DaVinci Resolve vs. Final Cut Pro

David Wilson
2021-09-13 20:24:06 • Filed to: Editor Software Review

When it comes to non-linear editing, there are quite a few apps that can perform with the same consistency and stability. For Mac users, the most obvious choice is Final Cut Pro; however, there are some options that are now coming up, like Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve. The most important aspect of a video editor is its optimization with the OS. We are seeing quite a fight between DaVinci Resolve 14 vs. Final Cut Pro X in 2020.

There are quite many options available in the market, and it's obvious that a person who is a beginner or is about to start a career in video editing will get all confused. There is nothing to worry about as we are here to help you with the detailed comparison. For a beginner, it's quite important that the interface is easy-to-use, and it must also fall right within the budget.

Now, without any further ado, it's time to dive into the similarities and differences that these applications have to offer. It's known to every Mac user that the native apps that come complimentary to the package aren't that feature-rich, and also, a major chunk of supported apps don't provide support on other platforms. Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve is available for Windows, as well, and some basic features are made available free of cost.

Overall Comparison

Before we move towards the detailed comparison, it's quite important to have a quick glance at all the features and variations. 

Features

Davinci Resolve

Final Cut Pro

UI

It can get a bit complex for beginners

The UI on FCP is intuitive and user-friendly

Support OS

It is available for Windows and Mac

It is only supported on Mac

Price

It comes with a free and paid version of $299

It comes in the only paid version of $299

4K Support

Yes

Yes

Audio

Few audio options are available such as mixing, editing, etc.

A wide range of options are available, e.g., keyframing, surround sound, audio presets, etc.

Plug-ins

Few plug-ins are available, and more are being developed each day.

Being a more popular one, a wide range of plug-ins are available.

Motion Graphics

Basic animation features are present. It will provide full VFX options through Fusion

It comes with the ability to integrate with Apple Motion for all the animation and keyframing

Multi-cam

Support

Support

Color correction

An advanced set of color grading tools are available

With some filter presets, the color grading tools are limited

Interface

Now, we have laid down the basics; it's time to dig a bit deeper. We are trying to cover only the necessary aspect, and it will give you a very clear picture of both the applications. We hope that after going through the full detailed comparison, you will be done with the DaVinci Resolve vs. Final Cut Pro debate.

At first look, the user interface of both the apps may seem quite similar to you. However, while using the app, you will witness a range of differences, and there are also some subtle design changes, as well.

The timeline offered by FCP is a magnetic one where it will allow the users to add or stack layers on one another. Whereas on the other hand, DaVinci Resolve offers a range of tabs that you will need to choose according to the type of video you are working on.

The interface can be divided into 3 parts. Starting from the left section, you will get the pool where all your media will remain. You can drag and drop on the timeline. On the top-right, you will get the footage preview.

All the major tools like cropping, adding, etc., will be done through the timeline on the bottom. If you ask which app is the winner between DaVinci Resolve vs Final Cut Pro in this section in terms of ease-of-use, it's DaVinci Resolve. You will understand the reason after going through the UI of FCP.

Here, you will get a total of one interface where the timeline placed below is a magnetic one. What it means is that if you want to delete a clip from in-between a video, it will not leave any space in the middle. The Effects on the right will allow you to explore your creativity in any and every possible way. Not only this, but DaVinci also has a wider range of color correction tools and audio editing.

Performance

Moving on, a creator will need her/his app to perform the best. Yes, interface plays a significant role, but if it is filled with bugs and glitches, there is no point in investing such a premium for it. It will not only feel like a waste of money, but it will also drastically affect the creator’s productivity.

Let's discuss the performance by running some benchmarks. With a similar project being run on both the apps, the FCP was able to complete the task in a mere 46 seconds with almost minimal CPU usage and using full-throttle on the GPU.

Whereas DaVinci Resolve completed the same task in 2 minutes. Coming to the preview on DaVinci Resolve, a 4K 30 fps footage in the H.264 file format was able to play at around 27 fps with one lookup table and further went down to 21 fps with 2 tables.

The numbers weren’t that easy to match on FCP, but the battle was head to head. While using a laptop, all the video editing apps struggle the most while rendering.

Let’s have a look. In our Final Cut Pro X Davinci Resolve testing, we found out that FCP took around 4 minutes to export a one-minute 4K project. It maxed out the GPU and consumed a lower percentage of CPU power. What we saw next wasn’t expected; DaVinci Resolve was able to perform the same task in just 1:41 minutes. It used almost all the CPU power. 

Platform

When it comes to having more performance-oriented results, it is highly based on the platform that you using it on. The Apple-only Final Cut Pro is seen to work best with high-end specs, and you will not be able to use it on any other platform. DaVinci Resolve is the one that also provides you with Windows support.

As the video-editing is not a very light task, it’s obvious that no matter which application you are going to use, it will want powerful specs to work smoothly. For those who are transitioning to Mac, Final Cut Pro will turn out to be a costly deal as you will need to take in the cost of a new system along with the cost of the application itself. 

Key Features

Both the apps, be it DaVinci Resolve or Final Cut Pro, are for professional content creators, hence come loaded with features. It’s up to you to go through which one is better at implementing and suits more to your workflow. Though it lacks popularity, DaVinci is more suitable for a modern user.

A majority of creators are still using the FCP simply because it’s now embedded into their workflow, and it will be quite a tiring thing to learn a completely different application. To give you a better idea, here are some key features.

Color Correction

In its earlier days, DaVinci was just a tool for color grading and color correction of the videos. There are no points for guessing that it will have far better tools to offer when it comes to color grading over FCP. It’s not like FCP doesn’t offer features for color correction; you will get curves, presets, lookup tables, color wheel, etc. 

Titles & Motion Graphics

If you are wondering whether you will be able to use the applications for your animation projects, yes, you can. Final Cut Pro and DaVinci Resolve provide you with motion graphics capabilities through Motion and Fusion. This section has a clear winner in the form of FCPX. It will save you from jumping apps as there is a whole range of animation templates available here. 

Audio & Multicam

While we are at DaVinci Resolve 16 vs. Final Cut Pro X debate, it’s important to also take note of Multicam capability. Both the applications come with a range of syncing methods that you can use. Coming to the audio, it was until FCP7 when Final Cut had the upper hand, thanks to the dedicated audio application, Soundtrack Pro. However, some of the features were fetched to FCPX, but a major chunk of advanced features is gone forever.

Which One to Choose

Just like any other app, these apps also have their loyal user-base. The biggest limitation that I can point out is that FCP is strictly for Mac users. For beginners, Final Cut Pro is a better choice, and it also carries a more intuitive and app-like interface.

Whereas on the other hand, DaVinci Resolve is for more professional film-making. If your workflow needs you to accurately color grade your videos, you must go for DaVinci. There is one thing that you need to keep in mind, and that’s no matter how extensive features you get, it will depend solely on your creativity.

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