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DxO PhotoLab 3 Software Review

DxO PhotoLab 3 is the latest version of DxO's popular photo editing software so we're putting it to the test to find out what new features have been added.

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PhotoLab 3

Quick Verdict

DxO PhotoLab still comes 'Highly Recommended' as when you add the additional/improved tools with the already excellent line-up of features, you get a comprehensive piece of photo editing software that's easy to use and is capable of producing excellent results. The DxO ColorWheel is fun to use and the addition of Keywords to the PhotoLibarary is something we've wanted to see for a while. 

Version 3 of DxO PhotoLab brings some great additions to the RAW photo editing software but adding just 4 main updates to software which was updated a little over 5-months ago might not be enough to persuade everyone to upgrade. However, those looking to switch from Adobe's subscription service or other software, who are new to DxO PhotoLab, could easily be tempted. 

+ Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Quick in response 
  • Can produce really sharp images
  • Good automatic lens correction
  • Live edits 
  • Denoise is very useful and excellent 
  • Excellent local adjustment tools 
  • Easy to use masking 
  • Good selection of presets 
  • No subscription 
  • Keywords can now be added
  • ColorWheel is fun and useful 
  • Mask management is easier 

- Cons

  • No history panel (but you can undo) 
  • Minimal updates
  • PhotoLibrary keywords for PC users not yet fully functional 
  • Can't edit/add EXIF data to images


DxO PhotoLab 3 is a new version of DxO's popular RAW photo editing software, for Windows and Mac, to be released and with it comes 4 main new features and added support for more cameras/lenses. However, with a previous update only arriving back in May 2019, we know some of you will be wondering if it's really worth upgrading for a few new tools and camera support so that's what we're going to find out by putting the new features/tools to the test to see how well they improve our workflow/photo editing experience. 

We'll mainly be focusing on 'what's new' in DxO PhotoLab 3 so if you do want more of an overview of what the PhotoLab software is, have a look at our previous reviews: PhotoLab 2.2 & PhotoLab 1.2.

DxO PhotoLab 3 Features

DxO PhotoLab 3


DxO PhotoLab 3 updates DxO PhotoLab 2.2, released May 2019, with 4 new features and support for new cameras/lenses. Nothing has changed in the way the user interface is presented but when working in the DxO PhotoLibrary section, you can now use Keywords which is a big plus point and something that brings DxO PhotoLab 3 more in-line with Lightroom. 

Since last time we reviewed the software, which isn't very long ago, support for 50,000+ camera/lens combinations are now available along with a new local adjustments mask manager and a new feature called the 'DxO ColorWheel' which is a new colour adjustment mode. The Repair Tool has also been improved. 

Key Features

  • Local Adjustments Palette - NEW
  • Keywords Support - NEW
  • DxO ColorWheel - NEW
  • Local adjustments
  • Control Points (U Point Technology)
  • DxO PhotoLibrary
  • Repair tool - IMPROVED
  • DxO Lens Sharpness
  • RAW conversion
  • High-quality denoising (RAW and JPEG)
  • Optical corrections
  • DxO Smart Lighting
  • Spot Weighted mode
  • Selective tone
  • Image tools
  • Protection of saturated colours
  • Built-in Presets
  • Batch processing
  • Customizable workspace
  • Fullscreen mode
  • Integrated export feature
  • Interaction with Adobe Lightroom
  • Geometrical corrections
  • Analog and creative renderings

Key Features Only Available In The Elite Edition: 

  • PRIME denoising (RAW)
  • DxO ClearView Plus
  • Anti-moiré tool
  • DCP Color profile support
  • Managing camera-calibrated ICC profiles
  • Colour rendering profiles
  • Multiple exports
  • Presets editor
  • Partial presets creation
  • Customisable palettes


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steveb127 3 1 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2019 3:36PM
Out of the 10 cameras added 3 are micro 4/3rds, Panasonic (and Olympus as far as I'm aware) implement lens corrections to the Jpeg file, directly and the data is also embedded into the raw file, surely DxO recognise these anyway and so are really only minor additions.
23 Oct 2019 6:58PM
I am starting to get confused with what DxO are offering with their PL updates and the Nik add-ons. Only last week there was an introductory saving to go with Nik, now an introductory saving to upgrade to PL3. I have used DxO for a very long time now but I feel there is a plot being lost ever since they bought Nik.

23 Oct 2019 11:56PM
Iíve been a big fan of DxO since OpticsPro and did recently upgrade to PL2 Elite. However asking for another £45 ish now is frankly taking the Micheal.

You say it is an option do donít want to subscribe to Adobe CC however their photographer package is only £9.99 p/m so I could have a years subscription to LR and PS for the money I would spend upgrading from OpticsPro to PL2 to PL3.

Charging users every few months for a new version is a subscription model. Not good enough.
JJGEE 16 7.9k 18 England
24 Oct 2019 8:09AM
As this article relates to an upgrade to v 3 is this statement correct as it appears to be quite a large number ?

Quote:More than 3,000 optical modules have also been added to the database
24 Oct 2019 8:19AM

Quote:As this article relates to an upgrade to v 3 is this statement correct as it appears to be quite a large number ?

We've updated the wording to make this clearer. Smile

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