DxO OpticsPro advice.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by maflynn, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    Thanks to some recent threads and posts, I decided to take a closer look at DX0 OpticsPro.

    As I work on it, I'm left with the thought that its a great piece of software, but it has no real DAM capabilities, so its not really an alternative to LightRoom. Yes you can use OpticsPro with LR, but the mechanism isn't the best imo. You need to push the RAW image over to DX0, and then receive a DNG (or JPG). I see this as causing my storage to grow twice as fast.

    I suppose I could batch process my RAW images and push over what I want to keep. (and archiving my RAW images on my DAS)

    This leads me to this thread. Do any of you use OpticsPro and if so how do you use it in your workflow?

    Any opinions on OpticsPro would be appreciated as well.
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #2
    I use it for batch processing photos (both jpg & raw) from my NEX6000. It simply does a better job at fixing lens distortion, exposure, sharpening, noise, CA than the in camera processing.

    That said I don't post process aside from cropping my photos.

    As a bonus it like chewing through as many CPU cores as you allow. :)
     
  3. rebby macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Shamefull disclaimer first.... I love DxO OpticsPro. :D

    I really wish that DxO had DAM capabilities but, even though I really wish that it was up to the task, trying to do so is a preverbal "square peg in a round hole" situation. Because of that, I need to find a way to use OpticsPro (and ViewPoint) with my DAM of choice.

    Because it's not a DAM, I typically don't use it for ALL of my images. Typically, I only use it for my selects. Things that I'm going to share online that would benefit from the superior (IMHO) RAW processing and noise reduction. That may change now that I can roundtrip via a simple plugin (I'm in the process of migrating to LightRoom), I may use it more than I did in the past. In Aperture the workflow was more difficult (Catapult made things a little easier but it still wasn't ideal) so it put me in a situation where I had to really feel that I'd benefit from going through the extra work of processing via DxO. Where I use DxO in bulk is when processing high ISO files, I find the de-noising in DxO to be well worth the price of admission. With Aperture this would lead to a bulk export/import and manual stacking, I'm still not 100% sure how I'm going to work through this with LightRoom.

    DxO's integration with LightRoom is actually lightyears ahead of what you can do with Aperture (see what I did there?). I've done a few "round trips" and it works really well. At this time, I've only tried an image here and there so I'm hoping that it will work in much the same manner for bulk processing (like Catapult did with Aperture). For the few images that I have passed back and forth my standard practice is to return a TIFF back to LightRoom and stack it with the original RAW file. Personally I find a TIFF more transportable than DNG and, unless I'm uploading to the internet, a JPEG is never acceptable. The integrated DxO/LightRoom workflow is also nice in the sense that you retain your .DOP file right with your masters making quick DxO touchups a breeze, with Aperture those .DOP files were always a pain to retain/reuse.

    The only real issue that this presents, of course, is storage (and time, I suppose). For every file that I send to/from DxO I effectively double my disk requirements. Quite honestly, this is an easy problem to solve, much easier with LightRoom than Aperture. That's why I have a NAS (filled w/4tb disks) for central/archival storage and a DAS for my primary library file (ThunderBay Mini filled w/1tb SSDs). In this scenario, the biggest issue is really the additional bandwidth required for my offsite backups, especially after shooting a basketball game at high ISO (which could be up to 1500 photos in a single night). Offsite backups just take more time, not much that I can do about that.

    As I work with LightRoom I'm sure that I'll nail down a more specific workflow but, for now, it's a learning process. I would really like to hear how others are doing this as well. Great topic, maflynn...
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #4
    I use it for images where noise is an issue (as that is its best quality). I'm sure I should use it more, but I'm no great photo editor. I prefer shooting to editing.
     
  5. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    I'm going to try this next, take a batch selection of images, push them through DX0, cull out the keepers and then push those (or import them, I'm not sure which way to go)

    I like to shoot more myself but I really want to increase my knowledge and ability to pull an OK image to a great image. I understand the quality of the shot comes first, i.e., composition, but other conditions such as lighting, can degrade it so improving my editing ability will only help
     
  6. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #6
    True editing photos is an important part of the process. Partly with me, it's the amount of time I'm willing to spend on an edit. If I had a stunning photograph to start with I'd probably be prepared to spend longer editing it.
    I do feel my editing has got a lot better than when I started. I find LR and my plugins like Nik/Mcphun very easy to use. I have DXO, Onone and Pixelmator
    but haven't really found them easy to use. I haven't invested the time with them though.
     
