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Author Topic: I'm just not seeing it  (Read 11230 times)
rcdurston
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« on: April 13, 2009, 04:03:04 AM »
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I downloaded the trial version. Besides all the missing lenses (85 1.8, 50 macro etc) I am missing my favourite lense, the 17-40 from my 5d mk2. I understand the limitations of DXO and DNGs (you have to use DXO as your DNG convertor before importing them into LR) but what am I supposed to be seeing that makes this better than an all Adobe workflow?
If I want to do lense corrections I'll do it in CS4 to only the files I select as finals. Besides the lense corrections is there anything that really shines with this software over LR, CS4 and PG sharpener?

thanks
r
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Quentin
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2009, 04:58:05 AM »
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Quote from: rcdurston
I downloaded the trial version. Besides all the missing lenses (85 1.8, 50 macro etc) I am missing my favourite lense, the 17-40 from my 5d mk2. I understand the limitations of DXO and DNGs (you have to use DXO as your DNG convertor before importing them into LR) but what am I supposed to be seeing that makes this better than an all Adobe workflow?
If I want to do lense corrections I'll do it in CS4 to only the files I select as finals. Besides the lense corrections is there anything that really shines with this software over LR, CS4 and PG sharpener?

thanks
r

Apart from the faxt DxO bizzarely does not have a hig resolution image browser built-in (maybe because of the close link with Lightroom?), the answer is workflow, image quality, and noise.

I have only just started using DxO.  Here is what I have found so far.

The main lenses I use on a Sony A900 are corrected in DxO.  I could save presets in other programs but I'd be repeating the work done already by DxO. So it saves time and probably does a better job most of the time.

Regarding image quality, again its a workflow thing in part, but DxO has two useful tricks.  The first is DxO lighting, which seems in effect to be a combination of sophisitcated local contrast and exposure adjustment.  The second is DxO lens softness, which is a lens and body specific means of applying variable sharpening accross the image.  While I find I sometimes have to turn this down, it does good job with most images.  Of course the software also has reasonaby sophisiticated perspective correction and a number of other tools I need

Regarding noise, I have found it possible to extract shadow detail with minimal increase in noise and without loosing too much detail using the lighting (especially DxO lighting) gamma and contrast tools in combination

There are a number of other features I am experimenting with like image stacks but I have only had the program a few days and it will no doubt take time to get fully up to speed.  I also use SilkyPix but find the image quality from DxO to be superior.

I suspect I would find DxO less useful if my main lenses were not supported.  

I don't use lightroom.

Quentin
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 05:06:40 AM by Quentin » Logged

Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009, 05:55:13 AM »
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This may have been posted before but the embedded video is worth a look.

Quentin


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Gurglamei
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 09:28:39 AM »
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I too have difficulty seing what the fuss is all about. I am happy with Lightroom. However, since I have to do all my RAW conversions again without any kind of sharpening to satisfy the requirements of my stock agency, I thought I might as well have a look at my software and workflow in general. So, I downloaded a few trail versions a few days ago and have compared DXO, Lightroom and capture One on a couple of 800 ISO images.  I used a Nikon D700 and 24-70 2,8.  @28 and @70. My main focus of interest has been on the ability to show detail.  

To my eyes the lens softness corrections in DXO look identical to adding a bit of clarity/sharpening in Lightroom. I really can not see any significant difference viewed at 100%, and I have looked at several parts of the images.  The real difference I actually see is that in one shadow part of a high contrast image, Lightroom has a bit more detail. It appers that DXO has a initial black point that is higher than Lightroom, and thus washes out some fine detail. I have played with DXO lighting to get out the detail, but it does not seem to be there.  At the same part of the image Capture One has even a bit more detail. (However, in other parts of the image Capture One washes out a lot of detail appently treating it as noise).

Could it be that my monitors are lacking in detail resolving capabilities? I am using two calibrated CRTs and I know they show adequate color. (I recieved a color sample file from an Eizio dealer to demonstrate how much I was missing on my CRTs, but actually I could easily see all the different color patches.)  

