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Blackmagic halves price of DaVinci Resolve Studio

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 | Posted by Jim Thacker


Blackmagic Design has released a new $500 Mac-only version of DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio, the commercial version of its colour correction and non-linear editing software.

In addition, a free 12.2 update has been released for both the commercial and free editions of the software, adding support for decoding H.265 video on OS X, and new HDR features.

New half-price, dongle-free Mac edition of the software
The biggest change is the new OS X-only version of DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio, available via the Mac App Store for just $499.99.

That’s quite a price cut, since the existing Windows and Mac OS X versions available from Blackmagic Design’s own website, cost $995.

As far as we can see, the two versions are identical in terms of functionality – the news release describes the new App Store edition as the “full version”, and the store listing doesn’t mention any limitations.

However, unlike the existing version, the App Store release doesn’t require a dongle, meaning that users can “run it on multiple personal Macs … simply by using their Apple ID”.

Updated 2 January: We’ve been in touch with Blackmagic Design, who tell us that there are a few additional differences between the new App Store release and the old dongled versions.

They’re comparatively minor, and are ascribed to the demands of the ‘sandboxing‘ security verification process software has to go through to be accepted onto the App Store.

First of all, the new App Store version only supports OpenCL – which shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most users, given that current Mac Pros come with AMD GPUs.

In addition, it doesn’t work with Avid panels (other third-party panel connectivity is “yet to be confirmed”) or support hot-plugging of USB drives; while OpenFX plugins require “more user setup”.

DaVinci Resolve 12.2: Support for decoding 8K H.265 footage on Mac, advanced HDR features
In addition, both free and commercial editions of the software get a small update. The new features are summarised well in Blackmagic’s official press release, the relevant section of which is reproduced below.

  • Decode support for HEVC/H.265 QuickTime video in DaVinci Resolve Studio on OS X
  • Support for HDR Hybrid Log Gamma using Resolve Color Management
  • Inclusion of Hybrid Log Gamma conversion LUTs
  • Updated ST 2084 HDR color science
  • ACES IDTs for Canon C300 MkII clips
  • Import support for NewBlue Titler Pro titles using Media Composer AAF sequences
  • Reveal in Media Storage now supports mattes
  • ProRes 4444 with alpha channel now defaults to straight mode
  • Power Window opacity and invert settings are now retained when converting to Power Curve Windows
  • Improved QuickTime render performance on Linux

The most significant is probably decode support for H.265 footage on Macs. The successor to the ubiquitous H.264 format, H.265 offers double its data compression rate and supports footage at up to 8K UHD resolution.

Pricing and availability
DaVinci Resolve 12.2 is available now for Windows and Mac OS X. The 12.2 update is free to existing users.

The software comes in two editions: the commercial Studio edition, and a free edition, which has most of the same toolsets, but which is limited to UHD resolution when rendering projects.

The old dongled Windows and Mac OS X versions of DaVinci Resolve Studio, available from Blackmagic Design’s website, cost $995; the new dongle-free Mac-only version costs $499.99.

Read the official news announcement for the new $500 Mac App Store version of DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio

Read Blackmagic Design’s official news announcement for DaVinci Resolve 12.2

Read the Mac App Store listing for DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio

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