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Any photo editing application is gonna generate a file if you work from RAW. A DAM like LR or Aperture generates previews, which also take up space. Less than a 16bit TIFF, for sure, and it can store adjustments, but OTOH it does that for all the files. And I disagree; I think that DxO's method is the best way to integrate with LR. Wish some others did that instead of TIFF.

    With DxO, as opposed to some editiors, you could generate DNGs that replace your working RAWs. Maybe not what some wanna do, but possible. Especially for those that have a workflow where they automatically store RAWs on import somewhere.

    I do what Rebby does; only use it on culls I'm gonna export. But every edited image I have is going somewhere anyway. I suppose there are some that can keep all their edits in LR and never have to export, and that would definitely save some space. But as I noted you could just replace the RAW and work around that if you needed more changes in LR.

    As you use it more, you'll see how it benefits some stuff more than others, which means you'll probably run fewer images through it.

    If I were to have one addition to LR for RAW processing, DxO would be it. Just their haze Clearview tool is worth it. There was a thread where we compared that with some other tools in other applications, and it kicked them to the curb (sorry, can't remember where it was). And so many other cool things, like perspective tools, that they download only the lens corrections and info you need, the dust tool, the layout and graphics, and support.
     
  8. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    I'm really liking what DXO does for RAW processing, but at 200 dollars, I'm having a hard time justifying the cost. The elite version has the features that I like so getting the other limited flavor is not viable.

    I'm not trying to sound cheap, but I think I'll be using DXO for some not all of my RAW processing, just a select number of my keeps that will benefit from its superior RAW handling. In some of my images, there was little difference between DXO and LR. In other situations it was pulling out detail and features that was quite pleasing.

    They have a discount code field in their purchase option but googling it, I didn't see any active discounts occurring.
     
  9. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #9
    I upgraded to version 10 this week, but haven't used it as yet. Do you have the standard version, as I believe you can upgrade for less.
     
  10. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    No, I've been using the trial version to determine if wanted it. I think used in conjunction with LR, it will be an improvement, but I'm not sure I want to spend 200 on it.
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #11
    Wait to see what is in LR 6 before firmly decided you have to have another raw converter. Maybe we get LR6 in the next two weeks.
     
  12. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #12
    Fair enough. I'd echo what MCAsan says then. Wait for LR6 and then decide.
     
  13. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    LR6 is so close, I was planning on waiting for that, though Adobe's track record of ACR improvements is such that I'm not going to expect the same level of ability as DXO - but you never know.
     
  14. rebby macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I purchased DxO Elite for $129 from B&H over their "Cyber Monday" deal. In fact, I generally see photography software on discounts at that time of year. That's not terribly helpful for you now however.

    Sign up for one their mailing lists though. DxO is always sending me email, every month or two, with specials on one or more of their products and/or a bundle. It's worth a try anyway. I'd be surprised if they didn't run some sort of promo when Photos and/or LR6 hit.
     
  15. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    I reached out to their support, and they said there may be some incentives at the end of the month, so I'll keep an eye out for that. Signing up for their news letter is a good idea as well.
     
  16. FieldingMellish Suspended

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #16
    They periodically have incentives. Even for users of it's software, they want to keep income flowing and are generous with upgrade incentives.

    The part that I use extensively is it's library of lens profiles to automatically correct lens aberrations. And DxO's tools for further lens correction. It's the kind of correction that view cameras would afford the photographer at the point of capture, except DxO allows the correction of digitally shot images post capture.

    http://www.dxo.com/us/photography/dxo-optics-pro/features/optical-corrections
     
  17. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #17
    I got a notice of DxO Spring Sale up to 40% off.

    Optics Pro 10, new at $99.00; upgrades at $69.00.

    Viewpoint and Filmpack also presents savings.

    Good through March 31st.
     
  18. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18

    Thanks for the heads up, I'll have to snag it now :)
     
  19. FieldingMellish Suspended

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    #19
    My pleasure. I hope you like it.
     
  20. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #20
    I think I will get the elite version. I definitely want the noise filter and clear view filter. For the top level favorite images it will be worth the extra processing in DxO to give a great base for any final touches in Perfect Photo Suite.
     
  21. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    Same here, the elite version has what I want, and that's what I was testing anyways. I'll probably drop the hammer on the purchase tomorrow.
     
  22. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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  23. MCH-1138 macrumors 6502

    MCH-1138

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    #23
  24. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #24
    That's even cheaper thanks. Looks like I'll take the plunge and get the boxed edition.
     
  25. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #25
    I was playing with DxO today... one thing I couldn't figure out is how to reset a photo back to the original RAW (undo all adjustments)... How do you do that?
     

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