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Thread: DxO Optics Pro

  1. #1

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    DxO Optics Pro

    Does anyone have experience of using DxO Optics Pro?

    I have had it on the 'maybe' list for a couple of years. Recently, I found an offer too good to resist, so invested a modest amount to buy the current version. The results are not short of amazing! However, I'm still on the steep bit of the learning curve and trying to understand and set the best parameters in order to batch process a large number of images.

    Any help would be welcome. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    I do use it...actually that was my first ever PP program since I was so fedup with the lens distortion of my sigma.
    They come a long way since they first published version 5 in Dec 07..(really buggy and all).
    the last version 5.3.2 works well.

    Now of course, this is useful mainly if your body/lens combination is supported. They did not supply many new modules last year, and hopefully with a new lab, they should be able to..now, as far as predicting what new module will come up, well, pretty hard to understand their choices sometimes..

    as far as PP goes, I am no expert, but folks on their forum are really happy with it: almost like a one click thing: import with preset (which would apply any PP you prerecorded), and mostly develop (batch process that is..).Might need some further tweak on some, but overall, can be pretty streamlined.
    There are some who do not like the color rendering (on some Nikon mostly)...
    PP covers the usual exposure, color, etc...corrections + lens distortion/vignetting
    I like their key stoning feature a lot. if I were you, give it a try and then see if you want to buy it.

    they also have the FilmPack plugin/standalone (yet another purchase) for film rendering (color/grain)...I rarely use it, but might come handy

    cheers
    Vincent

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Thanks for the response, Vincent. I have bought it and I'm delighted with the results so far. I was getting heartily tired of correcting colour fringes, then distortion, and so on. DxO seems to solve these problems with a click. I'm still looking for problem areas.

    Your comment about the colour is interesting; I am intending to do some tests to create my own preset which will include a bit of colour boosting. I had noticed it lost a little, but that shouldn't be a problem. One thing I have noticed is that it opens up shadow detail a little without losing highights.

    Tony

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    like nay other tool, especially with Color, things are very sbjective and each tool has a different way of interpreting things.

    check out the forum, and mostly browse for a guy Andy_F...he's done a lot of testing and has some output examples on Flickr...
    Have fun

    Vincent

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    It seems to be a plugin for CS2 onwards, not a stand-alone prog, so you need CS aswell and it is in direct competition with ARC - or am I misunderstanding something?

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    If you buy the current version, it comes as a stand-alone application, but the Photoshop plug-in is bundled with it for optional installation.

    I believe it can replace ACR and the files it produces (JPG, DGN, TIFF) can be further adjusted in any other application, for example, PaintShop Pro, not just Photoshop.

    It is worth a look

    Tony

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Hmmm ...

    The more I play with this the more I seem like I'm painting myself into a corner with it

    What I'd like to be able to do is use DxO to open an existing DNG file and then pass the adjusted image through to Photoshop for further processing. However, from what I've dug up, it appears that it's can't open DNG files, but it can produce them - and then these could be opened in photoshop, but only after passing through ACR, which seems to be the wrong way around to me (double-handling).

    Once the image is open in Photoshop it would be nice to then be able to apply automatic lens distortion corrections but, again, it seems that you can only deal with these on an initial FILE -> IMPORT level, and again, with no support for DNG.

    So unless I've got this all around the wrong way, it looks like you almost have to take an "all or nothing" workflow approach, which unfortunately just isn't workable for me.

    Additionally, I'm curious as to where DxO saves the customisations selected for each image. Does it write these back to the original RAW file? Create a "side-car" file? Store them in it's own internal database? Discard them altogether?

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Bennett View Post
    If you buy the current version, it comes as a stand-alone application, but the Photoshop plug-in is bundled with it for optional installation.

    It is worth a look

    Tony
    OK Tony, although it appeared to have aborted the installation after being given no CS2,3 etc options, it has installed a small core prog which no doubt has its friends and relations peppered all over the rest of the drive as it appeared to be downloading 138MB rather than the 2.4 that ended up in the applications folder.

    So I will give it a whirl on some of the 350D CR2 I was testing Aperture out on last week and then go on to some nef (tho neither of my nikon lenses in the list).

    What sort of shots are you finding the lens distortion/correction so significant?

    Nothing like new PP progs as source of light entertainment while laid up sick

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Well, sad to say that after playing with it for a few hours today, it's now been uninstalled from my machine.

