But which version should you get? What is it? The change came about when DxO bought the Nik Collection and its control point image adjustment technology from Google. With PhotoLab, DxO has introduced local adjustment tools, so you can now use it as a regular photo-editing tool not just a raw image processor. PhotoLab 2 introduced a new PhotoLibrary feature for organising and searching your images.
DxO PhotoLab 2.3 review
But which version should you get? What is it? The change came about when DxO bought the Nik Collection and its control point image adjustment technology from Google. With PhotoLab, DxO has introduced local adjustment tools, so you can now use it as a regular photo-editing tool not just a raw image processor.
PhotoLab 2 introduced a new PhotoLibrary feature for organising and searching your images. PhotoLab is available in a basic Essential edition and a more powerful Elite edition. In a new development, DxO has now launched the Nik Collection 2 , which includes PhotoLab Essential as part of the package, which is a kind of middle-tier choice for users who want both PhotoLab and the Nik Collection. The local adjustment tools, first introduced in the first version of PhotoLab, transform it from a specialised RAW processing and correction tool into an all-round image editor.
There are technical issues for this that DxO says would require major re-engineering work to fix, and it has current no plans to do so. FilmPack 5 and ViewPoint 3: FilmPack 5 sets out to replicate the look of classic analog films, developers and darkroom processes, adding in textures, borders and light leaks to give a real timeless, vintage feel. However, the Nik Collection 2 plug-ins go much further, so if you have those you might find FilmPack 5 redundant. ViewPoint 3 is a tool for applying automatic lens corrections, just like PhotoLab but also for correcting more esoteric geometric problems like volumetric distortion — this is what makes people and objects near the edges of wideangle shots look stretched out sideways.
ViewPoint 3 also has an array of tools for correcting perspective distortion, including converging verticals keystoning , horizontal keystoning and both at the same time. It can also correct perspective distortion across two planes simultaneously. Both FilmPack and ViewPoint are installed on the machine used for this review, so their tools and panels may appear in some screenshots. However, the text of the review covers only those tools that come with PhotoLab.
This is now looking a little redundant now that DxO has acquired the Nik Collection, which has a much wider scope. This is done in two ways. First, the software identifies the camera and lens used to take the shot and automatically applied a lab-developed optical correction profile to correct an array of optical imperfections, or aberrations.
The PhotoLab workspace has two tabs. The PhotoLibrary tab is where you view, search and sort your pictures, and the Customize tab is where you carry out the image editing. When select a folder containing images in the PhotoLibrary tab, PhotoLab will automatically check the image EXIF data to identify the camera and lens used and then automatically apply a correction profile to fix lens distortion, chromatic aberration, corner shading vignetting and lens softness towards the edges of the frame.
When you browse a folder full of images, PhotoLab will scan their EXIF data and automatically apply lens correction profiles.
If the ones you need are not installed, it will prompt you to download them — this only takes a few moments. All these changes are made non-destructively so you can reverse or modify them at any time. You can also create Virtual Copies to try out different presets or adjustments without creating new files on your computer. The local adjustment tools include a gradient mask tool, brush and auto-masking tools and control point adjustments.
These control points operate over an adjustable circular radius and automatically add a mask to similar tones so that complex manual masking is unnecessary. For regular global adjustments you use stacked adjustment panels in the sidebar on the right side of the image.
These are pretty technical, with a multitude of sub-panels and drop-downs, but you can customise these panels to show only those tools you use regularly. Is it any good? It can make the results from mediocre cameras and lenses look amazing. First, the image quality. Both produce superb results from RAW files, but DxO PhotoLab perhaps does it more consistently across a wider range of camera models and lenses — except for Fujifilm, of course, where Capture One is the obvious well, the only choice.
You have to look closely to see the improvements in noise, sharpness and especially edge sharpness, but the optimisation of the lighting and the effectiveness of the lens aberration corrections are obvious straight away. A couple of tools deserve special mention. ClearView is only in the Elite edition. ClearView adds contrast on a broad scale, but DxO also has a Microcontrast slider that does it on a small scale.
The standard noise reduction process already gives well above average results, delivering crisp detail and low noise without excessive smoothing, but the PRIME denoise feature goes a step further, using complex image analysis to reduce noise to very low levels even in the highest ISO images.
The new search function introduced in PhotoLab 2, however, feels flaky and unfinished. The other issue is performance. It can get superb results even from basic or middle-of-the-road cameras, its local adjustments are powerful and effective, and if you go for the Elite edition and its PRIME denoise feature, you can get high-ISO image quality that you might never have imagined possible.
If you love image quality above all else, you need to at least try PhotoLab. But which version do you get? This includes both PhotoLab Essential and all the Nik plug-ins. It comes with PhotoLab Essential anyway, but includes the Nik Collection plug-ins too, and these are as inspiring and as powerful today as the day they were launched.
Recommending PhotoLab Elite is more difficult. I have checked with DxO about this and the company is refusing to split the Nik plug-ins and PhotoLab Essential, even for users who already own PhotoLab.
DxO has long been one of the most dynamic makers of photo editing software, as well as a test lab for all major new digital cameras. PhotoLab. Expert review of DxO Optics Pro 10 photo editing software. Expert news, reviews and videos of the latest digital cameras, Been using DxO Elite since versions 9, now using Photo Lab 2 and. more than.
DxO PhotoLab review – photo editing and processing
Do have a look at some of the earlier reviews use the DxO category in the list to the right since the fundamentals of image editing with DxO Optics Pro have not changed markedly for a while. Given that the Nik plugins have been a regular part of my Photoshop editing workflow for years and with DxO promising a new set in , this looked good. Optimises the dynamic range of your image and brings out the details from both under- and overexposed areas. Intelligently boosts local contrast and effectively removes distant haze.
DxO PhotoLab review
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HOWTO: DxO PhotoLab review | Life after Photoshop
This came in the form of DxO PhotoLab, which combined the tech of DxO’s prior software endeavors plus the U Point technology from Nik. DxO PhotoLab review – photo editing and processing with PhotoLab V Latest DxO Optics Pro update, RAW processing, lens correction with. With an updated image library and revamped tools, DxO’s PhotoLab 2 DxO apart is the way it implements raw processing, and the quality of.