While Australian company Blackmagic Design (BMD) might best be known for its affordable cinema camera line-up (it all started with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera in 2012/13), they have also established a reputation in the realm of video post production. Their color grading software DaVinci Resolve (available for both Windows and MacOS) can be considered a veritable industry standard used by professionals all over the world.
A couple of years ago, Resolve started to build an even larger user base when BMD decided to include regular video editing functionality on top of the color correction/grading aspect it originally started out with. While Resolve itself is a top notch application and extremely powerful, its success can also be attributed to the fact that there is a completely free version available, with only minor limitations for most users. In an age where basically every company with a video editing app in its portfolio has switched to a (pricey) subscription model replacing the classic one-off payment (the most prominent examples would be Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer), this hit a nerve with the creative crowd. And even for those who need all the bells and whistles of the Studio version, 350 EUR one-off is more than a fair deal.
Interestingly, Blackmagic Design never really got into mobile applications for smartphones and tablets with the exception of two minor auxiliary apps (Blackmagic Camera Control, Blackmagic Videohub). This changed on 20 October 2022 when they announced an iPad version of DaVinci Resolve for Q4 this year. Honestly, this is spectacular news as LumaFusion by LumaTouch finally gets its first proper rival as the most advanced and powerful video editing app for the iPad. Just like BMD, LumaTouch has – so far – steered clear of a subscription model for its software, currently charging about 36 EUR as a one-off payment. BMD however has also announced that the basic version of DaVinci Resolve for iPad will be free. There will be a paid upgrade (95 USD) for those who need the functionality of Resolve Studio but I’m pretty sure that the free version will be good enough for most/many. It’s not difficult to picture that this could mean trouble for LumaTouch’s business, particularly since LumaFusion is the company’s flagship product. BMD on the other hand are able to offer a free version without considerable limitations since their main business is still selling hardware. For the end user, this competition is most likely something positive as it will keep the pressure on both companies to consistently improve their apps.
While DaVinci Resolve will undoubtedly shake up the mobile video editing space for iPads, it’s not clear yet to what degree they will be able to draw (potential) users away from the top dog LumaFusion in my opinion. LumaFusion has been in the mobile space for such a long time, polishing a supreme application and building a passionate and loyal following among mobile content creators and producers. BMD needs to prove that their iPad version can really live up to the desktop equivalents – building a good UX for mouse and keyboard isn’t quite the same as for touch input. It’s probably with this challenge in mind, that BMD already announced that not all work spaces of the desktop version (Media, Cut, Edit, Fusion, Color, Fairlight, Deliver) will be included in the original iPad release. They explicitly mentioned that Fairlight (sound editing) and Fusion (visual effects) will not be part of the mobile version at this time and that the Edit workspace will be fused with the Cut section as the main place to create the structure of your story. Two things are important to note: BMD announced the mobile version of Resolve for iPad without mentioning the iPad Pro which is a good thing since it means that it will be available for regular iPads as well and not only iPad Pros. What exact specs will be necessary to run it remains to be seen though, I’m sure the original iPad won’t be among the supported devices. The omission of Apple’s most popular product – the iPhone – on the other hand means that DaVinci Resolve will be tablet-only for the moment while LumaFusion is available both types of devices. Personally, I still think that LumaFusion is best experienced on an iPad (or soon also on an Android tablet) and that for smaller phone screens (and depending on the complexity of the project) an app like KineMaster or VN might be easier to handle but it’s definitely a good thing that LumaFusion is also available for iPhones. Furthermore, I believe that the arrival of LumaFusion for Android will open up new revenue streams for LumaTouch which could balance out the cut they might lose to BMD’s DaVinci Resolve in the iPad space. If that doesn’t hold true, LumaTouch might either have to introduce a new product that makes money or do the unthinkable: introduce a subscription model.
What do you think? Are you excited about the arrival of DaVinci Resolve for iPad? And how will it affect the business and user base of LumaFusion in your opinion?
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