DxO has rebranded it's RAW image editing software from DxO Optics Pro to DxO PhotoLab.
Prior to my full review of DxO PhotoLab I was completely new to it. I had heard many vouching for its RAW image editing quality over competitors such as Adobe Lightroom. Creating images with excellent sharpness, low noise and wide tonal range is supposedly straightforward, thanks to the prowess of its RAW processing engine.
In this latest version, a big new feature has been added - local image adjustments. It is now possible to make edits to selected areas within an image.
So now you don’t need to go through the hassle of making general RAW edits to an image in the DxO software, only to then reopen it in different software in order to make localised adjustments. These are encouraging steps in the right direction for DxO.
DxO PhotoLab starts at £99 and is available on the DxO website, though the Pro version is £159.
So what did I think of the software? Well, if your chief concern is the final quality of individual RAW image files, then you will struggle to beat DxO PhotoLab. It’s library of camera and lens profiles is perhaps the most comprehensive around and gives consistently excellent end results.
DxO PhotoLab pretty much does the basic RAW image adjustments job for you. On first opening images, those automatic edits are often bang on and I’ve quickly seen why many users swear by the predecessor, DxO Optics Pro.
I’ve pixel peeped to check the automatic Lens Sharpening, Noise Reduction, Smart Lighting, Colour and Contrast adjustments and are really happy with the results. The new PRIME 2016 Denoise tool goes one step further than the existing noise reduction tool.
As for local adjustments, you wouldn’t know this is the first time that the tool has featured, it is right at home in DxO PhotoLab. The Auto Mask tool is highly intelligent and a big time saver, while other local adjustments offer all the features you might hope for.
The software handles really well too. I love the layout of the Organize and Customize screens, especially tools like the Split Preview.
There are are a couple of downsides. It takes a little more time to work your way around the Customize window and it’s confusing to have the same tools in multiple sub menus (though this can be changed). The biggest downside is the slow pace of image exports. On the flip side, the overall editing part feels a little quicker than most.
All in all, DxO PhotoLab is very much a viable alternative to Adobe Lightroom and since reviewing the product I have started to use it for my image editing. For someone that has tried most photo editing software around, that says a lot.
Check out my in-depth review here.