Rating: 4.5 stars PureRAW 3 only does one job, but it does it extremely well. It takes your RAW files and applies DxO’s own lens corrections and, optionally, its DeepPRIME noise reduction process to produce images which are sharper, smoother and straighter. It can make average cameras and lenses look twice as good and extends your camera’s usable ISO range by up to 2.5 stops. These aren’t empty claims – this is what it does.
Lens corrections – digital
No lens is perfect. All lenses display aberrations to some degree, including distortion, chromatic aberration (colour fringing) and vignetting (corner shading). These are worse with cheap kit lenses or zooms, and eliminating them optically is both difficult and expensive.
So it's often more effective to put up with these slight optical imperfections in the original lens design and fix them digitally instead.
An increasing number of programs now offer automatic lens corrections which can identify the lens used to take a shot and apply a specially-calibrated correction profile from that lens. The better the software, the better the corrections and the more lenses are supported.
DxO Optics Pro was the first in this field (now DxO PhotoLab), though Lightroom's lens corrections are really good too and Capture One Pro has profiles for a large number of consumer and professional lenses. These are probably the top three simply because they are RAW conversion tools you'd use at the start of your image-editing workflow anyway, but there are plenty of other programs which will fix your lens defects for you too.
DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite review
Verdict: 4.5 stars PhotoLab 6 has important improvements over version 5 which make it even better for quality fixated photographers. The PhotoLibrary organizing tools are catching up at last and the new DeepPRIME XD processing is superb. Add in the excellent editing tools and local adjustments, and you have perhaps the best RAW processor of all.
10 myths about RAW files – and why they’re wrong
Almost any photographic expert will tell you that you should shoot RAW files not JPEGs, and that RAW files are innately superior. The trouble with this kind of wisdom is that it’s repeated and passed on without question.
DxO PhotoLab vs Lightroom vs Capture One – which is best for RAW files?
Which is best for processing RAW files, DxO PhotoLab, Lightroom or Capture One? Here’s a set of eight image comparisons that aims to find out.
DxO Perspective Efex review
Verdict: 4.5 stars Perspective Efex is a really nice addition to the DxO Nik Collection 3. It offers geometric perspective, distortion and tilt-shift corrections in a simple, user-friendly interface.
Lens aberrations and what you can do about them
Aberrations, or optical imperfections, exist because no lens is optically perfect. Almost all lenses show aberrations from the ‘perfect’ image.
BAN adjustments in Lightroom (BAN – Basic And Necessary!)
There are a handful of basic tweaks you just know you’re going to want to apply to each image.
DxO ViewPoint 3 review
Verdict: 4 stars DxO ViewPoint 3 is a very effective and useful add-on for DxO PhotoLab but perhaps less useful these days as a plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop, given that these have pretty good perspective correction tools of their own. ViewPoint also faces competition from the new and very similar Perspective Efex plug in that’s part of the DxO Nik Collection 3.
Capture One keystone correction tips
Keystone correction is usually used to fix converging verticals in architectural shots – that’s the most obvious use for the Capture One keystone correction tools – but this vertical keystone correction isn’t the only kind you’ll need. Keystone distortion happens when you tilt the camera relative to your subject, and this can mean horizontal tilt […]