[Users Choice] Dxo Optics Pro 8
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New DxO Smart Lighting brightens up photos by optimizing contrast and lighting quickly and efficiently. This exclusive DxO Labs technology intelligently adapts to image content and allows users to easily adjust image contrast using a single slider. DxO Smart Lighting automatically recovers details both in highlights and shadows under even the most extreme shooting conditions.
For more advanced users, DxO Optics Pro 8 offers a new Selective tone tool that allows them to apply precise corrections separately to highlights, midtones, and dark zones.
Photographers who have purchased a DxO Optics Pro 7 license on or after September 1, 2012 are eligible for a free upgrade to version 8. Other users can take advantage of a special discount on all upgrades from now until November 15, 2012, directly from their customer account.
I have been using DXO for many years. I loved version 6 but think that version 7 was quite a few steps backwards. They had removed some features that were very important to me, but I had no choice but to upgrade in order to get support for my Canon 5DIII. While version 7 is workable I am less productive with it than I was with version 6. Besides the loss of some features, version 7 is very sluggish to display changes when you move a slider.
Hi, nekrosoft13.What Reilly and SRT201 mentioned about speed is true, but DxO's automatic corrections mitigate that gap somewhat. DxO had perfectible highlight correction, whereas Lr4 has a separate highlight correction slider, which works remarkably well, but DxO seems to have addressed this issue with v8. DxO's noise reduction, distortion and chromatic aberration correction, on the other hand, are much better than Lr4's. I tried both programmes before buying and it was very hard to decide; ultimately DxO gave me better results and I ended up buying it, but it was a tough call.My advice? Download the demo versions of both and find out for yourself which one suits you - and your equipment - better. Whatever your choice, you'll end up with a very powerful editing software. You may even use DxO's geometry correction and then send the files to Lr4 (DxO gives you that option) for lighting and colour adjustment. That's what I'd have done if I had the money and a more powerful computer.
Yes- it's slow (both in setting the edits and in processing with 11 seconds per Canon 5d2 raw file), unfriendly, even crashes regularly (less so now) but it's the best RAW converter I've seen and my go-to choice for every pro shoot.
DxO Optics Pro 8 is the newest version of DxO Labs' raw editing software. Optics Pro combines image organization and management with a wealth of editing and optical correction tools and the ability to batch process your camera's native raw files into TIFF, JPEG and DNG file formats. While Optics Pro 8 isn't a dramatic upgrade from version 7, it does introduce a new automated tonal recovery tool and print capability along with a revised user interface and image editing enhancements. In this very brief overview I'll highlight the most significant changes for current users. In an upcoming article we'll be taking a much more detailed look at image quality, workflow and output options as we compare Optics Pro 8 against Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 and Phase One's Capture One Pro 7.
Among the changes users will find in version 8 are a reorganized palette layout that puts the most commonly used editing tools in close proximity, a new highlight and shadow recovery tool, sliders for localized tonal adjustments and a 'smart' saturation option, which treats colors differently depending on their vibrancy. Version 8 also introduces a basic print module with support for single and multi-image layouts along with automated output sharpening tuned for the specified print size.
Although this overview is aimed primarily at current Optics Pro users, it's worth taking a moment to highlight DxO's modular approach to automated optical corrections. DxO Optics Pro's central appeal to raw shooting enthusiasts revolves around the use of lens-specific modules (see below) that provide detailed information about the optical performance of any supported camera/lens combination. This means the software can perform automated corrections for lens distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration and corner softness based on data that DxO has obtained from testing their sample of the given body/lens combination.
Optics modules are available for download within the application (see above). And once installed, any images from a camera/lens combination for which an optics module exists will have corrections applied automatically. The downside to such a lens-specific approach is that if you have a lens which is not supported in combination with your camera body, you'll have to apply these optical corrections manually, offering little practical benefit over using competing raw converters. For a complete list of currently supported camera/lens combinations, please visit the supported equipment page of DxO's site.
