DaVinci Resolve is a popular video editing suite, with advanced features like audio post-production and color correction. It has a free version, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular.
DaVinci is extremely powerful, and it is hard to beat in terms of video editing features and functionality — that applies to its free version too when compared to other free tools.
Nonetheless, despite being an awesome tool, DaVinci Resolve has some issues, and you might have experienced them if you’ve used it already. For example, it isn’t the most stable tool, especially if you don’t have a powerful computer, and it can crash and freeze at times.
If you have an older computer, you might not be able to run DaVinci Resolve at all. You must have a Windows 10 (64 bit); anything earlier than that won’t work.
If you have a Mac, you must have a Mac 10.15 Catalina or later. You can see updated system requirements here.
In general, DaVinci Resolve is made for professionals. It’s supposed to be a Hollywood-style software for the masses, but it’s not the most user-friendly.
It’s designed for those with prior video editing experience. So, if you’re an amateur, you might find it hard to navigate and figure out; it can get pretty frustrating and confusing, and you won’t even need all the advanced features it offers.
Finally, DaVinci Resolve isn’t open source, nor is it available as a web tool. You must download the software, and you won’t be able to view and edit the source code.
Since it’s proprietary software as opposed to being open source, there’s always the risk that they might restrict free access and start charging money for certain features.
Fortunately, there are many great DaVinci Resolve alternatives that are either entirely free, easier to use, open source, or otherwise superior to DaVinci Resolve in some way.
Whether you’ve been looking for a worthy alternative to DaVinci Resolve for the above-mentioned reasons or you’re just curious about what’s out there, this article is for you.
Today, I’ll talk about the 11 best DaVinci Resolve alternatives for editing videos, audio, and more. Let’s start!
HitFilm Express is the best substitute for DaVinci Resolve if you’re an amateur videographer.
It has awesome editing features, yet it’s pretty straightforward. You won’t struggle to use it like you might with DaVinci Resolve.
DaVinci Resolve and HitFilm Express are probably the two most popular video editing tools. HitFilm Express is known for being more intuitive, and it has tons of effects, including quick 3D effects, that you can add to videos.
It claims to offer the largest effects library on the market.
HitFilm Express is free, but it still has advanced features like motion tracking. You can add transitions and animations, upload videos with multiple audio streams (like multiplayer game recordings), and upload unlimited tracks.
Its color correction and color grading features are perfect as well, with layer-specific vector scopes and waveforms, curve effects, color wheels, and more. You can import GoPro footage or edit green screen videos — HitFilm Express is perfect for any task.
Despite not requiring a long learning curve, it offers over 100 hours of free tutorials, so you can learn a lot of video editing hacks.
While you can take advantage of the free version of HitFilm Express, there is an add-on store where you can buy over 30 add-on packs.
A good replacement for DaVinci Resolve, if you’re searching for an open source option, is Shotcut. It’s completely free and open source, and it supports native timeline editing (no import required).
Shotcut also works on FreeBSD — it’s a true cross-platform video editor. If you’ve been experiencing difficulty finding a suitable editor for FreeBSD, download it and try it out.
These include audio fade-ins and fade-outs, audio filters such as bass and treble, a tone generator, and audio pitch compensation when you speed up or slow down a video.
There is a decent library of regular video effects and 360 effects — and it’s all free! Nothing is hidden behind a paywall.
The user interface is generally friendly and intuitive, with simple copy and paste operations and multitrack timeline editing.
Being that Shotcut is totally free and open source, you may experience occasional bugs, glitches, and crashes, so keep that in mind. Nevertheless, it doesn’t require as much computer power as DaVinci does.
Another alternative to DaVinci Resolve is OpenShot. Contrary to DaVinci Resolve, it is open source and a completely no-cost video editor.
Despite being a somewhat “lighter” tool than DaVinci, it’s still pretty powerful, and you can do some powerful video edits using it. As it is based on the FFmpeg library, it supports most video and image formats, and it includes support for powerful keyframes and animations.
OpenShot integrates with your desktop to support your native files — just drag and drop them when editing. You can work on an unlimited number of tracks to create separate layers and choose from over 400 transitions between clips.
You can adjust the sharpness and speed of each transition and select from more than 40 vector title templates to add to your videos. More than 20 3D animations are available in OpenShot as well — in short, it makes it easy to customize your videos from scratch.
Until now, I’ve talked about DaVinci Resolve alternatives better suited for beginners, amateurs, or those who don’t need as many advanced features and would like to avoid the learning curve DaVinci requires.
But what if you don’t mind a learning curve and need a real, professional alternative to DaVinci Resolve?
Avid is an industry-standard professional alternative to DaVinci — it will let you do a lot more advanced edits, so it’s the perfect choice when working on long TV show episodes or stuff like that.
