image ofcolor grading software

Best Color Grading Software + Everything You Need To Know


Did you know the global color grading software market is on track to hit $1.2 billion by 2026? It's growing fast at a rate of 9.5% each year. This shows more and more people are looking for top-notch color grading tools. They want to enhance their videos and make them stand out. Color grading is key in making your videos look amazing. It's a must whether you're just starting out or you've been doing this for years. Learning how to grade colors well can make your work really grab people's attention.
color grading software
This guide will look at the best color grading software for 2024. These tools come with everything you need to bring your creative ideas to life. They have advanced features like color wheels and even use AI. They also work well with popular video editing software, making your job easier.

Key Takeaways

  • The global color grading software market is projected to reach $1.2 billion by 2026.
  • Color grading is an essential post-production technique for enhancing and manipulating the visual aesthetics of videos.
  • This article explores the top color grading software options for 2024, offering a range of advanced features and tools.
  • The software programs covered provide professional-grade capabilities for creating unique visual styles and seamlessly integrating with popular video editing platforms.
  • Mastering color grading can take your video projects to new heights, imbuing them with a distinctive and visually striking aesthetic.

What is Color Grading?

color wheels
Color grading involves the color wheel. Source: Backstage
Color grading is how we change the color and look of images and videos. This is not just fixing colors to look real. It's about creating a special vibe or style that fits the story. It combines tech and art to let filmmakers, photographers, and artists tell their stories better. They do this by using colors in a smart way.

Color Grading vs. Color Correction

Color grading and color correction are different but related. Color correction is more about making things look natural. It fixes colors to match what was truly there. Color grading, on the other hand, is about the creative side. It's where the magic happens. This step isn't just about fixing colors, it's about using them to tell a story. Its main aim is to give a unique visual style. This can be to make things look more exciting, dramatic, or even a little unreal. It's a key part in making films, TV shows, and photos stand out and leave a mark on the viewer. To sum up, color correction fixes colors to look real. Color grading makes everything creative. It changes the colors to fit the mood and story of what's being shown. Knowing both is important for those working in visuals.

Top 7 Best Color Grading Software in 2024

laughing people
An excellent example of a photo with the right cool colors and hues.
In the world of visual storytelling, color grading software is key for filmmakers, videographers, and photographers. In 2024, top color grading solutions continue to evolve, offering features for different needs. Let's look at the top 7 software for the coming year.


Boris FX's Continuum is great for those wanting a full color toolset. It has many filters and effects, helping users make visually stunning videos in programs like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.


Sapphire, a plug-in, is known for its stunning visual effects. It helps users add beautiful color or exciting transitions to their videos, taking color grading to the next level.


Optics is perfect for photographers needing to adjust colors precisely. This software gives advanced color correction tools, letting users perfect their photos with great detail.

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve stands out for professional color grading. It's a powerful video editing software with a wide range of color tools, perfect for films, TV shows, and more. Read more about the tool in this DaVinci Resolve review.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Windows users often choose Adobe Premiere Pro for color grading. It is part of Adobe Creative Cloud, making it fit well for many creatives. It offers powerful color tools and is easy to use. I have an Adobe Premiere Pro review you can check out.
Software Key Features Pros Cons
Continuum - Extensive filter and effect library - Plug-in compatibility with major editing software - Versatile color grading tools - Seamless integration with existing workflows - Subscription-based pricing model - Resource-intensive for less powerful systems
Sapphire - Sophisticated visual effects creation - Intuitive interface for effects customization - Highly creative color grading capabilities - Broad plugin support across major editing platforms - Steep learning curve for complex effects - Can be cost-prohibitive for individual users
Optics - Advanced color correction tools - Specialized for photo editing and retouching - Exceptional precision for photo color grading - User-friendly interface for non-technical users - Limited functionality beyond color correction - Not suitable for video editing
DaVinci Resolve - Comprehensive professional-grade toolset - Powerful color grading and video editing capabilities - Industry-standard for high-end productions - Free version available with extensive features - Steep learning curve for beginners - System requirements can be demanding
Adobe Premiere Pro - Seamless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud - Intuitive interface for Windows users - Robust color grading tools within a familiar editing environment - Widely used and supported by the creative community - Subscription-based pricing model - May not offer the most advanced color grading features compared to specialized software
In 2024, the best color grading software will help creators in big ways. Whether you're experienced or just love creating, these top 7 options will boost your skills and take your projects to new levels.

Continuum: Best Plug-in Option

advanced video editing tools
Video editing entails skills and the right tools.
In the world of video editing, Continuum shines as a top plug-in choice. Created by Boris FX, it offers over 300 effects and filters. These work smoothly with various editing platforms like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Continuum is loved by creators for its wide range of features. It has more than 5,000 presets for every editing need. You get powerful tools for color correction and editing, including AI-driven features. Its key feature is working with different editing software. So, if you use Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or Resolve, Continuum fits right in. This means you can easily move between programs without losing your creative tools. The easy-to-use design and helpful guides of Continuum help editors at every level. Newcomers and experts alike can use its vast preset library. They can tweak effects to get their perfect video look easily. If you want to enhance your videos, Continuum is the plug-in for you. It’s a valuable choice for those looking to up their game in color grading and effects. Its adaptability and feature set stand out in the continuum color grading software and continuum video effects market.

Sapphire: Best for Crafting Effects

Being a video editor, I get to use many software for color grading and effects. Sapphire is a standout plugin for me. It works well with Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Photoshop. Sapphire lets users make their own custom visual effects by using its big library of elements. It's really great for creating something unique. Sapphire is all about being creative. It lets you layer effects in many ways. Users can mix effects to open up new visual ideas. Thanks to NVIDIA CUDA tech, your work won't slow down, even with tough projects. I especially like the Color Fuse tool. It lets me blend three custom LUTs to fine-tune colors.

