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DxO PhotoLab 3 Software Review - Performance

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DxO PhotoLab 3 Handling & Performance

Before we get into looking at the new features of DxO PhotoLab 3, it's worth noting that, overall, it's still a great photo editing software that's packed with tools. Plus, the in-built Photo Libary means you can organise and then edit your images all in one place. 

Right. Let's have a look at the new tools...


Keywords In the PhotoLibrary 

DxO PhotoLab 3

The PhotoLibrary panel, which replaced the Organise tab, is an area you use to manage/organise/search for images. It received quite a big update in version 2 but one key element was missing and that was the ability to search for images by Keywords but DxO has now added this function to PhotoLab 3. This is excellent news and something we've been asking for since we first reviewed DxO PhotoLab. 

Keywords tagged to an image can now be displayed in the interface and this includes keywords imported from other software programs such as Adobe Lightroom. Those who use the macOS can also add, delete or rename keywords on one or several images simultaneously but those using Windows will have to wait a little longer to access this feature. You can also search for multiple keywords, for example, in our screenshot, you can see we used 'portrait' and 'Lucy'. When you use the search function, found top left in the PhotoLibrary, a key symbol will show which words are Keywords. 


DxO PhotoLab 3


Last time, we described the PhotoLibrary as 'basic' but the addition of Keyword search has improved this area of the software, which, when combined with the ability to apply star ratings/selection tags and add several different search criteria makes it more useful. However, you still can't edit/add EXIF data to images and the restriction on Keyword searching for Windows users is disappointing (even if DxO says it will be available at a later date). The DxO PhotoLibrary is good but still not quite as good as Lightroom which you can import images from. 


DxO ColorWheel (HSL Tool)

DxO PhotoLab 3

When it comes to adjusting Hue, Saturation and Luminance in PhotoLab, it's just got a bit more fun as there's a new colour adjustment mode which is based on a chromatic circle called the DxO ColorWheel. With this tool, you can select a colour range from eight different channels, fine-tune the value, select a replacement colour, and adjust your transitions. There's also a Uniformity setting which lets you adjust colour variations within a specific range. 


DxO PhotoLab 3

For example, in the image of the Owl, we selected the green channel and then pulled the selection point around the wheel to the yellow/orange tones to give the background of the image an Autumnal feel. You can then include/exclude more colour variations by adjusting the size/shape of the specific range by moving the selection points. It's quick, it's easy to do and can help you create some really great images. No more faffing with multiple sliders - simply, pick a channel and adjust your selection on the circle - simple. 

The Saturation and Luminance sliders now operate more independently, too, which is particularly useful when creating black and white images. You can pull the sliders to adjust each option or input a specific value to the right of the sliders. 




Repair Tool Improvements

DxO PhotoLab 3

The local adjustment options found in DxO PhotoLab are very useful tools which can be accessed quickly and one such tool is the Repair tool which has had an update so you can tell the software where you want it to make a selection from. This means the part of the image you're replacing will look more natural but it's still important you only sample small areas at a time and that you use the feathering/opacity levels to adjust the selection. To adjust where the software is replacing from, click on the control point and move it. You can also hide/show the masks so it's easier to see the sample size. As well as the Repair tool, you can use the Clone mode to directly replace the area you are working on. 


Mask Management For Local Adjustments 

DxO PhotoLab 3

We've already said how useful Local Adjustments are and now, DxO has introduced a Local Adjustments Palette so you can manage all of the Local Adjustment Masks you have applied to an image. All of the Loca Adjustments you have made are shown in the Palette and, individually, you can hide/show them, adjust the opacity individually, delete them or reverse the mask with one-click. You could do this before but it wasn't as quick so the introduction of the Local Adjustments Palette saves time and makes editing in DxO PhotoLab even more flexible. 

DxO PhotoLab 3

Camera/Lens Support 

DxO PhotoLab 3

Additional camera support is never a bad thing and as before, when you select a file, PhotoLab will look at the EXIF data and automatically apply a correction profile, if it has it on record, or it will ask if you want to download a profile if it can't be found. 

Dxo PhotoLab 3 recently added the Canon G5 X Mark II and G7 X Mark III, the Nikon P1000, the Panasonic Lumix DCG90/ G95/G99/G91, the Lumix DC FZ1000 II and Lumix TZ95/ZS80, the Ricoh GR III, and the Sony A7R IV and RX100 VII. More than 3,000 optical modules have also been added to the database (over each release of the software), which now includes over 50,000 different camera/lens combinations. The software’s de-noising capabilities for RAW photos taken with certain Canon and Olympus cameras has been improved as well.


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steveb127 4 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 17 8.0k 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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