Explore. Compare. Decide.

Choosing between professional video editing software can be a bit overwhelming, we know.  Any pro video editing app carries a ton of features plus advantages and disadvantages compared to others.  But which editor is right for you?  Read on for a look at two of them – VEGAS Pro and DaVinci Resolvecomparing features and honestly exploring some 
pros and cons of both

VEGAS Pro and DaVinci Resolve Key Features Comparison Table

Here’s a quick look at the features of VEGAS Pro software and DaVinci Resolve software side-by side:

Pricing

Editing

Color Grading

Visual Effects

Audio

Export

Collaboration

Platform

Minimum System Requirements

   
VEGAS Pro DaVinci Resolve
Pricing
One-Time Fee and Subscription Options One-Time Fee
Editing
Intuitive, logical, and easy to learn Steeper Learning Curve
Extensive hardware decoding with support for AMD, Intel, and Nvidia Hardware decoding with Nvidia CUDA and AMD OpenCL
Yes No
Yes Yes
Yes No
Yes Yes
Yes No
Yes No
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Color Grading
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
ACES 1.1 RCM
Yes Yes
Visual Effects
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Audio
Yes No
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes No
Export
Yes No
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes (no Facebook)
Collaboration
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Platform
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Minimum System Requirements
Windows 10 64-bit Windows 8.1; Mac OS 10.10.5; Linux CentOS 6.6
6th-Generaion Core i5 or AMD equivlanet or better.  2.5 Ghz 4 Core Minimum Socket 2011-v3 Core i7 or AMD equivalent or better
8 GB, 16 GB recommended; 32 GB for 4K 16 GB
4 GB of GPU VRAM
1.5 GB 512 GB SSD minimum
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 SP 1 (included)
For registration / activation No
   

 

What Are the Most Important Aspects When Comparing VEGAS Pro and DaVinci Resolve?

Now let’s take a deeper dive into what some of these features mean and compare them between VEGAS Pro and Resolve.

PRICING

You used to buy software on a physical media, like a floppy disc or CD. These days, you get most of your software through direct downloads. Downloading means the convenience of not having to go anywhere to buy a physical product or wait for it to arrive if you ordered it online – you have the software you want in minutes. But it also offers flexibility in how you pay for it.

Purchase Option vs. Subscription

When you buy a disc, you pay for the product once and you have it forever. But these days, you have more options. You can still pay a flat fee once and then the software is yours, known as a perpetual license. But more and more software producers offer a subscription model, where

you pay a monthly or annual fee which is generally much less than the up-front cost if you buy it outright. With this option, you can often access software which would be too expensive to afford if you paid up front. There’s a trade-off here; if you stop your subscription, you lose access to the software. Also, the subscription fee, over time, can add up to more than the flat fee would have.

But you also get automatic updates any time there’s a new release of the software, whereas if you paid a flat fee, you’d have to pay at least an upgrade fee to update your perpetual license to the new version. Both have their advantages and disadvantages; you have to decide how best to proceed with your budget needs.

VEGAS Pro can be yours forever for a one-time price of [$599], or it’s available for a monthly subscription fee of $19.99.
The DaVinci Resolve price is a flat fee of $299.

EDITING

Working with video editing software isn’t just about features; it’s also about the editing experience and how well it matches the way you want to work or what seems to make the most sense for you. Great editing apps should be easy to work with, freeing you to unleash your creativity rather than worrying about how to use your tools. You want a program which makes things easier and lets you decide how best to work.

Workflow/Ease of Use

We think this is a feature in its own right, because as we said, software which helps by making it easier to work in provides a better experience than a program which hinders you by making it more difficult to work than it should be.

VEGAS Pro was designed from the ground up to work the way the user wants to work. Users say it’s really intuitive because rather than locking the user into a way of working, it gives you many different ways to accomplish most tasks, so whatever you prefer, you can do it.

DaVinci Resolve works more like traditional editors, with emphasis on using a “source” window or clip trimmer to pre-trim clips and then send them to the timeline. Also, you generally only have one way – again, the traditional way – of accomplishing many tasks. These days, some of the built-in functions of that style can affect the workflow and the learning curve.

Interface Flexibility

A really flexible app lets users arrange the interface to work the way which makes the most sense for them, putting windows where they want and making the workspace truly their own, especially on multiple monitors.

VEGAS Pro enables you to arrange your interface however you need, and you can set up all your tools where you want, keep your scopes and meters handy, put your preview on whichever monitor you prefer, and set things up your own way – no matter if you have two, three, four, or even six monitors in your setup.

While DaVinci Resolve does give you the option of spreading the interface onto a second monitor, you’re limited to only two, you can’t rearrange the interface much or place your tools or scopes where you’d like them to be; the interface is what it is.

