HitFilm Express vs DaVinci Resolve: the battle of the editor of …

The tools of a video editor can be expensive. After all, its main users are often film studios that potentially earn billions of dollars if a movie is successful. When your customers they earn so much money with their software, Why wouldn't they charge accordingly?

However, most home users don't earn much money with the videos they create. And if you are not earning the same money as the professionals, why would you spend the same money? Fortunately, free video editors like HitFilm Express and DaVinci Resolve mean we don't have to.

In this article, we face HitFilm Express against DaVinci Resolve to see which one wins the battle of the free video editor.

Hardware requirements

Looking at the DaVinci Resolve website, it will be difficult to find the system requirements. Even once you find them in the PDF manual, they are somewhat vague. They say you will need a monitor to see what you are editing, but not the amount of RAM you will need.

That said, references to Mac Pro computers and 32 GB of RAM make it clear that DaVinci Resolve is still attached to its roots in Hollywood.

HitFilm Express is more concrete when it comes to your requirements, which seem much more modest. Most computers manufactured in the last five years or so should not have problems at least to run them.

Like all video editing applications, you will benefit from a dedicated graphics card and use all the RAM you can have. Still, you can run HitFilm Express with 4 GB of RAM and integrated graphics if necessary.

Winner: HitFilm Express.

Update of prices and complements

When it comes to pricing, DaVinci Resolve is all or nothing. Or you get the free version, or the paid version. That includes all the accessories and complements. The price of the paid version is USD 299, which is actually quite low when compared to other professional video editing software.

HitFilm Express adopts a much more modular approach. You can have it completely free. Buy HitFilm Pro, which also costs 299 USD, or add updates to HitFilm Express. This means that if almost everything you need is included in HitFilm Express, you could pay some dollars to add the missing features and get back to work.

Winner: HitFilm Express.

Resolution and support of video editor files

To eliminate one of the most important aspects, yes, both applications support video editing in 4K. That said, they may not support all frame rates unless you update. For example, if you want to edit 4K videos at 120 FPS with DaVinci Resolve, you will have to pay.

Now we will see another important aspect: file formats. Both applications support commonly used file types in their free versions. That said, you may need to buy a plug-in for certain types of files in HitFilm Express. On the other hand, DaVinci Resolve supports a huge number of different types of files in its free version.

Winner: DaVinci Resolve.

Video editor features

Both applications support all the functions you need for basic editing. You can import your clips, cut them, apply transitions and export them in a variety of formats. In general, both are quite capable.

DaVinci Resolve frequently ends in lists of the best free video editors. In fact, its set of advanced features can be intimidating and is growing all the time.

Some of the best features include intelligent automatic synchronization of audio and video through multiple clips and Fusion composition.

HitFilm Express also has all the functions, but, as mentioned earlier, you may need to immerse yourself in the add-ons. It is revealing that there are several "initial" add-on packages for additional formats, behaviors and editing functions.

You may never need to buy any of these, but you are more likely to need to buy HitFilm Express add-ons than upgrade to DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Winner: DaVinci Resolve.

User interface

One of the biggest blows against HitFilm Express is that the application is covered with indications to buy add-ons. As soon as you load the application, a full sidebar on the left side is dedicated to all the various bits of functionality that you can add for a few dollars.

Although this is only on the home screen and disappears when you really turn on a new project, the indications are an eyesore.

Once you really start working on a new project, HitFilm 4 Express seems, well, a video editor. Apart from some minor differences, video editors are similar.

DaVinci Resolve earns important points in this category due to a particular feature. While it has its own keyboard shortcuts, you can also configure it to use Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X or Avid Media Composer shortcuts. If you come from one of these editors, it will be very useful to help you make the transition.

Winner: DaVinci Resolve.

Ease of use of the video editor

HitFilm Express is a powerful tool, but using it is clearly aimed at the creators of YouTube. In general, the application is easier to use and you must be well versed in edition to use it. There are no more niche functions that are often in front and center in other publishers, but they are not presented prominently.

The Hollywood background of DaVinci Resolve is evident throughout the application. This feels like an application for people who are familiar with video editing and want the most powerful functions to be placed in front and center. This does not make it impossible to use, but it is not as friendly as HitFilm Express.

Winner: HitFilm Express.

HitFilm Express vs DaVinci Resolve: the winner

HitFilm Express is absolutely the easiest to use of these two applications, especially if you are quite new to video editing. That said, some of its other advantages are not as pronounced as they were before. His focus on composition was once again a major strength, but with the incorporation of Fusion, DaVinci Resolve has been updated considerably.

The roots of DaVinci Resolve as a tool intended primarily for color gradation are still displayed, but that is a good thing. As a tool for editing videos, it has reached not only HitFilm, but also other popular video editors such as Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X.

It has a decidedly steeper learning curve, but DaVinci Resolve will scale as you learn more about the video, exposing deeper functionality in the process.

Both are very capable video editing applications. Still, if we had to choose, we would choose DaVinci Resolve.

General winner: DaVinci Resolve.

What type of project are you working on?

More than anything, the previous question should inform your choice between these two fantastic video editors. If you have an eye on eventually working on movies, familiarizing yourself with the advanced features of DaVinci Resolve could be useful. On the other hand, if you only want to make simple videos, HitFilm Express will probably put you into operation faster.

If you are looking to make a YouTube video, any of the editors will work fine. Just choose the one you prefer.