    It looks like it's a program designed to go head to head with Adobe ACR and the "basic" side of PS, but unfortunately the workflow between the two seems to be almost mutually exclusive. Adobe offer a complete workflow from Native RAW to DNG RAW to ACR to PS, whereas Dx0 won't accept DNG (my preferred format) as an input, and won't apply corrections to images once they're in PC (where I routinely do things that DxO can't), so it appears to want to work best if you use it exclusively "from cradle to grave", and unfortunately - although the camera/lens specific corrections looked exciting, there's just too much downside to be even close to being workable for me.

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Colin

    DxO will only import raw files (certainly NEF and CR2, poss others) and after processing will produce DNG, JPG and TIFF (just one or several simultaneously). The point is to use DxO as the FIRST program for any image. Thereafter, ACR or Photoshop can be used as needed.

    As I understand it, your library of images are all in DNG format, that is they have received post production treatment in ACR/PS. If this is the case, they cannot be passed through DxO, which can only be used for ‘virgin’ images. You can use DxO for all future images; the question is, will you (or I) still need/wish to apply further corrections in ACR. I am working on the assumption that I won’t need to, based on what I have seen of the DxO interface/tools. I will be disappointed if I have to!

    Lens faults can be distortions (of various types), varying softness, and fringing of at least two types. These faults vary depending on the f-stop, focal length (for zoom lenses), focussed distance of the shot, and the additional parameters resulting from the camera sensor and internal processing. As a consequence, every image can be unique and requires individual treatment in ACR. DxO does ALL this automatically on each image based on imported modules and info from the exif data.

    All this takes an immense amount of time in ACR and sometimes is not successful. For example, my Nikon 18-200 has complex distortion at a focal length of about 18-24mm that ACR fails to correct. I also believe fringing can vary over the image, so correction in one place will not necessarily apply correctly in another place. No doubt other lenses have similar complex faults. DxO corrects it all!

    As for the interface, that can be set up as a user-preferred ‘workspace’, so only the most often used tools are on show.

    I have just tried the PS plug-in. It works in the same way as the stand-alone application, except it has no Review facility, and the project size is limited to just 5 images. After processing, the images are automatically opened in PS. The saving options don’t seem to include DNG. I don’t use this format (yet) so don’t know if that is normal. Is a DNG converter separate from ACR and PS?

    Having typed all this, I’ve just read your latest post. Sorry to hear it doesn’t work for you. I’m going to persevere with it.

    In all the images I’ve converted so far, fringing is eliminated, barrel and pincushion distortion is eliminated, shadow detail emerges, sharpness is improved centre to edge. I can also do in DxO everything I currently do in ACR.

    My workflow will be: DxO to process and convert to DNG for batches. Open DNGs in ACR/PS for further processing if needed, and printing. For 5 or fewer, use the PS plug-in to do the same.

    Regards

    Tony

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Quick correction on the above, DxO will also import JPG and TIFF files. It will also import large HDR TIFF files created using Photomatix Pro!

    Sorry for the mistale.

    Tony

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    After a 1 image play, I am quite confident it goes straight above Aperture (and DPP has been lapped by both.) For a CR2 conversion to be picked up by NX2.

    That is quite a statement for a dyed-in-wool macman! Very pleased you introduced it Tony

    The interface and workflow are going to take some getting used to, but enough obvious goodies to make it worth the effort. The main downside is that the preview quality is diabolical and what you get is nothing like what you see, but I can see that using the 'proof' ahead of the 'save' could be what is required - plus some experience to know roughly how far to go.

    Having gone back to DxO, some of the settings don't look like what I remember having left in place...but maybe partly as there are so many possible and the interface gets 0/10 for the icons showing/hiding process groups and on/off switch; that may be home ground on PC, but bring back the mac arrows, x and revert arrow (even DPP manages that).

    It deserves a more thorough workout before I start posting any comparisons

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    PS it isn't exactly cheap at 180 for 5.3.2 Elite (dirty pound possibly not helping) - Is standard Pro or 5.2 much different (at 100) going to be OK apart from this years new camera models?
    Last edited by crisscross; 2nd February 2009 at 12:32 PM.

