This morning, DxO announced DxO PureRAW, an application meant to remove noise, chromatic aberrations, unwanted vignetting, distortion and insufficient sharpness with an unprecedented level of quality. Perfect for photographers wanting to keep their current workflow, PureRAW is meant to offer greater freedom, along with a more precise editing process.

DxO PureRAW lets users revisit unusable RAW images taken with equipment that has since become obsolete. Photos are instantly made to look like they were taken with the most recent technology, and limitations on ISO values are a thing of the past. It richly and accurately reveals details, resulting in crystal-clear images that capture every last texture.

PureRAW also promises to remove the “parasitic” grain that all cameras produce in unfocused areas and solid backgrounds.

I was able to get an early look at DxO PureRAW, and I have to say, the results are pretty good. I’ll be doing a more in-depth look soon — including a comparison with Topaz DeNoise AI.

DxO PureRAW is launching for a special price of $89.99 until May 31, 2021. After that date, it’ll be available for $129. A 30-day trial is available for you to check out, too.

The good … where PureRAW shines

DxO PureRAW doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. It doesn’t manage your photos. It doesn’t help you make a creative effect to your photos. It simply enhances the finer optical points of your photos.

And at that, it works extremely well. I found that PureRAW made my images look more clear, with less noise and more detail present. When you’re shooting at a high ISO value, it’s great for reducing noise (like the image above).

And for those with smaller sensors … this is definitely something you might want to consider. This photo was taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III at ISO 2500:

In the above photo, PureRAW did well at reducing distortion and a vignette. What you might not see is the noise reduction, which was super impressive. Here’s a close-up:

Once it’s done processing your photos, you simply export to “linear DNGs” that PureRAW creates to the program you want.

The bad … getting your photos into PureRAW

Where I scratched my head a little bit was around the process. PureRAW only accepts RAW files, meaning that if you use a software program like Lightroom, you’ll want to run your batch of photos through PureRAW first.

Once you do this, you’ll have the option to export to Lightroom, Photoshop or any other program you choose. Note that the program you export to has to be open before exporting … otherwise it won’t be be brought into the program. I tested this with both Lightroom Classic and Capture One, and it worked well.

Some programs — like LuminarAI — don’t work with the native export function from PureRAW. Instead, you’ll want to return the photo(s) to the original folder and LuminarAI and others should see them. Lightroom Classic and Capture One support this functionality too, giving you a way to more easily work with PureRAW on photos already imported into your catalog.

While there are no native plugins for Lightroom Classic or Capture One, apparently they’re working on one for Photos for macOS. Fingers crossed that this function comes to other applications as well.

Is it worth it?

The good news here is that if you have a really noisy photo that you just can’t get great results from, PureRAW gives you a great way to do that. It’s a pretty fast application, with a 20MP file taking me about 25 seconds to process.

PureRAW does exactly what it says it does. And sometimes with software, it’s better to have one tool that does one thing very well, instead of putting all your eggs into one basket.

To learn more about PureRAW, visit the DxO website.