The Resolve to switch to Davinci Resolve

  • By James Barry

The Resolve to switch to Davinci Resolve

Resolve to switch to Davinci Resolve

I’m going to start this article by letting you all know I am NOT by any means a professional editor.

I would say I’m floating somewhere between hobbyist and semi-professional, so I am writing this for people in the same boat as me. I started out editing dance concept videos mostly yet nowadays I work on a variety of projects like interviews, Vlogs and comedy pieces.


My switch was from Adobe’s Creative Cloud, a subscription based service which includes all the apps you need however Premiere pro, the video editing software included in that bundle, had started giving me headaches. Setting up proxies was fast becoming a pain in the ass and my computer just could handle editing ANYTHING in the program! That was when Davinci Resolve did a little sexy side step into my life saving me a lot of time while also saving me some $$$.

A big bonus to the switch is that Resolve is a one off payment! Cha Ching! I don’t know about all of you freelancers but when work is thin the last thing i'm looking forward to is another $80 monthly subscription fee jumping out of my account! You can start with a free version of the program and then make a one off payment for the full version. DaVinci Resolve Studio is only $595, which is still less than the cost of popular cloud subscriptions. Plus, you get full nonlinear editing, advanced color correction, Fusion effects and motion graphics, and Fairlight professional audio tools, all included.

Here is what set this little revelation off. Recently I went through a gear upgrade, very excitingly, moving from a Canon 5D Mark 3 over to the Black Magic Pocket Cinema. The transition between those two cameras is an article in itself but the main problem I faced was getting my computer to even comprehend editing the Black Magic footage. The file sizes are HUGE and I had basically given up hope of being able to edit anything I shot on my new bitchin’ set up!

For someone not necessarily rolling in the cash I couldn’t afford to upgrade my computer at the same time as my camera/ gear so here I was shooting on an amazing new camera and then trying to edit on my late 2013 MacBook Pro (2.3GHz Quad core Intel Core i7, 16GB memory, NVIDIA GeForce GT). Don’t get me wrong, this computer has been my workhorse for years and is capable but getting a bit old… I could cook an egg on the thing when I am working on an edit.

I just figured I wouldn’t be able to edit anything until I upgraded my Mac but that wasn’t the case. The software that came free with the Black Magic, and is free to trial for anyone, Davinci Resolve, was the answer to my problem. Not only can the program handle high quality footage much smoother, in my experience, but the proxy mode is literally just one click for your whole project! No encoding proxies, following YouTube tutorials to figure out what a proxy even is and no building up GB upon GB of Cache files. Just hit the drop-down menu for playback, under proxy mode select half or quarter resolution and watch that play back smooth out!

As an editor on a few platforms I know one of the most frustrating things in life is transitioning to a new program. Having all of your knowledge of editing thrown against the wall simply because the interface is slightly different and a button is in a slightly different place with a different name can drive you mad! Davinci knows this and does its best to accommodate the switch. When you first install the program, you open it up and you are asked about which program you used prior to now. When you select where you migrated from the program will set up its windows and interface to best emulate that program. Obviously not perfect but it stops you feeling too homesick.

From there the basics are quite user friendly while still allowing a deep pool of tools! There are a variety of workspaces that segment your editing process into easy to understand windows that are navigated between by the click of a button on the bottom of the screen!

Start with the Media workspace, designed to make importing and laying out your media as easy as possible, move on to two editing workspaces, create Titles and Effects in their own workspace, colour grade as well as edit audio in respective workspaces then end with an exporting workspace that links to all of your social platforms. It is one of the easiest layouts I have come across for exporting. No more external programs to handle your rendering, it is all done in the same place.

I would be lying if I said the transition was completely smooth for me but if you can afford to take even just an hour or two to watch some of the many online walkthrough tutorials you will have your base knowledge of the program in no time then just start editing and learn during the process. What I struggled with most was the colour grading, the layout for this is VERY different and requires a fair bit of homework although I have gotten some nice results out of it so far with my base knowledge!

This isn’t an article written by or endorsed by Black Magic just an editor letting you know it’s worth it for the way the program handles high quality footage not to mention the plethora of tools that come along with Davinci!

If you want to check out the program head to: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

Where you can see, in much more depth, what I’m talking about. You can also download the free version or buy the full version for a one off payment which in the long run will work out cheaper than a cloud subscription.

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