However, don’t expect Avid to be easy to work with — on the contrary, it’s quite difficult. You’ll need to “unlearn” everything you learned when using DaVinci and start from scratch.
Avid works uniquely, with a lot of quirks, so some actions that were simple in tools you used previously will suddenly become complicated on Avid. You’ll need to be patient and learn how it works.
Avid is a better option for teams and professional production studios than DaVinci. Avid Editorial Management lets teams store and work on video clips in the cloud.
Team members can access and work on them from their web browsers, without installing any software.
Also, team members can find specific clips quickly using keywords or by searching for context-specific metadata, and then mark and review them. Assistants can pull, select, and create sequences, all from their web browsers.
On the professional production level, support for the type of team collaboration that Avid Editorial Management offers is crucial.
It can help you speed up the production and get things done quicker. There’s a lot that goes into producing professional TV shows, so you might find Avid to be a lifesaver.
However, Avid isn’t only for teams. Individuals can use it as well — there are a few plans available for individuals.
Avid isn’t cheap, by any stretch. It’s quite expensive, but it’s worth it if you have complex requirements.
Also, there is a free version too, called Avid Media Composer First. Despite being free, it allows you to:
- Work on an unlimited number of projects
- Create up to five bins per project
- Employ limited editing features and video effects
It’s limited, but it will be good enough if you have more basic requirements. There are even some essential color correction tools.
Another alternative to DaVinci worth considering if you are working with teams or with freelancers is Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s not free; you’ll need a Creative Cloud subscription.
Despite not measuring up to DaVinci when it comes to color grading and correction, Adobe Premiere Pro has its own advantages. For one, it integrates with other Adobe tools.
That type of seamless integration might be more critical than you think, especially if you work with graphic designers who use other Adobe apps.
When those graphic designers are freelancers who come and go as opposed to a group you work with consistently, working in Adobe becomes even more useful and will make your workflow less complicated.
Adobe Premiere Pro is a powerhouse and far outmatches the free version of DaVinci Resolve. Once you start working on more sophisticated projects, you’ll find the free version of DaVinci Resolve somewhat lacking, so you’ll have to pay for premium software anyway.
At that point, it’s your choice whether to pay for DaVinci or Adobe Premiere Pro. In some industries, Adobe is a must, and some employers require it.
Using Adobe Premiere Pro, you can create transitions, change colors, and more. There are built-in fonts, motion graphics templates, music, and more for your convenience.
Working in Adobe Premiere Pro is easy, as there are a plethora of video tutorials available. And, with any Creative Cloud plan, you’ll get Adobe Portfolio included.
Kdenlive is a great open-source alternative to DaVinci Resolve. Since it’s open source, you won’t have to worry about the company suddenly limiting some additional features to the paid version (there is no paid version of Kdenlive).
Kdenlive is an excellent choice for Linux users as well, as the setup is straightforward and effortless. New versions of Kdenlive are released every few months, so the software is constantly updated, bugs are fixed, and new features are added.
There is a user manual, a wiki, and a forum, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty figuring out how to use Kdenlive. The forum is currently pretty active, so you can head there to ask questions or get solutions to technical issues you come across.
Also, if you prefer, there are groups on Telegram and Matrix. If you are active on those apps, join those groups to discuss Kdenlive with other users or developers.
So, does Kdenlive pass muster as a worthy DaVinci Resolve alternative?
DaVinci is still probably better overall, but it’s not open source. Kdenlive is, the community is friendly, advanced video editing is possible, and it’s one of the better DaVinci alternatives for Linux.
DaVinci Resolve markets itself as a free Hollywood-level video editing software, but so does Lightworks. There is a crucial difference in how they started out, however, with DaVinci starting out as a color correction tool while Lightworks has always been an editing tool.
Of course, both software have evolved from their original purposes, and DaVinci is now a robust editing tool in its own right. While I can’t say that Lightworks is the most intuitive editor, the fact that it started out as an editor means that the workflow is focused entirely on editing, without any other distractions.
That might not be an adequate reason to use Lightworks instead of DaVinci. However, Lightworks is also more flexible when it comes to system requirements.
While DaVinci Resolve requires you to have a Windows 10, Lightworks works just fine on Windows 8/8.1 and even Windows 7. It won’t work on Windows XP, but if you want to do real video editing, you should probably upgrade your Windows version anyway; XP is pretty outdated.
Also, Lightworks is compatible with all Mac versions after Mac OS X 10.11 (earlier than DaVinci).
As system requirements can change as new versions come out, do check the Lightworks tech requirements page for updated information.
The free Lightworks license must be renewed every week, and exports are limited to 720p, but it gives you access to cloud storage and exports without watermarks.
