Real-world Review: DXO PhotoLab 1.2 with Nikon NEF


In my original comparison of raw converters for Nikon NEF files, I mentioned DXO Optics Pro briefly. While it appeared to be a decent RAW processor software, a major shortcoming was that it did not have any local adjustment capabilities. Hence it was a difficult option to recommend, especially since it was not significantly cheaper than competitors which do have local adjustment capabilities and which were selling at similar (or lower!) prices.

Fortunately, things have changed now. DXO Optics Pro has evolved to become DXO PhotoLab and now includes the very highly regarded U Point technology from Nik Collection Plugins for making local adjustments. With this change, the value proposition of DXO PhotoLab has improved dramatically and is now a serious challenger to the other tier 1 RAW processor giants including Adobe Camera Raw (from Adobe CC/Lightroom/Photoshop) and Phase One’s Capture One Pro. In this review, we will make comparisons with Adobe Lightroom and Nikon NX-D. My observations come from working with Nikon NEF files. Of course you can make the usual inferences if you are work with RAW files from another camera maker. However, please note that there may be differences in results among different RAW formats. If you want to be sure you will be satisfied with the results from DXO PhotoLab and your camera’s RAW files, download a trial of the software and try it yourself.

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