1. Photo & Video
  2. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve vs Premiere Pro (Which is Best for 2023?)

Scroll to top
Read Time: 12 min

If you're a film-maker or editor, the choice of editing suites can be a little overwhelming. Two of the main competitors in particular, Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve, have so many great tools that it can be hard to make a decision. Let us help you with this article, where we take a look at DaVinci Resolve vs Premiere Pro for 2023; the main features, cost, and more.

filmmaker sat at desk editingfilmmaker sat at desk editingfilmmaker sat at desk editing
Film-maker. Image: Envato Elements

Adobe Premiere Pro Vs DaVinci Resolve

Before We Get Started

Non-Linear Editing

It's helpful to know what a non-linear editor is, as that's what we're talking about here. A non-linear editor (or NLE) is a programme that lets you do non-destructive editing, in any order you like. NLEs are generally what you’d be using with digital film making and editing, compared to traditional analogue techniques where a product would be made from beginning to end, in that order, because you’d be physically cutting up the footage.

DaVinci Resolve Studio vs DaVinci Resolve

There are two versions of DaVinci Resolve, a free version and a paid for Studio version. In this article, we're talking about the free version. In brief, most of the additional options for those with the paid version are for very intensive, in-depth editing, or for people filming in 10 bit. Most people won’t need this, but footage shot in 10-bit can give you greater scope with your editing, as you’re recording more data related to colour, and this results in things like less banding. If this is the level of depth you require for your filming and editing, then you’re more likely to need Studio. For everyone else, the free version will be more than enough. I’ll go into more depth about free Resolve vs Studio, in an upcoming article.

DaVinci vs Premiere - At a Glance

Here's a quick overview of some of the main similarities and differences, that might help.

  Premiere Pro DaVinci Resolve

£19.97 per month (single app plan) or £51.98 per month for all Adobe apps.

Free. Buy Studio outright for £306 ($295) or free with a qualifying Blackmagic purchase.

Supports 4K?



Windows and Mac?


Yes (plus Linux)
Layout Instinctive and user-friendly More complicated with a use of separate tabs for each task
Audio Integrated is fine, better when teamed with Audition Comes with Fairlight included, a dedicated audio editor and mixer
Colour editing Integrated workspace via Lumetri Advanced colouring capabilities
Multi-collaboration? Yes Yes
Plugins and template availability Yes, lots Yes, but more limited

Learn Premiere Pro for Free

In this introduction to video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, you will learn the basics fast. In almost all cases, raw video needs to be altered, trimmed, adjusted and edited, and this is a major roadblock. This free course will get you up and running with one of the most popular video editing applications today: Adobe Premiere Pro. 

Premiere Pro

Adobe is a creative heavy-hitter and we know it, but what are Premiere Pro's most important features when it comes to the average film-maker and editor?

Workspace and Editing

Adobe editing workflows centre around layers, unlike Resolve which works with nodes. Layers can be worked on individually and then arranged in a stack to determine what effects apply to which layer.

With Premiere Pro, your workspace is all in the one window and you can add and move panels around to suit your preferences. This makes editing quite intuitive, particularly if you’ve used other Adobe programmes. Everything functions around drag and drop, which makes it very easy to use regardless of what level you’re at.

Audio Editing

Audio sometimes gets left in the shade when we’re talking about video production, but it’s one of the most critical things to get right. Premiere Pro comes with an audio mixer so that you can do everything right in the software, but like many Adobe programmes, it’s designed to be bundled with other suites. If you have the Creative Cloud All Apps plan then you’d probably do your audio editing separately in Audition. That’s not to say you couldn’t edit audio in Premiere, and it’ll do a fine job for most, but you’ll have fewer in-depth processing and mixing options than you would in Audition, so it’s something to consider.


Adobe has recently made some new changes to bring things a little more up to date with how creatives are using Premiere Pro. In the latest version, you’ll find that you can export your video directly to your social channels, including some recommended settings based on the platform requirements. If you’re primarily making quick-turnaround video that you want to export to Twitter, Facebook and so on, you’ll find this feature really useful. Premiere Pro also allows for multiple editors to work on a single project file with the option to lock it and avoid accidental overwriting.

collaborate with framecollaborate with framecollaborate with frame
Collaborate in Adobe Premiere Pro. Image: Adobe

"Let visual effects push your videos beyond the realms of reality. Create mind-boggling transitions with keyframes and animated masks." - Adobe

Premiere Pro - Continued

Colour Grading and Colour Correcting

Premiere Pro has the colour tools you’d expect, you can correct and grade, compare and match colour across clips, and add and use LUTs. It doesn’t have the detailed colour options of Resolve, but it’s got enough to get your footage looking cinematic and professional.

Stock Footage and Effects

If using stock footage is a big part of your film making process then you’ll probably like the integrated free Adobe Stock footage that comes with your subscription. You can browse, preview and download them from inside of Premiere Pro.

One of the biggest developments in Premiere Pro in recent years is the Essential Graphics panel, which allows you to create effects and use templates that would usually have been made in After Effects, rendered out, and then brought into Premiere. Being able to do straightforward effects like transitions and motion graphics in Premiere is a real boon, and a cost-saver. Be aware also that some templates require you to have After Effects installed, even if they’re designed to be used in Premiere Pro.

If you're looking for great stock footage and professionally made Premiere Pro templates, you'll find plenty of choice at Envato Elements, where everything is included in a monthly subscription.

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve, owned by Blackmagic, used to be thought of as a tool for in-depth and advanced colour correction. It fast became a Hollywood industry standard for correction and grading, but is now finding its way onto the desks of film editors of all levels.

