I have gone through a fair share of editing softwares in the 5 or so years I have been doing video. I’m talking Lightworks, Toonly, Biteable and everyone’s favorite. Premiere Pro. Then Valentine signed me up for a Davinci Resolve bootcamp. And here is what happened.
A bit of background
Before I start. I produce videos primarily for YouTube and so my views and experiences will be heavily influenced by this. Right. The boot camp. It was organized by our very own Solutions Center who are the only company in Zimbabwe licenced to distribute and offer support for Black Magic products and services. And if you have not guessed, Davinci Resolve is a Black Magic product.
This bootcamp was the 1st one in Zimbabwe for Davinci Resolve and literally my 1st time using this video editing software. However, this was not the 1st time I had heard of this software. I have an old friend of mine who has been editing videos for local artists and he praised Davinci Resolve for its powerful color grading. Fun fact, he actually installed Davinci on my laptop just so that he could colour grade this music video on a sightly more powerful laptop.
Another friend of mine, Farai, Started his own YouTube Channel called The Story Untold and until then he had never edited a single video in his life. A couple of Davinci Resolve tutorials later he was producing content for his channel with a relatively underpowered laptop with almost no issues. Valentine also started using Davinci Resolve just for cleaning up audio in his podcasts and preached to me countless times that Fairlight (Davinci Resolve’s audio editing panel) is the best thing since sliced bread. So I knew about it, yes but I took my sweet time to actually give it a shot.
It was a 5 day bootcamp. 15 lessons covering the basics of the Davinci Resolve 17 software. The different pages within the software and the buttons to just get a basic project done through it. I won’t be teaching anyone in this article how to use Davinci Resolve. Like I said I literally have a 5 day experience with the software. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tell you what I liked about the bootcamp.
The learning curve with Adobe was pretty steep because I was figuring it out on the job. I would have a need for a project I am working on and then try to find where I can get the tools I need on the internet. Be it a tutorial or templates or a setting I need to turn on.
The beauty of attending an actual class in the Davinci Resolve bootcamp is that it was the best overview of the software and the features that you would commonly use. It got me rapidly familiar with the software. A lot quicker than I did with any of the other softwares I used before. Then comes the big question. Is it better?
Davinci Resolve’s Perks
For sure it is lighter than Premiere Pro and this is particularly impressive considering that unlike Adobe, Davinci has everything in one app. Instead of having 5 different pieces of software, you have one app with 5 different pages. You would expect that to make it use and abuse a computer’s hardware and resources more than Adobe but no. It can run fine on a laptop with a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. Basic hardware when it comes to video editing.
There are a couple highlight features in it that felt like absolute cheat codes. Smart audio sync on clips with maybe different angles of the same scene are automatically synced when you add them to a timeline. It’s amazing because with Premiere I had to analyze both videos and basically listen to the sync which took a lot of time for a 1 hour long podcast.
Optical flow is another one. So when slowing down a video that is not a high frame rate video, it rapidly gets choppy the more you slow it down. With optical flow you can slow it down and if it gets a bit choppy, optical flow analyses each frame and adds frames in the shoppy sections to make it smooth. It works like magic.
Object control is super accurate. You can highlight an area in a video, apply an effect and lock it to anything in the video. It will track whatever it is locked to but also adjust the effects to any changes in the orientation of the object it is locked onto. It does this in the most accurate way I have ever seen before. A lot better than anything I have been able to pull off with Premiere Pro.
Noise suppression as well. The impressive bit is you can record an audio clip of the ambient noise in the environment you want to film in. Then with the Denoiser, Davinci can learn the noise and apply noise suppression on those frequencies to that clip in the most effective way. If you are lucky you actually won’t need to tweak anything after that.
This is the biggest one for content creators in these parts of the world who may not have the budget to pay US$53 every month to use Adobe products. Davinci Resolve has a free license that allows you to use it without paying a cent. Yes the free license won’t get you the full fat list of features but you will get more than enough for let’s say the majority of your YouTube or podcast production needs.
If you want the more specialist features again it’s a once off payment for Davinci Resolve Studio of US$295 which in the long run is a lot cheaper than Adobe Creative Cloud with it’s monthly/yearly subscription model where you will always need to pay for access to use the the software or to get support.
With Davinci Resolve you get support on both the free and the paid plan and in Zimbabwe Solution Center is a licenced agent that can offer even more support for local content creators thinking of having a go at Davinci. It’s a no brainer really. There is no need for you to still be pirating Premier Pro. Davinci Resolve is a viable option and it’s free.
Will I switch?
I have already started the transition. There are some very good cases that Davinci Resolve has made in the 5 days I have been learning it. Enough to even consider getting the full fat Studio version of the software. It does not mean that I’ll be showing Adobe the boot though. Let me explain.
When it comes to the hectic production schedule that is involved with me making sure you guys have fresh videos relatively often, it helps a lot with the workflow when I can get a template for an element I need to add in a video. A template that I can modify to suit the video rather than conjuring one from scratch.
And that is a bit of a weakness for Davinci Resolve. It does not have the wealth of templates that Adobe has and it’s definitely no contest. On Motion Array, a platform I use to download mostly After Effects templates, I can have around 50 free templates for After Effects and only 3 for Davinci Resolve. The hope is that the more people use the software, the more creators make templates for Resolve.
So for now some of my projects are going to be moved to Resolve and some will remain in Adobe. But if you are jumping into content creation moving from editing on your smartphone into editing on a computer or you are coming from other editing softwares like Sony Vegas or Lightworks and you need something with a wider range of features and controls, and crucially you are working on a tight budget. Davinci Resolve is the perfect place to start.
The bootcamp I attended was a beginner’s course to Davinci Resolve 17 and it really was a shallow but very wide coverage of the software. In 2022 Solution Center will be running more bootcamps going deeper into the weeds with the different pages and features within Davinci resolve.
Edit page which will go deeper into the features in the edit timeline, Fusion page which again will go deeper into composite effects in your project, Color page which will go all out on all the tools used for color grading, one of the most popular features in Resolve. And lastly the Fairlight page which again is a sought after feature in Davinci for creators working on audio. All these will be separate so you can attend a bootcamp that covers a topic you are most interested in.
You can reach out to Solution Center using the details below:
Headquarters: 118 Enterprise Road Highlands, Harare
Phone: 08677 005 118 / 08677 005 119
One thought on “Is Davinci Resolve better than Premiere Pro?”
What a nice write up thank you.