Timeline

Pro editors need a quick and nimble timeline, one with playback as close to real time as possible, with few or no dropped frames, even with a lot of video streams and effects added. Editors want to work quickly and not wait for effects to render or footage to be transcoded. They need a flexible timeline that will take any file format, can be arranged however the editor wants, and won’t bog down the editor with unnecessary steps or unwieldy tools.

VEGAS Pro was specifically designed for speed and flexibility. The editor can arrange and rearrange tracks at will and mix and match file formats on the same tracks. Simple touches like automatic crossfades on overlapping video make defining transitions almost instant, and easy to adjust, instead of having to retrim clips or pull the “handles” common in other editing apps – though in VEGAS Pro 18, trim handles are also available under the event hamburger menu if you prefer that style of editing. While the DaVinci Resolve timeline is drag-and-drop, its design is most efficient when using the two-point and three-point editing common to the earliest computer editing apps. It’s a style of editing which promotes efficient thinking and planning. DaVinci Resolve separates video and audio tracks; this style of organization can affect while editing clips in complex project. To create transitions in DaVinci Resolve, you right-click and choose a length from choices in a menu, rather than organically dragging clips or ends of clips into each other.

GPU Acceleration

Modern, large-format, highly compressed video formats mean taxing computers to their maximum when working with them. Today’s editing apps leverage the power of your computer’s graphics card to take care of some of the video processing, like decoding video and effects rendering, freeing up the CPU to perform other tasks, giving you a faster, smoother editing experience.

VEGAS Pro is the only editing app leveraging Intel, AMD, and Nvidia graphics cards to decode AVC and HEVC video for real-time playback, as well as accelerate numerous GPU-enabled effects, so you get smoother playback even in complex. VEGAS Pro 18 offers automatic GPU configuration and a GPU driver update utility, so taking advantage of GPU acceleration is easier than ever. DaVinci Resolve employs hardware acceleration and decoding using Nvidia CUDA and AMD OpenCL GPUs.

Storyboards

Storyboards make the first step of video editing – the rough cut – easier and more intuitive. They let the editor select, arrange, and experiment with the order of clips in the project’s media pool just like arranging photos on a desk, making it easy to assemble a rough cut before ever working the timeline.

Useful Tips: Storyboard Creation – craft your vision like the pros

The storyboards in VEGAS Pro are quick and easy and allow for a playback preview of a sequence right from the media pool without having to go to the timeline. Vegas Pro also updates the timeline every time you change the storyboard, and uniquely, updates the storyboard every time you change the timeline, or any time you choose to do so manually. DaVinci Resolve does not offer storyboards.

Media Management

Keeping your media assets organized is a huge part of an efficient editing workflow. In a future free update, VEGAS Pro 18 will include VEGAS Prepare, a powerful media management and organization app enabling you to create a structured media library based on your criteria and add searchable tags to media files.

DaVinci Resolve’s Media Manager lets you keep your media organized according to file characteristics including metadata, mark clips for use, and more.

Summary:  VEGAS Pro allows you to arrange the interface according to your preference, maximizing productivity. 

COLOR CORRECTION

One of the core functions of an editor is to correct and grade color, smoothing out problems and adding grades for intentional effect, style, and mood. Even black and white imagery needs creative control of contrast, light, and dark. Your pro editing app should give you outstanding control over your image’s color, lightness, and darkness.

Color Grading Panel

Most video editing software gives you color control tools; a great editing app puts all of your most important tools all in one convenient place for the most efficient color correction and color grading possible.

VEGAS Pro offers the Unified Color Grading panel, which gives you curves, contrast, exposure, color sliders, color wheels, the ability to import LUTs, and many other tools right at your fingertips in a single panel, now dockable in VEGAS Pro 18.  Combined with the enhanced adjustable Vectorscope Skin Tone line, the new logarithmic exposure control which emulates camera exposure, and the improved two-way auto-contrast tool, the Unified Color Grading panel offers an incredibly powerful color correction and color grading workflow. DaVinci Resolve evolved from industry standard DaVinci color grading tools and provides editors with an incredible, complete set of color correction tools and scopes beyond what VEGAS Pro offers.

Useful Tips: A Guide to Color Grading Your Video With the Powerful Unified Color Workflow

HDR Support

The most modern professional footage features High Dynamic Range (HDR), bringing out the most detail possible in both the brightest and darkest parts of your images. You need HDR support to keep you on the cutting edge.

VEGAS Pro operates in the Rec. 2020 color space and supports HDR10 and HLG HDR formats, letting you precisely monitor your accuracy with HDR-ready video scopes. DaVinci Resolve also supports HDR10, HLG, and the Rec. 2020 color space and uses HDR-ready scopes.

Color Management

A color management system keeps your color workflow consistent from beginning to end, including encoding and screen specs, metadata, and other definitions vital to managing your color.

VEGAS Pro adopts the Academy Color Encoding Systems (ACES) 1.1 standard developed by the MPAA, designed to be the industry standard. DaVinci Resolve uses Resolve Color Management, a non-ACES environment.

LUT Support

Look-Up Tables (LUTs) apply a set of specific color characteristics to footage without changing the underlying video. You can store color correction and color grading looks as LUTs and share them between users of cameras, monitors, editing apps, and other software. LUTs are often necessary with LOG or other video formats.

VEGAS Pro supports import and export of LUTs in .cube format, so you can import and share color looks with industry-standard equipment and software. DaVinci Resolve also supports import and export of LUTs in .cube format.

Summary: Unified Color Grading Panel ensures all color grading tools ready at your fingertips.

VISUAL EFFECTS

The cutting edge of video production often requires robust tools to produce video effects, for everything from epic space battles or superheroes in flight, but also for much more subtle effects and image-sweetening you never even notice. For years, pro editing apps required you to go to outside software for all but the most basic visual effects. Today, look for an NLE which gives you amazing VFX capability without having to leave the timeline.

Motion Tracking

Isolating and tracking objects in moving images allows all sorts of FX possibilities, like adding effects or color correcting to single objects, or pinning text or other objects to points in the video and moving them along as though they’re part of the image. Automatic tracking saves you from having to keyframe all of that, letting you do in minutes what would have taken hours.

Useful Tips: Video Stabilization and Motion-Tracking Workflows to Boost Your Videos

Planar Motion Tracking in VEGAS Pro automatically adjusts the shape of masks as objects in the image change shape, letting you pin to objects in video even when perspective changes. For example, place a poster on a wall of a building and the poster will change perspective to match the changing perspective of the wall as you go by it, or even around a corner. DaVinci Resolve, through its Fusion page, also offers planar motion tracking. Fusion also allows you to import and track 3D models.

Slow Motion

Slow motion is a time-honored way to add drama, tension, or excitement to a scene. Some of the most effective slo-mo involves the ramping of speed down and up for spectacular temporal transitions.

Useful Tips: Video Effects Every Editor Should Know: Add Essential Effects to Your Videos

VEGAS Pro offers velocity envelopes for ramping speed up and down, and also Optical Flow Slow Motion for truly cinematic slow motion.  The frame rate of cinema, usually 24 fps, doesn’t work well when slowed down, because there aren’t enough frames per second for glass-smooth slo-mo. Optical Flow Slow motion analyzes the footage and creates the extra frames needed for smoothness. DaVinci Resolve gives you the ability to ramp footage up and down, and also offers optical flow slow motion.

Mesh Warp Tool

Imagine adding a custom moving ticker to a building marquee or mapping an actor’s face onto wall or even a rock. A mesh warp tool lets you do just that.

The Mesh Warp Tool in VEGAS Pro not only lets you map objects, you can correct all kinds of different distortions in your video, or even create distortions for incredible effects. DaVinci Resolve offers the Grid Warp Tool, a very similar tool, on its Fusion page.

Useful Tips: Video Transitions: The Essentials and When to Use Them

Chroma Key

Chroma Key is one of the oldest and most-used visual effects techniques in the business. It lets you remove a solid-colored background and replace it with any other image you like, letting you put your actors or subjects into any world or environment you choose. You can even use it combined with CGI to create a virtual set.

VEGAS Pro comes equipped with a Chroma Key plugin which lets you remove any color background and make adjustments.

DaVinci Resolve comes equipped with the Delta Keyer in its built-in Fusion page, an advanced Chroma Key tool.

Useful Tips: The Ultimate Guide to Chroma Key and Green Screen

Artificial Intelligence

Cutting edge software takes advantage of advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). For improved effects and even asset management, the integration of AI means a faster, more powerful, smoother workflow.

VEGAS Pro 18 integrates the new Deep Learning modules to enhance its powerful new visual effects.  Use Colorization to bring new life to archive or other monochrome footage, and apply filters in styles like Picasso or Van Gogh with the new Style Transfer FXDaVinci Resolve leverages the DaVinci Neural Engine, applying neural networks and AI to tasks like upscaling and speed warping. 

Summary: Planar Motion Tracking and Optical Flow Slow technology that VEGAS Pro offers will satisfy every video editors' and FVX artists' creative needs.

AUDIO

If you don’t have great sound to go along with your great visuals, your video just won’t be great. It’s true what they say -- sound is 70% of what you see. Look for good audio tools which let you craft the sound your visuals deserve.

Complete Multitrack Editing Environment

Most video editing apps have basic audio editing tools, but for full-featured audio editing, they require you to work in a separate app. A full Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) gives you everything you need for producing polished, professional sound, but is often a separate program from the video editor.