I guess I ought to look at more images. But what kind? From the link above, I guess I should try to compare at really high ISO, but I seldom need that. Maybe Capture One and DXO lens corrections are more usefull on lower quality optics?

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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 12:32:19 AM »
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Nothing really just the best RAW conversions for DSLR's
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 02:58:18 AM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
Nothing really just the best RAW conversions for DSLR's
Marc

Just curious, but are you using top of the line optics?
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 10:47:53 AM »
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Quote from: Gurglamei
Just curious, but are you using top of the line optics?
Nikkor 14-24, Canon 24-105, 70-200 f4, 400 f5.6, Tokina 100 macro, zeiss 35-70
Maybe it is just me but the colors are better, the detail is great and the noise is low, better than ACR to my eye
It isn't the lens corrections so much it's the overall image quality, they just look good. I had to tweak C1 to get my phase 1 images to look as good as my Canon files with DxO. I only process a few images at a time so the limitations don't bother me, stacks and presets are the way to go.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2009, 03:49:16 AM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
Nikkor 14-24, Canon 24-105, 70-200 f4, 400 f5.6, Tokina 100 macro, zeiss 35-70
Maybe it is just me but the colors are better, the detail is great and the noise is low, better than ACR to my eye
It isn't the lens corrections so much it's the overall image quality, they just look good. I had to tweak C1 to get my phase 1 images to look as good as my Canon files with DxO. I only process a few images at a time so the limitations don't bother me, stacks and presets are the way to go.
Marc

Thanks, this is helping me undetrstand things better. I definitely see that the colors are different, and the initial view is much more saturated and sharpened. Each to his taste on this of course.

I have done a few high ISO images this weekend, and I can also see that on some images DXO really does extract more detail in the shadows. However, not consistently so: On other images Lightroom is definitely better. Same with noise.

On one image I am also seeing that the DXO lens softness correction does a better job on some areas of the image than I am able to duplicate with the sharpening sliders in Lightroom.

Kind of interesting but not the WOW factor I was expecting. However, I am actually considering purchasing DXO as an extra converter beside Lightroom and then mask the two conversions together in Photoshop to get the best from each on demanding images.  Prehaps I ought to wait for the next version - hasnīt this one been arround for nearly two years?

Christopher



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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2009, 10:27:31 AM »
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Quote from: Gurglamei
Thanks, this is helping me undetrstand things better. I definitely see that the colors are different, and the initial view is much more saturated and sharpened. Each to his taste on this of course.

I have done a few high ISO images this weekend, and I can also see that on some images DXO really does extract more detail in the shadows. However, not consistently so: On other images Lightroom is definitely better. Same with noise.

On one image I am also seeing that the DXO lens softness correction does a better job on some areas of the image than I am able to duplicate with the sharpening sliders in Lightroom.

Kind of interesting but not the WOW factor I was expecting. However, I am actually considering purchasing DXO as an extra converter beside Lightroom and then mask the two conversions together in Photoshop to get the best from each on demanding images.  Prehaps I ought to wait for the next version - hasnīt this one been arround for nearly two years?

