinci Resolve and Filmora offer a range of pricing options to suit different needs and budgets. DaVinci Resolve provides a powerful free version but lacks some advanced features, while Filmora offers more flexibility in pricing but limits some features in its free version. The choice ultimately depends on what you're looking for in a video editing software.
Free Version Doesn't Include The Following:
From my perspective, if you're serious about video editing, the $300 for the Studio version is a worthy investment. It's a one-time payment, and you get a plethora of advanced features that are industry standard and often cited in reputable sources.
As i said in the intro of this article, this was one of the first software I ever used, and it holds a special place in my heart. It's incredibly user-friendly and perfect for beginners or those who need to get a video out fast.
What You Get:
Filmora offers a buffet of pricing options, each catering to different needs. If you're just starting, the $40-a-year option is a great way to dip your toes in the water. If you're more committed, the $100-a-year plan offers you a wealth of creative assets.
DaVinci Resolve offers a more automated, streamlined workflow that's a godsend for complex, multi-layered projects. Filmora, with its single-window setup, provides a simpler, more manual workflow that's perfect for straightforward projects or for those just starting out. Both have their merits; it's all about what fits your specific needs and skill level.
In DaVinci Resolve, you're greeted with two distinct windows: the Source Monitor Window and the Playback Monitor Window. The Source Monitor Window is where you can preview your raw footage. Trust me, this feature is a game-changer. You can drag your entire video—let's say a 30-minute interview—into this window. From there, you can slice it into smaller, more manageable 10-second or 20-second clips, or whatever suits your project. It's like having a prep kitchen where you can chop up all your ingredients before cooking.
But here's the kicker: when you drag these 'ingredients' (your video clips) into the timeline, DaVinci Resolve automatically separates the audio from the video. Imagine you're making a sandwich, and the software automatically separates the lettuce from the turkey; it's that convenient. This feature is especially useful if you're dealing with multi-layered projects that require you to edit audio and video tracks separately. It's a time-saver that I've personally found invaluable in my professional work.
This level of detail is part of why DaVinci Resolve is the go-to for Hollywood-level films. But let's be real: if you're a vlogger or content creator who doesn't need to dive deep into the nitty-gritty of color science, Filmora's more straightforward color adjustment features will likely suffice.
Now, let's talk about rendering, which is the process of generating the final video from all your edits. The free version of DaVinci Resolve doesn't support GPU rendering. GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is the part of your computer responsible for rendering images and videos. Without GPU support, rendering 4K or long videos in DaVinci will feel like watching paint dry.
If you're working on a computer that's seen better days, Filmora is your friend. It's a lighter application, meaning it doesn't demand as much from your computer's hardware. In my experience, this is a significant advantage for those who don't have the luxury of a high-end PC.
Filmora, operates on a single Playback Window. This is where you'll be doing all your chopping and dicing. You drag your entire video—let's stick with the 30-minute interview example—into the timeline and start cutting it up right there. It's a more hands-on, manual approach. I've noticed it's like carving a sculpture out of a single block of marble; you have to work on the entire piece in one go.
Now, when you drag your clip into Filmora's timeline, the audio and video are like conjoined twins; they stick together. But don't worry, you can separate them. All you have to do is right-click and choose "detach audio," and voila, they're separated. It's an extra step, but it gives you the same level of control over your audio and video that you'd get in DaVinci Resolve.
Lastly, consider the storage space. DaVinci Resolve takes up about 4 GB of your computer's storage, while Filmora is much lighter, requiring only around 1 GB. If you're running low on disk space, this could be a deciding factor.
Both DaVinci Resolve and Filmora have you covered. Let's break down the core features that both offer:
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If you're a beginner or working on projects that don't require the finesse of a Hollywood colorist, Filmora's 47 presets will serve you well. But if you're diving into a project that demands meticulous color grading, DaVinci Resolve's 108 presets and advanced features are unparalleled.
