9 Best Color Grading Software in 2023 | Free & Paid

Updated on November 9, 2022 in Photo Editing by

9 Best Color Grading Software in 2023 | Free & Paid

Whether you are a professional photo editor, photographer, or even an eCommerce business owner, you must be knowing the importance of color grading and color correction for your images.

For online stores, the color grading technique is mostly used for product images. On the other hand, it’s used by professional photographers and editors for almost every image they click.

Humans are visual creatures. The level of attention and recognition an image can get from a human is beyond compare.

Good quality and professionally edited images can highly appeal to your viewers and grab the instant attention you always crave for.

Thus, using the color grading software that provides you with professional-looking, high-end images is a must.

9 Best Color Grading Software in 2023

1. DaVinci Resolve 18

DaVinci Resolve 18 Color grading software Dashboard
DaVinci Resolve 18 Color grading software Dashboard

Best Features

  • Includes a host of superb features
  • Used in Hollywood
  • Does more than just color grading
  • One-off payment

If you’re looking to choose the best color grading software, you can’t look at this stellar option. DaVinci Resolve 18 is a host of powerful features, it’s even used in Hollywood, and it’s capable of editing video – not just color!

Though created for purely high-end color grading – for which it surely does justice – this color grading software can do much more.

For example, it has a feature called ‘Nodes’ that allows you to layer together different clips with their effects – it’s similar to build things using LEGO blocks, one on another.

Face-tracking is another fantastic feature that lets you adjust eyes, smooth, lighten, or darken the complexion, etc.

The best part is, for all such a plethora of professional and high-quality features, it has just a one-off payment of $295!

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro Color grading software Dashboard
Adobe Premiere Pro Color grading Dashboard

Best Features

  • Let’s you create presets for ease in future
  • Cloud support
  • Highest video quality
  • If you have a cloud subscription already – it’s free!

With Adobe Premiere Pro color grading software, you can easily perform the most complex and time-consuming actions.

If you’re already paying for an adobe subscription, you don’t need to lose any extra bucks to get professional color grading software.

Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects is free. So, does this mean you only need to take it as it’s free with Adobe Cloud? Well, that would be pretty wrong to conclude.

In the updated version of this color grading software, you get better control over every aspect of your color grading actions with improved color wheels, curves, and sliders.

This color grading software supports formats such as FLV, AVI, MP4, MOV, WMV, etc.

If you’re looking to perform color grading of your footage, then you mainly require to use the Lumetri Color space, including all the purposeful tools. You can improve colors, lighting, and contrast.

If you edit videos and perform color grading simultaneously, there are two individual tabs, and switching between them is a piece of cake.

3. Red Giant Magic Bullet Colorista IV

Red Giant Magic Bullet Colorista IV
Red Giant Magic Bullet Colorista IV

Best Features

  • Color correction tutorials for beginners
  • LUT preset available
  • Integrates seamlessly within Adobe suite
  • Ready to install – Plugin

Unlike other color grading software explained above, this is a plugin. It allows you to directly grade your footage using whichever preferred video editing software you use.

Though not a color grading software, it has many fantastic features, including the fact it operates on your graphic card’s GPU, enabling the power to immediately see the changes you make.

There are many applicable LUT presets, enabling you to create your own. Everything you’ve been looking for in color grading software and video editors is here. It costs just $199, which isn’t bad given the performance.

4. Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X color wheel in presentation
Final Cut Pro X Color Wheels

Best Features

  • Fantastic color wheels
  • Automation of many edits
  • Fast and easy

Final Cut Pro X is one of the best color grading software for those using a Mac. Yes, it’s only for Mac users. However, the features it has are just unique.

This color grading software has four wheels for controlling saturation, tint, and brightness. You’ll find a toolset for changing the general temperature hue, mid-tones, glares, and shadows.

Each wheel has two sliders for saturation on the left and brightness on the right.

This color adjustment element of this NLE editing software functions purely standardly. Primarily, you’ll need to implicate a Color Correction effect to a clip and then use the Color board to refine the look of the footage.

The color board has four adjustments – one for shadows, mid-tones, Global, and highlights.

Apple Final Cut Pro X is a highly affordable and intuitive software option. It’s pretty beginner-friendly as it’s simple to work with. However, it may not be the best choice if you want to make complex changes.

5. Color Finale

Color Finale 2 for color grading
Color Finale 2

Best Features

  • High-end color grading
  • 3-way color wheels
  • Quick and smooth functioning

Color Finale is another plugin capable of boosting the performance of any color grading software you’ve been using. This plugin is purely designed for professional color grading.

The final work can be saved in a convenient resolution or converted to the best video format compatible with your mobile device.

6. VEGAS Creative Software

vegas creative color grading software

Best Feature

  • Highly useful for professional video editing

VEGAS Pro is a fantastic color grading software that can enhance any image, video, TV show, and music video.

It performs high-end color grading on your project and provides the great quality you desire.

If you are a photographer or editor, I believe you’ll enjoy using this software more than any other image editing tool.

7. Wondershare FilmoraPro

Filmora Wondershare Color Correction
Filmora Wondershare

Best Features

  • Best for video editing
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install

FilmoraPro is a powerful and easy-to-use color grading software. This video editing software enables you to create professional-looking videos with easy compositing, special effects, motion graphics, color correction tools, and more.

It’s pretty easy to use. All you need to do is install it and start playing around. However, it’s important to remember that it might put a watermark on your creation.

So if you’re satisfied with how it works, you may use its paid version to avoid markings.

8. Lightworks

Lightworks editing tools
Lightworks

Best Features

  • Amazing color grading tools
  • Great for professionals as well as beginners

Lightworks is a free color grading software for photography and video editing compatible with Windows.

It has many excellent tools to play around with shadows, highlights, mid-tones, gamma, contrast, saturation, etc. On top of this, you get the great advantage of using a massive base of color effects.

This color-grading software is also great for beginners who are still understanding the concepts of editing. The professionals can make use of its color grading tools seamlessly and get professional results.

You can use this program for creating videos over Yo0uTube, FB, or any big 4K assignment.

9. Shotcut

Shotcut free color grading software
Shotcut

Best Features

  • Excellent graphic processor
  • Supports multiple formats
  • Handy color grading features

Shotcut is another free color grading software best known for its video editing and color grading tools for Windows.

It’s highly efficient for color correction as well. With the help of available filters, you can make adjustments like lift shadows, highlight, and create mid-tones.

Your images can gain a very eye-pleasing, aesthetic look with a single adjustment of color grading. It’s fast, effective, and professional.

Conclusion

Color grading software is one of the essential photo editing apps that a photographer and an editor must utilize for a great-quality color effect in an image or a video.

The color grading technique is highly effective when looking to give an aesthetic appeal to your image. On the other hand, you may also perform color correction that deals with bringing similar colors into an idea that can only be seen by the naked eye in real life.

The list mentioned above of color grading software has something available for each kind, whether a Mac or Windows user or a professional or a beginner photographer.

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