Christopher

It makes no difference when you purchase it because they adjust the price accordingly. In my experience you do not want a new version because they tend to have a lot of frustrating bugs (one of the negatives of DxO).  You are correct that it is a matter of taste, chocolate or vanilla, I spent a lot of time with ACR, DxO and C1 taking pictures of my front lawn and surrounding foliage and found DxO got the colors more correct than the other two (and a more pleasing image). I then built curves to make both my P30 (C1)and 5D (DxO) look more like the real thing. As humans we are conditioned to see things as we like so it is only my opinion. I do feel that for $300 improving most of my lenses is money well spent.
My normal settings
At the RAW conversion phase I am not trying to get an image to look correct but I'm trying to generate a file with maximum data.
Exposure adjust for ETTR or use highlight recovery if there is some highlight clipping
DxO lighting medium 70%
Adjust white balance
Color rendering default RAW Factory
I don't like the film pack
Style contrast saturation as shot
lens softness 0
Purple fringing checked
the rest as DxO automatically set it.
In PS I sharpen with focus fixer and usually add a touch of contrast with linear contrast curve
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Gurglamei
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2009, 01:47:53 AM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
It makes no difference when you purchase it because they adjust the price accordingly. In my experience you do not want a new version because they tend to have a lot of frustrating bugs (one of the negatives of DxO).  You are correct that it is a matter of taste, chocolate or vanilla, I spent a lot of time with ACR, DxO and C1 taking pictures of my front lawn and surrounding foliage and found DxO got the colors more correct than the other two (and a more pleasing image). I then built curves to make both my P30 (C1)and 5D (DxO) look more like the real thing. As humans we are conditioned to see things as we like so it is only my opinion. I do feel that for $300 improving most of my lenses is money well spent.
My normal settings
At the RAW conversion phase I am not trying to get an image to look correct but I'm trying to generate a file with maximum data.
Exposure adjust for ETTR or use highlight recovery if there is some highlight clipping
DxO lighting medium 70%
Adjust white balance
Color rendering default RAW Factory
I don't like the film pack
Style contrast saturation as shot
lens softness 0
Purple fringing checked
the rest as DxO automatically set it.
In PS I sharpen with focus fixer and usually add a touch of contrast with linear contrast curve
Marc

Thank you very much for sharing this.

My general workflow is a bit different, in that I prefer to do as much as possible in Lightroom before going to Photoshop.

Interesting exercise you did on your front lawn. I must admit that I adjust color more to my subjective tast. Prehaps I should do a couple of test prints and take them outside and compare with reality...

Your DXO settings are similar to what I had in mind for an "extra" DXO conversion. In addition I turn down the intensity of the color rendering, and reduce global contrast.  

Just a couple of follow up questions:

Which preset(s) do you use when adding images to the project?

In my experience, DXO sets the threshold for the black point higher than Lightroom. This renders things completely black while Lightroom is able to show more detail. The adjustment slider i DXO is at zero (in the lighting module) so I canīt adjust it there. Is there any way to change this?

I donīt fully understand the different parts of the The brightness controls..


Christopher
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2009, 01:58:24 AM »
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Just a couple of follow up questions:

Which preset(s) do you use when adding images to the project?
I created my own "standard" preset as a starting point and adjust from there

In my experience, DXO sets the threshold for the black point higher than Lightroom. This renders things completely black while Lightroom is able to show more detail. The adjustment slider i DXO is at zero (in the lighting module) so I canīt adjust it there. Is there any way to change this?
Start with DxO lighting set to automatic medium 70% as an initial starting point strong brings out more shadow detail

I donīt fully understand the different parts of the The brightness controls..

I generally adjust exposure first and rarely adjust brightness
Exposure adjusts the histogram right or left (brighter or darker) gamma sets the slope of the gamma curve, sort of like turning up or down your screen intensity
Marc

PS forgot to mention in my standard preset I include copyright info and Gamma set to 2.2 (as a starting place)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 02:16:50 AM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
Gurglamei
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2009, 02:32:18 AM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
Just a couple of follow up questions:

Which preset(s) do you use when adding images to the project?
I created my own "standard" preset as a starting point and adjust from there

In my experience, DXO sets the threshold for the black point higher than Lightroom. This renders things completely black while Lightroom is able to show more detail. The adjustment slider i DXO is at zero (in the lighting module) so I canīt adjust it there. Is there any way to change this?
Start with DxO lighting set to automatic medium 70% as an initial starting point strong brings out more shadow detail

I donīt fully understand the different parts of the The brightness controls..

I generally adjust exposure first and rarely adjust brightness
Exposure adjusts the histogram right or left (brighter or darker) gamma sets the slope of the gamma curve, sort of like turning up or down your screen intensity
Marc

PS forgot to mention in my standard preset I include copyright info and Gamma set to 2.2 (as a starting place)


Thank you!

