Digital Darkroom Software Review: Review

Before I get started, a disclaimer:

NO piece of software is going to make you a better photographer.

Practice might. But software will not.

Go out there and shoot. You can read this later.

ProgramLightZoneAfterShot Pro 2RawTherapeedarktableLightroom CC (and Mobile), Capture One Pro, RPP, DxO Optics Pro
Platforms Available Tested: (Linux), Mac, Windows
Prices: most free, some paid
Installation: variable

And… done.

After 4 months (or is it 5 now?) of not shooting much, processing the same 30 or so pictures over and over again, and cursing at computers more than I like, I found an answer. Not the answer, perhaps, but a good answer, and one that I didn’t really expect.

So what’s the answer? Well, let’s first have a look at Ripped, Drop the main comparison image, and compare/contrast the output from the various players.

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Actually, before we get too much into that, what’s the question, even?

Continue reading “Digital Darkroom Software Review: Review”

Digital Darkroom Software Review: DxO Optics Pro

Program: DxO Optics Pro (In 2017, with version 12, the name was changed to DXO PhotoLab.)
Platforms Available Tested: Mac, Windows
Prices: Essential: $129; Elite $199; add $79 for the View Point plugin to add the geometric corrections that DxO is known for; add an additional $129 for the DxO film pack… A suite of all three is available for $289 for the Elite or $189 for the Essential. Whew. (See here for differences between additions.)
Installation: usual dmg & drag to applications folder.

Much thanks to Franz Metcalf for his comment on the Capture One review and encouragement to test out DxO. Much like C1P, I had no intention to test DxO, and much like C1P, I’m glad I did.

I’ll give you my first thoughts right up front: 1) DxO is capable of rendering fine details in ways that other programs simply can’t* and 2) the omission of a flip option renders it useless to me, given that I scan film from the emulsion side and therefore require a flip to get things back right again.

If you’d like to see a bit more, including a 2 hour shoot-out between DxO and C1P, read on… Continue reading “Digital Darkroom Software Review: DxO Optics Pro”