DxO’s software ecosystem explained, from DxO PhotoLab to the Nik Collection
DxO has a diverse set of photo-editing tools, so here’s a list of DxO products, who they’re designed for and how they fit together.
DxO PhotoLab 5
This is DxO’s flagship image-editing program. It combines probably the best RAW processing of any software with highly effective automatic lens corrections, uncannily effective high-ISO noise reduction and powerful local and global adjustments, all fully non-destructive and with basic image browsing thrown in. It does, however, come in two versions.
- Essential: This is cheaper to buy but you miss out on certain key features, like ClearView haze reduction and DxO’s stunning DeepPRIME noise reduction. You will save money with the Essential edition but you may wish you had paid extra for the Elite version.
- Elite: This is the more expensive option, but arguably worth it for DxO’s DeepPRIME noise reduction alone. It also comes with ClearView Plus, more advanced color controls, workspace management and preset editing.
NOTE: DxO’s RAW processing engine is now compatible with Fujifilm X-Trans RAW files. This is support is in a beta phase, but works fine, albeit not will all features.
DxO trial downloads
To download trial versions of DxO software, follow the link below and use the menu bar on the DxO website to select the software.
DxO ViewPoint 3
This is a standalone perspective correction program that also integrates with DxO PhotoLab, above. On its now, it’s effective enough but requires access to image files straight from the camera. It really comes into its own, however, when integrated with PhotoLab, where it provides perspective correction controls you might have expected to be standard in PhotoLab (they are not) but also more advanced options like volumetric distortion correction and tilt-shift effects.
DxO FilmPack 5
FilmPack 5 is an analog film effects tool which, like ViewPoint 3, can be used as a standalone program but also integrates with PhotoLab. It comes in two editions, Essential and Elite, and it’s worth paying the extra for the Elite edition to get RAW support (not needed within PhotoLab), Frames, Textures, Light Leaks and other advantages. When used within PhotoLab it’s useful to have, but its effects are overshadowed by those in the Nik Collection (below), now also owned by DxO. DxO FilmPack 6 has been released and a full review will follow.
This is a more recent spin-off from PhotoLab which offers DxO’s high-end RAW processing, lens correction and demonising technology to produce special Linear DNG files which other programs see as regular RAW files. You get all the edibility of RAW files in Lightroom, for example, but with DxO’s processing pre-applied. PureRAW is not an image-editor in itself, simply a batch processor for turning your original RAW files into Linear DNGs (or processed JPEGs).
DxO Nik Collection 4
DxO did the photographic world a favor when it took over the Nik Collection from Google, where it was in danger of sinking without trace. You do now have to pay for the Nik Collection, but far less today than when originally sold by Nik Software. It now consists of eight plug-ins rather then the original seven (under Google). They include:
- Analog Efex Pro 2: Powerful and innovative analog film looks, introduced by Google
- Color Efex Pro 4: Large collection of photo orientated effects and adjustments which can be used individually or combined
- DFine 2: Noise reduction plug-in that can still be useful, but has been largely overtaken by modern RAW noise reduction tools
- HDR Efex Pro 2: Very good HDR merging, tone mapping and effects tool, second only to Skylum’s Aurora HDR 2019
- Perspective Efex: Added by DxO to provide perspective corrections, volumetric distortion correction and
- Silver Efex Pro 3: Recently updated and till the best black and white plug-in you can get
- Sharpener Pro 3: Sharpening tool for both Capture sharpening and Output sharpening. Possibly useful for the technically minded but less so today
- Viveza 3: Newly-updated plug-in for making global and local adjustments to color images. Quirky and more useful than you expect it to be
These Nik tools can be launched as plug-ins from Photoshop or Lightroom, and can also be launched directly from DxO PhotoLab. They can also be launched as standalone programs, so they are ideal as external editors for many other programs too.
DxO store and trial versions*
DxO PhotoLab 7 Elite: $229/£209
DxO ViewPoint 4: $99/£89
DxO FilmPack 7: $139/£129
DxO PureRAW 3: $129/£115
DxO Nik Collection 6: $149/£135
• 30 day trials are available for each product