Best Color Grading Software for Video

You have a video that took hours to shoot. Simply combining the clips and adding sound effects to edit just isn’t enough. Color grading in the post-production stage is what sets a video apart. The message that a video conveys with the right color tone and mood is very powerful. To enhance the visual aesthetic and set the right tone for your video, you need color grading software or a plugin. 

It can be quite an overwhelming task to choose the perfect color grading software for yourself from all the different options, so we’ve made it easy for you by analyzing some of the best choices. Here is a list of the top 10 best color grading software.

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1. DaVinci Resolve

Best for Professional and Amateurs

It provides you with simple to use yet powerful tools to edit your videos and achieve high quality production.

Pros
Versatile tools that allow everything from small edits to detailed compositing.
Has a free version that you can use to get the hang of the interface before buying the premium software.
Comprehensive interface.
One-time payment.
Cons
May seem tricky to beginners.
Requires a powerful computer to get the most out of it.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

DaVinci Resolve Studio, developed by Blackmagic Design, is a favorite among professional video editors. It is considered one of the best color grading tools. The advanced node-based system makes it convenient to use as it allows you to map the color grade in layers. This allows you to make precise color changes to the different elements of your footage. It sports plenty of other specific tools that help to pay fine attention to detail in every shot. 

The software was started as a color grading tool, but now, it is a complete movie editing program. Such is the popularity of the software that it was used in the post-production of Hollywood movies such as Deadpool 2, The Avengers, and The Pirates of the Caribbean.

The DaVinci Resolve is an industry-standard software that can be a very good pick for professionals or people looking to get into industrial-scale color grading.

2. Adobe Premiere Pro (Lumetri)

Great for Color Grading

great built-in color grading tool that arrives with an Adobe subscription.

Pros
Comes free with your adobe subscription.
Supports cloud storage.
Capable of stylizing VR and 360° footage.
Cons
CPU heavy software.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS

The Adobe Premiere Pro (Lumetri) is a complementary color grading software that comes with an Adobe subscription. It is a staple in the video editing industry and the performance surely lives up to the praises. Known as the Lumetri Panel, it offers traditional color wheels, curves, and sliders, similar to other Adobe applications. This makes it easier to use and remember. 

Lumetri also offers multiple pre-installed presets to choose from. Many filmmakers have used this software. For example, the color tones in Gone Girl were added using the Adobe Premiere Pro. 

Lumetri is a great built-in color grading tool that arrives with an Adobe subscription, therefore, it will get the job done on a primary level for free.

3. fylm.ai

Cloud-based Color Grading Software

AI automatically presents the presets and color combinations

Pros
Accessible from anywhere.
Allows big teams to work together in real-time from anywhere in the world.
Contains a Magic Mode for beginners.
Cons
Limited storage on the free version: 1 user, 3 projects, and 1GB cloud storage.
Pro version: Unlimited projects and LUT (lookup table) creation with 50GB cloud storage.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux (can be accessed through any browser) 

The next one on the list is a completely cloud-based color grading software, fylm.ai. It enables you to collaborate with your team in real-time from anywhere in the world. The tool uses AI to extract any color grade with a single click. You can also start your color grading process with any of the 15 ready-made ACEScct Print film emulations to give you the perfect starting point. This makes the entire process seamless and less time-consuming.  

The AI automatically presents the presets and color combinations that you require based on the camera that was used to shoot the footage. Its ease of use has made it a regular color grading software for companies like BBC, Netflix, and Prime Video. 

fylm.ai is a comprehensive tool that allows you to tweak your footage on the go. It is a good pick for big teams working together. 

4. Final Cut Pro X (Color Board)

Pro Video Editor and Free Video Maker app

Features are cut video, merge video, trim video, crop video, and edit video with music.

Pros
Having a built-in color grading software is very convenient and doesn’t require any additional expenses.
Renders the final edits very quickly with stellar quality.
Allows multi-cam editing.
Cons
Only available on Mac computers.

Supported platforms: macOS

Color board is Final Cut Pro X’s built-in color grading software made by Apple. It is a go-to for Mac users to adjust the color tones of their footage. The Color board toolset includes easy-to-use color wheels, curves, and correction effects with stacking layers. The flexible user interface is very beginner-friendly. The clean layouts and accessibility make your edits look professional. 

The Color board toolkit is a favorite among many top-level YouTubers and content creators. Apple’s industry-leading technology makes color adjustments impeccable.

The Final Cut Pro X (Color board) is a very good choice for video editors who work on individual projects and are working on a semi-professional level. It is also good for content creators who want to get their color grading done on the same software they’re using to edit.

5. Color Finale 2

High Quality and Ease of Use

It offers an extensive and powerful grading toolset.

Pros
Offers a wide range of color grading layers.
Relatively cheaper than the other plugins and software.
Includes a complete set of professional film emulation tools.
Cons
Complex interface for beginners.

Supported platforms: macOS

Color Finale 2 is a plugin created specifically for Final Cut Pro X. It includes all the features that are not available on the default color grading software on Final Cut Pro X, Color Board. The toolset allows you to get the most out of your Final Cut Pro X edits.

It offers more specialized features like adjustable automation tools, mask tracking, and a color chart tool. This makes it easier to automate color corrections by identifying the nuances of irregularity in the footage that might otherwise go unnoticed.

The Color Finale 2 is a set of plugins that incorporates intricate color grading features that will come in handy for Mac users. So, if you are a professional video editor looking for a better substitute for the built-in Color board in your Final Cut Pro X, then this affordable plugin is the way to go.

6. Movavi Video Editor Plus

Great Tool to Start off

Giving a cinematic tone to your videos is made very easy.

