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(Last updated on June 18th, 2021)

Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve, which editing software is better in 2021?

Read this ultimate Adobe Premiere Pro vs. DaVinci Resolve comparison to find out which one is the best editing platform for you.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve are two of the most used editing software, if not the most used. From hobbyists to professionals, both of these software harness enough power to edit a blockbuster feature film or a home video. In fact, both do exactly that and everything in between. 

And, best of all, unlike programs like Final Cut Pro X, both Davinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro are available on a wide array of software. 

For simplicity sake, we will refer to Adobe Premiere Pro as “Premiere” and DaVinci Resolve as “DaVinci.”

Comparison at a Glance

1. Interface
Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro. Both DaVinci and Premiere have similar interfaces. The difference is that Premiere has been in the video-editing game for a bit longer, therefore it has had more time to fine-tune the interface to precisely what you require as a video editor.

2. Audio
Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere prides itself on its audio engineering tools. On top of that, Adobe offers a professional audio mixing program called Audition, which provides seamless transitioning to and from Premiere.

3. Text/Graphics
Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro. The text and graphics involved in Premiere are quite extensive. You can apply complex compositing and sleek titles right within the program.

4. Color Correction
Winner: DaVinci Resolve. DaVinci Resolve was originally a color correction program, specifically designed for professional colorists. As of recent, Blackmagic has extended DaVinci’s offering to allow users to video-edit complex projects and has entered the video-editing industry.

5. Ease of Use
Winner: Premiere Pro. Both of these programs require a steep learning curve. That being said, because DaVinci is designed for a slightly higher expertise level, Premiere is the easier of the two to use for a first-time editor.

6. Tools
Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro offers a wider array of tools and features to its users. On top of that, the user base is larger, so there are more tutorials and solutions available online via blogs or videos to help you progress as an editor.

7. Pricing
Winner: DaVinci Resolve. DaVinci Resolve is offered for a flat rate of $299. Premiere, however, is priced at a subscription fee of $20.99. While this is cheaper in the short-term, you’ll feel more inclined as an editor to subscribe to the full Creative Cloud, which is much more expensive at $52.99 per month.

The Verdict

Premiere Pro is the industry standard in editing video and film, while DaVinci Resolve is a great option for users that focus heavily on color correction. Overall, Premiere Pro is the better option thanks to its extensive array of tools and features, audio engineering capabilities, and constant bug-fixing updates.

DaVinci Resolve has historically been a color-correction platform used by industry professionals. Just recently, DaVinci has added improved video-editing capabilities like audio tools and easier clipping features. This has catapulted the program into an industry player for not only color-correction, but also video-editing.

That being said, the better of the two programs is Premiere Pro. For years, Premiere has been growing its platform, base, and improving its tools. While a new and better competitor can always swoop swoop in and overtake some of Premiere’s customer base, Adobe is constantly improving its video-editing features to fit its user base, who are mostly professionals. 

This fierce persistence by Adobe to maintain the best media tools and quickly evolve with the market keeps Premiere among the preferred programs in the video-editing industry.

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1. Interface

The interfaces of DaVinci and Premiere are similar in many ways. The reason why Premiere wins this category is that Premiere was the first one to design its unique interface design while DaVinci hopped on later. While smart on DaVinci’s part, Premiere has superior control as it’s simply been in the game longer.

Let’s take a look at the DaVinci interface. While each panel is customizable, the general interface that boots up the very time closely resembles what many editors use.

DaVinci Interface

DaVinci has a more specific customer base, as many of its users focus heavily on color-correction. This means that users generally have large monitors or a two-monitor setup. The DaVinci interface is designed appropriately considering that fact. 

While most tools are easily accessible via one interface in DaVinci, it can be a bit overwhelming for users that are editing on laptops or smaller desktops. While each panel can be customized, this shows that the platform is made for more experienced users, rather than widespread use.

Premiere Pro also allows users to customize each panel. They can quickly switch between interfaces simply using the top navigation panel with access tabs for the color-correction, audio, graphics and text, dual monitors, and the basic editing interfaces.

Adobe Premiere Pro Interface

Overall, we are most impressed with the Premiere interface, as the tools are easily accessible, the timeline is organized, the panels are arranged for simple and effective use, and the whole interface can be switched for quick access to specific uses.

Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro

2. Audio

Even though DaVinci has made drastic improvements to its audio engineering tools in recent years, Premiere Pro has better audio tools. It also provides easy access to its sibling program, Adobe Audition, for professional use.

Let’s first take a look at what DaVinci has to offer. One tool in particular that DaVinci has is an audio overlay option, which allows you to view the audio waveform on top of the video in the source panel. This allows you to playback the selected clip while also noting what is going on with the audio via the waveform for that specific clip.

DaVinci Audio Overlay

Using the keyframes in DaVinci, it’s fairly simple to add fades, manipulate the curve of the fade, and remove segments from clips. You can easily click the audio clip in the timeline on top to add a keyframe and drag the volume of the audio between the keyframes. A curve keyframe is already in place. No additional steps are required for that as it’d in Premiere.

DaVinci Audio Keyframes

DaVinci even provides access to Fairlight, a specific audio mixing platform. While this program has a steep learning curve and is recommended for professionals, you can do what a lot of audio mixing companies can do. That’s pretty intensive and has gotten a lot of high-end professionals excited about their software.

That being said, Premiere does have a lot of specific audio features that are top of the line, making this program higher in performance value. One tool that is commonly used among video-editors is the synchronize tool. This allows you to select two audio clips that were recorded at the same time and synchronize them. This is commonly used on video and audio that are recorded separately, which is often the case with bigger budget productions.

Premiere Pro Audio Synchronize Tool

Automation modes in Premiere will take away the tedious task of making countless keyframes to manipulate the audio sample, have certain portions of your audio match each other, and sound consistent. This saves bundles of time and is regarded as one of the lesser-known but powerful tools that Premiere offers.

Premiere Pro Audio Keyframe

Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro

3. Text/Graphics

The in-program text and graphics for both Premiere and DaVinci are top of the line when it comes to video-editing programs. The only other possible rival is Avid Media Composer that can stand a chance against these two industry-standard video-editing platforms. However, if we had to choose a winner in this category, it would be Premiere Pro because of its font selection, motion tracking, a huge array of plugins, and effects.

DaVinci does, however, put up a good fight in the text department. In previous versions of DaVinci, using text for subtitles and captions was just about the extent of it. With an updated array of features, you can now add complex titles with sleek fonts and masking tools that can create text of high production value. 

DaVinci also provides seamless access to Blackmagic’s graphics interface, Fusion. With Fusion, you can create high performing titles that are top of the line. Fusion even gives access to 3D titles. As you can see in the screenshot, Fusion titles are differentiated in DaVinci, as the specialty of the text is evident and superior to regular titles.

DaVinci Fusion Text

This is similar to Adobe’s After Effects (see its comparison with Premiere Pro) when used in tandem with Premiere. However, After Effects provides much more opportunity for customizable text. With After Effects, you can add motion graphics to the text to allow the animation to appear natural and sleek.

This animation style is even possible in Premiere, for most users. Premiere allows you to control the masking and keyframes, as well as font, size, leading, thread, color, stroke, glow, and so much more. On top of that, all of these aspects can be animated. That provides gives users the opportunity for full control and creative limits that are much higher than that of DaVinci.

Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro

4. Color Correction

While Premiere Pro has a wide array of color correction tools, DaVinci is not only better of the two but is the single best color correction video-editing platform in the industry. This can be attributed to its years of being an exclusive color correction program. Professional colorists who dedicate their entire career to color correction would seek out DaVinci for its powerful color correction features. Now, DaVinci has video-editing capabilities, as well. But just a few years ago it was solely a coloring program.

One of DaVinci’s nifty coloring tools allows you to compare your current clip to stills of previous clips so you can accurately match the tone, mood, and color palette of the project. This is a simple yet useful tool that colorists have been demanding for years. DaVinci is just the first one to do it.

DaVinci Color Correction Implentation of Stills

Let’s now take a look at the DaVinci coloring interface. This is well organized, simple, and provides a node tree for intricate clip coloring. The node tree allows you to implement RGB node splitting for even more complex coloring ventures and works seamlessly within the project.

DaVinci Color Correction Interface

Of course, DaVinci gives access to color wheels for the manipulation of saturation, highlights, mids, shadows, vibrance, and much more. This is the simplest method of coloring but still allows for complex color palette generation. Curves and waveforms are also available for either comparison or actual manipulation. So you have access to several different methods for accomplishing the same task.

