As the internet continues to evolve, video has emerged king. YouTube and Vimeo are not just video-sharing platforms but one of the most visited websites on the internet. On social media, video posts command a significant percentage of viral posts.
This popularity of video content has given increased attention to video editors like DaVinci Resolve and Filmora, renowned for their capabilities and accessibility to different categories of users. DaVinci, for instance, is popular among film and TV editors. At the same time, Filmora holds sway when it comes to social media creators.
But as excellent as they are at what they do, there are differences between them. Understanding these differences and how they affect your aim is crucial to determining the better video editor for you.
This blog post will compare each software in different categories, including features, performance, and usability. You will learn each one’s strengths and weaknesses and which one is better suited to your experience.
But before we get into that, it is essential to know what each software is. This will give you the foundation to understand what they are and why they are that way.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Alongside high-level professional software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve has made waves for years among non-linear video editing tools. A non-linear software is a tool that allows you to make changes to a video project in any order in the timeline.
DaVinci Resolve is also a color correction tool that allows creators to alter the overall color of the lighting in their projects.
Da Vinci Systems launched the software in 2004. Since then, it has changed ownership and is available in nine languages. There are also two versions of the software, a commercial version known as DaVinci Resolve Studio and a freeware version called DaVinci Resolve.
Although it comes with reduced functionality, DaVinci Resolve is the more accessible version of the two. The former comes with physical control panels and costs thousands of dollars.
The software-only version includes several features for video editing, audio mixing and effects, visual effects, and color correction.
You can use it as a standalone end-to-end video editing application or intermediary between other video editing software and Digital Cinema Package creation software.
And while it might be as popular as Premiere Pro, especially among the general public, DaVinci Resolve is highly regarded among film professionals.
The software has been used to create films like La La Land, Spectre, Bohemian Rhapsody, and the recreation of Spartacus, The Perfect Woman, and a few others.
Filmora is also a non-linear video editing software developed by Wondershare, founded in 2003 by Tobee Wu. Filmora is the umbrella name for its video creation and editing applications, with different products for various users.
They can make everything from complex short films to everyday social media videos and are available in over twelve languages.
Filmora is a simplified entry-level desktop video editor with preset video templates and effects, similar to DaVinci Resolve. And also, like the latter, there is a premium version with additional and advanced functionality, called FilmoraPro.
It comes with tools like keyframe-based animation, color grading, customizable effects, and other tools a professional editor might need. We will talk more about this later.
Furthermore, thanks to its social media content creation applications, Filmora is far more mainstream. It has more than 77 million users in over 150 countries.
Now, let’s find out what’s attracting these users and if DaVinci Resolve is the better choice.
Both are capable video editing software, but what exactly are you getting from each? Which one caters to a broader category of users?
Right out the gate, it is clear that Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is for professional video editors, and this reflects in its feature offering.
The software combines video editing, motion graphics, color coding, and audio production in one tool. That means you can edit your videos, animations, audio clips, and color-adjust within the application.
Each capability comes with its underlying features. For instance, you get all the standard tools for basic editing actions like splitting, cutting, cropping, and adding audio to clips for video editing. There are also static, animated texts and Fusion compositing, and each tool is applicable for different projects and workflows.
Furthermore, DaVinci Resolve supports multi-user collaboration. You and other editors, sound engineers, and colorists can all work on the same project at the same time remotely.
The software also has a neural engine that can analyze frames, find edit points, and cut long clips for color correction and editing.
Additional DaVinci Resolve features include –
- Multicam editing
- 60+ transition effects
- 3D Editing
- Multiple Audio and Video File Format support
- 360° VR Content Support
Filmora, or more specifically, FilmoraX, the beginner-level version, has all the standard video editing features you would expect from a tool of its reputation. It comes with over 200 transition effects, and you can cut, trim, split, and crop clips.
There are also multiple audio and video effects to choose from and graphics elements to customize your video.
For its non-standard features, Filmora has Motion Tracking, enabling you to track moving objects in your video clips. Color Matching also allows you to match a clip’s color with a reference frame and Video Keyframe to set when an applied editing parameter starts and ends.
All of these are accessible via a simple and understandable user interface with the standard three-panel layout.
The pro version, FilmoraPro, ups the ante with its own in-built audio editing tools. It has tools for transitions, noise reduction, grouping, and syncing. There are also color-grading functions with auto-correction and color wheels.
The advanced feature offering also includes special effects like 360° video, lights, and flares. FilmoraX also offers unlimited tracks, so you can add as many elements to your video as you need.
It is a tie. Even though DaVinci Resolve’s long roster of advanced features has Filmora beat, it only benefits professional users. When it comes to beginner and semi-professional users, Filmora’s features are better-tailored.
How familiar and understandable is their user interface, especially for a new user?
Anyone who has ever used video editing software will understand Filmora at first glance. The full editor has a three-panel layout for source content, video preview, and timeline. Naturally, the timeline is wider and covers half the screen while the other two panels split the rest.
Overall, it is clean, simple, and straightforward.
