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Old Dec 14, 2014, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default Still Playing the DXO 10 v. Adobe Camera raw Field

Getting closer to figuring out what it takes in Adobe Camera raw in Photoshop CC to match the colors in DXO 10. Adobe supplies camera-specific profiles for Olympus cameras and I have been using the Natural option, but in order to come anywhere close to emulating the colors DXO 10 provides in landscapes you've got to take it up a notch, to the Vivid option, and even throw in a little extra Vibrance.

Still like how DXO gets you that little extra wideness at the widest focal lengths, while on the other hand ACR is just enough better in recovering slightly clipped highlights one really needs to use different strategies in capturing their images, depending on the program you want to use more, exposing more conservatively when it comes to highlights with DXO.

If I had a wish list for DXO 10, the one thing I would really like to see would be an ability for making localized edits like you can do in Adobe camera raw. I often wind up with landscape highlights that are perfect below the horizon, but sky highlights just a bit blown and wish I could brush them down slightly. Obviously blown detail in clouds just ruins landscape images for me.

Adobe Camera raw at 12mm with the 12-40mm f2.8 M. Zuiko. All captured with the E-M1.

DXO 10. You can see the extra pixels used by DXO here, but it is also obvious the roll-off between highlights and shadows is harsher in the DXO file, and I tried my best to get that under control in DXO, but there's a point it just starts looking bad/unnatural and you have to stop.


and DXO 10..

This next image is about as high-contrast as I got yesterday, first with ACR..

and DXO 10. Even juked up to Vivid in ACR and with extra Vibrance added, the DXO colors are still superior here in the shadows to me.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Dec 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM.
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Old Dec 30, 2014, 4:50 AM   #2
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This is an interesting study, and it is difficult to make too much judgment given my own limitations (monitor, eyesight, knowledge, etc.). It looks as though the transitions are better in Adobe, and even some of the details crisper in Adobe, although the contrast enhances that somewhat. I do see what you mean about colors in the shadows in DxO.

The three sets are somewhat different, to my eyes, so that I see different treatments especially in #2 and #3. The Adobe in #2 is sharper and more effectively contrasty than the Adobe in #3, and in parts of #3 the Adobe has a diffuse nature compared to the sharper treatment in DxO #3. The sunlight at the top of the Adobe has some CA, and the distant orange-colored trees show much more atmospheric interference compared to the DxO.

Good luck with the choices. I more simply go back and forth with Lightroom and Aperture, and others, without resolution.
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Old Dec 30, 2014, 9:02 AM   #3
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If you are working with a profiled body-lens combination, DXO definitely imparts more contrast and pop from the default settings and applies their own distortion corrections. Adobe uses the in-file provided corrections and starts you in a much more conservative level, so you have to "get there" on your own. For most files, you have to use the Adobe provided Camera Vivid profile to get colors on the level DXO provides by default, then up the contrast/vibrance to get anywhere near the auto-processed level of DXO, which is probably why so many that use DXO like it. It does a lot of stuff automatically that you have to do manually in ACR because DXO is geared more towards doing everything for you, which can be both good and bad.

It takes a lot more work in DXO to get control of highlights on the edge of, or just over the clipped border, and often you run out of corrections with DXO or they start looking unnatural. I prefer shooting as close to the right and up against the clipped danger-zone as possible, then dial it back in ACR and have brighter shadows to work with. If one is using DXO for raw file processing the best possible exposure is just the opposite. Do everything you can in-camera to keep highlights dialed back and raise the shadows in post-processing, with the added advantage of wider captures since DXO uses more of the pixels in the file.

I do wish DXO would get a profile built for the E-M1 and 40-150mm f2.8, with and without the TC. I have no experience having to wait for such. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes them. I can tell there's little distortion to correct, but their profiles include optimum sharpening and noise reduction too.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Dec 30, 2014 at 10:42 AM.
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