There are many excellent image processing applications on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Everyone will have their favourites apps and I have mine, one of those for me, is DXO Photolab. Why do I like it so much? There are many reasons, a key one for me though, is the ability to obtain high-quality results through a collection of smart automatic correction tools that are easy to apply. They make post processing both your RAW and JPEG files easy. To get the best out of DXO Photlab’s smart tools though, it best to work with your cameras RAW files.
Let’s walk through an example of how I changed a photo in minutes using DXO Photolab.
Below is an example of a RAW file in DXO Photlab with no image corrections applied to it.
Providing your camera and lens are supported by DXO Optics modules (you can check here) when you import your RAW images DXO will analyse your photos and apply some default or standard corrections. These corrections are:
DxO Smart Lighting on Slight.
Color rendering unchanged for JPEGs, camera default rendering for RAW files.
Protection of saturated colors on Auto.
Noise reduction on Auto.
Distortion on Auto.
Vignetting on Auto.
Chromatic aberration on Auto (and lateral chromatic aberration correction activated).
Lens softness activated, Global slider on 0, and both the Details and the Bokeh sliders set to 50 (or Sharpness Mask default settings, if a DxO Optics Module is not available).
Here is my RAW file with the correction standard corrections applied.
The changes in this RAW file are subtle as my exposure and the contrast range within the scene was not extreme. However, notice how some detail has been brought back n the sky and the shadows opened up slightly. You can see which DXO corrections are being applied as the settings are not greyed out. You can switch them on or off to see what effect they are having.
Now comes the magic!
In the final image I have activated the these additional settings:
- Tone curve
- DxO ClearView – reduces haze and applies local contrast
- Contrast and Microcontrast
- Colour accentuation
All of these adjustments took no more than a minute to apply.
DXO’s optics module are tailored to your particular camera and lens combination. DXO states that; Because each camera has its own RAW format and because each sensor has different characteristics (color rendering, noise, etc.), each camera needs to be calibrated in order to optimize support for its RAW files. And there lies the power of DXO.
You can watch the video below to find out more.
[vimeo 105000222 w=640 h=360]
Here are the three stages of the RAW processing I applied to my image.
And all of these corrections took only a minute or two to apply. There is much more to DXO Photolab than its auto corrections, you can find out about all of its functions and features here: DXO Photolab
Here is another example:
DXO offer a free trial that you can and should take advantage of.