DaVinci Resolve vs. DaVinci Resolve Studio: What’s the Difference?

Sneha Zacharia


4 min read


DaVinci Resolve vs. DaVinci Resolve Studio: What’s the Difference?

To invest or not to invest that is the question we’re here to answer…

In 2009 DaVinci Resolve was acquired by Blackmagic Design. Since then it has been developed and has grown substantially. DaVinci Resolve started as a color grading, non-linear video editing application for Windows, Linux and macOS. Since 2009 however it has developed and become a giant in the editing universe. Competing with greats in the market. If you’re wondering how it’s doing in competition with Premiere Pro, check out Premiere Pro vs DaVinci Resolve. DaVinci Resolve Studio was first introduced along with DaVinci Resolve version 16.

Also ReadDaVinci Resolve keeps CrashingDaVinci Resolve Media Offline Issue

What is DaVinci Resolve?

DaVinci Resolve with all its versions and evolutions has become something amazing. It is a solution that combines color correction, editing, visual effects, motion graphics, audio and essentially all your post-production needs in one software tool.

DaVinci Resolve 18

DaVinci Resolve 18 Credit: BlackMagic Design

Having all these amazing features in one software tool makes your work and editing that much quicker because you don’t need to keep switching between multiple tools. Another bonus is that you don’t need to learn how to use multiple softwares either.

What is DaVinci Resolve Studio?

To reiterate, Blackmagic Design came out with DaVinci Resolve Studio along with version 16 of DaVinci Resolve. If you’ve mastered DaVinci Resolve and feel like you still need more features, then DaVinci Resolve Studio is the software tool for you.

DaVinci Resolve Studio

DaVinci Resolve Studio Credit: BlackMagic Design

This payment is $295 for a lifetime of DaVinci Resolve Studio. This means that with every version upgrade you get a studio upgrade as well. DaVinci Resolve Studio includes everything in the free DaVinci Resolve. As well as DaVinci Neural Engine, film grain, optical blur, stereoscopic 3D and so much more.

Studio also supports 10-bit video at resolutions beyond 4K at up to 120 frames per second.

What’s the Difference Between DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio?

To continue bending the Bard’s words he once said “Thought is free”, the thought to stick with Resolve Free or move to studio is one we’re here to settle for you. There are a bunch of features we’ll be comparing; color grading, noise reduction, media and delivery, and so much more.

Resolve vs. Resolve Studio: Color Grading

Since DaVinci Resolve started as a color grading NLE application. It’s only right that the first feature we discuss is color grading. DaVinci Resolve has amazing color grading features like Lightbox, Curves, Open FX, Primary Wheels, Node Editor and so much more.

Color Grading

Color Grading Credit: BlackMagic Design

Resolve Studio has all the features mentioned above and more. It makes professional HDR scopes available for you. These scopes are capable of measuring and providing detailed information about HLG images and ST.2084. This lets you replace the 10-bit scale of the scopes with a scale based on cs/m2 or nit values.

Studio color transformation scripts are GPU accelerated bits of code. This transforms images using mathematical functions. Making it extremely non-destructive and fast.

Resolve vs Resolve Studio: Performance

While DaVinci Resolve is great in performance as well as a great safe post-production software that has amazing features available without any watermarks.


Performance Credit: BlackMagic Design

The Studio version has a huge leg up in terms of its GPU acceleration. Resolve Studio allows the use of multiple GPUs.This accelerated GPU allows for fast rendering and editing. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Metal on a Mac, Open CL on a Windows pc, or CUDA on Linux, you’ll get incredible performance gains.

Resolve vs Resolve Studio: Media and Delivery

Resolve version has intelligent media location management, allowing you to link your media to unique file paths quickly. Resolve allows you to edit and finish up to 60 frames per second. You can do this on Resolve with resolutions as high as Ultra HD 3840×2160.

DaVinci Studio Media and Delivery

DaVinci Studio Media and Delivery Credit: BlackMagic Design

The Studio version supports up to 120 fps at a massive 32K resolution. Accelerated H.264 and H.265 hardware decoding and encoding. The Studio version also allows full-screen playback on a second monitor.

Resolve vs Resolve Studio: Audio

Resolve allows you to mix up to 2000 tracks in real-time. Resolve’s Fairlight Audio Core is a low latency next-generation audio engine that manages workloads using multiple CPUs at the same time. You get up to 2000 tracks on Resolve each with real-time dynamics, EQ, and 6 plug-ins.

Audio Credit: BlackMagic Design

Immersive Audio Credit: BlackMagic Design

The Studio version has immersive 3D audio. These immersive audio formats add a creative dimension to sound design. You get native Dolby Atmos and MPEG-H import and rendering as well as ST.2098 support and Auro- 3D. The Studio version also has Dolby Atmos™ Mastering, Re-mixing External Productions, and IMF Audio Deliverables.

Resolve vs Resolve Studio: Noise Reduction

Resolve has advanced noise reduction. Resolve has two powerful tools that help restore noisy digital footage. This is possible by Resolve even if the video footage was captured in low-light.

The GPU accelerated temporal noise reduction algorithm can remove noise while retaining areas of high detail, intelligently. Resolve also has a spatial noise tool that analyses the remaining noise pattern and lifts it from the image.

The Studio version has some of the most sophisticated noise reduction tools in the world. Temporal and spatial noise reduction tools can be used together or independently to help remove and clean up and remove unwanted noise in any image.

Resolve vs Resolve Studio: Resolve Fx

There’s a new Resolve FX such as ultra beauty and 3D depth map and improved subtitling for editors. Resolve’s FX Beauty gives users advanced control over a subject when performing corrective beauty work.

Resolve FX

Resolve FX Credit: BlackMagic Design

Resolve developed this with professional colorists, the ultra beauty tool helps to address small imperfections. This recovers detail to produce natural and complementary results to the subject.

The Studio version includes over 30 additional GPU and CPU accelerated Resolve FX. These include effects for adding reflections, analogue damage, lens flares and more. Like Resolve, the Studio version also has face and beauty tools. Feature film quality effects plugins can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. This thus makes DaVinci Resolve Studio all that more affordable.

Resolve vs Resolve Studio: Neural Engine

DaVinci Neural Engine is an advanced machine learning system. This is fully supported in Apple M1 Mac Models including M1 Ultra. This gives you up to 300% speed improvement on Resolve in dozens of tools that rely on automated analysis of content and motion such as SpeedWarp, Smart Reframe, or SuperScale.

Neural Engine

Neural Engine Credit: BlackMagic Design

DaVinci Neural Engine powers many of the features found exclusively in the Resolve Studio Version. This includes facial recognition for automatically organising media into bins. This allows you to create 4K and 8K images from HD sources, and speed warp retiming, for clear smooth changes. DaVinci Neural Engine provides simple tools to solve complex repetitive and time-consuming problems.

Resolve vs Resolve Studio: Pricing

While we’re all aware of DaVinci Resolve being free and Studio is the paid version. The pricing does deserve a line. DaVinci Studio as a one-time payment costs $295.

DaVinci Resolve 18’s free version is incredible. It’s amazing that such a chock-filled post-production suite is absolutely free. This definitely levels out the playing field for anyone else in the business.

Also Read: How to Add Text on DaVinci Resolve


If you want to use the studio version but can’t afford the $295. You can get a system and pay for just how much you use. Postudio has everything you need from DaVinci, Premiere Pro, Unreal Engine and more.

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