DaVinci Resolve Color Shift

Hello everyone,

I recently started putting together a video of some drone footage I shot down in Utah. All the footage is shot with a GoPro Hero 8 on a custom built drone. The footage is shot in 4k at 24fps and in GoPro’s flat profile. I have noticed that when I import footage into Resolve, the colors are more saturated and contrasty compared to QuickTime Player. I have played around with the color space and found that Rec.709-A is the closest to QuickTime, but there is still a noticeable shift. The “Use Mac Display Color Profiles” option only makes a minimal change. I don’t understand color science and the different color spaces very well, so I don’t have any ideas of what may be causing this and how I can fix it. I have a 2020 MacBook Pro which is calibrated. I attached a few screenshots of the footage in QuickTime vs Resolve. Any ideas or suggestions would be super helpful!


(In both screenshots, the image on the right is QuickTime and the image on the left is DaVinci Resolve)

Hi Max,
Forest can probably sleuth your Davinci issue as he uses that program. I know that this is also an issue with files in Premiere, and it has to do with Quicktime being in a different color space, as you have guessed. In Premiere, for example, if I export a project, the color gets a bit desaturated when I drop it to Vimeo or YouTube, so I use a special LUT on export to get the color shifted back to normal. I’m not sure how this works in Resolve, but most likely a similar workaround. I recommend joining the Facebook group on Davinci Resolve users and asking others there if they have experienced this and what the workaround is. It may even be that DR has color management that you can adjust, but I’m not sure. You would think, as an application known for color grading, that it would. @FoChap?

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Hey Max,

Do you have any LUT’s or profiles being applied to the footage in Resolve?

If not, I would assume it’s because QuickTime player most likely displays your colors in a space similar to sRGB and Resolve displays colors much more true to life with something more similar to Adobe RGB.

Technically the color data is the same in both programs, it’s just the handling of the very saturated colors that differs. Resolve is able to show you the full amount of color information while QuickTime is “clipping” the colors to bring them back into a range that it can understand and display which makes them more saturated.

IMO Resolve is true to life and you are seeing all of the information. QuickTime is clipping colors leading them to look more saturated. Trust Resolve. Also, Jeff is exactly right, you need to be careful on export from Resolve that your color saturation and contrast survives through the export.

If this sounds confusing, it’s because it is. It’s the reason we have two whole classes dedicated solely to color in PI. I would have to look into the color management of Resolve a bit more to know for sure that all of this is true, but it’s my assumption.

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P.S. That looks like some sick FPV drone footage :heart_eyes:

Thanks so much Forest! That makes a ton of sense. I tried looking into the science of it and it was way over my head.

Since I’m just putting this video together for fun, I’m not super concerned with understanding it all right now. I just noticed it and thought I’d ask. I’m already planning to add contrast and saturation so it’s not the end of the world if the footage doesn’t look exactly the same. The main thing I was noticing was the blacks being a lot darker and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t losing data. I’m looking forward to learning more about it in PI.

Thanks again for the response!

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Thanks Jeff!

I’ll check out the DaVinci Resolve Facebook group and also keep an eye on the exporting process. I know lots of people have talked about color shift during export so I’ll make sure to look into that.