DxO Optics Pro Raw Processor

Well, what the heck; somebody asked, and they do have a free 30-day trial.

They certainly talk a good game, including details about noise reduction that sound like they’ve worked on it hard.

Looks like I’d need their more expensive edition just because I have a semi-pro camera (the Nikon D700).  Since I also get raw files from friends on occasion, it’d probably be a rude shock to discover I couldn’t process Oleg’s files in the future anyway. I do get a bit upset at such clear-cut price skimming, though.

Specific Issues

White Balance

What’s with going to separate images for “use tool in this image” vs. “correction preview”?  This happens when I select the eyedropper tool for white balance. The effect is to make the targets I’m trying to hit half as big, and to cause me to have to look away from where I’m clicking to see the effect.  Everybody else including free software packages is bright enough to understand clicking in the same image they’re previewing. The response is also pretty slow.

Noise Reduction

The big talking point seems to be doing noise reduction before de-mosaicing. In theory this does suggest some benefits, in that cleaning up the noise before you spread it around sounds simpler.

On initial experimentation, though, it’s not doing as well as Noise Ninja did historically.


Just conventional unsharp mask, it looks like, which they recommend against.  Still needed for many of these images though.

Screen Layout

Hey, you can undock the organizer!  And put it on the secondary monitor, say. Thus getting back the scarce vertical screen real-estate. I just stumbled across a keyboard shortcut for doing this, dunno if there are other ways.

I can tear off individual tool palettes, too.  Putting histogram on the other monitor is another good thing.

Camera Support

I seem to be losing on the Fuji S2 again.

And it doesn’t recognize DNG files as images at all. I confirmed this in the product forums, where it seems to be common knowledge. This really ought to be enough by itself to knock this product out of consideration; that’s the standard strategy for dealing with unsupported and unusual cameras.  (Sounds like it will accept DNGs that it converts itself, and DNGs that cameras write natively, but not those converted by Adobe DNG converter.  Not acceptable, DxO!)


While single controls take too long to preview, there’s a very fast swap between corrected and raw. That gets less useful as the complexity of correction increases, but I use my raw processor more for bulk correction, so that’s not as much an issue as it would be for some users.

Sample Images


The automatic defaults did quite a nice job on contrast and brightness.  That’s a big win for the way I use raw processors (on bulk photos, looking for semi-custom results).

Noise reduction not showing to great advantage. And clicking the color balance eye-dropper in the same place doesn’t produce very similar results to other products.

Click image for full-res version
Click image for full-res version

Dr. Mike

This is a camera JPEG, so many of the benefits don’t apply, notably in noise reduction.

And either it’s not working that well, or I’m not finding the right options. Selective tone looks useful, and I’m quite used to working with the tone curve tool, at least.

Click image for full-res version
Click image for full-res version


Uh oh; it can’t seem to open the Fuji S2 raw file (RAF) for this. And doesn’t even see the converted DNG file. Fail! (I noticed the S2 wasn’t on the list of cameras they had optics modules for, either). And I haven’t had that camera for years now, no way I can make any sort of calibrations myself.


I actually had some trouble getting the sharpening I’d used in other processors.

Click image for full-res version
Click image for full-res version

Purple Flower

Had to play with contrast and micro-contrast to get this to come out okay.

Click image for full-res version
Click image for full-res version

Doc Smith Books

This looks pretty successful, and was easy.  (There’s no explicit “recovery” control in this, as in many processors now.)

Click image for full-res version
Click image for full-res version

Tux Cat

Also not processable, neither DNG nor RAF are supported.


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