DaVinci Resolve Lite vs Studio Version

Is DaVinci Resolve 12.5 free?

A lot of people ask me is DaVinci Resolve 12.5 free?  Well the standard version is free formerly called DaVinci Resolve Lite.  The price for the paid version called DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio is $995.  But what is the difference between the paid and free version and should you spend $995 for the Studio version?

Is Standard (formerly Lite) good enough?

Well, the short answer is that for many projects, the free standard or lite version will work perfectly.  It has most of the features of the Studio version, and supports frame sizes up to 4K UHD.  But if you’re working in a high-end post-production workflow, especially if you’re working with multiple colorists, you may want to consider purchasing DaVinci Resolve Studio.

What you get in the Studio version

DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio is priced at $995 but comes included with the purchase of many Blackmagic cameras.

DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio is priced at $995 but comes included with the purchase of many Blackmagic cameras.

While Resolve Studio is priced at $995, it
comes free with the purchase of many of the Blackmagic cameras, including the URSA and Cinema Camera, though it is not included with the Micro or Pocket Cinema Cameras, or the Broadcast Cameras.  Also, once you have the Studio version, you’re entitled to free upgrades to future releases of Resolve Studio.

 

Noise Reduction and Motion Blue can only be used in the paid DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Noise Reduction and Motion Blue can only be used in the paid DaVinci Resolve Studio.

As I mentioned, there are a number of additional features in Resolve Studio that are worth mentioning.  Support for resolutions over 4K UHD, 3D stereoscopic grading, noise reduction, motion blur, HDR grading, deinterlacing on export and Power Mastering, which allows you to output to tape in real time.  Studio also supports Resolve transform language (.dctl) and ARRI .look files.  There are also three additional OpenFX effects as well, like Film Grain, Lens Flare, and Lens blur.  You also have the ability to leverage the power of multiple graphics cards and/or multiple Red Rocket cards in Resolve Studio, where you’re limited to one of each in the free version of Noise Reduction and Motion Blur can only be used in DaVinci Resolve Studio Resolve.  (Though you can use both of the graphics cards on a 2013 Mac Pro).

Maybe the most significant differences between the two versions are the additional collaborative features in Resolve Studio.  You can have multiple users working on the same database and the same project at the same time, which includes sharing grades across timelines.  You can even use Remote Grading, which allows a colorist to do an online color grade over an internet connection.

Conclusion

No matter what type of projects you’re working on, you should start by downloading the free standard formerly lite version of Resolve here, and spending some time working in the program to see if the free version it fits all of your color grading needs, or if you may need some of the additional features in the Studio version.  Here is also link where you can compare them side-by-side on Blackmagic Design's website.

Attend a free live color grading workshop

Want to attend a free live training for DaVinci Resolve?  Sign up to attend this Thursday @ 2PM Eastern U.S. and learn how to do color grading in DaVinci Resolve the way top colorists do without it seeming impossible and taking years to achieve!  We start at the basics and teach advanced techniques.

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