Best color grading software comparison
Do you have a dream project in hand that you need to grade, and you need the best color grading software? Only a professional video editor will know the importance of color grading, right? So, we have reviewed some of the best color grading software that can help video editors grade with ease.
|Movavi Video Editor Plus||Windows, macOS||Beginners and professionals||Quick grading|
|Wondershare Filmora||Windows, macOS||Beginners and professionals||Advanced and basic video editing|
|Final Cut Pro||macOS||Professionals||Fast rendering|
|DaVinci Resolve||Windows, macOS, Linux||Professionals||Professional editing and color grading|
|Red Giant Magic Bullet||Windows, macOS||Professionals||Wide collection of plugins and guided color correction|
|Adobe® Premiere® Pro||Windows, macOS||Beginners and professionals||Option for saving preset|
|Neat Video||Windows, macOS||Beginners and professionals||Noise removal|
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Best color correction software for beginners
Here are some of the best color grading software that is meant for both beginners and professionals.
Price: Free trial, $59.95 for full version
Best for: Super-fast color grading
Movavi Video Editor Plus is a great video color grading software. It comes loaded with various filters, built-in transitions, and professional tools that you will need to color grade like a pro. The software is easy to use. It also offers an intuitive user interface. You can run this color correction program on both Windows and macOS. The software is uncomplicated, and every element is labeled clearly. The option of color grading is quite simple and can work great if you are a beginner in video editing. The best thing about this color grading software is that you can directly share videos to YouTube and other platforms.
- Easy to understand and use
- It makes the process enjoyable with simple tools
- Various editing features other than color correction
- Easy sharing option for completed projects
- Clean interface
- The free trial is limited
- Trial period of only seven days
Price: Free trial, $89.99 for full version
Best for: Precise color correction
Wondershare Filmora can make the task of color grading quite easy with the help of its color-grading tools. The video color correction software also provides other features, such as motion graphics and special effects. It is quite easy to use; however, it also belongs among other powerful color grading programs. It allows easy adjustment of colors with precise correction with the help of color scopes, like Vectorscope, Histogram, Parade, and Waveform.
- Easy to use and simple
- Precise color correction
- Lots of resources and tutorials to get started
- Wide range of video-editing effects and presets
- Constant updates
- Frequent lagging problem
- Less audio effects
Color correction programs for professionals
If you are looking for some of the best color grading software, here are some options that you can try out.
Best for: Professional usage along with fast rendering
Final Cut Pro is a good application for color correction that can suit all your needs. It comes packed with all sorts of tools that any color correction program is expected to have. The software comes with color wheels that can help in easy addressing of color balance, along with exposure problems with your shots. You can use the curves for adjusting highlights and shadows or SATs and HUE’s. Final Cut Pro will let you remove tints from highlights and color casts from shadows. However, this video color correction software runs only on a Mac. So, you cannot use it if you have Windows. It offers LUTs and color matching that can take your video footage to a whole new dimension. The free color correction features can only be used for seven days but is a great option before purchasing the full version.
- Simple interface with various color correction features
- Everything can be done in one place
- Trial period of 7 days
Price: Free version, $299 for the pro version
Best for: Professional color grading
If you are looking out for some of the best color grading programs, you simply can’t look past DaVinci Resolve. Although it comes with tons of features, the application was first designed for high-end color correction. Also, if you cannot use Final Cut Pro due to OS restrictions, DaVinci Resolve is a cinema-grade alternative for Windows. The software provides a face-tracking feature that will let you adjust color and other aspects of people’s faces. Moreover, you can enjoy the features of noise reduction, auto color balance, and matching tools.
- Lots of powerful features
- Video editing apart from color correction
- Used for color grading in Hollywood
- The free version lacks certain tools that can only be enjoyed with the full version
- Lags in sequence making
Price: Free trial, $199 for full version
Best for: Guided color correction
Red Giant Magic Bullet is another member of the best color correction software group that can provide all you need related to color grading. Unlike other color grading software, this software is a plugin. It will allow you to grade your footage directly using any video editing software. Red Giant Magic Bullet can also be used with any free color grading software. It works great with Adobe suite in particular that permits seamless integration. There are various other superb features, such as it runs off the graphic card GPU, permitting you to see the changes made immediately. You can also enjoy lots of LUTs presets beside the ability to customize your own. Red Giant Magic Bullet can be a great choice if you want a plugin that supports LOG footage.
- Ready to go plugin
- Variety of LUTs
- Color correction guidance for beginners
- It might be complex for beginner editors
- Need to purchase the full version for professional features
Price: Free trial, $250 for full version
Best for: Color grading and seamless editing
Adobe® Premiere® Pro belongs to the “editor kings” group that offers great color grading features. Even the free software version offers enough features that can be used for any kind of video editing. The in-house color grading feature of Adobe® Premiere® Pro is not at all bad. It is constantly developing and might be the best option for you, relying on your level and skillset. The color grading section of the software is known as Lumetri Panel. It offers various effects along with color wheels, sliders, and curves. You can get more control over every single bit of color correction. The features will make you feel at ease if you are already accustomed to other Adobe applications, like Photoshop® and Lightroom®. Moreover, you can save all the presets for future projects. Surely it is not the cheapest option available in the market, but the features provided will give your edits a new dimension.
- Option to save presets
- Automated tracking to use filters on particular parts of your footage
- A bit pricey compared to the features offered
- It might take a longer time to render
Price: Starting from $75 (acts as a plugin)
Best for: Noise reduction
The approach of Neat Video is unique that utilizes and builds noise profiles for customizing noise reduction. The noise profiling of Neat Video is highly automated. It comes loaded with an auto-profiling tool that helps generate noise profiles with a single mouse click. The application works in the form of a plugin, and the pricing differs depending on the software you want to use it in. The aim of the plugin is to reduce noise and is a good option if you face issues with noisy footage. There are other scenarios as well where Neat Video can help in improving the quality of your video. For instance, underwater video, 3D animation, slow-mo, VHS, and many others. Neat Video is worth trying if you want something that can help in seamless noise removal and noise reduction.
- Instant noise removal and reduction
- Used by professionals
- Efficient and accurate functioning
- Limited features
- No scope of editing videos other than noise removal
Color-grading is an important aspect today when it comes to professional video editing. It can make your footage better and improve the overall output. Indeed, you might argue that there are various other programs available for color grading and video editing. However, the programs that have been discussed here are at the top of the list of their respective fields. It is always suggested to do your study before opting for any color grading software, no matter which program you opt for. The smallest plugins and programs might provide you big results that cannot be provided by anything else. They might cost a bit extra, at times a lot; however, they are worth the price. So, now you are aware of some of the best color grading programs that you can try. To finish off, if you are a beginner in the video editing sector or have a tight budget to deal with, you can try out the trials versions to test out the programs.
Additionally, it might be the case that you want something that can provide you all the features, even if you are a beginner. In such an instance, you can try out Movavi Video Editor Plus, DaVinci Resolve, or Red Giant Magic Bullet. As video editors, we all are greatly privileged today to have in store so many options and the freedom to choose the one we like. Repeating it, before you decide to spend on the full version of any software, use the trial version for some time to find out if it suits your need.
* The free version of Movavi Video Editor Plus has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output videos, and, if you’re saving a project as an audio file, an ability to save only half the audio length. Learn more
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