Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: DXO Photolab Elite!!

  1. #1
    Abitconfused's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Posts
    502
    Real Name
    E. James

    DXO Photolab Elite!!

    I have upgraded DXO and am quite impressed with "DETAIL > Noise reduction - RAW" (high ISO) function and "DETAIL > Lens Sharpeness." Does anyone know how "Lens sharpness" differs from Unsharp Mask?

  2. #2
    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    18,856
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    I have upgraded DXO and am quite impressed with "DETAIL > Noise reduction - RAW" (high ISO) function and "DETAIL > Lens Sharpeness." Does anyone know how "Lens sharpness" differs from Unsharp Mask?
    Unsharp mask is a generic technique that increases microcontrast at boundaries of light and dark areas of the image. What DxO has always done is to test lenses and develop a performance profile of each one. This allows DxO to understand the "flaws" of each lens, at different focal lengths, focus distances and apertures. Using this data, they have designed algorithms that not only take care of some of the curvature and aberrations, but also a way of counteracting some of the softening outside of the more traditional techniques like USM.

    The only proviso for using this function is that there has to be a camera / lens profile that has been installed on your computer for the camera / lens combination used for the image in question. If that does not exist or has not been installed on your machine, you cannot access this functionality. As an example there is no profile available for my Nikkor f/3.5 24mm PC-E lens, so this option does not even show up for images taken with that lens.

  3. #3
    davidedric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Cheshire, England
    Posts
    3,502
    Real Name
    Dave

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Just to add to Manfred's post. If the profile does exist you will be invited to download it when you open an image. It's a pretty quick download.

    Dave

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    16,116
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    DXO interests me. Especially since DXO has teamed up with NIK software.

    I think that I may download the free trial. LIFE AFTER PHOTOSHOP has a lot of good things to say about the DXO-NIK combination...

    http://lifeafterphotoshop.com/dxo-photolab-review/

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    21,064
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    I would add to Manfred and Dave to say that if you use Lens Sharpener and you have downloaded the Camera/Lens profile, then sharpening is automatically applied to the image. You can of course go into to the tool and set it to another figure, but you don't have to, as the capture sharpening is already there. Great tool.

  6. #6
    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    18,856
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Richard - I've read the linked review and as a long-time user of DxO products, I would have to say that the assessment in the article matches my own experience with this software.

    As I don't use a DAM tool, I find the DxO approach totally to my liking. The quality of the raw conversions, lens corrections (assuming that they have done the camera / lens one is using), ClearView haze reduction and noise reduction are superb.

    The user interface, speed of the software (especially the Prime noise reduction) are the weaknesses. As I am not a fan of the U-Point technology found in Nik as I find it to be fast (good) and crude (i.e. not precise enough). Integration with Photoshop is acceptable, but not great (hence my preference for ACR).

    It continues to be my go-to software for images that were shot under difficult lighting conditions and places where I want the utmost in lens profile correction. Not so much for everyday use, unfortunately.

    My work flow is to do as little as possible in the raw converter, so I can get around the weaknesses in the software. I would find it extremely limiting if it were the only editing tool I had.

  7. #7
    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    18,856
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I would add to Manfred and Dave to say that if you use Lens Sharpener and you have downloaded the Camera/Lens profile, then sharpening is automatically applied to the image. You can of course go into to the tool and set it to another figure, but you don't have to, as the capture sharpening is already there. Great tool.
    As I don't like doing capture sharpening in the raw converter; this is not something I find particularly useful. I find sharpening is not only dependent on the camera / lens combination, but also on the image itself, which is something that Schewe and Fraser point out in their book "Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop".

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    16,116
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    I am wondering if the perceived less than stellar Dynamic Range of the Canon 6D Mkii "might" benefit from using DXO???

  9. #9
    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    18,856
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I am wondering if the perceived less than stellar Dynamic Range of the Canon 6D Mkii "might" benefit from using DXO???
    I'm not quite sure what you mean here Richard. The data that your camera can capture is going to be a hard limit with what can be done. Clipped highlights and blocked shadow detail cannot be recovered, regardless of the tools that one is using.

    What PhotoLab does extremely well is to manipulate the data that you have captured and will take care of things introduced by the camera and lens. Does this mean you will notice a difference versus what you can draw out of an image using other tools? Side-by-side in a large print, perhaps. Viewing two different images on a computer screen, not so much.

