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DxO PureRaw: Photoshop and Lightroom Primer

DxO PureRaw: Photoshop and Lightroom Primer

In addition to the Nik Collection filters, DxO mainly introduced the large PhotoLab (formerly known as DxO Optics Pro), which provides comprehensive image processing functions as well as raw conversion. The specialty of this program has always been excellent correction units, which are based on the precise measurement of cameras and lenses – more than 60,000 camera lens profiles are currently available. In version 4, DeepPRIME (Probabilistic Raw Image Enhancement) based noise removal technology has been added.

PhotoLab has not managed to achieve much success in the market despite its highly recognized quality. The dominance of Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop tools with Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is very strong. According to DxO Labs, an estimated 90 percent of people who are serious about initial editing worldwide use Lightroom or Photoshop. That’s why DxO now also introduces its technology as a complement to Lightroom and Photoshop.

DxO PureRaw in the first test

DxO PureRaw is an easy-to-use program: the files to be converted are downloaded – and if not already available – the appropriate correction module is downloaded from the Internet. Fuji photographers should know that cameras with X-Trans sensors are not supported. After clicking “Image Upgrade”, there are three quality levels available: HQ, PRIME and DeepPRIME. The latter offers the best quality, but is also the most computationally intensive. On a Macbok Pro from 2019 with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor, it took just under a minute to convert the 45MP raw files of a Nikon Z7 II. The result can be saved as a thin JPEG file or as a DNG file. The latter is recommended if the file is to be processed further with Lightroom or other elementary converters like Capture One. Disadvantage: DNG files consume a lot of memory. In our example, the output file was 33.4MB and the converted DNG 207.3MB – that’s much larger than the LZW compressed 8-bit TIF file (83.2MB).

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PureRaw is compelling for quality: results show significantly less image noise than a standard Lightroom or ACR setup. If you increase the noise reduction in Lightroom, more detail is lost compared to PureRaw. The ‘Optimize’ option for a high-quality ore conversion doesn’t change anything – it mainly reduces artifacts like moiré, but it doesn’t improve noise. The bottom line is PureRaw clearly delivers better results. The gap in Capture One isn’t that large, which reduces noise in the standard setup much more than in Lightroom but doesn’t get as much detail as PureRaw.

Pricing and availability

DxO PureRAW is available for Windows and macOS through May 31 at an introductory price of € 89.99 instead of € 129. A free 30-day trial is available below Available.