Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard review

The ultimate video editing keyboard for Davinci Resolve Studio

Blackmagic Davinci Resolve Editor Keyboard on a wooden surface
(Image: © James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Blackmagic Davinci Resolve Editor Keyboard provides a fast and intuitive professional editing experience thanks to dedicated controls for Davinci Resolve, color-coded and labeled keyboard shortcuts, and a clutched jog wheel alongside advanced functionality. The QWERTY keyboard isn’t comfortable for general typing tasks, but it’s perfect for use with Davinci Resolve and although it’s expensive, the keyboard does come with a free license for Davinci Resolve Studio 18 which softens the blow somewhat.

Pros

  • +

    Greatly improves the editing experience

  • +

    Dedicated editing shortcuts and controls

  • +

    Includes a license for Davinci Resolve Studio 18

Cons

  • -

    Expensive

  • -

    Large and heavy

  • -

    Not ideal for everyday typing tasks

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When you think of video editing, the last thing you might consider is a keyboard designed specifically for this purpose. But, that’s exactly what the Blackmagic Davinci Resolve Editor Keyboard is. If you’ve ever seen the Davinci Resolve Speed Editor, it’s a little like that but with a full QWERTY keyboard and many more controls, functions, and labeled keyboard shortcuts alongside a jog wheel and is aimed at professional users.

DaVinci Resolve Keyboard: Specifications

Connection Type: Wired
OS Compatibility: Windows 10 or Later (64-bit), macOS 10.15 or Later
Ports: 1 x USB-C, 2x USB-A
Backlighting: No
Wrist Rest: Integrated
Power Usage: 8W
Weight: 2.3kg (5.07 lbs)
Size: 22.3 x 58.4 x 5.3 cm (8.77 x 23 x 2.1 in)

This is essentially the clue as to whether or not you need one, coupled with the overall cost of the keyboard, which isn’t cheap. The Editor Keyboard costs $580 / £570 but also includes a license for Davinci Resolve Studio 18, which costs $295 / £284 alone. So, if you don’t already own a license, this essentially puts the cost of the keyboard at $285 / £286, which is still expensive, but it will provide a much faster and more tactile editing experience than using a standard keyboard and mouse.

With so much functionality packed into it, alongside the steep learning curve associated with Davinci Resolve Studio 18, you’re only going to get the most out of a device like this if you’re fairly proficient with the software. For casual video editors, your money could be better spent elsewhere or saved for when you’re ready for such a specialist upgrade. But if you’re a professional video editor working all day every day, the Editor Keyboard is an investment worth considering.

(Image credit: James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

Why do you need an editing keyboard?

Blackmagic calls the Editor Keyboard the ‘world's best DaVinci keyboard’ which is a claim you’d expect. But as the makers of Davinci Resolve Studio software, the keyboard does indeed integrate perfectly with the software to provide an efficient approach to video editing thanks to dedicated control keys, labeled keyboard shortcuts, and the multi-function jog wheel. It’s much more than just a basic video editing keyboard with shortcuts simply labeled on the keys.

For video editing, the Editor Keyboard has everything you need including a full QWERTY keyboard. This features a revised layout where Blackmagic used feedback from professional editors to help produce the most efficient layout. It’s undoubtedly a specialist device with a cost and functionality that make it much more than most people would ever need. But if you’re a professional video editor using Davinci Resolve, there’s no question that it will improve your editing efficiency thanks to the QWERTY keyboard and the tactile controls.

(Image credit: James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

The jog, which Blackmagic refers to as the ‘search dial’, can be set to function in different ways using the Shuttle, Jog and Scroll keys, as well as controlling other useful functions when used with certain function keys. The controls available on the whole allow you to perform tasks including trimming, cutting, adding and adjusting transitions, adding and removing effects, moving clips into position and much more. Trimming can even be applied using either the jog wheel or the keyboard itself. Plus, the jog wheel features a clutch so you can set playback forward or backward through the timeline at different speeds in Shuttle mode.

Other useful features include the ability to sort clips by time, camera, duration or name using the sorting keys, there's a keypad for entering edit points and durations numerically and a viewer button on the revised layout changes to full-screen mode. These features are just the tip of the iceberg, with the exact features and functionality required by individuals naturally always varying, but the Editor Keyboard will have most if not everything you need. One of the obvious aims of the keyboard is to provide instant access to key controls with smooth and intuitive handling, which it achieves. 

(Image credit: James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

DaVinci Resolve Keyboard: Design & Handling

The Editor Keyboard is extremely well made and has an undeniable look and feel of quality about it, although the design is certainly functional rather than gimmicky. But that’s not a bad thing because it’s a serious professional tool rather than a garish LED-infused gaming keyboard, for instance. The top plate of the keyboard is metal and there’s a black plastic palm rest for added comfort at the bottom. On the back, there’s a USB-C connection to attach the keyboard to a computer, alongside two USB-A connections for attaching a mouse and/or other USB accessories. The keyboard can be used on a desktop or inset into a console, with a lip around the top edge to allow for the latter.

All in all, at a distance, it looks a little like a subdued gaming keyboard but with keys grouped in colors to denote keyboard shortcuts and functions alongside a jog wheel on the right. It’s quite large and heavy at 23x8.77x2.1 inches / 584x223x53mm with a weight of 5.07lbs / 2.3kg, so it’s longer and much heavier than my Steel Series gaming keyboard, which certainly isn’t small. It’s the length that’s most noticeable and it will undoubtedly encroach on mouse space, but the idea of the keyboard is, in part, to reduce the reliance on mouse use during editing to speed up the process so this shouldn’t be a problem.

