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Old Aug 28, 2015, 8:27 AM   #1
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Default (Yet Another) Look at DXO 10 Optics vs. Adobe Camera Raw

I don't know why I keep doing this.....I really do want to like DXO Pro Optics. There are some really cool things it does, very well, from colors (even if they are, a little over the top) to the extra field of view the custom-made camera-lens modules are able to squeeze from the Micro Four-Thirds files compared to the standard profile Olympus and Panasonic bake into the raw files that system-compliant programs like Adobe employ.

One of the things Olympus does extremely well with their cameras, is auto white balance. The E-M1 just seems to nail the right color temperature all the time, in any type light, and both DXO and Adobe pick the right settings up, although the interpretation of the readings are processed very differently by the two.

Other cameras can vary widely. When I use the Leica M9, I can manually set the Daylight preset, or even manually dial in a color temperature using the Kelvin scale, like 5200K, which is a rather neutral daylight value and my preference, but when I open the resulting raw files in Adobe camera raw, the default color temperature is almost always around the very cool 4400 or 4450 temperature, making me manually dial the setting back up to get the colors close to what they were showing in-camera. I really don't get what's going on there.

The first image below, a previously unprocessed raw file from my May trip to Arlington National Cemetery is typical of the difference between how DXO 10 (just loaded the latest update last night) and Adobe Camera raw handle both white balance with E-M1 files.

These first two images were picked up by the two both as a more neutral white balance. ACR picked it up as 5250 and DXO as 5207, so 43K difference temperature-wise, which is virtually no difference and the ACR file should be ever-so slightly warmer....yeah, right. Certainly should not show as much of a temperature difference as you see below.

One thing DXO is doing better these days, is highlight recovery, which used to very much be a lacking feature, but they seem to have tweeked it in the latest updates. It still doesn't recover the full range of the closest to borderline-blown highlights in E-M1 files like ACR can, but it's getting much better. All it would take from me is a little more conservatively-exposed images, a little less towards the right-hand side of the histogram border, and it'd never be an issue in DXO.

The other thing one has to consider when comparing these two programs, is the depth of adjustments possible in the raw processor. DXO is pretty much fully-featured, but still does not have several options that would be nice that ACR does have, such as local adjustments and gradient tools that gives one the ability to make tweeks within tiny areas of an image and not touch anything else. Things I use ALOT. The colors in ACR can be adjusted if I so desired to be more in-line with DXO, but for many features offered in Adobe Camera raw, DXO offers no alternative.

I made no attempt to try and balance these images in the two programs as far as brightness, just processed them individually to the point I liked what I saw. The colors in ACR could have been brought up close to DXO by upping the color temperature, or simply setting the white balance pre-set to Shade, but I wanted to keep them "The Same" to show how differently the two programs render the "same" temperature setting. I also maxed-out the highlight recovery ability of DXO in the clouds on the left-hand side of this image. Had they been just a little brighter, it would have gone all-white, where the ACR sliders still had a long way to go before getting close to maxed out. The other difference you will see, is how much extra area on the sides the DXO files retain vs. the standard Micro Four-Thirds file processing.

DXO...



Adobe Camera raw..



Here's 7mm using the Panasonic 7-14mm f4. I can't wait to see how DXO handles the 7-14mm f2.8 M. Zuiko. The camera-lens profile for that lens is supposed to be out in an October update.

DXO..love the rich blue color of the sky.



ACR..



DXO..color differences in this one much more pronounced, with more pleasing, warmer colors from the DXO-processed file and, again, more field of view retained.



ACR..



Last one , DXO, again, with the richer, warmer colors using virtually the same Kelvin temperature as the Adobe file..



ACR..


Last edited by Greg Chappell; Aug 31, 2015 at 10:18 AM.
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Old Aug 28, 2015, 8:31 AM   #2
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Default (Yet another) Look at DXO 10 Optics vs. Adobe Camera Raw

I still don't understand why Steve's does not allow subject lines to be edited, I hit "post" (idiot me) just as I noticed the misspelled word in the subject line and immediately tried editing and it was unavailable.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Sep 28, 2015 at 10:10 AM.
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Old Aug 30, 2015, 8:17 AM   #3
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What's DXO Pro Optics like speed wise for processing RAW images now days? Have used older versions always liked the lens modules but found the processing very slow. My favourite RAW processing software is Capture One Pro (use it for all my Canon RAW files). Don't like it with Olympus RAW files as I don't like its camera profiles find OV3 colours much more accurate true to life but it's very slow to use.
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Old Aug 30, 2015, 1:02 PM   #4
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DXO processing is much faster than it used to be, especially if you avoid the
higher-end Prime noise reduction option, although it too is faster.

It also opens folders way faster than it used to. Used to, whether you were opening a folder the first time or for the 50th time, it always took forever to count down every file, and if the folder had 500 or more files, which many of mine do, it was just butt-ugly slow. It still goes through the process (why I have no idea) but it's way faster.

I do think, overall, DXO's colors are consumer over-the-top and something between it and ACR is a better result. The default WB is pretty much a "cloudy" instead of daylight rendering, which I don't like as a default application. I'd rather have the more conservative ACR default and adjust the limited number I want warmer.

The one thing that's still relatively slow, at least compared to Photoshop, is simply opening the program.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Aug 30, 2015 at 4:51 PM.
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Old Aug 31, 2015, 12:01 AM   #5
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Greg, I have edited thread topic headers. It must be done from the advanced editing process. Choose the advanced button below the edit box and give that a try....
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Old Aug 31, 2015, 8:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBBrennan View Post
Greg, I have edited thread topic headers. It must be done from the advanced editing process. Choose the advanced button below the edit box and give that a try....
Bob is right.

Click edit on your original post, then click "Go Advanced". From the advanced editor, you can change a thread's title.

Great comparison Greg. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Aug 31, 2015, 10:18 AM   #7
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Thank you both. Never even noticed that option before.
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