Pros
Lightweight program. Doesn’t require heavy specs to run.
Built-in library of ready-made filters and effects.
Newbie-friendly interface.
Cons
Lacks some advanced color grading features.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS

All the terminology such as saturation, luminance, 3D LUT, grading layer might be intimidating when you’re just starting out but it’s completely fine. The Movavi Video Editor Plus is a great option to start with. The intuitive interface is instructional, allowing you to get familiar with all the features as you work. You’re also able to test it out with their 7-day free trial period before you decide to buy it.

You’ll be able to achieve professional-looking results without having to deep dive into all the technical details of color grading. Even if you aren’t a professional colorist, you can still produce exquisite colors in your videos with the help of the Movavi Video Editor Plus.

Giving a cinematic tone to your videos is made very easy by the Movavi Video Editor Plus. This is a great tool to start off with to understand the intricacies of color grading like hues, saturation, and many more.

7. Wondershare Filmora Pro

Movie Maker for Beginners

Help you tell a powerful story through the colors and effects of your videos.

Pros
Ease of use.
Optimized to reduce render time.
Good for amateurs and beginners.
Cons
Lacks some pro-level features.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS

Power up your color grading game with the Wondershare Filmora Pro. The Filmora Pro is a video editing software that contains the perfect set of tools for color grading your videos and images instantly. It is also good for new editors who are looking for a good balance between a beginner-friendly UI and brand new features. It also houses precise color correction tools.

The application allows you to save your presets and LUTs (lookup table) to use them on later projects.  Presets create the optimal setup for you to start and finish fast. Consequently, you will be able to fine-tune your colors to set the right mood and convey a powerful message by color grading on the Wondershare Filmora Pro.

You can give a stylistic touch to your footage without having to work for hours or learn the tough details about color grading. The Wondershare Filmora Pro will help you tell a powerful story through the colors and effects of your videos.

8. Magic Bullet Suite

Built-in Color Grading Tools

With unique presets and LUTs

Pros
Can integrate perfectly with any video editing software.
Also comes with guided color correction tools.
On the cheaper side.
Cons
No additional features.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS

Magic Bullet Suite is a set of color grading and color correcting plugins that are compatible with renowned video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X. It comes with unique presets and LUTs that are not provided in the default color grading software in Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X. The unique grading features help you seamlessly give a cinematic and classic vibe to your edits.

The Magic Bullet Suite runs on GPU, so you can get a smoother user experience with no stutters or lags in exporting or rendering the final grading files. Many professionals turn to this plugin to achieve their desired results.

If you’re a professional looking for a good replacement for the built-in color grading tools that your software provides, then the Magic Bullet Suite is something you should consider investing in.

9.  FilmConvert Nitrate

Best Color Grading Software

Specializes in giving your videos a cinematic feel with color effects.

Pros
Ease of use.
Accurate presets that save a lot of time while editing.
Cons
No extra video editing features. Only color grading features are available.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS

FilmConvert is also a plugin that you can incorporate into any video editing software, however, it can also be used as an independent color grading application. It allows you to choose a preset based on the camera you used to shoot the footage. This technology makes the plugin very efficient and produces quality color tones and moods for your videos. 

The software specializes in giving your videos a ‘cinematic feel’ with color effects, and its fast render speed will definitely save you a lot of time.

If you are a colorist, then this is one of the best color grading software that you’ll ever need.

10. Lightworks

Most Acclaimed Video Editors

Easy-to-use tooltips.

Pros
Has a free version.
Supports multiple cam editing.
Offers over 100 presets.
Cons
4K editing features are only available in the paid version.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Lightworks is one of the oldest and most acclaimed video editors, winning the 2017 EMMY Award for pioneering digital, non-linear editing software boasts stellar color grading features. The application pays attention to every pixel to bring out the best tone in a video or picture. There is a lot of room for fine-tuning and improvising your projects with Lightworks before finding the right color combination. 

This veteran software was used in the making of many popular Hollywood films due to the easy-to-use tooltips that make tweaking every angle feel effortless.

If you are an independent filmmaker or content creator, then Lightworks will be a good software to get your color grading done as you’ll be able to pay attention to every small detail.

Bonus: Kinemaster (For smartphones)

Video Editing Fun on your Phone

Makes it easy to edit videos with lots of powerful tools, downloadable content

Pros
You can edit on the go.
Free application.
Offers almost the same features like the color grading software on PC/Mac.
Cons
Takes a long time to export the final product.

If you shoot and edit your videos with a smartphone, then Kinemaster is one of the best editing applications you can use. It has a vast color chart collection that makes grading your videos easy and fun. You can transfer the edited files from your smartphone to your PC and still have precise color tones, saturation, and white balance. The sliders and wheels in the app help you track your progress from frame to frame as you adjust the color temperature and effects. 

Kinemaster is the best color grading software on mobile.

Which Color Grading Software is Right for You?

So there you have it, a list of the Top 10 best color grading software (+1 application for the smartphone). Each software offers a slightly different set of features from the other. Depending on the type of color grading you are going to do, you should find a good fit for yourself. 

For example, if you are just starting out, then you’d want to try Adobe Premiere Pro Lumetri, Filmora Pro, or Final Cut X Pro Color board. These are built-in color grading tools that you can use to get a better understanding of the basics before you invest in a paid software

If you’re managing a team of several members, then fylm.ai should be a good tool to go with as it is completely cloud-based, enabling anybody to access it from a browser and work on it simultaneously.

Lastly, if you’re a professional that’s looking to make industrial-scale cinematic videos, then the DaVinci Resolve will be an all-rounder for your work. You will have industry-standard tools at your disposal to work with and enhance the appearance of your video. 

Regardless of whichever software you pick, be sure to take advantage of the trial period if it has one. That way you’ll be able to choose which one suits you the best.

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