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DxO FilmPack Expert 4 Review

DxO FilmPack Expert 4 Review - Daniel Bell tests the latest version of DxO FilmPack, using the Expert edition.

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Category : Software
Product : DxO FilmPack Version 4
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Features
Performance
Verdict

Dxo Filmpack 4 Screenshot 1

DxO FilmPack 4 is the latest edition of the Windows and Mac program which lets you apply film effects to your digital photos. Since the launch of version 4, it has been updated to 4.5 which includes extra film renderings, creative new looks and more special effects. There are two editions - Essential (£39) and Expert (£79), on test here is the Expert Edition. For more information on each edition, visit the DxO website.

Dxo Filmpack 4 Screenshot 2

DxO FilmPack Expert 4 Features

  • Black & white film renderings - films such as the Kodak Tri-X, Fuji Neopan, Polaroid etc.
  • Colour film renderings - up to 39 colour films such as Kodak Portra 160 NC, Polaroid, Fuji Velvia 50 etc
  • Designer presets - vintage effects, aged photos and tints
  • Film grain - add grain to your digital photos to restore all the authenticity of an analog film
  • Denoising tool - reduce the digital noise in your high-sensitivity images and replace it with an authentic film grain
  • Apply effects by using numerous one-click settings - toning, colour filters, textures, light leaks, frames, creative vignetting and creative blur vignetting
  • Advanced settings - black & white control, colour control (hue / saturation / luminance)
  • Tone curve - adjust the tones, contrasts and luminosity of your images
  • Vibrancy - apply intelligent saturation to your images
  • Micro-contrast - boost the local contrast
  • Cropping - adjust the final size and composition of your image
  • Plugin and standalone application - can be used both as a standalone application and as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple Aperture and DxO Optics Pro
  • Facebook export
  • Batch processing
Dxo Filmpack 4 Screenshot 3

DxO FilmPack Expert 4 Performance

When you open DxO Filmpack 4 for the first time there is a sample image and a range of presets already set as favourites (the tab is represented by a star), so you can quickly have a play around to see what can be achieved. The presets are grouped into colour slide film, colour negative film, black and white film, designer presets and custom presets. We've included examples of each of the presets below.

DxO FilmPack 4 Sample Photos


To remove any of the presets that have already been set as favourites you simply need to click the star on the preset thumbnail. If you edit your photos using some of the more advanced editing techniques available, you can saved your edits as a preset to use on other pictures in the future.

Along the top of the screen is a toolbar which has numerous options. The first sets include open, save, print and export to Facebook. In the next group you can change the view - here you have single view, split preview and side-by-side preview. There is also the option to take a snapshot, you can use this to go back to a certain point if you make edits that you're not happy with.

There are tools for zooming in, moving around your image, cropping and rotating. You then come to three options which let you add frames, light leaks and textures. Examples are included with the presets above. The last set of options let you view your image full screen and hide panels.

Dxo Filmpack 4 Screenshot 4 Dxo Filmpack 4 Screenshot 5

The advanced editing options are in a panel which can be found by pressing the arrow on the right-hand side. At the top is a histogram and underneath this is the controls panel. You can use the slider here to switch between colour and black & white. The rest of the options here are split into two parts - effects and settings. Effects includes film rendering, film grain, filter, toning, creative vignetting, creative blur vignetting, texture, light leak and frame. There's plenty of editing options here which are adjusted using dropdown boxes and sliders. Under settings there is basic settings (contrast, saturation, exposure), advanced settings (vibrancy, micro-contrast), tone curve, hue - saturation - lightness and noise removal. In the top right hand corner of the controls box are options to save as a preset and reset to default.

To perform batch processing you need to go to file, then batch processing. On the left you select which pictures you want to include in the batch process. On the right you can choose which preset you want to use, whether you want to save as a JPG or TIFF, the quality level, destination and file name. Hit process and the program gets to work. We did 10 images in around 25 seconds.


DxO FilmPack Expert 4 Verdict

The fourth version of DxO FilmPack is a steady upgrade - many of the presets are the same, except the addition of the designer set, giving even more film effects to add to your pictures. As well as the presets, there are also many options for further editing your photos. If you have a fondness for the film effects from the past, you'll really enjoy DxO FilmPack 4. The Expert Edition, at £79, is a little expensive, but you can pay more for similar products, with alternatives including The Nik Collection (approx £90), Perfect Photo Suite 8 (approx £110) and Topaz Labs (approx £230).

DxO FilmPack Expert 4 Pros

DxO FilmPack 3 Expert Lots of films available
DxO FilmPack 3 Expert Easy to use
DxO FilmPack 3 Expert Works as both a standalone program and plug-in
DxO FilmPack 3 Expert A good range of customisable options

DxO FilmPack Expert 4 Cons

A little expensive
Film effects won't appeal to all

FEATURES  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

DxO FilmPack 4 is available in two editions, Essential and Expert, which differ in terms of available film renderings and features. DxO FilmPack 4 Essential Edition is currently available for £39 while the Expert Edition is priced at £79. A free trial is also available on the DxO website.

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