There’s another reason to choose Lightworks instead of DaVinci, other than it supporting more system requirements: It offers a discount on premium plans for both nonprofits and educators.
Right now, you can get Lightworks yearly for less than 50 percent off the normal price if you need it for your nonprofit, charity, or school. Check the pricing page for updated pricing and discount information, as pricing is subject to change.
DaVinci doesn’t offer a discount off of premium for educators or charities; it believes such organizations can make do with its free version.
Some people think that Lightworks isn’t as advanced as DaVinci, but it’s still pretty good. After all, it was used for such iconic films as The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, Braveheart, and The Irishman.
Avidemux (not to be confused with Avid; the two have no connection) is another excellent DaVinci Resolve alternative.
It works not only with Mac, Windows, and Linux but also with BSD machines; it can be tough to find good video editors for computers running BSD.
Moreover, Avidemux is completely free and open source, unlike DaVinci. It’s pretty simple, but it’s good, and it supports many file types, including AVI, ASF, and MP4.
Using Avidemux, you can automate tasks to streamline your workflow.
There is ample documentation, as well as a forum where you can discuss the tool with others. New releases and patches come out regularly.
A word of caution about using Avidemux: There is only one place you should get Avidemux, and that is at http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/.
There are other places that offer it, as well as an Avidemux that popped up on the Microsoft Store that wasn’t entirely free and open source. Avoid all those versions of Avidemux and download only the official, open source version.
Final Cut Pro is a video editor available for Mac devices. The main difference between Final Cut Pro (or FCP) and DaVinci Resolve is that DaVinci uses a nonlinear timeline.
In contrast, Final Cut Pro uses a magnetic timeline. The magnetic vs nonlinear timeline debate still rages on, with each having its proponents.
Some people argue that a magnetic timeline is difficult to work with and that it makes editing more arduous overall. Why complicate things and make editing more burdensome?
On the other hand, others argue that a magnetic timeline allows you to focus more on the story as opposed to working with the constraints of the editing software; you can move around clips and the storyline will adapt to your change and make room for the clip. The debate is pretty technical, and I can’t get into it in this article.
However, if you’d like to learn how to simplify your workflow when working with a magnetic timeline, check out this awesome blog post for some tips.
At the end of the day, it boils down to what you like better. Some people will find a magnetic timeline entirely unnecessary and annoying, while others will view a nonlinear timeline the same way.
Final Cut Pro offers a free trial, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out.
Another open-source alternative to DaVinci Resolve is Olive. Right now, the prerelease version, Olive 0.1, is available.
Olive is also working on the Olive 0.2 release, and the alpha version of Olive 0.2 is already available. Technically, Olive 0.1 is also an alpha build, but it’s a lot more advanced, so you can expect it to be less buggy and face fewer stability issues.
Check the Olive website for updated information as to the latest version.
Despite being open source, Olive aims to counter the stability problems a lot of open source tools face. It uses disk caching to pre-render frames and provide a smooth performance overall.
It also uses node compositing and has excellent color management options.
Olive can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, or Linux. There’s a fantastic community behind it; its subreddit has over 2,000 members at the moment.
Should you use Olive? It’s a great open source option if you have some technical skills and are willing to work around the bugs and issues that will crop up until the official release.
In case you’re wondering, alpha builds come before beta builds. Alpha builds are still being tested by the developer; there may be major bugs and glitches.
Beta builds involve a later stage of software development. At that point, the developer has seen that there are no major crashes or bugs and has released the beta build to the community for user testing.
With a beta build, you may still experience minor bugs, but nothing major.
Nevertheless, developers will sometimes release an alpha build to the public, as is the case with Olive.
Blender is an open-source 3D production suite. Although they were only added later, it does boast video editing features as well, so it’s a good alternative to DaVinci Resolve if you like open source software.
With Blender’s sequence editor, you can cut and splice videos, preview videos live, add waveforms, add vector scopes, mix audio, change the speed of your videos, incorporate transitions, and a lot more.
Blender is best if you don’t need video editing alone but as part of your tools arsenal. It offers features such as:
Blender has a lot of fans, and you can’t beat the price — it’s free forever, with no need to worry about features going behind a paywall.
It can be hard for other video editors to measure up to DaVinci Resolve, especially free editors. However, there are awesome alternatives available for those who dislike DaVinci Resolve for any reason.
HitFilm Express is the best free alternative to DaVinci Resolve.
However, it is not open source, so if you need an open source option, I’d stick with OpenShot or Shotcut. Finally, if you need a DaVinci Resolve alternative for team collaboration and advanced show production, and you don’t have a budget limiting you, stick with Avid Media Composer.
Benjamin Levin is a digital marketing professional with 4+ years of experience with inbound and outbound marketing. He helps small businesses reach their content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising goals. His hobbies include reading and traveling.