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Blackmagic offers Resolve at $995

12 April 2010
Blackmagic offers Resolve at $995

Blackmagic Design has set the cat amongst the grading pigeons by announcing that DaVinci Resolve 7.0 will be available as a software-only version for OSX at a mere $995.

In the past DaVinci Resolve systems were pre built and priced from $200,000 for a 1GPU based system, to over $800,000 for a 16 GPU top of the line system. Even though this was in line with industry standard practice, it meant professional colour correction was way too expensive for most people to afford.

Blackmagic Design is now introducing three models of DaVinci Resolve. These models include a new Mac-based software only version, a Mac-based version that includes the incredible DaVinci Resolve control surface, and a high-end Linux version that lets the user build multiple GPU supercomputer based systems for unlimited power.

The new Mac-based software only version of DaVinci Resolve will retail at only $995 and includes all the powerful DaVinci Resolve features. When running on a Mac, DaVinci Resolve is limited to a single GPU based solution because of slot availability and lack of InfiniBand for Mac, however this does not mean it’s limited on power. In the company’s performance testing, the single GPU performance on Mac is similar to the single GPU Linux systems that cost $200,000 only 6 months ago.

“This means DaVinci Resolve on Mac is a fantastic solution for SD and HD, and even 2k,” said the company. “Colourists can rotate images, re-frame, add corrections, blurs and trackers, and then just hit play, and it’s all realtime. Plus, because no features are disabled on this software only version, when faster GPU cards are released in the future, customers can simply plug them in for more power. This really is a true high end colour correction system.”

DaVinci Resolve requires customers to add a third party control panel such as the Tangent Wave, and a single CUDA capable GPU card. If video I/O is required, then DaVinci Resolve currently requires a DeckLink HD Extreme 3D card. Blackmagic Design will also be working hard to open DaVinci Resolve up to other brands of control panel, capture cards and GPUs as fast as possible.

The midrange DaVinci Resolve model includes both the Mac DaVinci Resolve software as well as the DaVinci Resolve Control Surface. This control surface lets colourists adjust settings in DaVinci Resolve with over 60 knobs and buttons. Colourists can work incredibly fast while keeping their head up and looking at the grading monitor while working. Customers get the power of a single GPU system with the simplicity of the Mac for a fast and easy to use grading solution. DaVinci Resolve with control surface is US$29,995.

When customers are working with heavy colour corrections in HD, 2K, 4K or even 3D, then the top model that’s sold as a software upgrade for the DaVinci Control Surface lets customers move to a Linux based system that allows multiple GPUs and CPUs for faster processing. This Linux license is US$19,995.

When customers need faster processing, then the Linux version lets them upgrade simply by adding GPUs as they need. All GPUs work together to increase the resolution that can run in realtime, as well as the number of corrections that can be done in realtime. DaVinci Resolve is a realtime system, so being able to add extra GPUs and CPUs gives customers virtually unlimited power while fitting tight budgets.

Customers can keep adding hardware such as GPUs and CPUs which are pre-certified by Blackmagic Design and available from DaVinci Specialist Resellers. Because it’s a full Linux license, customers don’t need to pay anything more for the software. In price checking done by the company, it has found that the most powerful system that’s possible to build would still be less than $150,000 including all hardware and software. A system with this large amount of processing power would give colourists dozens of realtime corrections even in stereoscopic 3D at 2K, or even 4K. That’s dramatically less than the over US$800,000 it cost only 6 months ago.

“We think this new DaVinci product lineup will make it easy for beginners to get started with a professional product, as well as allow high end facilities to install the seriously powerful systems they need for feature film work without breaking the bank.”, said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “DaVinci Resolve on Mac at US$995 is the same user interface and has the same features as the Linux version, so it’s easy to move up as you need more power. The features are absolutely identical, apart from the limitations of using a single GPU based system. Ever since I started in post production as a teenager, I have just loved colour correction and film. For me this is a dream come true letting DaVinci become affordable for everyone, and it’s very exciting!”

Also “as a special treat”, all existing DaVinci customers who have an older model DaVinci Resolve or DaVinci Splice will qualify to get this new version 7.0 software at no charge. In addition, anyone who has an older DaVinci 2K system can use the control surface they have, and upgrade to DaVinci Resolve by paying only for the Linux license. This should make a very affordable way for current DaVinci customers to upgrade to the latest technology.

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