Anyone using DXO in combo with LR? New DXO version out.

instanes

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DXO has a new version out that includes "tighter" integration with LR. Have only used LR for my PP, but am somewhat intrigued with the "ads" for DXO. Anyone have any insight into DXO and might it be a worthwhile program to look into or does it just add another layer of complexity to the PP process without much added benefit over LR.

I have downloaded the trial program, but before I invest any significant amount of time into exploring it thought I might post on inquiry here and possibly avoid spinning my wheels and spending my dollars.

Thanks in advance for anyone offering their perspective.

Stan
 
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I just downloaded the trial version because it was intriguing that it seemed to imply non-destructive through the exchange.

I did try that round trip, and took a 45 Meg NEF (Nikon D800 raw), exported to DxO with the new tool (i.e. direct as raw), did some editing there, then returned it as a DNG. It all worked fine (the return trip was pretty slow though). But I ended up with a 131 meg DNG file, so any thought that this somehow let's you avoid the "bit TIFF file" issue of stepping outside of LR is misplaced. However, it DID avoid the prior gotcha of having to let Lightroom do the initial TIFF -- one of the reputed stengths of DxO Optics Pro is its raw conversion, and in that regard this worked perfectly (note that any edits in Lightroom prior to export to DxO are ignored).

I have not used it enough to know if it's editing is better, or not. I know a lot of people swear by it. I know that in 5 minutes on a random image I got better results than my DEFAULT lightroom settings. That's not much of a comment, as it was mostly better sharpening and by default I sharpen lightly in LR. But... it was interesting. There's some color cast in LR (for example) around the palm fronds (almost a halo) that I never noticed in LR, but was absent in DxO. I'm very pleased with LR's raw image processor, but since I have it for 30 days, will definitely take it for a spin.
 

Bryan Conner

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The dng file that is returned from DXO is a linear dng file. http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/30148341 is a thread on another forum where Adobe's Eric Chan explained the difference between a tiff file and a linear dng file. A tiff and a linear dng are not the same at all, so there are advantages to using linear dng instead of tiff.

I updated/upgraded/or what ever you call it to v9.5 yesterday. I have had v9.0 since it's release and have played with it a fair amount. It is an interesting raw converter. I can produce results that look good to me pretty easily, but not better than Lightroom 5.4 except for high iso, noisy images. In my opinion, on my images from my cameras, DXO 9 is the best as far as noise reduction on high iso images are concerned. Lightroom is very good, but I think DXO's prime noise reduction is better. So, I only use it on really noisy images...which is not very often.

It is only another tool that I have available.
 
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I've been experimenting with this, and it has a lot of potential in terms of doing better at raw conversion and development. But the time to export to Lightroom is just horrible -- I've got a pretty fast computer - SSD drives, 16GB, I7 processor -- and it's about 3 minutes to transfer an image back into lightroom (export the DNG). And that's a smallish 16mpx image, not a big one like a D800.

If anyone's curious, the one on the left is what I had done in Lightroom in my normal process (not spending huge amounts of time, just mass producing some sports shots). It's pretty high ISO and some extra exposure cranked in, so a fair amount of noise. On the right (DxO) I used the automatic noise level reduction (I had tweaked color and contrast to make them similar). It made the right athlete's face a bit plasticy, but it did a very nice job on the left - notice the hair and background, and the face with the highlights.

Not saying it's better, but it has potential. I really like that the noise reduction seems more aggressive in plain backgrounds, which is very noticeable in shots in lightroom when you crank up the shadows.

But seriously -- last round (I did this image 4 times) was 3 minutes 10 seconds to get back into Lightroom. Besides being HUGE DNG's, that's just too long for me, ADD kicks in before then.


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I've found it works very well but it's so slooooooowwww. I could see using it on a few 'best' shots to be printed large, but I wouldn't use it in my everyday workflow.
 

Bryan Conner

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I just thought about something, I know this is very dangerous for me and those around me, DXO may have just reinvented DXO 9 to be a great Lightroom Plugin. That is how I can see myself using it in the future. The lens corrections are great and very high iso noise reduction is great. The film emulations are also very nice.
 
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I found a few things out.

First, the extremely slow export is a result of the PRIME noise reduction. Turn that off, and my 3 minute export became 15 seconds. There was also a very significant improvement from PRIME (these are high ISO noisy shots). I do think DxO is better in noise reduction than Lightroom with PRIME, not so much without.

I also found a problem with the integration with lightroom, or a potential problem. Not sure there's anything they could do about it though. DxO leaves a sidecar file of type NEF.DOP with the NEF when it converts. This is handy, as if you want to redo the DxO edits (as opposed to using lightroom against the DNG), all you do is transfer again and it picks up with exactly where you were in editing when you stopped. Very nice.

Except of course if you rearrange any folders with lightroom, as this DOP ends up being left behind. Which means you lose (well, sort of; disconnect at least) those from the NEF.

They COULD have put these edits, as lightroom does with its sidecars, inside of Lightroom (a blob in some metadata field associated with the plugin). That way like lightroom's edits in XMP they are also in the catalog and cannot be disconnected. This is something of an unusual problem however, as it requires the user to rearrange their image storage folders AND to then want to re-do the DxO edits before it causes a problem.

I've tried a different images; it was timely as I did two shoots at a very, very poorly lit soccer stadium. I find the DxO is doing a much better job of noise reduction, but not as good a job of handling the color and contrast. But maybe I'm just not there yet.
 

OldWhizzKid

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I just got DxO a few weeks ago and found it works quite well on very-low-lit subjects and that's what I would mostly use it for, instead of routine batch processing pre-LR. The time it takes for Prime is worth it to save a given otherwise "high value" image. But I have a question: does anyone here forego in-camera NR and just let LR and/or DxO do all the NR work? And do you get better results doing so? I'm using a Nikon D610 which has of course high-ISO and long-exposure NR and have noticed I get the same sharpening and NR default settings in LR whether I'm using my D610 or my D3200.

I'll of course end up doing my own experiment with all this, but thought if anyone else has a strong opinion I could start from there.

Thanks.
 

Bryan Conner

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Does this software only recognize original RAW files? Could not open my LR-made DNGs.

Yes, it only recognizes original raw files. LR made DNGs are not considered to be an original raw file. If you have a camera that produces a dng file, DXO will open it.
 

Zenon

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An old thread I came across doing a search. I have been testing it. Exporting to LR was fast but coming back was painfully slow. It made me rethink my process. I tamed my masking and NR settings which are auto applied by ISO at import and I tweak if it needs it. I just tweak for my hobby shots or anything else critical. For my hobby shots I can crop a lot.

By the time the image comes back from PhotoLab I can use the brush and auto mask, paint around the subject and set NR to 100 and reduce sharpening by 100 and the background is as silky clean. I have to say Prime is very impressive.


Of course I'll only do this if it really needs it. Mostly pushed crops. Taming NR and Masking made the detail hard to tell between the two. For high ISO it shines more but I don't need it. It is impressive and I thought about getting it but another $200. Ouch. It is impressive and if I didn't need PS, DAM and all the rest Adobe offers I'd consider it. I'm not really interested in other 3rd party plugins right now. I stopped using almost all of them several years ago.

Just before I found this thread I found this. Why can't they make and sell a plugin for LR? I'm pretty sure it would sell.

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mcasan

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DxO Labs is now in receivership in France. Lets hope the emerge with a new version of Photolab plus updated and integrated Nik Collection.
 
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