Since Blackmagic Design’s NAB 2017 announcement and initial public beta of DaVinci Resolve 14, Blackmagic has posted six public beta versions. While the basic DaVinci Resolve 14 remains a free download, DaVinci Resolve Studio has seen a formal price reduction to $299 with the promise of a dongle-free version. The most recent Studio public beta 6 still requires a dongle.
This most recent beta drop concentrates on several areas including audio, metadata, added color space support in DaVinci Resolve Color Management plus the usual “general performance and stability updates.”
Let’s take a more detailed look at the added features.
Audio has been a main focus of each of the public beta versions. Having enabled Fairlight processing several versions ago, Blackmagic is now concentrating on added playback and mixing capabilities. Resolve can now playback audio from nested timelines and compound clips, decode MTS files with AC-3 audio tracks, and can render multiple audio busses from the Deliver page. These features are available on both Windows and Mac platforms. Scrubbing of compressed audio codecs is now useable. In the Edit page, users can now choose between overwrite or layering modes when editing audio. And in the Fairlight page, the option is given to display all clips or only those with audio.
CinemaDNG and Quicktime clips now support additional metadata fields to include shutter speed, ISO, focal length and lens data. QuickTime and Blackmagic CinemaDNG clips with geotagging information can display location.
The program now supports RED wide gamma color space and Log3G10 when working in Resolve Color Management. Resolve FX Gamut Mapping has additional options to compress or expand default mappings.
Users of DaVinci Mini panels now have the ability to set IP address manually.
Notable among those assorted fixes and improvements is greater accuracy when using the X-Rite Color Checker Classic chart.
Many of the other fixes listed in a post on the DaVinci Resolve support forum point to a refinement of the program and remediation of bugs reported by users.
The number of improvements as well as the long list of bug fixes could lead one to believe that we should soon see the shipping product release.
As an additional note, the added features of DaVinci Resolve Studio including FX plug-ins, facial recognition tools, 120fps timelines, collaboration tools, 3D capability, motion blur and noise reduction more than justify the $299 price tag. In fact, one could easily contend that they even justified Blackmagic’s original $995 price. While the free version might have sufficient functionality for more casual users, the depth of the program is revealed in the $299 Studio version. And with beta 6 we are one big step closer to a release.