With nearly every photo editor now having some type of artificial intelligence baked in, DxO has decided to take a slightly different approach. With DxO PhotoLab 4, the company built on its already DxO PRIME denoising standard, and also made major customizations to the overall workspace.
Building upon the DxO PRIME standard, DxO has focused much of its efforts on improving its denoising functionality, especially for photos taken in low light conditions that require brightening in certain areas. They’ve also focused on photos with smaller pixels, as well as photos taken with older cameras.
To reduce noise and demosaic RAW images, DeepPRIME was trained using billions of samples. DxO is well-known for calibrating hundreds of cameras and thousands of lenses, measuring things like distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, loss of sharpness and digital noise.
Thanks to deep learning, DeepPRIME lets color details be better preserved, and transitions appear more natural and regular. Compared to the former PRIME standard, DeepPRIME delivers a gain of around two ISO sensitivity values at a comparable level of quality. One thing to note — it only works on original RAW files, meaning no DNG, TIFF or any other file support.
“DxO DeepPRIME creates new creative opportunities by helping expert photographers overcome digital noise or a lack of light,” said CEO Jérôme Ménière. “For amateur photographers, DxO DeepPRIME compensates the drawbacks of the smaller sensors on compact and bridge cameras, which can typically only take high-quality images in bright light. Lastly, it can also be used to revamp photos taken by less advanced cameras from the start of the digital era.”
In my tests, I found DeepPRIME to be pretty impressive. While it was a bit cumbersome to export the images to see the final results, I was very satisfied with what I was able to get out of the images.
The images were cleaner, and looked as if they were taken at a much lower ISO. Check out some of these before and afters, which were exported without any adjustments outside of DxO DeepPRIME and the default lens corrections made by DxO PhotoLab 4.
A new Smart Workspace is based on a groundbreaking system of filters that can be accessed directly from the toolbar. It allows users to show tool palettes by correction type, only display their pre-selected favorite palettes or only show palettes with activated corrections.
Additionally, it can instantly open the desired palette when users search for a tool in a new dedicated search bar.
Users can now select several files, then use a dedicated dialog box to rename them, add text before or after the existing names, and number them.
The new History palette in PhotoLab 4 lists all corrections that have been applied to an image successfully and in chronological order. It saves every edit that has been made to a photo.
It also displays the editing values next to each state of the image as well as the difference compared to previous values.
Selective copy and paste
DxO PhotoLab 4 also adds the ability to selectively copy and paste settings. From the Photo Browser, users can select the specific edits, including lighting, color, detail, local adjustments, geometry or watermarking.
If this sounds and looks familiar to what Lightroom Classic currently offers, it certainly is — with the main difference being you select the copy and paste options when pasting, instead of copying. That being said, it’s a welcome addition to PhotoLab 4.
Unlike other tools that let you add a watermark but not preview the final version, DxO Instant Watermarking does just that — letting users embed a text and/or image in the background of one or several photos at the same time, and then instantly view the result.
The placement, orientation, scale, margins and opacity of the watermark are fully customizable. PhotoLab 4 also offers seven blend modes that take into account background lighting, to ensure the image or text signature is easily visible.
New camera support
PhotoLab 4 also adds support for some of the latest cameras on the market, including:
- Canon: EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS 850D
- Nikon: D6, Z5
- Olympus: OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
- Panasonic: Lumix S5
Pricing and availability
For a limited time, DxO is offering special launch pricing on DxO PhotoLab 4, until November 19, 2020. The ESSENTIAL Edition will be available for $99.99 (instead of $129), while the ELITE edition will be available for $149.99 (instead of $199).