DxO PhotoLab Review
Updated · Jun 06, 2022
Best for: Professional photographers looking to edit their images.
What is DxO PhotoLab?
DxO PhotoLab is a powerful raw processing and image-editing program created by the French company DxO. This pro photo editing software is best known for its advanced RAW processing technologies and delivery of high-quality lens correction.
The DxO editing platform is extremely dynamic, and it recently released its latest PhotoLab 4 version. It will wow you with an unmatched level of noise reduction, impressive image management, a selection of eye-catching presets and a host of other creative image editing tools.
DxO PhotoLab Features
The DxO Photosuite comes with a great number of features to simplify the photo editing process.
The software allows you to perform local adjustments so that your images end up looking professional. The ‘Customize’ tab has all the editing tools to help you achieve just that.
To start with, you can use the graduated filters in this digital image program to balance exposure, add depth or darken/blur surrounding areas on your image.
You can also edit your images using the DxO PhotoSuite brush tool. You can correct specific areas with precision simply by adjusting the opacity. This tool can also detect colors similar to those initially selected.
And just wait till you try the U POINT technology! It is an intuitive local adjustment assistant that streamlines the entire editing process. You can adjust your brightness, contrast, saturation, and structure values with a convenient multi-setting slider.
Other editing functions you can perform include cropping, blemish erasure, more effect correction, and red-eye fixer.
You can also customize your tool selection. You choose your favorite and most used tools and have them displayed at all times.
Storing and locating pictures is a common challenge in the photo editing process. Not with the DxO photo software.
When testing for this DxO PhotoLab review, we were quite amazed by how easy the whole image management process was. You can directly access files on your computer, external hard drive, and even a remote server, thanks to its open system.
The program also comes with an advanced keyword management tool that you can use to quickly find the images you need. You can also search for keywords added when using other programs like Adobe Lightroom.
To help you, DxO provides several search parameters such as ISO, date, and aperture, ensuring that you efficiently locate your pictures.
It is important to keep in mind that the app only recognizes RAW images shot with a camera that it supports. This shouldn’t be a massive issue though, as the DxO supported cameras list is quite long.
Asides from image management, you can also use DxO to organize your files and simplify your editing. Naming and assigning keywords to batches of images keeps your files organized, and grouping them by Projects in your PhotoLibrary makes the editing process easier.
If your images are dull or need a bit of jazzing up, DXO PhotoLab has a selection of 40 carefully calibrated presets in various categories.
Presets are quite similar to filters on your mobile phone or apps like Instagram. They can easily alter the colors, contrast, exposure, and etc.
The pre-installed presets on DxO come in several styles, fit for all types of purposes. You can always add more presets to the software, or even create custom ones. According to DxO PhotLab user reviews, the available ones can put even Instagram-favorite VSCO to shame.
One of the best things about the DxO PhotoLab 4 is that it features a preset button on the top menu bar. You can see how presets would look on a selected image. That makes it easier to choose!
With the DxO photo suite, you can easily organize your workflow.
Users often praise the selective copy and paste feature in their DxO PhotoLab reviews. This function comes with the new DxO PhotoLab 4. It might not sound special, but it can transform the way you edit. You can “transfer” your edits from one image to another.
The PhotoLab 4 also supports batch image processing, allowing you to maintain consistency.
The software also integrates seamlessly with Adobe Lightroom Classic. You can easily transfer your RAW images from your Lightroom library to PhotoLab, edit them and send them as a bitmap file (JPEG, Linear DNG, or TIFF) back to Lightroom.
The DxO portrait editing software features a color wheel. You can select ranges from eight different channels or alternatively, select a color sample directly from your image.
From the wheel, you can easily adjust your chromatic values, choose a replacement color and fine-tune transitions and hues.
You can also enjoy the HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Luminance) tool, which is new to PhotoLab. On the DxO software, it acts as a sophisticated color management tool. It allows you to play with the sharpness and density of your colors and add a more creative look to your images.
The smart lighting feature is able to analyze the contrasts, underexposed, and overexposed areas in your images.
The digital image program has impressive noise reduction tools without compromising on color or image quality. Keep in mind though, that PhotoLab 4 works best with images from high-resolution cameras.
This feature also comes with a spot-weighted correction tool that automatically recognizes faces in an image and instantly balances the appearance of the face for a more natural result.
DxO’s latest version - PhotoLab 4 - comes with several new features. Now you can:
- add watermarks directly to your photos
- scroll back to different moments in the process, thanks to the advanced editing history
- demosaic and denoise images
- enjoy a simpler workflow
DxO PhotoLab Ease of Use
When we initially started reading DxO PhotoLab user reviews, we came to expect user-friendly software. We weren’t disappointed. It is definitely one of the more intuitive photo editing programs out there. It has a very sophisticated interface that's easy to navigate.
Sign up for DxO and select a payment plan, then you can download the app. Once it's been installed, you can start creating.
You can access all the images stored on your computer and any other attached storage drives. From the PhotoLibrary tab, you can organize your files into groups or projects. You can also star-rank or flag selected images which would be displayed on a thumbnail for easy viewing.
