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Why Is DaVinci Resolve Free? + Free vs. Studio Differences

davinci resolve

DaVinci Resolve is free, well, for the most part. That’s one of the best advantages of this groundbreaking video editing software. DaVinci is used in many different industries worldwide but primarily in Hollywood. Many films have been created, edited and processed using DaVinci Resolve.

Compared to other paid video editing software, DaVinci has a free version, which allows it to soar ahead of the competition. Their free version is better than most of the best video editing software on the market!

There is, of course, a paid version of the software for top-level professionals, but the free version of DaVinci is more than enough for the average video editor, even some professionals.

We’ll also cover the differences between the free and the paid version of the software further down this blog and why DaVinci Resolve is free.

davinci resolve timeline

Why is DaVinci Resolve free?

One of the biggest reasons DaVinci Resolve is free is due to the success of Blackmagic Design as a company. Blackmagic Design is the genius behind DaVinci Resolve. The majority of their success is because of the professional studio film equipment and cameras that the company have been selling for quite some time.

Blackmagic Design plays such a big part in the filmmaking scene, and it is known for being very user-friendly. They always revolutionise the space and bring many advantages to using their equipment and software. They definitely give more to the users than most Filmmaking companies out there!

Blackmagic Design originally bought DaVinci Resolve (the software) in 2010 from the original developers, but there’s more on that story here.

Their video editing software is just a tiny part of what they do within the professional Filmmaking world.

How much does the paid version of DaVinci cost?

The paid version of DaVinci Resolve (DaVinci Resolve Studio) costs $295 to purchase. This license provides you with the free version of DaVinci Resolve, plus many extra features. You will get the DaVinci Neural Engine, loads of Resolve FX (effects), film grain, stereoscopic 3D, optical blur, and the ability to do tons more.

As stated on the DaVinci Resolve site, the paid version of the software also allows you to edit at resolutions higher than 4K while supporting 10-bit video and allowing projects up to 120fps for all you gamers out there.

All of this and more features for $295 isn’t a bad deal.

It’s also worth mentioning that you receive a free copy of DaVinci Resolve Studio with any purchase of a Blackmagic camera such as the BMPCC 6K.

davinci resolve dashboard

Free vs. Paid – DaVinci Resolve differences


DaVinci Resolve Free

  • 8-bit video editing
  • Up to 4K resolution video editing
  • Up to 60fps editing
  • Multi-user collaboration
  • HDR grading
  • GPU acceleration for playback, but not for rendering

DaVinci Resolve Studio

  • 10-bit video editing
  • 4K+ video editing (6K, 8K, 12K)
  • 120fps projects – great for gamers
  • DaVinci Neural Engine
  • Loads of additional Resolve Effects
  • GPU acceleration for rendering
  • Also, everything the free version includes
timeline options in davinci

What else do you get with DaVinci?

Here’s a list of amazing features that DaVinci provides on both free and paid.

  • DaVinci’s Emmy™ award-winning image technology with 32-bit float processing
  • Patented YRGB color science
  • A huge wide gamut color space for the latest HDR workflows
  • Fairlight professional audio processing
  • The best color grading tools on the market
  • Fusion cinematic visual effects and motion graphics

With DaVinci Resolve, you will get the same tools professional colorists, editors, VFX artists and sound engineers use in nearly all the top productions in the world. Those films and Netflix shows you watch were most probably color graded in DaVinci Resolve.

davinci resolve features
smart features
Smart features
color tools
Color tools
Fusion effects and motion graphics
Fairlight audio processing

Learn more about what the new DaVinci Resolve update has in this video:

Is the paid version of DaVinci Resolve a lifetime license?

In short, yes. It is. With the license lasting for a lifetime, make sure you use your primary email and secure it well with a strong password. This will ensure that no one in future can steal your license by gaining access to your account through your email.

How many computers can I use with one license of DaVinci Resolve Studio?

You can use up to 2 computers with 1 single license. This works cross-platform for anyone who uses multiple operating systems.

For example, if you have a MacBook Pro and a Windows PC, you’re OK to buy one license of DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Can you upgrade to DaVinci Resolve Studio 18 for free?

DaVinci Resolve 18 is a free update for the Davinci Resolve software, whether paid or free. You can get a free upgrade if you purchase any previous versions of DaVinci Resolve Studio.

If you open your software and check for updates, you should notice a free update available for you to download. It’s always wise to keep your video editing software up to date.

You can learn how to upgrade DaVinci Resolve while protecting your data here.

Should I buy DaVinci Resolve Studio?

It depends on what you use DaVinci Resolve for and how much you plan to use it in the future. If you use it for your job and know that you’ll continue to use it for months or even years, then it’s a yes.

It’s a lifetime license, too, so you will be able to keep it forever for the price of $295.

Compared to the free version, the paid version’s features are vastly better for professional video editors and can help create much higher quality products than the free version ever could.

If you use it recreationally and don’t intend to use it professionally, you should consider sticking with the free version unless you want access to the paid features.

davinci studio


DaVinci Resolve is a fantastic piece of software, and the fact that it’s got a free version with insane good features makes it so much better.

It’s not only used by professional video editors but also to create legendary Hollywood movies within the Filmmaking world. If you’re interested, you can learn more about color grading vs. color correcting here.

The paid version is fantastic for aspiring video editors looking to make a living out of filmmaking or even those who work in the industry and want to improve the quality of their work. But if you’re just a hobbyist who occasionally enjoys editing, the free version should do well enough for you.

Feel free to take a look at our DaVinci Resolve tutorials or get some free DaVinci Resolve effects.

Will Sutton

Will Sutton

Will is a professional Camera Operator/Video Editor with over 17 years of experience). Now living between the Isle of Man & Brighton UK. Highly experienced in Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and After Effects + some other editing software. Founder of Teckers, Bounce Color, Stunt Camera Crew & more.

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