VEGAS Pro has all the tools of a full DAW. Record and automate audio in a multitrack environment with input buses, professional metering, punch-in recording, and more. The Fairlight page in DaVinci Resolve offers an impressive professional array of multitrack audio tools and metering, but not multitrack recording.

Extensive Audio Effects

A robust soundtrack requires a full set of effects tools.

Both VEGAS Pro and Davinci Resolve give you a wide variety of audio effects. From EQ to compressors and more, a solid collection of audio effects will let you sweeten and perfect your sound.

Audio Buses

Audio buses let you assign audio tracks to them, and then you can adjust them all at once by applying effects or changing the volume at the bus level.

VEGAS Pro gives you up to 32 of each auxiliary audio, input, and effects buses – 96 buses in all.

You can assign tracks to buses in any combination, even inside other buses. DaVinci Resolve also offers an array of audio buses.

SOUND FORGE Pro 14

VEGAS Pro 18 now includes SOUND FORGE Pro 14an extremely powerful, feature packed audio editing program, integrated with the VEGAS Pro timeline.  You will not find a more powerful toolset for audio editing than in VEGAS PRO 18 combined with SOUND FORGE Pro 14.

Summary: VEGAS Pro comes with a full DAW and offers multitrack recording, and combined with SOUND FORGE Pro 14,
gives you the most powerful audio editing tools in any NLE.

EXPORT

Today’s cutting-edge video world demands the ability to render your projects quickly in a wide variety of export format options.

Wide Format Support

Some of the most common delivery formats in use today are AVCHD, MP4, H.264, and HEVC. A robust editing app gives you the choices you need to deliver the formats clients and platforms require.

Both VEGAS Pro and DaVinci Resolve offer export to a wide variety of formats, with customizable templates for any use.

DaVinci Resolve also offers exports to Blackmagic RAW, Apple ProRes, Avid DNXHD and other professional formats.

Useful Tips: Best Video Formats: Choosing What's Best for You

Batch Rendering

Batch rendering allows you to export multiple files without having to manually start each one, letting the computer do the work while you’re able to stay productive.

VEGAS Pro and DaVinci Resolve both offer batch rendering, letting you set up the batch render and walk away.

GPU Acceleration

Leverage your graphics card to help carry some of the load of rendering, saving you tons of time when exporting.

VEGAS Pro cuts render times up to half by leveraging GPU acceleration for encoding into AVC and HEVC formats.

New in VEGAS Pro 18, hardware encoding is available for HDR presets as well. DaVinci Resolve also leverages your GPU to encode and render effects, but it does not support as large a selection of GPUs as VEGAS Pro.

Share Online

A lot of today’s video delivery world means streaming video on popular streaming sites like YouTube and Vimeo, or on social media sites like Facebook. Each platform has specific format and upload requirements.

Both VEGAS Pro and DaVinci Resolve make it much easier to cut through all the red tape of formats and specs for each site, exporting your project straight from the timeline to the correct format for each platform, and then automatically uploading the video to your account, saving you steps.

VEGAS Pro has an option to upload to YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, while DaVinci Resolve has options for YouTube and Vimeo only.

Summary: VEGAS Pro utilizes GPU acceleration for encoding, cutting render times up to half!

Conclusion - Which Software is Right for You?

Here are a few thoughts on the pros and cons of VEGAS Pro and DaVinci Resolve, and who we’d recommend each for.

VEGAS Pro vs. DaVinci Resolve - Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

   
VEGAS Pro DaVinci Resolve
Pros
✓ Intuitive timeline ✓ More like traditional editors
✓ Faster editing ✓ Outstanding color correction
✓ GPU decoding for more real-time playback ✓ Upscalable with DaVinci hardware and controls
✓ ACES 1.1 environment ✓ Wider format support
✓ Extensive native VFX ✓ Integrated Fusion FX capability
✓ Full digital audio workstation ✓ Multi-platform – Windows, Mac, Linux
✓ GPU encoding for faster renders
Cons
x Non-traditional x Non-customizable interface
x Doesn't integrate with Adobe apps x Fewer VFX tools
x Windows-only x Fewer audio tools
   

VEGAS Pro vs. DaVinci Resolve - Recommended For

VEGAS Pro is recommended for:

DaVinci Resolve is recommended for:

 
VEGAS Pro is recommended for:
✓ People making the jump up to pro software
✓ Small and large video production companies
✓ Editors who work on the fly
✓ Post-production professionals
✓ Independent feature-film producers
✓ People needing an all-in-one solution
✓ Audio editors
DaVinci Resolve is recommended for:
✓ Multi-platform users (Windows, Mac, Linux)
✓ People who work primarily with ProRes or DNxHD
 

We believe VEGAS Pro is an excellent
DaVinci Resolve alternative

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