You can apply instant edits with the cropping tool, photo straightener and presets to make your picture Insta-worthy. If that’s not enough, the DxO photo software has a wide selection of editing tools.
If you want to customize your workspace, you can arrange it to suit your needs.
DxO PhotoLab Exporting Options
The digital image program offers a couple of saving options. Once you’re done editing and perfecting your image, you can export it directly to a disk, to another photo editor, or to Facebook (available only for Mac users).
If you’re exporting your image to Facebook, you can choose a target album. However, while testing for this DxO PhotoLab review, we found out you cannot select who can see the file or add any tags.
Alternatively, with Flickr, DxO lets you choose an album, select your privacy level as well as add keyword tags. It even pulls your previously used tags and albums as options for you.
Exporting to a disk allows you to choose several outputs at once. That said, you can only choose an ICC profile on export, not a DCP one.
You can also print your images. You get to choose a grid size, add a caption, and even sharpen the image.
DxO PhotoLab Price
DxO PhotoLab has two different onetime payment plans. At the time of writing of this DxO PhotoLab review they are:
Includes 2 activations, DxO Smart Workspace, Control Points (U Point Technology), Local adjustments masks management, HSL and DxO ColorWheel + Hue Picker, DxO Lens Sharpness, Selective Copy/Paste, DxO Advanced History, Keywords Management, PhotoLibrary, Optical corrections, DxO Smart Lighting, Built-in Presets, Batch processing, Customizable workspace, Full-screen mode, Integrated export feature, Interaction with Adobe Lightroom, Geometrical corrections (by adding the DxO ViewPoint plugin), and Analog and creative renderings (by adding the DxO FilmPack plugin).
If you want to test out the program before committing financially, you can make use of the DxO PhotoLab 30-day free trial. You’ll be able to use all of the program’s features till the period expires.
If you pay for the Essential plan but want to upgrade to the DxO PhotoLab Elite edition later on, DxO allows you to upgrade for $69.00.
The software also offers a refund policy, which’s a bit limiting. You can get your money back in the first 14 days, provided you did not use the activation code.
DxO PhotoLab vs Lightroom
Both programs offer sleek user interfaces that are easy to navigate. The DxO photo editing platform, however, presents all its editing features in one place.
Both software allows you to access pictures from your computer or an external storage device. Lightroom goes the extra mile, though, by providing a cloud storage service.
When it comes to editing on the go, Lightroom is superior. You can use the program on your mobile, web, or desktop, and it automatically applies your edits everywhere. The DxO PhotoSuite on the other hand can only be used on a computer.
With Lightroom, you can connect with and follow other creators, share presets and learn from your favorite photographers. When it comes to the social aspect of digital photography, it definitely takes the cake.
DxO offers two one-time payment plans and a 30-day free trial. Lightroom offers a subscription plan that costs $9.99/month and a 7-day free trial.
DxO PhotoLab vs Capture One
In many DxO PhotoLab reviews, you’ll find Capture One mentioned. And for a good reason.
You can import your Lightroom photos directly to any of the two. Both offer extensive editing tools and presets, and enable customized workspaces.
All that said, the Capture One program allows for more customization than the DxO software. The former has a feature called speed edits. With it, you can edit your photos quickly without even having to touch a slider. With hotkeys and drag, you can even edit multiple pictures at once.
Capture One also offers subscription offerings that are tailored to specific cameras. It offers services that are exclusive to Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm cameras individually. When you choose the Nikon service, for example, Capture One customizes its product offers to provide you with presets, editing tools, and features that would help you optimize your images taken with a Nikon camera. If you use more than one camera though, Capture One also offers a subscription plan that supports all major brands.
When it comes to pricing, Capture One’s customized plans for Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm cameras start at $14.00/month. The plan covering all major cameras starts at $19.00.
DxO PhotoLab Review - Verdict
DxO PhotoLab certainly has the means to impress. It has great editing tools, an organized interface, and great image management options.
Of course, it’s not without its weaknesses. The Facebook exporting option is available only for macOS and it doesn’t support Fujifilm. We hope this changes in the future - be sure to check our DxO PhotoLab review for any updates.
And while we all wait, why not give the software a try? You can enjoy it for free for 30 days!
Is DxO PhotoLab good?
DxO PhotoLab customer reviews are mostly positive, and the software fully deserves the praises. You can carry out basic edits like image cropping and straightening. You can also make advanced edits to your images, thanks to DxO’s wide range of editing tools. Once you’re done with your edits, you can save, export, or print your images.
How do I use DxO in Lightroom?
DxO PhotoLab works alongside Lightroom, and you can collaborate on both software. You can even move your files between the two programs. To do so, you’ll need to go to Lightroom’s file menu and choose the plug-in extras and DxO PhotoLab options.
Does DxO PhotoLab include Nik?
Unfortunately, DxO PhotoLab does not include NIK collection. However, it has U points that work for local adjustments. For more information, check our DxO PhotoLab review above.
While obtaining her master’s in marketing, Chioma discovered her passion for writing and storytelling. She found a way to combine both and now dedicates her time to telling compelling brand stories. She’s also a tech enthusiast, bravely navigating through new products and exciting releases.
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