Automatic noise reduction and auto sharpening on import images applies to specific lens and camera modules you setup and you can change these settings as well to a new default if you wish (ie. lower the noise reduction settings for example). In my opinion, most new users would likely appreciate its many advantages if they used it for a month or so, however it is still easy to learn.
A lot of users bought and used v7 for 2-3months before v8 was announced. June 2012 was when v7.5x was starting to become stable, and hence a lot of people were buying. Now an incremental update and DXO asking for more cash? You can imagine a lot of loyal customers are no longer...
DxO Labs' V8 upgrade offer was not free, it was only a discount and it ended just two weeks after it was announced. I purchased V7.5 earlier this year and now DxO Labs is expecting me to pay full price for an upgrade in less than a year. I consider that predatory pricing and an insult to existing users.
The only reason I can see for me to pay the "upgrade" price for version 8 is if it eventually supports my new Nex 6 camera. But I don't see why I should have to pay $99 just because they have made the choice to force you to pay for a new version mostly just to get camera support. This should never have been considered a new version in my opinion... the changes just don't mount up to much more than window dressing and a useless very basic printing feature.
Even if officially, the camera should be supported in january ( _optics_pro/for_your_equipment) Everything is made internally to have this camera supported before the end of the year. The target is third week of december if everything goes well.
For Amadou Diallo, please include Photo Ninja into the comparative as it is another excellent high-end converter.Corel AfterShot Pro would be a good idea too as it is the fastest of all.Some users need quality above all, others speed ...
Pictus, thanks for the suggestions. It's likely we'll limit the raw converter shoot out to the three apps I mentioned, as they're the most popular and mature cross-platform options. But I'll consider whether we can incorporate Photo Ninja in some way, as many users are probably not aware the "Ninja" is now a raw converter as well.
The CFA choice makes a significant difference to the way you need to convert the RAW files into a conventional image. So, if you've spent a long time working on Bayer conversion routines, you'll need to start again to use the Fuji sensor layout - it requires significantly different processing.
The auto-correction is far better than what you see in most photo software, and it's often all you need. I did find that Phase One's Capture One software does a slightly better job of rendering raw camera files than PhotoLab, but DxO's presets bar offers, in addition to the standard DxO auto correction, choices for neutral colors, black and white, portraits, and landscapes. You can also dig down into other presets like HDR (high dynamic range) and Atmospheres, which produces some effective colorizations.
New for version 6 is color rendering that goes beyond what Adobe offers: Wide Gamut Color Space. With displays that now support HDR and P3 color spaces, this choice represents more of the spectrum. It's mostly a subtle difference from the standard color space when viewed on my BenQ monitor and on a MacBook Air, but in particularly saturated shots like those featuring flowers, it is noticeable. You can only use this feature with raw files. DxO claims it enables ClearView (see below) to squeeze even more rich color detail from your shots, and it did give a slightly more lifelike look to some test shots.
If the auto correction doesn't quite hit the mark, the program's Customize mode lets you change exposure compensation, contrast, colors, detail, and more. In addition to the standard exposure slider, you can use DxO's Smart Lighting slider, which can brighten shadowy areas without punching out whites. Cranking this all the way up creates a decent single-shot HDR effect, but for more drastic HDR effects, check out CyberLink PhotoDirector. Preset choices include Slight, Medium, and Strong; choose Custom to adjust the slider to taste. I appreciate that double-clicking on a slider resets it.
One thing missing is layers, but you can actually add multiple masks from a choice in the radial menu. Capture One, in its last update, made a big push with layers of late, letting you see, for example, a mask layer. Truth be told, I'm not a huge layer fan, and I suspect there are other photographers like me in this regard, but there are certainly times when you may want to be to see or disable a layer, particularly if you're working with multiple masks.
Another DxO product, ViewPoint, tackles a rather intractable issue of photography: volume anamorphism, where objects like human heads become distorted when they're at the edge of a wide-angle image. PhotoLab does camera and lens-profile based geometry correction for barrel, fisheye, and pincushion distortion automatically, also letting you fine-tune. As of version 6, you can also rework your photos' skewed geometry using guides, with a choice of two or four lines you position to realign your photo contents. 2b1af7f3a8