  10. #10
    davidedric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Cheshire, England
    Posts
    3,502
    Real Name
    Dave

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    I can't answer Richard's question, but I can say Prime can get detail out of my m4/3 files that Lightroom cannot, regardless of ISO.

    I haven't really had a chance to give PhotoLab a proper go, but in the event something goes amiss in the Lightroom world, it's on my list as a replacement.

    Dave

  11. #11
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    21,064
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    As I don't like doing capture sharpening in the raw converter; this is not something I find particularly useful. I find sharpening is not only dependent on the camera / lens combination, but also on the image itself, which is something that Schewe and Fraser point out in their book "Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop".
    I use DxO for all Capture Sharpening. Creative Sharpening, if it is required, will be done in Photoshop using NIK's Define and that will be tool for Output Sharpening as well.

    I agree that sharpening depends on the image itself. But all RAW images do, I find, require Capture Sharpening.
    Last edited by Donald; 6th January 2018 at 06:03 PM.

  12. #12
    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    18,856
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I agree that sharpening depends on the image itself. But all RAW images do, I find, require Capture Sharpening.
    As a general statement, I agree Donald, but have modified my view a little over time.

    In part this is driven by changes in technology. AA filters in cameras have become weaker to non-existent in some models, so one of the reasons for sharpening (AA softening) has gone away. My D810 does not have an AA filter. The softness from the demosaicing process in raw conversion is still there, but I find that the amount of sharpening needed to overcome that is far less than what I used to use on my older camera models.

    This brings me to the second issue, which has changed the way I do my import sharpening. In some scenes with a lot of sky and water, I find that I would go back and do a localized Gaussian blur (just a tiny one) to counter the effects of the import sharpening process. That somehow seemed to not make sense. Why would I sharpen part of an image just to go back and blur it again?

    I still do a global import sharpen (using the Unsharp Mask filter), but do it in a Photoshop layer (having turned off the default sharpening in my raw converter). This sits on top of the base image I have created with my raw converter. I apply a layer mask to the sharpened layer (done as a Smart Object) and then remove the sharpening over parts of the image that should be a bit softer. Doing this in a layer mask allows me to tweak the sharpening by changing the opacity of the layer. As I am using a Smart Object, I can easily go back and tweak the sharping if I need to.

    I find that I will use this technique in parts of the image where there is sky and / or water. I've even tried it in portraiture work as sort of a default "skin smoothing".

  13. #13
    dje's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    4,539
    Real Name
    Dave Ellis

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    In part this is driven by changes in technology. AA filters in cameras have become weaker to non-existent in some models, so one of the reasons for sharpening (AA softening) has gone away. My D810 does not have an AA filter. The softness from the demosaicing process in raw conversion is still there, but I find that the amount of sharpening needed to overcome that is far less than what I used to use on my older camera models.
    Yes AA filters introduce blur typically 0.3-0.4 times the pixel size. With the gradual increase in MPixels for a given sensor size in recent years, pixels are getting smaller and hence the AA filters weaker. Also smaller pixels means higher sampling rate (and higher Nyquist frequency) which means there is less likelihood of aliasing effects anyway. Nikon in particular have taken the decision to eliminate the AA filter in many of their cameras (but not mine, the D610). The AA filter was probably the most dominant contributor to capture blur in many cases.

    Getting back to the OP's original point. I haven't seen much on the lens sharpening in DXO Optics/Photolab but my guess is that it is some form of de-convolution sharpening, something like that in ACR/LR. Both have a "Detail" slider and in ACR/LR this blends unsharp mask from one extreme and de-convolution from the other extreme. De-convolution is an iterative process which starts with a guess of the nature of the capture blur which is corrected for and then an assessment of the initial guess is made leading to more iteration, hopefully leading to some sort of converging result. The fact that DXO uses a lens data module suggests to me that they use this to get a good estimation of the lens blur to start with which should lead to an efficient and effective iteration process. The other thing they might do is allow for lateral variations in sharpness across the lens.

    But I'm only guessing!

    Dave

  14. #14
    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    18,856
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: DXO Photolab Elite!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    But I'm only guessing!
    That's the problem with any proprietary software - we can only guess as to how it is implemented.

    That being said, it uses USM (which I have disabled) as the main sharpening tool.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 8th January 2018 at 05:58 AM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •