- Few workflow tools
- Noise-reduction is a bit slow
Organizing With PhotoLibrary
DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack has made some progress in the organization department in the PhotoLibrary mode, though it still falls short of Lightroom Classic in this area. The program indexes folders containing photos to let you search by shot settings. That means you can enter a date, focal length, f-stop, and even ISO setting. It’s even possible to combine any of these in a search. You can now also search based on the lens shot with, which is helpful for when you’re looking for, for example, wildlife photos vs. landscapes. Lightroom lets you search by camera but not settings, while Lightroom Classic offers all the above.
DxO PhotoLab Flaws
DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack still doesn’t have an import function, you just add folders to the PhotoLibrary, and metadata is created for images in those folders. This obviously means you can’t view all photos from a specific import session, a feature I find quite useful, and one that is offered by Apple Photos, both Lightroom versions, and Cyberlink PhotoDirector. Another thing those apps support but DxO doesn’t is the HEIC file format used by iPhones, though unless you specifically set up the iPhone to export HEIC, you’ll get JPGs from that phone anyway. You can get raw files from an iPhone in DNG format if you shoot with an app that supports them, such as VSCO, Halide, or ProCam.
Instead of importing photos to DxO, you simply open images from a card or folder shown in PhotoLibrary’s folder tree. You do get star ratings, and even Pick and Reject buttons for organizing your photos. You can also use keyword tags and apply them to multiple selected images in the Customize view’s Metadata panel. The program now lets you edit metadata in the EXIF and IPTC sections.
Keywords show up in the pop-ups that appear when you hover the cursor over a thumbnail. When you go to add a keyword to another photo, recently used ones are available, and now you can create your keyword sets, as you can in Lightroom and PhotoDirector, but you don’t get suggested keywords and prefab sets for common uses such as Wedding Photography, like those in Lightroom.
Forget about using geotagged maps, and face recognition—DxO doesn’t offer them. If those things are important to you, you’re better off using DxO DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack as a plug-in for Lightroom Classic, a perfectly viable setup. The program does let you organize photos into Projects, in which you bring together pictures you want to work with as a group from various sources.
Image Corrections in DxO PhotoLab
DxO is different from most photo software in that it starts you with its best-guess correction for your photo, based on the lens, camera, and exposure settings used. DxO Labs actually shoots thousands of shots on test patterns at different lighting conditions to create lens and camera profiles for each camera and lens supported to tune these corrections. The profiles include DSLR camera body and lens combinations, as well as smartphone cameras, but unfortunately my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra—which I bought for its unrivaled camera—doesn’t have a profile in PhotoLab.
The auto-correction is far better than what you see in most photo software, and it’s often all you need. I did find that Phase One’s Capture One software does a slightly better job of rendering raw camera files than PhotoLab, but DxO’s presets bar offers, in addition to the standard DxO auto correction, choices for neutral colors, black and white, portraits, and landscapes. You can also dig down into other presets like HDR (high dynamic range) and Atmospheres, which produces some effective colorizations.
DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack supports DCP color profiles, which are newer than the previously supported ICC profiles, and they’re used by Adobe. So, if your workflow involves using Lightroom or Photoshop, this option produces the same color rendering. Third-party utilities like those from X-Rite let you create your own profiles with a color target board. Below, you can see how to apply a DCP color profile to your image.
If the auto correction doesn’t quite hit the mark, the program’s Customize mode lets you change exposure compensation, contrast, colors, detail, and more. In addition to the standard exposure slider, you can use DxO’s Smart Lighting slider, which can brighten shadowy areas without punching out whites. Cranking this all the way up creates a decent single-shot HDR effect, but for more drastic HDR effects, check out CyberLink PhotoDirector. Preset choices include Slight, Medium, and Strong; choose Custom to adjust the slider to taste. I appreciate that double-clicking on a slider resets it.
