AVID Media Composer vs. DaVinci Resolve: Comparison for 2024

Editing programs AVID Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve each have diehard fans, though they’re both known as video production powerhouses. 

These software suites have contributed to numerous blockbuster films and are industry-leading tools. However similar they may be, AVID Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve also have notable differences that greatly inform their use cases from one production house to the next. 

Parsing each program's key strengths and limitations can be challenging, especially if you have yet to interface with the programs yourself. Fortunately, we’ve pressure-tested these programs to ensure your needs align with the best platform possible for your creative needs. 

Let’s take a peek under the hood of these award-winning and powerful tools to see how these post-production programs compare. 

What are AVID Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve used for?

DaVinci Resolve and AVID Media Composer are non-linear editing (NLE) programs for professional video production. Originally released as a color-grading software in 2004, DaVinci Resolve has since expanded to include features like multitrack editing, audio mixing, and rendering, as seen in editors like AVID or competitors like Adobe Premiere Pro

Both suites have tools for color correction, visual effects, and flexible encoding to ensure suitable output for several different platforms. 

The main differences between AVID Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve

Finding the right software for your needs is a matter of understanding the differences between these two software choices:

  • Color capability: Since DaVinci Resolve originally served as color correction software alone, the software suite naturally has superior grading capabilities. Since DaVinci Resolve is considered the industry standard for color grading, it’s common to edit in AVID Media Composer and then color grade separately in DaVinci Resolve. 
  • Editing prowess: Though the video editing landscape continues to evolve, AVID Media Composer remains the industry standard for professional cuts for TV and film. Its robust infrastructure, widespread adaptation, and general stability often make it the preferred pick for most top studios. 
  • Cost: AVID is notably more expensive than DaVinci Resolve, which has a free option, albeit with limited features. 
  • User-friendly interface: Some users may find that AVID has more of a learning curve. DaVinci Resolve is updated regularly and can be less intimidating for those just beginning their editing journeys.  

Key similarities between AVID Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve

AVID Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve also share several similarities to keep in mind while narrowing down the right pick for your needs:

  • Multitrack editing: Both software solutions act as non-linear editors, allowing users to rearrange and adjust clips as necessary. 
  • Audio mixing: Along with basic audio editing capabilities, AVID Media Composer can bridge with Pro Tools for full-service audio mixing. Similarly, you can use the Fairlight suite with DaVinci Resolve for full-service audio mixing. 
  • Color grading capabilities: DaVinci Resolve has a robust color grading panel, while AVID Media Composer has an add-on suite called Symphony. 
  • Customizable workflows: Both DaVinci Resolve and AVID Media Composer have flexible windows and shortcuts, enabling you to make your workspace your own. 
  • Reliant on additional tools: You can use DaVinci Resolve and AVID Media Composer’s tools for standard visual effects. However, you may need additional software and plugins for animations and other complex processes. 

Head-to-head comparison

Let’s break down the true strengths and weaknesses of these respective tools. Here’s what you can expect from using AVID Media Composer versus DaVinci Resolve: 

AVID Media Composer DaVinci Resolve
Ease of use Winner
Editing Winner
Quality of support Winner
Basic effects Winner
Advanced visual effects Tie Tie
Animation Tie Tie
G2 rating Winner
Cost Winner

Ease of use

  • Winner: DaVinci Resolve 
  • Why: DaVinci Resolve has a clean, inviting interface and an entire training guide, complete with videos and accompanying project files to educate its user base. They also offer expanded support options compared to AVID Media Composer, which may come with additional costs for extended support via phone. 


  • Winner: AVID Media Composer
  • Why: DaVinci is fine for basic and low-pressure advanced editing. However, AVID Media Composer is the top choice for supporting more extensive multicamera edits or cutting for broadcast. Also, since AVID Media Composer has been around much longer than DaVinci Resolve, it tends to be a more accepted workflow, especially when integrating with larger-scale productions and studios. 

