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Premiere Pro vs DaVinci Resolve: Which one’s better?

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  • 6 min read

If you edit videos on a PC for a profession, you only have a few choices that’d meet the industry standard. Perhaps the most popular of those two are Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve. Both these software claim to be the industry standard and the best at what they do. 

In this article, we’re going to compare Premiere Pro and Resolve 16 head-to-head to find out which one is the better pick for you.

Check out our video in English and Hindi on this topic.
YouTube video

Also read: How to fix Premiere Pro error ‘There was an error decompressing audio’?


Features

Premiere has everything you’d expect from pro-grade editing software. All the panels are customisable, there are different things you can do in different workspaces regarding audio and graphics and whatnot. However, if you remove editing from Premiere, there isn’t a lot left. 

A lot of the additional functionality in Premiere depends on its sibling programs from the Adobe suite. If you’re looking to work in graphics apart from basic text manipulation and animation, you’re going to have to use After Effects. If you want more control over your audio, you’re going to have to use Audition. All these are separate software made by Adobe to complement Premiere in ultimately producing a well-made video.

How to speed ramp in Premiere Pro and how it improves your videos

Resolve is a whole different story. At the bottom of the software window, you’ll notice something very similar to the workspace bar in Premiere. However, instead of switching workspaces which is a mere rearrangement of panels, it switches the entire thing giving you new tools specific to what you intend to do. 

There’s Fusion for any graphics work. The Fusion page lets you create cinematic visual effects and broadcast-quality motion graphics right inside Resolve. You get hundreds of 2D and 3D tools for visual effects and motion graphics, along with advanced animation curves and keyframe editors that allow you to create incredibly organic and realistic animations. All of this works neatly in a node-based workflow that’s rather easy to use.

You’ve got Fairlight for audio as well. The utility has hundreds of tools for audio post-production and anything from removing noise to adding clarity can be done in a few clicks. The Fairlight Audio Core lets you work with up to 2,000 tracks at a time with real-time effects, EQ, and dynamics processing.

DaVinci’s colour grading capabilities make it stand out.

However, you should keep in mind that both these utilities, Fusion and Fairlight, aren’t as powerful or versatile as After Effects and Audition respectively. They’re built into Resolve and that’s their biggest selling point. Not having to install a bunch of heavy software on your SSD where space is at a premium, is always better.

It’s also worth pointing out that Resolve beats Premiere Pro when it comes to colour grading. Most of it is because Resolve was the industry-standard colour-grading software for years before becoming a fully-fledged video editor. The Lumetri panel in Premiere Pro is pretty good for what it is but it’s nowhere close to the features and control that Resolve offers.


Ease of Use

Both Premiere and Resolve have a rather steep learning curve. They’re made to cater to the needs of professionals and are designed that way. However, if you’re a complete beginner and are transitioning from something basic like Filmora, you might find Premiere a bit easy to get to grips with. 

Owing to its sheer popularity, Premiere simply has many learning resources, a place where Resolve falls short. Also, since Adobe caters to a larger user base, the editor is designed to be more user-friendly.

Premiere Pro is easier to get going if you’re a beginner to video editing.

However, it’s not like Resolve isn’t user-friendly by any stretch of the imagination. If you know your way around Premiere you can get to grips with Resolve quite easily. The skills also transfer over from one editor to another quite nicely. While Resolve does have a good UI and a bustling, active community, Premiere’s time in the market gives it the advantage here. 


Pricing

Resolve Studio comes for a one-time fee of $299. If you buy a Blackmagic camera, you’ll get a license for free. Premiere, however, is a whole other ball game.

Adobe offers its software in subscription packages. So if you were to get Premiere, it’d cost you around $20.99 a month right now. After Effects and Audition would set you back the same fees making your total $62.97 a month. If you were to get the entire Adobe suite at once, it’ll be about $52.99 a month. 

Adobe’s subscription-based pricing makes Premiere Pro more expensive to use.

So while Resolve might seem like a better investment here, with only a single time fee to pay, the advantages you get with Adobe’s suite and in particular, the Creative Cloud and Adobe Dynamic Link, are well worth the subscription considering their synchronising capabilities between PC and mobile devices and the ease of use that allows you to link your sequences and compositions from After Effects and Premiere in real-time. 

If you compare the two subscriptions, you’ll equate Resolve’s $299 price tag in around 13 months if you only get a Premiere license. Now depending on your it’s up to you to decide which one is a better investment. 

ProsCons
Premiere ProEasier to learn for complete beginners.
Lots of online resources, templates, and tutorials are available.
Adobe Dynamic Link allows seamless project transfer between After Effects and Premiere.
Sibling programs are more powerful than Resolve components (though have to be bought separately).
CPU-intensive application.
Render times can be longer.
Performance issues.
Adobe’s subscription model makes it expensive.
DaVinci ResolveBetter Colour Grading.
No need for additional software.
AI features.
Cheaper in the long run.
Balances CPU and GPU load.
Sells OEM editor keyboards.
Might not be as user-friendly as Premiere Pro.
No cloud capabilities.
Might be an issue when working on collaborative projects.  

In the end, the editor you pick depends entirely on your workflow, your requirements and of course, your budget. Regardless, you can pick either and be perfectly happy with your choice. Both editors have their own strengths and weaknesses and the one you pick would be down to how you’d like to work and the production environment around you. Regardless, in most cases, it winds down to which one suits your needs better and helps you get the work done quicker

YouTube video

Also read: How to make a Screen Mask Transition in Premiere Pro?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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