Under the standard Contrast slider, the Microcontrast tool can add serious sharpness to images without adding the typical distorted edges sharpening can cause. A magic wand button automatically sets the microcontrast for the current image. In my tests, its results were impressive in sharpening photos, though it’s not something you’d want to use for face shots or noisy images.
Speaking of sharpness, DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack Lens Sharpness tool impresses. Based on particular lens profiles for the equipment used, the tool can noticeably improve the detail in your shots. Finally, the Unsharp Mask tool offers a more traditional type of sharpening.
Smart Lighting uses face detection and spot-weighted correction. Note that the face detection isn’t for organizing and retrieving images with faces, but just for lighting correction. The tool can bring a face out of obscurity in cases where there’s a bright background. It does an even better job at this than the Shadows tool, which can tend to wash out images. Lightroom lets you get about the same result with some tweaking, and DxO’s tool doesn’t find faces in profile. No worries: You can select the face or any other object to meter on manually. It works the way spot metering in a camera works, but lets you apply it after the shot.
DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack red-eye tool works completely automatically, and nearly perfectly if the red areas are clearly delineated and the faces not obscured.
DxO Prime and DeepPrime
Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement (Prime) is a noise-reduction tool in PhotoLab that the company claims will add an extra stop of exposure to your digital photos. A newer form called DeepPrime uses machine-learning AI to get even cleaner results in a shorter time. As the acronym implies, Prime only works on raw camera images. This means you can shoot in low light or at higher ISO and still retain sharpness and detail. The deal with Prime is that it lets the program take as long as it needs to analyze and correct digital noise. The technology is now reasonably fast, even for high-ISO shots. In fact, speeding it up was a key goal of PhotoLab 5.
Above you can see samples of the default HQ (left), Prime (middle), and DeepPrime (right) noise reduction. Note the sand at the bottom in particular, which gets progressively more natural looking as you go from left to right.
Most noise correction just compares nearby pixels to determine which represent noise, but DxO examines a much larger area to make this determination, which should remove more noise while leaving more detail. When you choose Prime or DeepPrime noise reduction, you won’t be able to see its effect on the full image view, just on a small area you select. The only way to apply Prime to the whole image is to export it. This previously took over a minute, but with subsequent program updates it now takes 23 seconds on a test shot. This means that getting this unequaled noise reduction doesn’t interrupt your photo editing workflow so much anymore.
Once you hit Export for a photo for which you selected Prime noise reduction, you see an icon in the photo’s thumbnail that it’s being processed, and a tiny progress bar that you can click to enlarge and view a countdown timer.
The example above shows how the noise on the dark gray bench has been impressively cleared up in the right side after Prime processing. It’s basically taken an unusable mess and made it clear and natural.
The result is stunning. In testing, more noise was removed, and more detail was preserved than I could achieve in Lightroom’s noise reducer or with Capture One Pro. For initial raw file conversion, however, Capture One still beats DxO, getting more detail out of raw image files in my test images. If you’re not completely satisfied with the results, you can tune the amount of correction with the Luminance slider, and even dig into Chrominance, Low Frequency, and Dead Pixel corrections. That last correction is a lifesaver for me, since my backup Canon T1i has a hot pixel that always shows in pictures up as bright red at 100 percent magnification.
The bottom line on this tool? DxO Prime means some shots are usable, whereas they wouldn’t have been without this correction. If this is the only feature you’re looking for, you can get it in the highly recommended DxO PureRAW, which also includes the lens corrections, but not the entire photo editing feature set of PhotoLab, and is super simple to use.
DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack can effectively remove the haze from a landscape shot. The feature saves you from having to create masks for different areas of an image to adjust them independently. It determines distance in the photo and adjusts the black level accordingly. In my test landscapes, ClearView, which is completely automatic (though you can adjust its intensity), did a bang-up job of retrieving detail from distant regions in the photos. I was unable, in testing, to achieve as good a result by adjusting black and highlight levels using the standard tools.
Though it’s still not a complete photo workflow solution, DxO PhotoLab v5.4 Crack can deliver image corrections beyond what’s possible in other software.