Another fantastic feature that DaVinci provides is the keyframe coloring editor. It allows you to gradually apply or remove a color correction applied to a clip over time. This is great for clips where the exposure or color changes over time, and you would like to match up the entire clips to remove that dynamism. This is an effect that is unparalleled in any other editing platform.

DaVinci Color Key Frame Editor

Premiere Pro also provides extensive color correction tools. With its color wheels, curves, and waveform panels, color correction is a breeze in Premiere. These tools, however, lack the sheer power that DaVinci provides. However, they do the job for almost all projects.

Adobe Premiere Pro lumetri color color correction

Winner: DaVinci Resolve

5. Ease of Use

Both Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve require a fairly steep learning curve. Both of these editing programs are the industry standard for professionals. Thus, the tools and features provided are designed for editors who have years of experience. Premiere, however, happens to be the easier of the two to learn.

Because Premiere has a larger user base, there are many tutorials online on blogs and Youtube. In fact, if you’re having difficulty applying a specific effect or maneuver, there is surely a tutorial out there somewhere for you. This is actually one of the strongest selling points for Premiere that few people talk about.

Premiere Pro Ease Of Use

The learning curve for DaVinci is a bit steeper, as it was originally a color correction platform for professional colorists. This makes the program designed for even higher-end professionals that have years of experience. Of course, it is possible to pick it up as a first-time editor as there are helpful blogs and video tutorials online, the offerings for the Premiere user base are just much larger.

DaVinci Ease Of Use

Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro

6. Tools

Both DaVinci and Premiere provide access to an extensive array of effects like glow, stabilization, green screen keying, text and titles, and compositing. In fact, the tools offered by Premiere and DaVinci are very similar in many ways. The reason why Premiere wins this category is because of the wide array of masking and keyframing capabilities.

The basic compositing that Premiere allows you to do is actually quite complex, even for experienced editors. While many users will simply take their project to After Effects via Adobe’s Dynamic Link, many of these effects can be applied within Premiere. Obviously, the timeline does expand and get quite large as you continue to add layers, but these effects are possible which is unparalleled when compared to DaVinci.

Adobe Premiere Pro Workflow

While DaVinci does have keyframing and compositing features, these are fairly recently added and require some improvements before matching up to the features in Premiere.

Winner: Adobe Premiere Pro

7. Pricing

ProductRegular PriceDiscounted Price
Adobe Creative Cloud$52.99/monthCheck here
Adobe Premiere Pro$20.99/monthCheck here
DaVinci Resolve$299.99 (one-time)No Discount

DaVinci Resolve 16 has a flat rate of $299. However, with the purchase of a Blackmagic camera, the video-editing software is free. Using this software with a Blackmagic camera makes sense, as the software is specifically designed for this. Of course, the software can be used for most camera and video file types, but the Blackmagic file types are extra seamless when used in DaVinci Resolve.

Premiere Pro has a bit more of a complicated pricing plan. The single app of Premiere Pro costs $20.99 per month. However, if you also want access to other Adobe Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, Audition, Media Encoder, and Adobe Animate this subscription would cost $52.99 per month. However, Adobe often has deals where the whole Creative Cloud is offered for $29.99 per month.

Adobe Pricing

On top of that, Adobe offers student pricing, teacher pricing and business plans that range in prices and support more devices with a single subscription.

Winner: DaVinci Resolve

Final Thoughts

Both Premiere and DaVinci are sure to be two big players in the video-editing and film industry for many years to come. The trajectory is clear that both platforms are onboarding more and more users when compared to other platforms that have historically been popular in the industry.

However, if we were to choose one over the other, the best video-editing platform would be Premiere Pro. Because of its large user base who post tutorials and support each other in the video-editing community, the extensive array of tools and features, audio engineering capabilities, compositing power, and constant updates that improve bugs, Premiere is our platform of choice.

DaVinci, however, is a great option for users that focus heavily on color correction. If you’re a colorist looking to learn more about editing, this could be the platform for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DaVinci Resolve as good as Premiere?

