Davinci Resolve: Free Vs Studio – A Detailed Comparison

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘What can it ACTUALLY do? Davinci Resolve Free Vs Paid!’ by MrAlexTech

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
DaVinci Resolve has a free and paid version with different features and system requirements, including hardware acceleration, resolution limits, effects availability, and collaboration options, aiming to support user learning and career progression.

Key Insights

  • DaVinci Resolve has a free version and a paid version.
  • The free version is actually free and has been for a long time.
  • The free version requires a decent system to run well, preferably a device with a dedicated graphics card.
  • The free version allows hardware accelerated encoding, but only with one GPU. The paid version allows for multiple GPUs.
  • Hardware accelerated decoding is only available in the paid version, so certain video files may run slower on the free version.
  • The free version has no time limit or usage restrictions and includes all future upgrades and updates.
  • There are no watermarks in exported videos, but watermarks appear on the edit page if studio-only features are used.
  • The maximum resolution for timeline and export quality is Ultra HD (3840x2160 or 4K).
  • Custom aspect ratio timelines are possible in the free version, except for Ultra HD resolution in portrait mode.
  • The free version supports importing higher frame rate footage but is limited to exporting at a maximum of 60 fps.
  • The free version primarily supports consumer-level 8-bit footage and may not handle 10-bit or above footage as well.
  • There is an extensive list of supported formats and codecs in DaVinci Resolve, which can be found in Blackmagic's documentation.
  • Transitions, titles, and Fusion (visual effects suite) are available in the free version, allowing users to create their own.
  • Many effects are available in the free version, including masking, slow motion, mirroring, slideshows, green screening, tracking, stabilization, shake reduction, and more.
  • Some high-end effects like lens correction, noise reduction, motion blur, and analog damage are limited to Resolve Studio.
  • The free version provides 90-95% of the color grading abilities found in the paid version.
  • Multicam editing and audio sync features are available in the free version.
  • Audio controls and effects, including noise reduction, compression, and pitch adjustments, are included in the free version (except Dolby Atmos mastering).
  • Exporting in various formats with customizable settings and export presets is possible in the free version.
  • Collaboration features are now free in DaVinci Resolve, allowing remote work across multiple devices with other editors.
  • The free version is intended to help users learn and progress, potentially leading to purchasing the paid version or other Blackmagic products.
  • The business model of offering a free version is aimed at helping users build careers and make money from their work.
  • NVIDIA and Box.co.uk are sponsors of the video, promoting NVIDIA Studio and the use of NVIDIA GPUs for better performance in creative applications like DaVinci Resolve.

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DaVinci Resolve. You’ve probably heard of it by now, and you’ve probably heard that there’s a free version and a paid version. But which version is right for you? And is the free version even any good? Well, let’s find out. But before we do, this is a Razer Blade 17 with an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU. Now this was sent to me to play with by this video’s sponsor, NVIDIA and Box.co.uk.

NVIDIA Studio is an initiative to use the RTX GPU to accelerate creative applications like DaVinci Resolve and design laptops and desktop systems that are spec’d to a creative professional’s needs. And DaVinci Resolve uses that RTX GPU to deliver enhanced timeline performance, incredible GPU and AI-based effects, and improved rendering times.

And Box.co.uk have over 1 million customers, an excellent rating on Trustpilot, and 26 years of experience selling laptops, TVs, gaming PCs, components, and now NVIDIA Studio validated laptops. So head over to Box.co.uk to browse their range of NVIDIA Studio validated laptops. Plus you get free delivery on select products and the ability to select your own delivery window. Winner.

First, probably one of the most common questions, is it really free? Yes, it really is free. There isn’t a catch. It’s free. It’s been free for a long time, and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

Yes, it does need a relatively decent system to run well. If you’re on Windows, you absolutely need a device with a dedicated graphics card. Ideally something powerful like that NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti, but I actually ran DaVinci Resolve for years on a 6GB NVIDIA GTX 1060 and honestly, it ran okay. Just adjust your expectations depending on your system.

Now, you can utilize that GPU when rendering your videos as hardware accelerated encoding is now included within the free version of DaVinci Resolve. Now, if that sounds like jargon to you, basically graphics cards are really good at actually creating the video files. So being able to use the GPU to deliver the video just means faster rendering. But only one. The free version allows the use of just one GPU, whereas the paid studio version allows for multiple GPUs.

Now, those graphics cards are also really good at unpacking video files, also known as hardware accelerated decoding, but unfortunately, this is still limited to the paid studio version. This basically means that certain video files, like the most common H.264 video files, you’re probably getting from your regular consumer level video camera, digital SLR, that sort of thing, will run slower on the free version than on the paid version. For some, that’s reason enough to upgrade.

There’s no limit on the free version. You can use it as often and for as long as you want to. All of the future upgrades and updates are included, up until now anyway. I don’t think they’re going to change their mind. They could, but I don’t think they will. And Resolve will alert you when there’s an update so that you can go and download it and install it right away. Or you can ignore it. It’s totally up to you. The old versions will continue to run. And you can use it offline. The free version doesn’t call back. There’s no always online DRM nonsense. None of that. You can just use it whenever and wherever you want to

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘What can it ACTUALLY do? Davinci Resolve Free Vs Paid!’ by MrAlexTech