Workspace and Editing

Resolve has all the functionality of Premiere Pro, but the way it’s laid out might take some adjusting to. It has icons along the bottom, each of which are a separate workspace for a dedicated task. If you were, for example, ready to make your audio edits, you’d pop over to the Fairlight window. It can seem annoying and time consuming – and… it is! - but once you’re used to it, it makes sense to have all the things you need for one particular job, at your fingertips. The idea is you work your way along the tabs from left to right in the logical order you’d be editing.

DaVinci Resolve workspaceDaVinci Resolve workspaceDaVinci Resolve workspace
DaVinci Resolve workspace

I mentioned that DaVinci Resolve uses nodes rather than layers. The premise of these is the same, you work on a node independently from other things, and then arrange them in a particular way. Nodes are a building block for the colour changes you make in the programme, a representation of each correction.

Audio Editing

Fairlight – Resolve’s audio editor – started out as a standalone piece of software. It’s now integrated into DaVinci Resolve and as such, you’ve got some powerful processing on hand, all without ever switching programmes. Fairlight even comes as a separate ‘Desktop Console’ for audio projects that require heavier editing or mixing, and more speed.


Like Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve will let you export directly to social media, with dedicated options suited to that particular channel. Where Resolve really pulls ahead though is that its media encoding is faster than Adobe Premiere. You can also continue to work on other projects while something is in the render queue.

Resolve lets you collaborate with multiple users via the Blackmagic Cloud, where you can assign people to a particular task and they work in their own window, on the same project. Changes are only applied when edits are ‘accepted’ which means accidental overwriting is unlikely. Cloud use is free if you’re accessing someone else’s project as part of a team, but comes with a monthly cost to set up your own project.

"If you’ve seen the Hunger Games, Avengers, Terminator Genisys, or many major Hollywood blockbusters, then you’ve already seen Fusion in action!" - Blackmagic Design

DaVinci Resolve - Continued

Colour Grading and Colour Correcting

The colour tools are arguably the most powerful part of DaVinci Resolve. You’ll have a choice of some very in-depth options for manual colouring, or really excellent automated options. The automated options are particularly time-saving if you’re using a variety of cameras, as you’ll be able to Shot Match, to get your colour looking consistent.

How nodes look in DaVinci Resolve. Image: Blackmagic DesignHow nodes look in DaVinci Resolve. Image: Blackmagic DesignHow nodes look in DaVinci Resolve. Image: Blackmagic Design
How nodes look in DaVinci Resolve. Image: Blackmagic Design

Colour work is controlled through nodes, and although I did mention that nodes can be harder to get familiar with than Adobe’s layer system, the use of them here means you can actually apply effects much easier to different parts of your film, by dragging the nodes around, or modifying them. You might use your first node for colour correction, and then work on separate nodes for colouring individual parts of your footage: one that focuses on skin tone, one for sky, and so on.

Stock Footage and Effects

Blackmagic has bits and pieces available for free through its site but unfortunately no integrated stock footage bank as yet. The effects in DaVinci Resolve are controlled through the Fusion tab, the paid for Studio version has hundreds of tools included for both 2D and 3D. The free version doesn't include these.

All the things you can do in Premiere Pro like lower thirds and titles, you can do here, but Fusion is also like having the Adobe equivalent of After Effects built in. If you want to make quite intricate effects to go into your footage, you can do that here, as well as the simpler, everyday stuff.

If you're looking for great stock footage and professionally made DaVinci Resolve templates, you'll find plenty of choice at Envato Elements, where everything is included in a monthly subscription.
29 Minutes

DaVinci Resolve 18 Tutorial | Beginners' Quick-Start Guide

Need to get started with DaVinci Resolve but don't know where to dive in? No stress; everyone has to start somewhere. That's why Tom created the quick start guide for beginners! 

    Premiere Pro vs DaVinci Resolve: Some Final Thoughts

    Quick-Fire: Who Does it Best?

    • Straightforward non-linear editing: Premiere Pro. It’s familiar, instinctive, and customisable.
    • Colour correction and grading: DaVinci Resolve. There’s a reason it’s so popular in Hollywood.
    • Cost: Resolve. Rarely can you beat ‘free’ and there’s no buy outright version of Premiere Pro.
    • Audio Editing: Resolve. Its purpose-built audio editor Fairlight trumps the in-house Premiere Pro options.
    • Resources (templates, plugins): Premiere Pro pips this one, but honestly there are plenty available for both and now that Resolve is coming into more popular use, there’s bound to be more resources created with it in mind.

    If you want straightforward linear editor that feels instinctive to use, you’ll probably prefer Premiere Pro. Adobe has been a creative leader for decades and that isn't likely to change any time soon. As a result, we’re all used to the look and feel of Adobe software, including Premiere Pro and coming down on the side of familiarity is a habit that can be hard to break.

    If colour correction and grading is one of the most important considerations for you, you’d get the most benefit from DaVinci Resolve. It’s award-winning, Hollywood editors use it, it’s renowned in its field.

    Since a move to subscription-based pricing plans though, many of us are rethinking what we use. Cost is a huge factor in a decision making process, and we all want a balance between something that does its job really well, and is affordable. If pricing is your main motivation, then you'll likely opt for Resolve.

    Hopefully this article has helped you to make a decision on DaVinci Resolve Vs Adobe Premiere when it comes to your film making and editing. There's no right answer and it's all a balance between your particular needs, what you can afford, and how much time you can dedicate to learning your chosen piece of software. To help you a little more with that, we've rounded up some of our best free tutorials so you can get started quickly and easily.

    Did you find this post useful?
    Want a weekly email summary?
    Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Photo & Video tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
    Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
    Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.