DaVinci Resolve stands out as an exceptional video editing software—a fully featured and immensely powerful tool, all while being completely free. This unconventional approach is attributed to Blackmagic Design, the company behind the software, which sells complementary hardware to support this impressive video editing solution. The business model seems to subsidize the development of DaVinci Resolve.

A more advanced version, DaVinci Resolve Studio, offers over 50 additional features on top of the already comprehensive Resolve. Priced at $295 for a perpetual license, it ensures free future updates, making it an attractive option for professionals. DaVinci Resolve Studio also includes Fusion, a VFX software that rivals Adobe After Effects.

The software is divided into various 'Pages'—Media, Cut, Edit, Fusion, Color, Fairlight, and Deliver—each serving a specific aspect of the post-production process.

Improvements in the Edit

The Edit page, where users construct their videos, has undergone several useful tweaks. Notable improvements include the ability to mark gaps in the edit quickly using keyboard shortcuts and filling them rapidly with selected clips from the Media Pool. Precise control over clip volume adjustments is enhanced by holding the shift key while dragging.

For users handling complex edits with multiple timelines, customizable keyboard shortcuts for 'Next Tab' and 'Previous Tab' commands have been introduced. The Fusion page, dedicated to visual effects, now features an improved Composite Mode menu that provides instant previews, streamlining the selection process.

Details in the Cut

The Cut Page, designed for easy access to transitions, introduces an innovative feature allowing asymmetric trimming of video or audio transitions. By holding down the Command or Control key, users gain precise control over the placement of transitions, ensuring the desired effect.

Additionally, the Text tool in the Cut Page receives improvements, including support for combined glyphs and right-to-left support.

Color and Fairlight

The 'Color' page introduces 'automatic color management' through the 'DaVinci YRGB Color Managed' option, streamlining the color grading process. In the 'Fairlight' page, multi-channel support for Linux systems and VST3 plugin support for Macs and Windows are notable additions. Manual plug-in controls on each channel strip enhance flexibility.

Time to Deliver

When exporting the final project, users can color-code markers, specifying colors for chapter markers. This color-coding is preserved when saving files as QuickTime or MP4 formats, and it works seamlessly when sending videos directly to YouTube.

Under the Hood

Underlying improvements include full compatibility with Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, offering significant performance gains. The decoding speed for 12K Blackmagic RAW files is three times faster, and the DaVinci neural engine performance sees up to four times faster real-time face detection, object detection, and smart reframing.

Final Verdict

DaVinci Resolve remains a formidable application—powerful, regularly updated, and free. While its complexity may seem overwhelming at first, serious video editors can gradually explore its various pages, focusing initially on the Cut and Edit pages. DaVinci Resolve's capabilities put it in a league of its own, setting a high standard for video editing software.