Blackmagic Design Releases DaVinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018

The new DaVinci Resolve 15 from Blackmagic Design is a massive upgrade to one of post production’s most capable editing and effects platforms. And you won’t believe the price!

“Our overall message at this year’s NAB Show is creating products that empower both the new digital creator and experienced professionals,” Dan May, president of Blackmagic Design told me in the middle of their sprawling exhibit area in the South Hall.

Dan May, president of Blackmagic Design, and Jay Ankeney of The Broadcast Bridge.

Dan May, president of Blackmagic Design, and Jay Ankeney of The Broadcast Bridge.

“Among our new products is a new ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K, an all-in-one Ultra HD live production switcher (covered in The Broadcast Bridge on April 14, 2018), a Mini Converter Optical Fiber 12G (covered in The Broadcast Bridge on May 1, 2018), and, of course, our new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, a handheld digital film camera with full 4/3 HDR sensor that is creating a lot of buzz (covered in The Broadcast Bridge on April 11, 2018), just to mention a few.”

But since May knows I have editing in my blood, I was glad he also included the release of DaVinci Resolve 15 as one of their major introductions.

“It’s got an entirely new Fusion page with over 250 tools for compositing, paint, particles, animated titles and more,” he said, “a major update to Fairlight audio, and maybe 100 new features that pro editors and colorists have asked for.”

The edit screen of the new DaVinci Resolve 15, available now in public beta on the company's web site.

The edit screen of the new DaVinci Resolve 15, available now in public beta on the company's web site.

Editors already flying a DaVinci Resolve system can upgrade for free, and for that matter, a 90% version of DaVinci Resolve 15 is still free and has more features than many other craft NLE’s.

The full DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio, which adds multi-user collaboration, 3D, VR, dozens of additional filters and effects, can be purchased for a whopping $299.

Which lead me to a question I have wanted to ask Blackmagic Design for a long time.

Why?

How can the company make a profit if they’re giving this kind of stuff away at that kind of price? After all, Blackmagic Design doesn’t even charge for technical support, a major profit center for many firms.

May was candid in his response.

“Resolve is such an important product for us because it ties so many of our other products together,” he began. “You can use it with other people’s cameras if you wish, but we hope it leads you to our new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and other gear if you are comfortable with our design philosophy.”

Make no mistake, Blackmagic Design is a profitable enterprise.

“Once people are introduced to the Blackmagic world’s software, we try to make our money on our hardware,” May said. “We take a wide view and want to get people into the Blackmagic workflow. Once people appreciate our approach, they want to stay with it.”

The professional Firelight audio console.

The professional Firelight audio console.

For example, for a truly professional workflow, although prices for the new Fairlight audio control panels are approximately 80% less than the previously available models, their costs still range from US $21,995 to US$ 48,995.

May is well aware this is a different philosophy than that which guides other companies. And since they are not a publicly traded company, they can pretty much do what they want.

“For example, we could not quite bring out the new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at our goal $999 price,” he told me. “So when it had to be $1,295 we decided to throw in DaVinci Resolve 15 for free, and it has become another home run for us.”

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