Adobe Premiere vs DaVinci Resolve

The age old question of which editing program you want to use, Davinci Resolve or Adobe Premiere Pro. In this article we are going to tackle this question and give you some food for thought. Here’s what we’ll cover in this article.

  • User interface
  • Color grading
  • Sound mixing
  • Motion graphics
  • Pricing

User Interface

To start off with the user interface (UI) both Resolve and Premiere have very different approaches. Premiere has an interface that has multiple panels that all can be moved around and saved in however way that you want, with some good presets already saved. Davinci has some preset options that all work well, but it doesn’t offer you the customization that Premiere does, especially when it comes to multiple screens. The other big thing with the UI that is different is Resolve has high end graphics/vfx editor as well as audio editor and mixer all within the same program. Premiere has a lot of decent tools within it, but if you want to do more detailed work you have to go to one of their other programs such as After Effects or Audition.

Color Grading

When it comes to color, Resolve is unmatched and is the industry standard for color grading. With a 32 bit float, node based model Resolve has a lot of tools to get in and affect just certain parts of the image. Premiere has Lumetri Color that has different sections and can do a lot but the controls aren’t quite what Resolve offers. Premiere handles basic color correction and grading well, but if you need to really fine tune things Resolve is the way to go.


With Audio, Premiere has a track mixer and audio effects within the editor, but if you need to do more things like audio ducking you have to export it out to be able to do more things. In Resolve you have the fairlight tab that allows you to really get into audio mixing and effects that rivals Audition.

Motion Graphics and VFX

When it comes to motion graphics and vfx both programs have very basic options to do those in the editor. Premiere has a lot more resources that can be downloaded for motion graphic templates, where you can plug in and do small changes and have a motion graphic quickly done, where Resolve doesn’t have nearly as many resources like this. To truly compare Adobe you would need to also have After Effects. Resolve has a 3d compositor right in the program in the Fusion page.


Fusion is a node based 3d compositor and motion graphic where After Effects is layer based. What that means is Fusion has lines from each node that determines the order that things happen. The workflow can look as messy or as organized as you like. After Effects’ layer based workflow makes anything that is on the layer above it sits on top of the layer below it. Visually this is easier to understand at first glance, but can get hard to track down as you get more intricate, where Fusion might be easier to track but has a higher learning curve. 

After Effects

The other major difference between Fusion and After Effects is the amount of resources and plugins available to each. After Effects has multiple tutorials out there for almost anything you would need as well as many plug-ins that you can download to make things easier on you. Fusion on the other hand doesn’t have as many tutorials and not nearly as many plug-ins, but the fusion community is growing and we are seeing more tutorials and resources put towards fusion.


The biggest difference in the two programs is the pricing. Adobe works off a subscription service where their best pricing comes while Davinci sells Resolve for 1 price that also includes upgrades to the newer editions.


Davinci Resolve has a free version that has some limitations.The full version of Resolve is a one time fee of $295 and it comes free with a purchase of many Blackmagic products. The differences between the free version and the studio version are export size, GPU acceleration, extra effects, neural engine, and HDR wheels. The free version export size is limited to UHD which is 3840 x 2160 where the studio version can go up to 32k. While I doubt people are exporting at 32k it does keep you from exporting DCI 4k which is 4096 x 2160. If you need 4096 x 2160 or higher then getting the studio version is the way to go. If you want to try out Resolve and see if you like it before getting it, the free version is definitely worth it, just don’t judge it based on the speed or lacking effects that the studio version has.


Adobe works off a subscription model, with a few different options. Just getting Premiere is $20.99 a month if you sign up for a year and $31.49 a month if you want to stay month to month. With this option you won’t have access to After Effects or Audition to do the more in depth motion graphics, VFX, or audio. To get those programs with it as well the best option would be the full Adobe Suite which comes at $54.99 a month for a year and $82.49 a month to stay month to month.


If price is your biggest concern and you break them down you get the biggest bang for your buck from Resolve. Considering 1 year of just Premiere is almost as much as buying Resolve forever. If you want the  whole Adobe Suite then you will be paying more than double the price of Resolve for 1 year of the Adobe Suite.


In the end which editor you choose is up to you. Both editors offer most of the same things for editing. If it’s solely about price then Davinci Resolve is the way to go, if it is about resources available to learn and plug-ins Adobe is the way to go. 


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