Key Features of Sapphire

Sapphire has a lot to offer, whether you're new to effects or a pro. Let's look at some top features:
Feature Benefit
Effects and Transition Builder Allows the creation of custom visual effects presets by combining elements from the Sapphire library.
Node-based Interface Enables the layering and blending of multiple effects for boundless creative possibilities.
NVIDIA CUDA Acceleration Delivers fast render times, even with complex compositions, thanks to GPU-accelerated processing.
Color Fuse Tool Enables the seamless blending of up to three custom LUTs for precise color grading control.
Learning to use Sapphire's effects builder will take some time. But once you get it, the results are amazing. It's now a key tool for me. I use it to make my projects look fantastic, whether it's a movie, a commercial, or a video for social media. Sapphire is perfect for using sapphire color grading software and sapphire effects.

Optics: Best for Color Correcting Photos

10 Best Video Editing Software
The process of video editing allows you to polish your output to look its best.
Being a photographer, finding great tools for perfect colors is key. Optics, a top color grading software, brings a lot to the table. It's made for photographers and editors. Optics works smoothly with Lightroom and Photoshop. It lets me adjust the colors of my photos to match video clips. I can use its simple yet powerful tools to tweak each photo's color. Optics shines with its vast file type support, from RAW to JPEG. This makes it perfect for achieving movie-like color grades on any image type.
Feature Description
Color Wheels Intuitive and easy-to-use color correction tools that help me fine-tune my photos' hue, saturation, and brightness.
Curves Advanced tools to adjust a photo's tonal range and contrast for the perfect look.
Selective Color Correction Tools for precise adjusting of different color ranges, making color grading even more detailed.
Presets and Filters With over 180 filters and presets, it gives lots of options for unique and creative colors.
For me, Optics is a game-changer. It works well with the tools I already use and packs a punch with its features and presets. It is the best optics color grading software I've found for my color grading software for photos. If you want to boost your color skills, try Optics.

DaVinci Resolve: Best Professional Video Editing Software

As a video editor and color grading fan, I think DaVinci Resolve rocks. It leads the pack in davinci resolve color grading and davinci resolve video editing. It's the top choice for those in Hollywood and indie film world. DaVinci Resolve shines with its many features. You can tweak your video's look to be perfect and cinematic. Working with color is easy, allowing you to do big or small adjustments effortlessly. It's not just great for colors, though. Editing videos here is smooth too. You can mix videos, add cool effects, and tell better stories. It's fun and easy, even for long movies or quick ads. Learning DaVinci Resolve takes time, but it's worth it. Its many options are perfect for all sorts of video work. You can do everything from effects to sound easily. For both pros and newbies, DaVinci Resolve is a top pick. It's packed with power and yet easy to use. If you want to make your videos stand out, this is your software.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Best for Windows PC Users

adobe editor
Adobe's work tab.
When looking for video editing software, Windows PC users often choose Adobe Premiere Pro. This tool is known for its ease of use and powerful Adobe Premiere Pro color grading. It can take your video projects to the next level. Premiere Pro stands out for its advanced color editing tools. With the Lumetri Color panel, you get a full range of options to adjust your video's colors. This includes tweaking brightness, contrast, and fine-tuning the color balance. Although it's not as specialized as DaVinci Resolve in color editing, Premiere Pro is great for editing videos. It's popular because of its straightforward design and how well it works with other Adobe software. This makes it a top choice for those who want both simplicity and creative freedom on Windows PCs. No matter your skill level, using adobe premiere pro color grading is smooth with Premiere Pro. You can work on single scenes or entire videos easily. This tool is flexible, making it ideal for all kinds of video editing needs.


I look at the world of color grading software and see many options for video editors, filmmakers, and photographers. Each tool, from Continuum to DaVinci Resolve, brings special strengths. It's crucial to pick what suits your needs, skill level, and project goals. The right software can transform a film's look or a picture's vibe. This article has covered the best options out there. By reading the reviews, I hope you find what you need to unlock your creativity. The color grading scene is always changing, with tools that keep getting better. If you stay up to date and open to new ideas, you'll surely find a tool that boosts your art. It's all about enhancing your work and bringing your creative dreams to reality.


  • What is color grading software?
    Color grading software makes videos look better by changing their colors. It helps video makers choose a specific style. These tools are great for adjusting colors and creating cool effects.
  • What are the benefits of using color grading software? Using this software, you can make your videos: - Look more appealing - Achieve a certain cinematic look - Fix color problems - Easily edit and grade colors in your videos
  • What are some popular color grading software options? Top software includes Continuum, Sapphire, Optics, DaVinci Resolve, and Adobe Premiere Pro. These have different features and are good for various budgets or needs.
  • What is the difference between color grading and color correction? Color grading is about creativity and defining a video's look. Color correction fixes colors to look more natural. It aims to mimic real-life colors.
  • Can color grading software be used for both photos and videos? Yes. Programs like Optics focus on photos, giving them cinematic grades. DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro work for both videos and photos.
  • What are the key features to look for in color grading software? Look for color wheels, selective tools, and LUTs. Also, check for node interfaces, AI enhancements, and compatibility with editing platforms.
  • Is there free color grading software available? Yes, DaVinci Resolve's free version is great for color grading. It offers many tools. But, for more advanced features, you might need to pay for the software.
Want to upgrade your video contents strategies? I've got you covered in this "Aerial Videography: Capturing Stunning Visuals from Above" article.
Scroll to Top