Whether it’s a Hollywood movie, a television show, or a YouTube video, before an audience sees it, a Video Editor has to put the footage together into its final form. Video editing requires both creativity and technical expertise. A Video Editor uses programs like Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve to turn raw video footage into a narrative, which might include a soundtrack, narration, or visual effects. Which software should you choose when you edit videos?

What Can Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve Do For You?

Both Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve are powerful video editing programs that let you create professional and polished videos. Import footage, move clips around, trim, and snap them together. Add a title sequence and insert some graphics. Set the video to music or adjust the sound and color, then convert the file to a format or size that works with different social media platforms and devices. 

What is Premiere Pro? 

Premiere Pro is a video editing tool used in the post-production phase of all kinds of videos from YouTube and social media ads, to documentaries and feature films. Premiere Pro allows you to go from raw video footage to finished product. It is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud that includes more than twenty applications to let you focus on particular aspects of the video editing process.

Video footage is imported into Premiere Pro and the best portions are put together into a file. Then you can open other Adobe programs inside of Premiere Pro to fix, change, or add to the video. Adobe Audition is used to correct audio levels, adjust dialog, or add a musical soundtrack. Lumetri Color is used to grade or change color levels. After Effects lets you add graphics for title sequences, insert animation, and remove elements from the video. When you are finished, Media Encoder processes the video into forms that can be uploaded wherever you choose.

Premiere Pro is capable of turning out professional-quality videos and has been used to produce television shows and movies, including the Netflix original series, Mindhunter, and films such as Deadpool, Gone Girl, and Hail Caesar

What Is DaVinci Resolve?

DaVinci Resolve is a video editing and color correction product from Blackmagic Design, a company that produces cameras and video equipment. DaVinci Resolve comes in two versions, a pared down free version and a very powerful professional version called DaVinci Resolve Studio.

DaVinci Resolve has been the preferred product for color grading for many years. Blockbusters like Star Wars, Avatar, and Pirates of the Caribbean used it. Video Editors would often do everything else in Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer, and then use DaVinci Resolve for color grading because it was so much better than anything else. Blackmagic added and beefed up other features to the point that DaVinci Resolve is attracting fans in its own right. Part of the reason for this is its superior user interface.

Essential Features of Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a video editing program that can combine video, audio, and images together and then export them as a video file. The user interfaces on Adobe programs look and function similarly, so if you are familiar with another Adobe product like Photoshop or Illustrator, the Premiere Pro workspace will look familiar.

You can run Premiere Pro on a Mac or PC with at least 8GB of RAM, though 16GB or more is recommended. A dedicated video card works better than integrated graphics. This program is for people who want to produce video and need a program with professional level tools and functions. One of the advantages of Premiere Pro is the ability to edit video from a wide variety of cameras and formats. 

Another plus for Premiere Pro is that it integrates smoothly with other Adobe apps such as After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, and Media Encoder. Also, there is no need to convert files before editing. Premiere Pro does that automatically. Another automatic feature that is very popular is scene edit detect, which finds all of the cuts in a pre-editing video, so you don’t have to look for them.

Premiere Pro is highly customizable. You can set up your workspace to your own specifications and set your own keyboard shortcuts, although there are plenty of those in Pro to start with. With the customization and the way the different Adobe apps work together, one of the best things about Premiere Pro is how efficient the workflow is. 

Essential Features of DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is organized into pages, each of which is a separate workspace with intuitive, friendly sounding names like Media, Edit, Cut, Fusion, Color, and Deliver. The only exception is Fairlight, which is the audio portion of the collection.

  • Media - The Media page is where files are imported and organized. Like many other video editing programs, DaVinci Resolve puts files in folders called bins, but one difference is that the bins are set up as a database, making it much easier to manage and retrieve files.
  • Edit - You can edit in two ways with DaVinci Resolve and they are loosely similar to Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. The Edit page lets you work edit in tracks. 
  • Cut - The Cut page is designed for quick projects and offers a lot of presets to save time.
  • Fusion - You can add 2D and 3D animation and graphics in the Fusion section to create cinematic special effects.
  • Color - DaVinci Resolve handles color better than any other software available. 
  • Fairlight - Fairlight allows you to record, edit, clean up and repair sound, mix tracks, replace dialog, and more. 
  • Deliver - The Deliver page is where the final product is rendered, encoded and exported. DaVinci Resolve lets you choose the platform and sets the format automatically.

History of Premiere Pro

Adobe released Premiere in 1991 for the Apple Mac. It was one of the first digital, non-linear editing programs. Premiere Pro came out in 2003. It was known as Premiere Pro CS, plus a version number 1-7, which stood for Creative Suite until 2013, when Adobe changed the name from Creative Suite to Creative Cloud. 

History of DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve was originally called da Vinci Resolve and was developed by da Vinci Systems in the late 90s and early 2000s. Blackmagic Design purchased da Vinci Systems in 2009. Blackmagic acquired Fairlight in 2019 and added Fairlight audio to Resolve that same year. The latest version of DaVinci Resolve is version 17, which was released in May of 2021.

How to purchase Premiere Pro

Adobe offers a monthly subscription to Premiere Pro with a 7-day free trial available before purchase. This allows you to edit some videos before deciding if you want to pay for it. For a few dollars more a month, you can get the full Creative Cloud, which includes storage as well. The cost of a monthly subscription to Premiere Pro is $20.99. A monthly subscription to Creative Cloud is $52.99. A subscription to Premiere Rush or Elements is $9.99 a month.

How to purchase DaVinci Resolve

One of the big advantages of DaVinci Resolve is that it is free. Resolve has some limitations but you can edit very nice looking videos with it for absolutely nothing. There is a more powerful professional version that costs $299. No monthly subscriptions with this one.

How to Learn Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve

The important thing to consider here is the amount of video editing experience you already have. If you have worked with Premiere Pro or another Adobe product, DaVinci Resolve might take a bit more effort to learn because the editing process it uses feels intuitively backwards. If you are completely new to video editing, DaVinci Resolve is designed to be beginner-friendly. You can start with the free version and when you feel you need more features, you can go ahead and buy the studio version. 

The thing to keep in mind, though, is that no video editing software is exactly easy to learn. You can watch tutorials and work through trial and error, but the quickest way to learn to use new software, especially if you want to make a career change, is by taking a class.

Some people prefer in-person classes when learning new information, but that isn’t always available. Live online classes have a similar set-up with a real-time, remote instructor who can answer questions and take control of your monitor—with permission—to show you how to do things. Training is part or full-time and available weekdays, weeknights, or weekends.

The best way to prepare for a career shift to a technical field like video editing is to enroll in a bootcamp or certificate program. These are intensive training courses that run for a few weeks to a few months and will cover video editing in much more depth than tutorials can. Another plus of training is that you will leave class with a professional-quality sample video portfolio that you can show to prospective employers.

DaVinci Resolve Studio is a recent development and there aren’t many classes available at this time. There are many more opportunities to study Premiere Pro if you are preparing to work as a Video Editor.

It’s easy to learn video editing and start a new career. Check out Noble Desktop’s video editing courses. Choose between in-person sessions in NYC at Noble’s location or sign up for live online video editing courses and attend from anywhere. Use Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me to find other courses in video editing in your area.