DaVinci Resolve is a powerful software program professionals use to make high-quality videos. It offers many features that make it a great choice for making videos, like multitrack editing, color grading, 4K resolution videos, etc.
It has a paid version as well, offering more advanced features. So, what are the differences? This is the DaVinci Resolve free vs. Studio battle.
The main difference
Both software versions can handle high-end projects, but Studio gives us several features that make editing more powerful.
Advanced HDR grading, HDR scopes, stereoscopic 3D tools, extra filters, and audio plugins are some examples.
In this section, we cover each option of DaVinci Resolve Studio.
The incredible DaVinci Neural Engine
The neural engine speeds up the video editing process by doing complex tasks with advanced AI, machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks.
It can detect and track objects in an image or video. The support for the neural engine in the free version is limited.
Studio uses this technology to offer AI features, such as face detection, object removal, scene cut detection, speed warp re-timing, auto color matching, high-quality de-interlacing, and object isolation.
If you are looking for up to 32K resolution support at 120 frames per second (FPS) with Advanced HDR delivery, DaVinci Resolve Studio is the one you need.
The free program supports video editing and creation with up to 4K resolution and at 60 FPS only.
Related: VSDC vs. DaVinci Resolve
More format support
Both can import the majority of image and video files. The difference comes down to 8-bit and higher-bit files. According to B&H, 8-bit video files have a maximum of 16.7 million colors compared to over 1 billion in a 10-bit file.
The free Resolve version can play the 8-bit formats, while Studio can easily import and work on the 10-bit videos.
A couple of the supported formats that Resolve Studio can encode and decode:
- IMF (for Netflix, Fox, and other streaming platforms)
The powerful advanced HDR grading
High Dynamic Range, or HDR, is a technology that makes graphics look better by improving their contrast and brightness. HDR can make scenes look more natural by increasing the range of colors that can be seen.
Davinci Resolve supports basic HDR grading, while Davinci Resolve Studio supports advanced HDR10+ grading and rendering.
Advanced HDR grading takes more processing power and memory than basic HDR grading, but it gives you more flexibility and color grading features.
DaVinci Resolve vs. Studio: Professional HDR scopes
HDR scopes are used to provide detailed information about the image in graphical forms, such as the parade, waveform, vectorscope, and histogram.
The HDR Scopes are available in both versions, but Studio provides professional HDR scopes.
Those scopes can measure and give much information about ST.2084 and HLG pictures. It can replace the scope’s 10-bit scale with a scale based on nit values.
Great stereoscopic 3D tools
Another benefit Studio users have is Stereoscopic 3D, a technology that creates the illusion of depth. The illusion of depth gives videos a glowing look. The best way to see it in action is a quick “Stereoscopic 3D” on the internet.
This technology can be used in movies, video games, and other entertainment mediums. We can use depth mapping in the DaVinci Resolve Studio to convert 2D videos into stereo 3D videos.
Immersive 3D audio
Both the free and paid versions of DaVinci Resolve have the Fairlight page, which has a lot of tools for editing audio for post-production.
However, DaVinci Resolve Studio supports high-resolution and immersive 3D audio. Some of the features that Immersive 3D Audio provides are as follows:
- Dolby Atmos support
- MPEGH import and rendering
- SMPTE ST.2098 support
- Re-mixing External Productions
- B-chain audio monitoring
- 3D panner
- 3D Spaceview
- IMF Audio Deliverables
Powerful GPU acceleration
The next feature on the DaVinci Resolve vs. Studio list is that the latter supports GPU acceleration. The free version of Resolve supports minimal GPU acceleration.
This is where DaVinci Resolve Studio comes into the picture because it lets you use GPU acceleration and multiple GPUs.
By using multiple accelerated GPUs, we can do a wider range of tasks with increased speed, such as encoding, decoding, rendering 3D content, and solving complex motion graphics problems.
This feature makes DaVinci Resolve Studio even faster and more potent for people who work on complicated projects.
More Resolve FX
There are many useful Resolve FX in both DaVinci Resolve Free and Studio. Still, Studio has over 30 additional GPU-accelerated Resolve FX that are efficient on both the GPU and the CPU.
Here is a list of some of the extra Resolve FX supported in the Studio version.
- Lens flares and reflections
- Analog damage
- Face refinement and beauty tools
- Image restoration and dirt removal tool
- Film grain
- Patch replacer
Advanced noise reduction
Beware, this is not for audio noise reduction. The advanced noise reduction is for images, and yes, the option is available in both versions.
Noise reduction is reducing the amount of noise in an image. This can be done to make the image clearer or to make the noise less noticeable.
DaVinci Resolve Studio has more advanced tools for noise removal. In the Studio version, temporal and spatial noise reduction tools make it possible to get rid of noise more precisely. Here is a link to an example image to see the difference.
Related: Filmora vs. DaVinci Resolve
Using lens distortion in DaVinci Resolve Studio, you can make the video look more natural or authentic. The tool uses advanced image analysis and processing algorithms for lens distortion.
Remote grading is now possible with DaVinci Resolve Studio. This lets the video editors (colorists) work together with DaVinci Resolve Studio.
The free version of DaVinci Resolve 18 supports cloud collaboration but not remote grading.
Scripting and automation
Through a developer API, DaVinci Resolve Studio lets us add workflow integration and custom encoding options.
We can make our custom integrated workflows with the help of Python and LUA scripting. The Studio version also allows us to integrate many plugins with its developer API.
DaVinci Resolve is heavy, so the PC must have a dedicated rendering GPU, a quad-core CPU, and at least 16 GB of RAM. It is better to use an SSD instead of an HDD as a storage medium.
The DaVinci Resolve Studio version needs more power. A high-end CPU with at least 32 GB of RAM is ideal for running the program. Although low and medium-range PCs may work, a modern PC is required for some features.
DaVinci Resolve vs. Studio: Price difference
The DaVinci Resolve is completely free to use and has more functionality than the majority of premium software programs.
DaVinci Resolve Studio costs $295, with the free features mentioned on this page.
DaVinci Resolve, as suggested by Blackmagic Design, has more features than some paid programs so it will be enough for YouTube videos.
However, advanced videos that require special teams will definitely benefit from the Studio version.
Anyway, this was the DaVinci Resolve vs. Studio comparison. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and subscribe to the newsletter to stay connected remotely.