DxO Optics Pro Photos Extension Mini Review

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by r.harris1, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    #1
    One of the numerous missing bits in Photos is lens correction capability. This functionality was recently added to the mix with the release of DxO’s Optics Pro extension (not free - $9.99 US on the App Store). In addition to automatic lens corrections, we also get their Noise Removal, DxO Clear View, White Balance and DxO Smart Lighting. While this adds much needed functionality from a top level player in the field, this is very much a “first effort”.

    DxO wants (has) to be the very first thing you do when you open the image in Photos. Except for iPhone JPEGs, it wants to operate completely on unprocessed RAW files, at least in my experience. To learn a bit more about how extensions work and what functionality is and isn’t available to developers, I’ve built myself a simple extensions sandbox in Xcode to play around with. When an image has no adjustments on it (including base Photos adjustments) and you open an extension, it gets the base RAW file to work on. When you’ve either done work in base Photos or you have used another extension, it gets the baked JPEG (except under certain circumstances). The DxO extension doesn’t work well with baked JPEGs from a lens correction standpoint and sometimes in general. Because it can operate on iPhone JPEGs, this seems to me simply a bug they need to fix.

    One of the positives of this extension is that it is the first one that remembers where you were if you perform an edit, save, and go back in without using another extension in the interim. It’s good to see at least one vendor start to do this. Although, if you edit in DxO, then in Intensify Ck and try to reopen in DxO, not only does it not remember where it was (which is reasonable) but it simply tells me that “Sorry, your image seems to be not supported :(“. At least they’re sad for it. ;)

    I’ve added two requests to Apple as a developer: (1) Work in TIFF in addition to JPEG and (2) Allow keeping the history of edits by different vendors. (1) is the most important to me and is certainly very doable with minimal impact, (2) is a very difficult proposition indeed since the edits are vendor specific. I’m sure the boffins at Apple are beavering away on these requests as we speak (ha).

    The last gripe about the plugin is that it is very simplistic. No sliders to adjust in any of the functions, simply presets. It would be great if they’d tack in some sliders. They’re easy to implement and the other vendors seem to be doing it just fine.

    While there are a number of gripes, lens corrections are great and it is also great to have another “de-haze” option along with Affinity’s and more noise removal options. You just have to use DxO first in your workflow.

    So in Photos we now have:
    • Lens corrections
    • Layers
    • Local adjustments (many)
    • De-haze (multiple implementations)
    • Gradient filter
    • Noise reduction (multiple implementation)
    • Multiple B&W approaches

    The biggest image processing sin in Photos extensions is working with JPEG and it's a change that doesn't seem difficult to fix, though whether Apple will remains to be seen. If only they'd hire me...:)

    A couple of quick before and afters for your entertainment….

    Before:
    dxo_image1.jpg


    After (with a few of the functions open to show you their simplicity):
    dxo_corrections.jpg
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    Apple also needs to update extensions to sent sets of images (such as an exposure bracket) to an app, such as Aurora. As for jpegs....good enough for the IOS snapshot shooter who is the main target of Photos.
     
  3. r.harris1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    #3
    Photos is very good for certain use cases and very, very fast. And while I don't share your dismissiveness of people who shoot images with their iPhones or other devices, I do agree that multiple sets of images for tools like Aurora would be ideal.
     
  4. Alexander B. macrumors member

    Alexander B.

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Moscow
    #4
    Your second point (keeping history of edits) is doable with the current API, as Apple reserves the place for plugin to keep last edit data. It is just a blob you can put anything there. Opening sets of images is not possible though.
     
  5. r.harris1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    #5
    I knew you could get the previous edit + the RAW image but I wasn't aware that I could get the entire history. You're saying I can? That would be great if so...
     
  6. Alexander B. macrumors member

    Alexander B.

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Moscow
    #6
    You can save there anything, it's just a byte array. Save an id for the image and keep history of edits somewhere referenced by this id. I do not think it is that useful for the end user though.
     

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