When I first started in the world of public relations and digital marketing one of the greatest difficulties I experienced was content creation. As a journalist I was a strong writer and a pretty shoddy photographer, but the use of the Adobe Creative Suite was a foreign concept that pulled many hairs for months. It also costed $30 a month to use, which is over budget when considering a poor college student’s budget. DaVinci Resolve 15 by Blackmagic Design is a great free alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut X Pro as a robust video and audio editor.
Getting Acquainted with DaVinci Resolve 15
My first time using DaVinci Resolve 15 was when I job shadowed at Friendly Chevrolet as part of my training at General Motors. During the training the district digital managers were tasked with creating a video of what we learned during our shadowing.
By this point I had a bit of experience using Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro X, but I couldn’t bring my entire editing set up with me to Minnesota. I did have my work laptop, a Dell Latitude with an i5 dual core processor and 6gb of RAM, which isn’t well-suited to intensive editing work. It also wasn’t loaded with any editing software, leaving me with performing edits on my phone or the YouTube editor, which is subpar at best.
I searched around for a copy of Windows Movie Maker, which I couldn’t find with dubious authenticity, but I stumbled upon DaVinci Resolve 15 and it saved the day for my video editing.
DaVinci Resolve 15 Overview
Like I mentioned before, DaVinci Resolve 15 is a free software alongside a $300 pro version that offers extra features for the more engaged editor. For most people doing light video editing or audio touch up work the free version is well equipped to take on the task, although the free version is a fully functional software with no limitations imposed on the user.
The interface is modern, although there is a learning curve that may warrant the viewing of one or two tutorial videos. It offers presets to make it look like other editing softwares in layout.
One of the greatest benefits to using DaVinci Resolve 15 is its color correction and grading capabilities, which are bar-none compared to Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro X as stated by a number of users. I was able to pick certain hues and colors and adjust them with precision while using the software, although my color correction was very admittedly minimal when testing the product.
The program also offers a “live save” option to prevent losing edits on a project if the program were to suddenly crash, which does happen from time to time.
Users can also utilize nodes to layer changes to images while turning off individual nodes and orders to change the picture presented on screen. There are also keying and masking capabilities to correct the image as precisely as possible.
Regarding audio editing DaVinci Resolve 15 is similar in capability to Adobe Premiere Pro. The software offers a full professional mixer, several plug-in effects, equalization and dynamics, editing and automation.
For editing and rendering clips, DaVinci Resolve 15 features a video-playback engine with CPU and GPU optimization, allowing for a smoother editing process and quicker render times without bogging down your computer. My underequipped laptop had no issues running and editing in DaVanci Resolve 14, which is significant given it’s unimpressive specs.
DaVinci Resolve 15 is a Fantastic Editing Software
If you’re looking to editing in higher frame rates above 60fps or better quality than 1080p, I would suggest using the paid version of DaVinci Resolve 15, which offer those settings. For light and medium-duty editors the free version of the software is fantastic for color editing and on par with Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Flash Cut Pro X for non-linear editing. I would highly suggest using the software, whether you’re on a budget or looking to enhance the quality of your videos.
DaVinci Resolve 15 is available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Laz’s Question of the Day: DaVinci Resolve 15 Afterthought
What video and audio editing software do you use? Let me know in the comments below!
Author: Brandon Lazovic
Brandon Lazovic is a district digital manager at General Motors assisting a number of dealers in New Mexico and southern Colorado with website optimization, reputation management, content creation, CRM integration, social media promotion and search engine marketing. Before Lazovic began working at General Motors he collaborated with start up companies in Ann Arbor, Mich. to expand their businesses through digital marketing initiatives and previously served as the news editor for the Eastern Echo in 2016 and as a staff writer for the EMU media relations department in 2017.