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    All,
    I haven't completely read the replies, but the idea of Dxo is to read the EXIF data and Makers notes to adjust the correction as best as can be.
    That's why it needs to be the first in the workflow.
    So, in general, beware that not all SW will accept DNG, so even if it's a standard and it's like RAW, I am concerned when folks tell others to convert directly to DNG and trash the Raw...
    It 's an habit you might regret later on...

    True, they don't play with DNG (and even on output only create a linear DNG...)
    They have a very good noise engine and of course the only one to offer automatic lens distortion (real one...not the PT Lens stuff..)

    on the API side, well, like you said Chris, ....The interface and workflow are going to take some getting used to,.....

    I guess a typical workflow would be: import wiht lightroom for all your library needs, create a catalog with the pictures to be PP, then open Dxo and choose that catalog to import the pics into Dxo and develop...

    you can also launch Dxo from Lightroom, but it's only one pic at a time...

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    PS it isn't exactly cheap at 180 for 5.3.2 Elite (dirty pound possibly not helping) - Is standard Pro or 5.2 much different (at 100) going to be OK apart from this years new camera models?
    You need to check what cameras are covered by Pro Basic/Elite. I recall that professional cameras are covered in the Elite; prosumer models by the basic version (which is what I bought).

    As to price, check eBay. Calumet have substantial reductions. That's where I got my version. It was marketed as version 5.2, but when installed it loaded version 5.3.2 via internet and that is upgradable for future version 5.x's at no extra charge.

    Hope that helps.

    Tony

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    "After a 1 image play, I am quite confident it goes straight above Aperture (and DPP has been lapped by both.) For a CR2 conversion to be picked up by NX2."

    What is DPP? Also can't understand your ref to NX2.

    Tony

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Tony,

    DPP is the post process tool from Canon.
    and Nx2 is the Nikon PP tool.(Capture Nx)

    for comparaison, I would recommend to check Andy's website on flickr..
    has a bunch of comparaison (between DOP/Nx,et c..)

    http://flickr.com/photos/ajf13b2790j3p3g0g7c4/

  18. #18
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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Bennett View Post
    "After a 1 image play, I am quite confident it goes straight above Aperture (and DPP has been lapped by both.) For a CR2 conversion to be picked up by NX2."

    What is DPP? Also can't understand your ref to NX2.

    Tony
    DPP = Canon Digital Professional Pro, Canon's own free software issued with camera & which I used while using 350D until I realised I wasn't getting results of the standard i wanted

    When I went over to D80, I also went over to Nikon Capture NX2 for all my editing and will take a lot of shifting. I have since also tried converting CR2 files from 350D in PSE4 then doing most of editing in NX2, then a couple of weeks ago Aperture was being discussed here & I tried that for the conversion.

    The point is that for landscapes, birds and animals, my staples, you need to work on parts of an image & I find NX2 more sympathetic and re-visitable than PSE. The same holds true for final editing after DxO - on 1st trial the preview didn't show the extent of sharpening it had carried out full image and I would normally have only applied it to relevant parts.

    Yes I was taking the Calumet price as base. IF I find DxO also outperforms NX2 on the RAW/nef stage, it will be worth getting.

  19. #19
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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    The same holds true for final editing after DxO - on 1st trial the preview didn't show the extent of sharpening it had carried out full image and I would normally have only applied it to relevant parts.
    one of the things that are a pain with Dxo...some adjustments only show up at 75% magnification and higher...

    Beware that for licensing, Dxo allows the install on 2 machines.
    Also presets are still not common to both PC and MAc...but chances are most have just one type.

    Chris, you might want to check Lightroom2...the brush tool allows you to do some local adjustment only (don't remember if sharpening is one of them though...I think it mostly covers exposure, color, etc..)

    Then again, you can start with Dxo, and send a tiff 16 bit to Light room for more detailed work..

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    Re: DxO Optics Pro

    I got DxO initially for the optical correction it offers, which I believe is unsurpassed by anything. I had not intended it to supplant PS, and nor will it for reasons you gave: it offers global not local editing. You can adjust the extent of that global editing, so the supersharpening can be moderated as you wish (as can all other parameters).

    I do see DxO replacing my use of ACR.

    NX2 cannot correct the lens defects as comprehensively as DxO, nor can ACR

    I have a copy of NX1.3, but never got round to loading it. Have I missed a trick here? Can NX2 do everything CS3 can do?

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