While this is up for debate among the film industry, our consensus after using both video-editing platforms extensively and reviewing hundreds of customer reviews, Premiere Pro is currently the better program. DaVinci, however, is a great tool for video-editors that focus heavily on color correction. When it comes down to it, every editor is different and requires different tools, including the entire video-editing program.

Is Premiere Pro free?

While Premiere Pro does offer a free 7-day trial, a subscription plan is required afterward. The pricing varies depending on your plan but the full rate for Premiere Pro is $20.99 per month.

Is DaVinci good for Youtube?

DaVinci is a great program for professionals in the industry, whether you are editing a commercial feature film or a video for YouTube.

Does DaVinci Resolve free support 4k?

While there are obvious limitations to the free version of DaVinci Resolve, possibly the most cumbersome is that the program does not support video over 4k UHD resolution.

9 thoughts on “Premiere Pro vs DaVinci Resolve: The Ultimate Battle (2021)”

  1. As someone who’s been learning DR and is at the point of deciding whether to continue down that path and pick up DR Studio or bite the bullet with Premier/After Effects/CC, this is quite useful – thanks! It’s pretty much what I expected, that Premier owns most categories, but it’s good to get a bit of detail.

    However one thing that stood out to me is part 3, Text/Graphics. When talking about DaVinci’s capabilities you seem to only be referring to the pre-built text animations, however if you look at the bottom of the screen there’s a Fusion tab next to the Edit tab – this gives you full access to creating custom keyframed text and motion graphic animations (not just 3D either). I’m not familiar with Premier’s toolset, but everything you hilight as a pro for Premier in this area is able to be done in DR too.

    As DaVinci Resolve 17 is just around the corner (currently in public beta), it’s probably also worth taking a look what’s there, as some features are just mind blowing – Magic Masks is a biggie, and is almost enough for me to throw money at Blackmagic for that alone!

  2. As a strict armature who used Premier pro years ago and recently came back to editing I found Davinci’s free version made it a no brainer.

    With its offer of the speed editor free with a purchase of the studio version I could not resist. The one of payment made it a winner for me. It does every thing I want or am ever likely to want.

  3. Avid is and has been the industry standard for years. Premiere is consumer/prosumer editing software that lacks stability and has fallen into a rut with their “check out this new bug/feature”. Davinci is equal to, if not better with v17. The only drawback is AE to DR workflows, but that is a small price to pay for the insane amount of support and listening to user requests on BMs part. I left premiere a year ago and haven’t looked back since. From that time ive edited everything from long form documentaries to short TV ads and shows – no premiere features have been missed – and the workflow between editor and colorist is insanely simple now. Every editor should give DR a shot, its worth it – not to mention its heaps cheaper than premiere ( via CC). Fusion is highly capable, but the learning curve is very steep, so AE is still part of my workflow – but basic titles are a walk in the park.

    1. @Dusan. I’d more less agree. I didn’t get on with Premiere but I could see that it would be good for short-form GFX heavy cuts. That’s probably why it’s big in corporate. It’s got good integration with AE, Illustrator and the rest.
      I’m trying out Da Vinci and I’m liking it for personal use but I would never try to cut an actual programme on either of them. Someone once said, the others are editing packages but Avid is a database system with an editing front-end. Not exactly true but gives an idea of why Avid is the industry standard for Broadcast.

    2. I can echo that Premiere, after decades of development, still has lots of bugs and performance issues in key areas so I’m not confident that Adobe will ever fix them. It’s clear to me that Adobe has long since decided that they can sign up many more new users (i.e., increase revenues) by hooking them with “cool” new features, few of which are actually worthwhile. Once you’re in the middle of a project you’re “trapped” with Premiere’s instabilities and sluggish performance (even on very fast computers) because of the complexity of moving a large project from one system to a competing NLE. That said, I have started all new projects in DR. Once my current feature-length documentary is done I will likely not use Premiere again.

      1. thanks for your input Bill. I’ve been mulling the switch myself, as I edit mostly docs and feature stories and have no need for fancy graphics and other distractions from the core of a story. I edit straight cuts and use sound to drive the story, and it sounds like that might be your workflow, too. how do you like DR now?

  4. It’s not the industry standard anymore because the software simply does not work. I am leaving Premiere Pro for Resolve mostly because Premiere doesn’t work at all, I’ve been spending days and days trying to fix the errors made by one of the worst developer teams in software history who managed to destroy an ok product.

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