European image software company DxO Labs has just released version 10 of its DxO OpticsPro raw processing application and it includes some great new features, improved existing features and a boost in speed. DxO is also known for its sensor and lens analysis and rating service, DxOMark.
I have used DxO OpticsPro in its fuller-featured Elite version for some years since a Danish friend introduced me to it. He had adopted the French software product to improve the results he was getting from his Nikon DSLRs and compact cameras and swore by it.
Over the years I came to do that myself as well as swear at it in earlier versions that were slow and buggy. Recent versions of DxO have radically improved and have been joined by two companion applications – DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint.
FilmPack is the analog film emulation package I most rely upon due to its accuracy while ViewPoint is a full-featured perspective corrector great for correcting verticals and image distortion in extreme wide angle shots. I would love all three to be available for use in non-linear editors as well!
As soon as I came across the news of DxO Optics Pro 10's release I downloaded a trial version and applied it to a couple of typical stills images. Early each morning twice a week I accompany my partner into North Sydney then walk back to the station through Lavender Bay, the harbour-side suburb made famous by the late Australian artist Brett Whiteley.
Sydney Harbour is often smoggy and that in combination with low early morning light can give rise to hallucinatory, otherworldly waterfront scenes. I often shoot stills and video footage trying to capture that phenomena, so far fairly unsuccessfully.
I took one such still image, made on my Panasonic Lumix GH4 equipped with Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens, opened it in DxO OpticsPro 10, applied DxO ClearView and DxO Smart Lighting and no other adjustments and, voilà, there was the scene as I had experienced, otherworldly and all.
I have made several attempts at getting it right in the earlier version of DxO OpticsPro and some other raw and image processors but have never really been satisfied. This new attempt is the closest yet and further work should yield even better results.
There is plenty more to read about this new version including the fact that FilmPack and Viewpoint now function as plug-ins for DxO OpticsPro 10 itself as well as standalone applications and external editor plug-ins for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and Aperture. I will leave further reading up to you via the press release below and the links on the DxO website.
If you download the trial version, try it, like it and wish to buy it please note that DxO is offering a 30% saving when purchasing the suite of three applications. I use all three every day and recommend them.
There is a downside to DxO Optics Pro that you need to be aware of if you are a FujiFilm X-Series camera owner. The only X-series camera supported by the software is the now discontinued Fujifilm FinePix X100. I hang on to my X100 for that very reason, especially when I need to shoot with several different camera types on the same day for processing in the DxO suite.
The reason for this omission is that DxO OpticsPro is built upon Bayer sensors, not the non-Bayer X-Trans CMOS sensor. Supporting Fujifilm's marvellous cameras would apparently require a rewrite of DxO's code base.
DxO OpticsPro 10 adds DxO ClearView
From DXO Press:
October 29, 2014 – DxO Labs announces the immediate availability of DxO OpticsPro 10, the new version of its flagship software that has been acclaimed numerous times for the unrivaled quality of its image processing. DxO OpticsPro 10 adds DxO ClearView, a new feature that eliminates atmospheric haze in a spectacular fashion. This new version also enhances the revolutionary PRIME denoising technology, DxO’s breakthrough noise reduction approach that can improve image quality of up to one full stop over the best noise reduction algorithms currently on the market.
DxO OpticsPro leverages DxO Lab’s rigorous scientific calibration of camera equipment, now including over 20,000 camera and lens combinations. Based on this proprietary data, DxO OpticsPro is able to offer the most powerful tools for processing RAW and JPEG images: unequaled optical corrections, intelligent optimization of exposure and contrast, and preservation of colors and details. Its many presets allow photographers to adapt the processing to suit their tastes, and to bring out the best in their photos in just a few clicks.
More accessible than ever, DxO OpticsPro 10 is available in two new editions – ESSENTIAL and ELITE – for both Mac and PC, starting from $129/£99/129€.
New DxO ClearView feature
The new exclusive DxO ClearView feature automatically eliminates the phenomenon of atmospheric haze visible in many landscape photos, as well as the smog often present in urban images. Based on a powerful algorithm, DxO ClearView analyzes the color components of each pixel and locally improves the image contrast.
“Due to its physical nature, the phenomenon of haze increases with the distance between the camera and the subject. That’s why DxO OpticsPro establishes a kind of depth map of the image scene and removes the impression of grey veil only when necessary” explains Frédéric Guichard, Chief Scientist Officer of DxO Labs. He adds: “The correction is local and completely automatic, making it unnecessary to draw areas by hand or to create a graduated filter.”
The results are spectacular: in just one click, the contrast in the image is instantly improved and faded colors are revived. For expert photographers, the intensity of the effect can be modified, so as to tailor the correction to the individual taste of each photographer.
Revolutionary PRIME technology optimized
Designed to achieve optimal image quality, DxO OpticsPro 10’s revolutionary PRIME (Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement) denoising technology has been improved to reveal more details and further optimized to increase speed, with processing time up to 4 times faster! In addition, the interface of the Noise reduction palette has been improved and provides a larger area for previewing denoising.
A DxO exclusive, PRIME denoising technology is based on a thorough analysis of the structure of an image in order to differentiate between noise and fine details. For each pixel, nearly a thousand neighboring pixels are studied to identify the similarities and recombine information. This ultra-high-quality denoising brings spectacular results: textures, details, and color saturation are preserved, particularly in shadows, even in images shot at very high sensitivities.
DXO Press Continued
DxO Smart Lighting and DxO Lens Softness optimization
The exclusive DxO Smart Lighting feature optimizes the contrast over the entire image by intelligently adapting to its contents. Improved in DxO OpticsPro 10, it now offers a better rendering in automatic mode, thanks to a more detailed analysis of the scene content. In manual mode, the Selective tone sliders act even more precisely: information that one thought was lost in the dark or burnt zones are better restored, even in cases of strong backlighting.
With its precise knowledge of lens performance, DxO OpticsPro’s exclusive DxO Lens Softness tool harmonizes the sharpness of photos from the center to the edges, giving images exceptional crispness, regardless of shooting conditions. It performs with fewer artifacts than the previous version, as well as preserves colors better, to provide even stronger visual accents. Default color accentuation has also been increased to obtain even sharper images.
The power of DxO ViewPoint’s geometrical corrections applied to RAW files
DxO OpticsPro 10 can now integrate DxO ViewPoint’s powerful geometrical corrections. After the DxO ViewPoint plugin is activated, a dedicated palette lets photographers directly correct perspective problems and volume deformation in RAW and JPEG images. The dedicated DxO ViewPoint palette includes all the same visual tools as the standalone application version.
Even more comfort and productivity
The DxO OpticsPro interface has evolved once again. The White Balance and Dust Correction tools can now be used in full-screen mode for greater comfort and precision. The image browser has been simplified and the overall design of the interface has been revised.
More powerful than ever before, DxO Optics Pro has sped up its boot speed (x1.5), paired with a much faster file loading sped (x10) on both Mac and Windows for immediate access to images.
Finally, DxO OpticsPro 10 now supports DNG files converted using Lightroom or Adobe DNG Converter (so long as the original RAW file is also supported), for an easier workflow with Adobe products
New editions and new prices
DxO OpticsPro 10 is now accessible via two new editions, ESSENTIAL and ELITE, both of which support all of the equipment calibrated by DxO. The two editions differ in terms of the number of features available.
(cover photo credit: snap from DXO Press)