Quality of support

  • Winner: DaVinci Resolve
  • Why: Blackmagic (DaVinci Resolve’s parent company) offers support to users via help articles, video guides, forums, email, and a call center support team available Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 4 PM Pacific Time. In contrast, telephone support is only available for AVID customers with the ExpertPlus, Elite, or Cloud Support plans. Standard users can purchase a one-time use AVID Media Composer Support Code for $39.95. Alternatively, you can start a case via email via AVID’s support page. 

Basic effects 

  • Winner: DaVinci Resolve 
  • Why: DaVinci Resolve has a diverse range of standard visual effects you can easily integrate into any project. You can use Resolve’s dedicated Fusion effects suite to take your projects to the next level, with support for even basic 3D effects. 

Advanced visual effects

  • Winner: Tie
  • Why: Though AVID and DaVinci Resolve have good options for basic effects, you’re likely to turn to third-party software like Adobe After Effects to do advanced work, depending on your creative needs. Since both suites do not have robust native features in this department, this category ends in a tie. 


  • Winner: Tie
  • Why: Strong animation infrastructure is not native to either Resolve or AVID. However, both programs make it easy to export files accordingly for use in alternate animation suites. For instance, AVID Media Composer supports cloud-based editing and connection with Adobe After Effects via its Edit On Demand feature. 

G2 rating

  • Winner: DaVinci Resolve 
  • Why: G2, the trusted software review site, gives DaVinci Resolve a high 4.7 out of 5-star rating compared to AVID Media Composer’s 4.1 out of 5. Any editing program with 4+ stars out of 5 is reasonably good, but DaVinci Resolve takes the cake based on its incredible value, ease of use, and consistent addition of new features. 


  • Winner: DaVinci Resolve 
  • Why: DaVinci Resolve can be used for free with limited features. The full DaVinci Resolve studio suite is $295 for a lifetime license. AVID Media Composer is only available on a subscription basis for $23.99 per month with an annual commitment or $239 per year paid upfront. 

Who is AVID Media Composer best suited for?

AVID Media Composer is best suited for experienced editors and creative professionals who need a setup that easily translates across the studio landscape. AVID’s ability to handle large miles, multicam footage, and broadcast systems makes it ideal for high-stakes projects that can afford the software’s cost. 

Who is DaVinci Resolve best suited for?

Regardless of your editing setup, DaVinci Resolve remains the standard for color grading. Colorists and filmmakers alike enjoy Resolve’s impressive features and easy integration with its native and third-party editing tools. 

While not as feature-heavy as AVID’s Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve is still a strong contender for basic editing, especially if you don’t have the budget for AVID’s price tag. DaVinci’s intuitive interface and powerful multitrack workflow make it a great pick for beginners and advanced editors.

If you plan on using an editor for small projects or social media, DaVinci Resolve likely has everything you need to thrive creatively at a much lower price point. 

Should you use DaVinci Resolve or AVID Media Composer?

Deciding between DaVinci Resolve and AVID Media Composer ultimately comes down to your needs as a creative professional. While the two programs share a lot of overlap, the primary difference is Resolve remains the standard for color grading, and Media Composer is the industry pick for professional editing. 

There’s also a significant difference in cost. Resolve is only $295 for a lifetime license for two computers, while AVID’s Media Composer costs $239 for a yearly subscription or $34.99 monthly. You can also take DaVinci Resolve for a free test spin and upgrade to the studio version at any time. Media Composer, by comparison, offers one free trial period of 30 days. 

DaVinci Resolve and AVID Media Composer are each powerful creative tools, though only you can decide which software solution makes the most sense for your project. 

How to collaborate on these tools (or any other editing tools)

Looking for a tool to collaborate in real-time, whether you’re using AVID or Resolve? Evercast integrates with both software suites and any tool in your workflow. Designed by studio veterans, Evercast makes it easy to communicate with your crew or clients from afar. 

Seamlessly stream 4K video and HD audio to anywhere in the world with a click of a button. The Evercast suite includes video conferencing, frame-accurate annotation tools, and color precision streaming to create a true in-studio experience, regardless of your software preferences. 

Learn more about Evercast here

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