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Old Dec 27, 2013, 11:03 AM   #1
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A number of years ago I had tried and bought DxO Optics - I think I upgraded to version 4 or something before I drifted away from using it. Later I changed to a Mac and never bothered installing it or upgrading to any of the newer versions since I've been finding Lightroom and Photoshop meet my needs pretty much.

My computer is now getting a bit long in the tooth for Macs. I have been really reluctant to upgrade the operating system beyond Snow Leopard, because I use a small program that uses Rosetta, something that's not supported in Lion or later system upgrades. However, since I've had the K3, I've been the limitations more - I can't upgrade to LR5 because it requires Lion and LR4 won't be updated to include the K3 profile. That's not a big issue as long as I shoot DNG (I tend to anyway), but I've been less excited about the lens corrections in LR - they seemed to work better if the camera was also supported like with the K5.

A number of people on PentaxForums have mentioned DxO and how it now supports the K3, so I wandered over to their website, looking to see how much it would cost. Turns out they were running discounts. I figured I would have to buy the program over again - who knows what happened to my last version of it and I was using it on a PC anyway. But no - they had a record of my previous ownership and I paid a discounted upgrade price - still less than what B&H's sale price (which was a real deal, even compared to the discounted price at DxO's website!).

I decided to play with it a little bit, and now I remember why I bought it in the first place. So much has changed that it's like learning a new program all over again (I've forgotten most of what I knew about it). But a few minutes work on a picture with multiple problems gave me quite acceptable results.

I'm using the laptop's monitor only, so I'm not exactly sure how these will look to others, but here's the final result.



The picture was taken with the K3 and DA*16-50 indoors using AWB (not the multi-source AWB), 24mm, 1/50 sec./f2.8 and ISO 1000. In DxO I used the default corrections for the camera/lens combination, adjusted the exposure a bit and lightened the shadows as the shot was less exposed than I wanted. I then used DxO for noise removal. I didn't think of checking for PF at 100% but when I did use DxO to try to deal with it, I didn't think it helped enough.

I then re-imported the new file back into LR (DxO has an easy way of doing that) and used it to deal with the PF. Then I exported to CS6 to clone out all the notices on a bulletin board that I found quite annoying, then cropped and resized it using CS6. I added my usual Topaz Lab's Detail action to add a bit on contrast sharpening, which helps compensate for any softness that's introduced with the resizing. It took me longer to write this than it did to actually do most of the changes, except for dealing with the cluttered bulletin board.

Here's a 100% crop of the file before I did anything to it in CS6 (before resize and Detail):



And here's a 100% crop of the original file. As you can see, the white balance was way off, there was a lot of purple fringing at the lights, it was noisy and the shot was underexposed.



I ended up getting it for less than I would have otherwise, and I'm happy that I've re-discovered the program because I really like the results, and it doesn't add much (if any) extra time to do. It will fit into my work-flow easily (much easier than I remember from the past, there's simple ways to go from one to the other, though it does involve one new file - something that I would do anyway as I always keep the original file unchanged).
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 5:35 PM   #2
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Looks like a very useful software package - and glad that you were able to get it at such a reasonable price too!

PS - I am also "locked into" snow leopard or lower, because I still use good-old Appleworks (!!!) for some databases. But if your Rosetta-based program also runs in classic (as does Appleworks) you might want to look into SheepShaver - it allows modern Macs to run as an old classic (OS 9) in emulation mode.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 7:49 PM   #3
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For those not familiar with DxO, they do extensive testing of both cameras and lenses, so their profiles are excellent. DxO Optics has gotten expensive though, Lightroom is cheaper. But the December sale made it much more affordable.

The program I use that runs on Rosetta is one for creating audiobooks. It can combine files and chapterize them, so you can have 1 or 2 files for an audiobook, but since it's chapterized, you don't have to go back to the beginning if you want to go backward. I listen to lots of audiobooks on my daily commute, and it's easier to use an iPod than to constantly change disks. I've read about a different program that does the same thing but doesn't require Rosetta, so if it will work the way I want it to, I might replace the computer. This will be the first time that I've bought a new computer when my old one was working correctly - in the past I've always had hardware issues that caused me to replace the computer, not software issues. I may continue to think about it for a while more, though - there's other things I need to be spending my money on first. By getting DxO Optics, I don't feel quite the same push towards a new computer.
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