DaVinci Resolve 15 is a powerful video editor with free and paid versions. The latest version includes it's 3D effects node editor called fusion and also added many titles and effects for users. You can find my full course detailing how to use Resolve 15 here.

Summary

  • High quality video editor that competes with paid professional video editors like Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro
  • Breaks video editing into 6 seperate tabs (up from 5 in the Resolve 14 version). Tab separation helps break down video editing into grouped tasks.
  • Has an OK learning curve with the ability to get quite in depth for creating 3D, color adjustment, and tracking effects
  • Probably the most powerful editor with a usable interface that you’ll find without shelling out serious money.
  • Upgraded version unlocks some advanced effects, but most of the program is included generously in the free version


The 6 Tabs

Media

  • Where you import media
  • Optional. You could just drag videos into the edit tab media pool directly if you prefer.
  • List resource locations for easy access
  • Bring items into the media pool for editing

Edit

  • Very easy to make edits with trim and blade tools. Minor complaint, the ripple delete in Premiere moves the timeline cursor and timeline over to the start of the cut.
  • Unlimited video audio tracks, thumbnails, and audio wave forms helps makes things clear when editing. Trim tool and blade tool very responsive and precise.
  • Occasionally gets a bit choppy compared to Adobe Premiere on a midrange laptop with an Nvidia 1050 TI GPU. Probably want to have a good computer with lots of RAM.
  • Decent amount of video transitions. Can customize and save presets for later
  • Resolve 15 added a bunch of title options. Some are good but others don’t look so great with their default values. Can still use them as a baseline to work from though.
  • Can manipulate keyframes in the inspector and timeline for working on animation.

Fusion

  • Nodes setup for 3d titles and effects allows advanced users to create powerful effects
  • Not very newbie friendly. You need to connect specific nodes to each other to generate even simple effects. Use some of the built in fusion titles as a reference point to help you out. Makes more sense as you go.

Color

  • Easy to use, import, and create look up tables for easy color shifting on your video clips
  • Can track movement in the scene with power windows (also good tracking tools in fusion nodes)
  • Easy to adjust color curves, blur, sharpen, and adjust hue color in your video.

Fairlight

  • Record and edit audio voice overs in this tab
  • Can setup script and do multiple takes in ADR tab
  • Support for VST audio plugins like Reaper
  • Sound library is pretty lackluster and not clear how to select your wanted take in ADR.
  • Apply audio effects while recording or on already recorded clips

Deliver

  • Queue up multiple videos to export at once (multiple in out points or seperate timelines in the same project) to save time.
  • I found that it exports MP4 10 Mbps videos faster in Resolve than in Adobe Premiere. Good at exporting into a compressed .MOV format as well.
  • Presets for YouTube probably good for most purposes. Just kind of click and go type deal

Conclusion

  • Best free video editor hands down – competes reasonably well with popular choices like Adobe Premiere.
  • Has come a long way since Resolve 14 with the introduction of the Fusion editor.
  • Best if you have a decent system with lots of ram – can easily be a very intensive editor in terms of system resources.

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Positives

  • Can use hotkey sets from other professional video editors that you may be used to
  • Professional interface comparable with paid apps like Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro
  • Tab separation helps break down video editing into grouped tasks.
  • Very easy to make edits with trim and blade tools. Minor complaint, the ripple delete in Premiere moves the timeline cursor and timeline over to the start of the cut.
  • Nodes setup for 3d titles and effects allows advanced users to create powerful effects
  • Can record in app and Compatible with VST Audio Plugins
  • Exports very fast. I have a video on this and resolve can export MP4 / Mov files faster than premiere from my basic tests
  • Great layout for color editing. Applying Luts, blurs, and color adjustments is very easy a and straightforward.
  • Queue up exports for either IO point selections, entire timeline, or multiple projects to be more time efficient.
  • Most functions are available in the free version.
  • Cross platform for Linux, Windows, Mac

Negatives

  • Decent amount of video effects but could be more
  • Many premade title screens are weak
  • Timeline editing is sometimes choppy on laptop with nvidia card (have tried auto, Cuda, and OpenGL video modes) – Adobe Premiere just seems to have less performance issues
  • Fusion nodes have a pretty steep learning curve. Will mess up the first 5 / 10 times or not know what connects into what to generate the right output.
  • Some usability issues - Unclear how to select final ADR take. Sound library is unclear and not very useful for small libraries stored on local computer (usually easier to just drag and drop clips)
  • Occasional glitchiness – For example, audio clip in timeline not properly displaying while recording in fairlight tab.