DxO has recently released the newest update to its powerful photo editing software. If you’re looking for great software to bring your photos to life, you have to check out PhotoLab 5.

As photographers, we’re starting to become spoiled for choice when it comes to editing programs. DxO has brought its offering to the market in the form of PhotoLab 5. This software is chock full of features to help you get the most out of your photos. With features like DeepPRIME, ClearView Plus, U Point and renowned lens correction profiles, there’s a ton you can do with PhotoLab 5.

Getting started with DxO PhotoLab 5

DXO Photolab 5 PhotoLibrary Tab
PhotoLab 5 PhotoLibrary Tab

With so many features and a layout that is unique to DxO, PhotoLab 5 may be a bit daunting when you first open it up. There’s no need to fear, however, as the software is laid out quite well. While DxO PhotoLab 5 may not have cataloging capabilities, it does have a library tab. If you have a structured system for importing your files, the library tab will get you to your folders in no time.

After selecting a folder, the PhotoLibrary tab allows you to preview images and data. When ready to edit, just click the Customize tab in the top left. This will bring you to the meat and potatoes of PhotoLab 5. The Customize tab is where all the tools for image editing are located. The six tabs on the upper right of the UI will see to most of your needs. There are tabs for Light, Color, Detail, Geometry, Local Adjustments, and Watermark and Effects.

Editing with DxO PhotoLab

PhotoLab 5 Customize Tab
PhotoLab 5 Customize Tab

Those aforementioned tabs are filled with sliders to tune your images. There’s also a magic wand icon that allows for auto-selecting the amounts of certain sliders. Working from top to bottom in each tab and navigating each tab from left to right will be fairly similar to editing with something such as Lightroom. Within these tabs, you’ll also find features unique to DxO.

Tabs breakdown

In the light tab, you’ll find standard exposure adjustments and DxO ClearView Plus. This works similar to Lightroom’s Dehaze. However, the Color tab is fairly standard fare. This is where color profiles, white balance, HSL, etc. will be found.

PhotoLab 5 Details Tab
DxO Detail Tab

The Detail tab is where DxO gets interesting. DxO seems to favor a natural-looking touch to sharpening. In addition, this is where DxO DeepPRIME is found. This is DxO’s AI denoise feature. Using this has given me the confidence to shoot up to 12,800 ISO with my micro four-thirds camera. It’s that good.

The Geometry tab is lightly featured. It holds the crop tool, distortion correction and a horizon correction tool. The focus distance tool allows you to set a focus distance in cases that it wasn’t recorded in the metadata for more accurate corrections.

PhotoLab 5 Local Adjustments
PhotoLab 5 Local Adjustments

The Local Adjustments tab is a nice feature. When you use the local adjustment tool, PhotoLab 5 will create an auto mask. This tab will allow you to select each mask. The Watermark and Effects tab is a handy tool to make watermarking easier. There is not much more to it than that in the base version of PhotoLab 5, however. Nonetheless, it’s still a handy tool.

DxO also made it easy to fly through edits. With a right-click on an image in the film strip, you can copy and paste settings from one image to the next. It’s also possible to use image settings to create a preset.

Standout features of PhotoLab 5

DxO Features

DxO packed some cool features into PhotoLab 5. DeepPRIME denoise is a standout among standouts. DeepPRIME keeps up with what Topaz DeNoise AI is doing. As a result, it’s almost hard to believe this is included with the software and not a stand-alone program. It obliterates noise while also keeping tons of detail.

ClearView Plus is another great feature. It works similar to Lightroom’s dehaze. However, whatever DxO did differently with it makes it unique. With some images, ClearView Plus can bring tons of life into them.

Another standout of PhotoLab 5 is U-Point Control. This feature raises the bar for local edits. When a U-Point is selected, PhotoLab analyzes the pixels in that area. This allows it to further help you refine your selections. It offers nearly endless fine-tuning options. In addition, this feature works on raw files in a non-destructive manner.

Is PhotoLab 5 for you?

DxO U-Point

DxO Photolab 5 has proven to be among the best photo editing tools. It delivers the goods in practically every area a raw photo software should. DxO makes edits simple and fast. It also features class-leading features like DeepPRIME. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for photo processing, this could be for you.

However, if you are looking for layers, strong photo manipulation tools, and things Photoshop excels at, PhotoLab 5 is not that. This software competes more directly with Lightroom and Capture One. As a result, it is certainly worth looking at if those are among the programs you have found yourself comparing. DxO also provides a free 30 day trial at the time of writing. Having said that, there’s nothing to lose by giving it a try!