The interface is naturally dark, but the software adapts to your computer’s light or dark mode setting. It is possible to change the video preview to full-screen, but you can’t remove another panel. However, you can adjust their sizes if you want extra space.
When it comes to workflow, starting a project is easy. When you do, you get to set the aspect ratios. The options include Widescreen, Instagram, Portrait, and Cinema ratios. There is also an option to select a custom size.
Also, you can shrink and expand the timeline easily during editing with the Ctrl-Mouse wheel and move back and forth with the Alt-Mouse wheel. There is a search bar in the source panel to search through your imported clips easily.
DaVinci Resolve similarly has a three-panel interface with a flexible design that can transform into multiple panels using dropdown buttons. While it might feel overwhelming to new users, having the option gives you total control over your workflow.
You can view content in thumbnail, metadata, strip, and list views in the Source panel. There is also a search box to help you find anything.
Mode-switching buttons are at the bottom of the program window in this software, and they are called pages. They consist of all the editing suites embedded in the software. Color, Cut, Deliver, Edit, Fairlight (sound), Fusion, and Media.
You also get nested timelines, an interface feature that allows your timelines to be flexible and complex. There are also the standard keyboard shortcuts, and there is a Keyboard Customization panel that lets you create your own.
It is also possible to choose between locked and free playhead. So you can either drag a clip while keeping the playhead centered or move the playhead instead.
This round goes to DaVinci Resolve. Despite being targeted at advanced users, it maintains a three-panel design that new users will find familiar and approachable. Yet, it still has the flexibility to make it truly your own.
What type of computer is suited to each software? Does it require an expensive hardware outlay for optimal performance?
DaVinci Resolve is a powerful software, and it is resource-intensive. (I discuss its performance in the next section) It requires a higher system requirement than your run-of-the-mill video editor.
At a minimum, you need an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor to run DaVinci Resolve 17, the latest version of the software. You also need 16GB of RAM, 4GB VRAM, and an SSD or RAID storage device. The 16GB RAM requirement includes desktops and laptops, and if you want to use Fusion compositing, you need 32GB of RAM.
DaVinci Resolve recommends having an Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 processor and a 32GB upgradeable RAM for maximum and efficient performance. You also need 8GB of dedicated graphics memory and SSD or Direct Attached RAID for storage. A NAS RAID with 10GBe will also do.
It is also advisable to get a separate video output device besides your desktop monitor or laptop screen. This does not come cheap, and neither do the desktops and laptops that meet these minimum requirements.
As for operating systems, the software needs macOS Mojave, Windows 10 Creators Update, CentOS 7.3 at minimum for macOS, Windows, and Linux, respectively.
FilmoraX, the simplified version, requires a lot less for minimum performance. It requires only an Intel Core i3 with a 2GHz speed processor, but that does not cover HD and 4K videos. For those, you will need at least an Intel 6th Gen processor.
The discrepancy between the minimum requirement for standard and high definition videos extends to the RAM. You are okay with a 4GB RAM but require one with 8GB if you plan on working on HD or 4K content.
When it comes to graphics memory, FilmoraX is not as demanding as DaVinci Resolve. You only need a dedicated size of 2GB VRAM and double for HD videos. Computers with Intel HD Graphics 5000, Nvidia GeForce GTX 700, and AMD Radeon R5 will run it comfortably.
Additionally, you need at least 10GB of hard disk free space or SSD space for 4K content.
FilmoraPro, the pro version with more advanced features, is equally not as demanding. At a minimum, you need —
- Windows 8, macOS v11 (Big Sur)
- Intel Core i3 (AMD equivalent), Apple M1
- 8GB RAM
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, 4GB VRAM
When it comes to system requirements, Filmora requires a lot less, and thus, is better.
Say your computer meets the minimum requirement for each software. What kind of performance can you expect from installing either?
Filmora has a fast response when all requirements are met. You can zoom in between importing large files and exporting them without any slow response from the program.
The program doesn’t enable GPU acceleration by default, so you can take further advantage of that by changing this in the Settings menu.
Rendering is one of the dreaded stages when it comes to performance, and Filmora performs excellently. When tested with different five-minute clips — a couple of 1080ps, 4K, and SDs — and rendered each one at 1080p MP4 and H.264 High Profile, the process ended in less than one and a half minutes (1:16).
That is only marginally worse than Corel VideoStudio, the only video editing software that performed better under the same test at 1:12 seconds.
Considering the number of bells and whistles it carries, one can excuse DaVinci Resolve for being slower and having unresponsive moments. But that is not the case. It still has considerable speed and stability.
However, you might need to halve the proxy resolution setting to achieve this. It is set to full resolution by default.
Also, unlike Filmora, the program automatically detects your computer’s GPU and uses it to speed up processing. This allows it to render videos faster than one might naturally expect.
In the five-minute rendering speed test on a Windows 10 Pro computer with Core i7, 16GB RAM, and 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, Resolve finished in a little over four and a half minutes. DaVinci Resolve rendered the 1080ps H.264 High Profile video in 4:37 secs.