Incase you didn't already know, It's not just me saying this; DaVinci is a tool that's been endorsed by Hollywood professionals and has been cited in numerous industry publications. The software offers an advanced color grading system that's been used in blockbuster films. Specifically, it comes with 108 preset options. These presets are not just random filters; they are meticulously designed settings that can transform your video into a cinematic masterpiece.
The software uses a feature known as nodes (think of them as individual adjustment layers) that allow for intricate color adjustments. You can manipulate the hue, saturation, and luminance values with pinpoint accuracy. If you're working on a project where color is not just an element but a character in your story, DaVinci Resolve is your go-to tool.
Filmora, on the other hand, is more suited for projects with a quicker turnaround and a broader audience, like social media posts, digital courses, or website content. It offers 47 preset color grading options, which, while fewer in number, are incredibly user-friendly. These presets are designed for those who may not have a deep understanding of color theory but still want their videos to pop.
While Filmora's color grading capabilities are robust, they are not as intricate as DaVinci Resolve's. You won't find the same level of control over individual color channels or the ability to work with high dynamic range footage. But let's be clear: for most everyday applications, Filmora's color grading is more than sufficient.
When it comes to titles and subtitles, which are essential for adding context or commentary to your videos, both Filmora and DaVinci Resolve offer different flavors.
Filmora is like the Netflix of title templates; it offers a staggering 3,000 text titles and 15 subtitle templates. Imagine walking into a library and finding a book on almost every topic you can think of—that's Filmora for you. Whether you're creating a vlog, a corporate video, or a short film, you'll likely find a title template that fits your theme.
However, there's a catch. Most of these titles are not pre-loaded into the software. You'll need an internet connection to download them from Filmora's online library. So, if you're working from a remote location with spotty internet, this could be a hurdle. It's something I've personally experienced when I was editing a travel vlog in a remote area.
On the flip side, DaVinci Resolve offers 67 title templates. Yes, the number is significantly lower compared to Filmora, but here's where it gets interesting. DaVinci Resolve's titles are more on the professional side. Think of it as a specialized bookstore that only carries high-quality, expert-level material. These are not your run-of-the-mill titles; they are designed for professional-grade videos and offer a level of sophistication that you might not find in Filmora's extensive library.
So, if you're looking for quantity and variety, Filmora is your go-to option. But remember, you'll need a stable internet connection to access its vast library. On the other hand, if you're aiming for a more professional look and are okay with fewer options, DaVinci Resolve is the better fit.
I'm not going to bother going in-depth with sound effects because you can literally get any free SFX online for both softwares.
Both have a decent range of around 1000 audio files to get you started, most of which are for transitions.
Filmora is the undisputed champion when it comes to the sheer volume of transitions. We're talking about a staggering 1,100 options here. Imagine having a toolbox with over a thousand tools; you're bound to find the perfect one for any job. However, much like its title templates, you'll need to download most of these transitions before you can use them. So, if you're somewhere without reliable internet, this could be a stumbling block. Trust me, I've been there, and it's not fun.
Filmora also offers an eye-popping 2,200 video effects, categorized into cinematic, timer, scanline, flicker, opening, and more. These effects relate to animated frames and 3D visuals, offering a level of creativity that's hard to match. However, only a few of these are free, so you might need to invest a bit if you're looking for something more advanced.
DaVinci Resolve, on the other hand, offers fewer than 100 transitions. But don't let the numbers fool you. What it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. These transitions are more tailored for professional use, offering a level of finesse that you might not find in Filmora's extensive list.
DaVinci Resolve only offers 12 simple video effects and nearly 80 professional Resolve FX filters. These are not your everyday effects; they are designed for projects that require a higher level of expertise. Unlike Filmora, these 12 video effects can be customized to create almost anything.
Choose Davinci If you want to make professional videos with templates and presets. The program has similar capabilities to Premiere Pro.
Choose Filmora if production speed and simplicity is your priority. You cannot expect to have easier functionality without sacrificing greater quantity and quality features.