(Image credit: James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

The mechanical keys can’t be faulted in terms of operation and are comfortable to use in an editing context. But the QWERTY keys do feel small and cramped for typing, so it’s not the most comfortable option for everyday typing tasks. The keys are useful for typing titles and any other typing tasks within Davinci Resolve, plus the clearly labelled keyboard shortcuts on each key are incredibly useful whether you know Davinci Resolve inside out or you’re learning how to use it. The shortcuts make a huge difference when editing and greatly increase editing speed and efficiency before you even consider the dedicated function buttons and the jog wheel. 

The jog wheel itself is comfortable and easy to use with smooth operation and a weighty feel that gives it presence during use. The resistance is perfect, allowing you to scrub through footage with precision, or to spin it faster to get through clips at speed using one of the three available modes that change the way it interacts with the timeline. As previously mentioned, it’s a high-quality keyboard and performs its functions incredibly well.

(Image credit: James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

DaVinci Resolve Keyboard: Performance

The color-coded shortcuts on the keys make accessing these shortcuts quick and easy with no reliance on knowledge and memory. These are alongside dedicated function keys to the left of the keyboard, functions on the F keys, and the jog wheel and its control keys which are comfortably positioned on the right. Perhaps not so comfortable for lefthanded video editors, but it’s the most logical position considering how keyboards and similar editing controllers are laid out.

Overall, this makes the Editor Keyboard, alongside the fact that it’s designed for use with Davinci Resolve, a specialist keyboard that’s geared almost wholly towards video editing. It’s an even more efficient tool than the Davinci Resolve Speed Editor, which is great but lacks the keyboard and shortcut element and is geared more towards integration with an existing keyboard and mouse and is the better option for some people. Not least because it can be easily moved from one computer or location to another, whereas the Editor Keyboard is more of a permanent solution, although there’s no reason why you couldn’t move it around if you’re happy to transport a keyboard of this size and weight. 

(Image credit: James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

You can, of course, use it as your main keyboard, and it functions even when Davinci Resolve is closed, but you won’t be able to enjoy the best typing experience in terms of speed and comfort. 

The advantage of the Editor Keyboard is that it removes such heavy reliance on using a mouse so that both hands are on the keyboard. This may sound counterintuitive, but the controls available allow you to move the playback point on the timeline quickly while moving clips around and adjusting their length, for instance.

The shortcut keys provide instant access to a wealth of controls that will instantly save time, but some of the other function keys require knowledge of video editing and controller devices of this type to make the best use of them. The Keyboard Editor is aimed at professionals who are likely to already have this knowledge, but if you’re just starting out professionally or you’re a keen enthusiast, there will be a learning curve involved with getting to know what everything does. Even professionals may need to learn about secondary key functionality where a double press or interaction with a modifier changes functionality. Guidance in this area isn’t covered in the instructions, so you’ll have to look to third-party tutorials online if you need to learn more.

DaVinci Resolve Keyboard: Final Verdict

The Blackmagic Davinci Resolve Editor Keyboard is a high-quality video editing controller aimed squarely at professionals based on functionality and cost. This certainly doesn’t mean that it’s not suitable for enthusiasts, but for more casual video editors there are less expensive options available that would also provide a more intuitive, tactile, and faster editing experience than a standard keyboard and mouse.

There is a learning curve when it comes to using some of the controls on the keyboard, and although the instructions don’t cover operation, there are plenty of tutorials online to help you get up and running if you’re unfamiliar with devices of this type. Many professional video editors may already know exactly how the keyboard functions, although there will be others who need to learn how it works to get the best from it.

The full QWERTY keyboard with color-coded and labeled keyboard shortcuts may not be the best for general typing tasks, but for use with Davinci Resolve it works incredibly well. This, alongside, the dedicated controls and the jog wheel makes the Editor Keyboard an excellent option for individuals who edit many videos and could benefit from the improved editing experience it provides. It’s not cheap, but it does include a Davinci Resolve Studio 18 license.

(Image credit: James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

Should you buy the DaVinci Resolve Keyboard?

✅ Buy it if...

  • You edit many videos using Davinci Resolve and would like to increase efficiency.
  • You would prefer a more tactile and streamlined editing experience.
  • You’re planning to buy Davinci Resolve Studio 18 anyway and would like a dedicated controller.

🚫 Don't buy it if...

  • You’re on a budget and can’t justify the cost. Instead, consider a less expensive controller.
  • You’re a casual video editor and edit few videos.
  • You use other video editing software including Premiere or Final Cut Pro.

Alternatives

Image

The Editor Keyboard is quite a specific and specialist device, so if you’d prefer a controller that works with video editing, photo editing, graphics, and audio software, the Loupedeck CT could be the perfect option. This small and portable device features a digital display and is less expensive than the Editor Keyboard but more expensive than the Speed Editor.

Davinci Resolve Speed Editor

A Blackmagic alternative to the Editor Keyboard is the Davinci Resolve Speed Editor. It offers some of the same dedicated controls and the jog wheel but is a much smaller device designed to be used with an existing mouse and keyboard. It doesn’t have a keyboard with labeled shortcuts, but its considerably smaller size and lighter weight make it more portable.

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James Abbott

James Abbott is a landscape and portrait photographer based in Cambridge. He’s also an experienced photography journalist specializing in camera skills and Photoshop techniques. He is also a CAA-approved drone pilot and professional aerial photographer.