Both are stable and fast during editing, but Filmora renders videos much faster than DaVinci Resolve. It wins this round.
How easy is it to use either software? Is there a learning curve? Here is how approachable they both are for new and experienced users.
From the jump, Wondershare designed Filmora to be easily accessible for users new to video editing. Its beginner-friendly version, FilmoraX, is particularly feature-lean, mainly containing necessary features for this category of users.
The installation file is easily accessible from the website. Installing is also straightforward and takes only a few minutes.
I touched on the interface earlier, and I established that Filmora has a friendly and intuitive UI. So there is little to zero learning curve involved.
Asides from that, it also has an extensive library of effects and stock clips, making it easy for anyone to add extra elements to their video.
The hardware required to run DaVinci Resolve optimally already makes it more challenging to get started with than Filmora. But outside of that, using the software is a breeze.
At 2.4GB, Resolve 17’s installer file is significantly bigger than Filmora’s, but it is just as easy to download. All you have to do is visit their website. You will have to restart your computer after installation, unusual but not exactly a hassle.
However, when you start up the program, there isn’t a lot of hand-holding. You get a simple window with a single Untitled Project entry. The assumption is that you know your way around a video editor, so no tips or tutorials.
Even though DaVinci Resolve is for pro-level editors, amateurs could still benefit from a gentler welcome that makes it easier for first-time users. Filmora wins this round.
How much support is available from the company and community? Is there an official way to learn the tool?
DaVinci Resolve might be challenging if you are new to video editing. Still, the software company offers plenty of training tools. First, it has documentation with detailed instructions and information about the application. It is a PDF file with over 3,500 pages.
The company’s website also offers tutorial videos on different features in the application, and there are plenty more from other users online.
DaVinci Resolve has more than two million users, and there is a Reddit community with over 17 thousand members. You will get plenty of support if you need it. The company itself also has highly-rated customer service.
Filmora offers plenty of support in person and online. You can reach out to the technical and customer service team via methods available on their website. There are live chat, email, and phone options.
You also get a dedicated webpage with plenty of resources on different aspects of the software. There is information on fixing issues regarding subscriptions, account settings, and installation.
Furthermore, there is a blog with tutorials on how to use the software, discussing different features. There is also an online User Guide with explanations and instructions on using the software. Filmora offers a PDF version if you prefer to study offline.
A tie. Both provide enough documented and live resources to support.
Here is how much it costs to own each software.
DaVinci Resolve is available in two versions – free and premium, known as Studio. The free version comes with a long list of features. Even some competitors don’t have them in their paid versions.
That is why the version is considered a worthy alternative to well-regarded paid non-linear editors like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.
The free version is popular among YouTubers and gamers, so it is perfect for beginners and semi-professionals.
But suppose you need more features, like DaVinci Neural Engine, Fairlight FX audio plugins, and advanced HDR grading. In that case, you will have to fork out $295 for the Studio version.
FilmoraX, the beginner version, is available to individuals for an annual plan of $61.99, along with access to the software’s Filmstock library and the AI Portrait add-on for a month. You can, however, own the latest version for $89.99, but you will still have to pay $9.99 and $5.99 a month for the Filmstock library and AI Portrait Add-on.
Alternatively, you could simply use it for free, as long as you don’t mind having the Filmora watermark on your videos.
FilmoraPro costs $47.57 a year, with one month of free access to the AI Portrait add-on and Filmstock. To buy it outright, you have to pay $73.07.
Another thing. Licenses are unique to their OS, so if you buy a FilmoraPro for Windows PC, you can’t use the same for the Mac version.
Nominally, Filmora is cheaper, but they are priced according to their targeted users. Their free versions also offer a lot of benefits. It is a tie.
- Both are non-linear video editors
- Both have basic and advanced editing features
- Both have extra editing suites like audio editing and color grading
- Both have a straightforward installation process
- Both have free and paid versions
- DaVinci Resolve is for professional video editors. Filmora is for beginners and semi-professionals
- DaVinci Resolve has a collaboration feature. Filmora does not
- Filmora has a mobile version. DaVinci is only available on desktop
- DaVinci has a steep learning curve, Filmora is easy to pick up
- DaVinci’s free version has no watermark. Filmora has watermark
- Lots of editing tools
- Has audio editing and motion graphics
- Three-panel layout
- Unlimited video tracks
- Multicam editing
- It takes a considerable time to master
- Requires high-powered hardware
- Easy and intuitive interface
- Lots of transition effects
- Fast rendering
- Large royalty-free library
- Has user guide and tutorial videos
- The free version has a watermark
- No motion graphics support
Both DaVinci Resolve and Filmora are excellent video editors for what they are. DaVinci Resolve is for pro-level editors who want a lot of editing tools, and it delivers. Multiple editing suites, Multicam editing, and unlimited video tracks. If access to advanced editing tools is your priority, DaVinci Resolve is better.
However, Filmora takes the cake if you want a simple, accessible tool to edit videos as a beginner or semi-professional. There are enough features to help you craft high-grade videos, but straightforward enough to not be overwhelming.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.