I decided to upgrade to version 5.3.3 and will try once more and see if I can come to like the program.  They have a nice 30 % discount on upgrades right now, so I decided it was the right moment.

Christopher
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Arizona
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2009, 09:55:32 AM »
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DXO had their full feature RAW converter out long before Adobe did. Adobe might be up to speed now but they lagged for a long, long time. I tried various converters and DXO always gave me more defined detail and a better looking final result. They have improved their fine detail resolution in version 5.

I make a Preset to start my processing in DXO. In the preset I set my color preferences, lower the noise engine down and set the sharpening at +.5 among a few other things. All I have to do is hit a button and then fine tune. Everyone has their own workflow and likes when it comes to processing. I send my files to PS for final work on Layers to fine tune various parts of the image.
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Glen
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2009, 08:12:41 PM »
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I'd like to know how well they fix bugs. I have downloaded the trial version but quickly discovered that they have a problem with a 2 monitor setup. I raised a bug report yesterday which is still sitting unanswered. At the moment, I can't get DoP to accurately show me what the image will look like when I export it - bit of a show-stopper really!

Everything I read about it looks good. I'm very keen to get it. I suppose I should think myself lucky to find a bug before I pay.

I've given up. I waited 2 days and haven't even got an acknowledgment that they have even read my bug report. Back to ACR for me.

Cheers,

Jeff
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 08:41:57 PM by Jeff-Grant » Logged
sjprg
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2009, 06:52:29 PM »
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Quote from: Jeff-Grant
I'd like to know how well they fix bugs. I have downloaded the trial version but quickly discovered that they have a problem with a 2 monitor setup. I raised a bug report yesterday which is still sitting unanswered. At the moment, I can't get DoP to accurately show me what the image will look like when I export it - bit of a show-stopper really!

Everything I read about it looks good. I'm very keen to get it. I suppose I should think myself lucky to find a bug before I pay.

I've given up. I waited 2 days and haven't even got an acknowledgment that they have even read my bug report. Back to ACR for me.

Cheers,

Jeff

I have no problems with DXO and a dual monitor system. XT pro, Vista 32, Vista 64, Windows 7 7077 X64 all work fine. Check you video board and or drivers. I'm using ATI 3650 video boards with Catalyst 9.4,  and Intel MB intetnal video on some machines.
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2009, 06:42:49 AM »
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I tried it recently and although it seems to be a decently thought out program workflow-wise the results with no sharpening applied were very unsharp compared with LR and especially NX2.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 06:43:12 AM by MarkL » Logged
marcmccalmont
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2009, 01:59:21 PM »
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Quote from: MarkL
I tried it recently and although it seems to be a decently thought out program workflow-wise the results with no sharpening applied were very unsharp compared with LR and especially NX2.
Was this with a lens and camera that is supported and modules for the lens installed?
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2009, 07:24:00 AM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
Was this with a lens and camera that is supported and modules for the lens installed?
Marc

Supported camera D700. No lens module since they do not support any of my nikon lenses from what I can see.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2009, 11:26:54 AM »
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Quote from: MarkL
Supported camera D700. No lens module since they do not support any of my nikon lenses from what I can see.
In that case there was no lens sharpening(or capture sharpening). With a supported lens there is some lens sharpening even if the sharpening is set to 0. I believe this is the only sharpening (capture sharpening) in DxO so you will have to sharpen in Post. Try focus fixer set at 0.9 and then compare results.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2009, 11:44:14 AM »
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Quote from: marcmccalmont
In that case there was no lens sharpening(or capture sharpening). With a supported lens there is some lens sharpening even if the sharpening is set to 0. I believe this is the only sharpening (capture sharpening) in DxO so you will have to sharpen in Post. Try focus fixer set at 0.9 and then compare results.
Marc

Borrowed an 85mm f/1.4 and downloaded the correct module. Much sharper from what appears to be a deconvulsion based algorithm but it looks a bit destructive. I get better results from NX2 (with zero sharpening, not sure what it does behind the scenes) or the DL deconvulsion in RAW therapee.
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