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Author Topic: I'm finding DxO better than Lightroom (dives for cover...)  (Read 29710 times)
stewarthemley
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« on: October 01, 2012, 10:06:11 AM »
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Risking it here but I have to post this, if only for someone to prove me wrong. Iíve been testing the new DxO converter against LR using Canons (5D2 and 3, 1DS3), Nikon D800 with a variety of lenses, and a Sony RX100 - fixed zoom.

My findings, briefly, are that DxO extracts significantly more detail from these cameras without planting artifacts. I find the colors better (ie, more accurate and more pleasing - I know, itís subjective) and the tones better. Iíve tried various sharpening routines with LR images but canít get near the DxO results.

For me, in side-by-side comparisons of my best efforts with LR (after using it regularly, professionally, on thousands of images from its initial release) and DxO (after about two weeks of playing), DxO is better by a surprising margin.

I donít like the DxO interface, would much prefer to have a LR approach, with similar sliders and options, but with such an improvement in results Iíll put up with it. And LR is far more advanced in certain areas, such as adjustment brushes, gradients, etc, but these are all easy to dupllcate in PS. Ok, it's another step in the workflow but for a better result it's worth t.

The only area so far that I have seen LR get slightly better results is in extreme highlight recovery. Really extreme, around the 250 area. And if I get my exposure that wrong, well, I deserve to struggle.

Iím surprised at how much better Iím finding DxO. Iíd be interested to hear from others who have made side-by-side comparisons to see what people think.

I have no connection with DxO and no-one from Adobe has pissed me off. Just a punter looking to get the best from my images.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 10:10:05 AM by stewarthemley » Logged
mac_paolo
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 01:03:44 PM »
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I don't have DxO Optics Pro, but I own an RX100 and will own a D800. I'm serious with Lightroom.
I'd be more than happy to view a comparison between Adobe and DxO solutions.
Thank you in advance.
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allegretto
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 01:12:16 PM »
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Just a devoted non-pro here and I could not agree more.

DxO is custom profiled for your cameras, and unless you are a slider wizard and know what to expect, DxO does in one click what would take you quite a bit of time to approximate in LR. Further, the Nikon and Sony (and I assume Canon) lens corrections are icing on a very fine cake.

It's great on the RX100, isn't it?

Alas, the Library of LR is far better and I have to export TIFFs to LR for that. I was on the phone with DxO and expect a LR plug-in to appear in the future... that would be very good indeed!!!
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2012, 01:34:04 PM »
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... in side-by-side comparisons of my best efforts...

Well... care to share? Huh
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Slobodan

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 01:46:36 PM »
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Hi,

No problem that you prefer DxO, that's your choice, just a few observations.

- Lightroom is much more than a raw converter, its a parametric DAM tool.

- Have you tried to use Lightroom with deconvolution? Try to select amount to 45, radius to 0.8, detail to 100 and use some masking (15) and luminance noise reduction (15). If you stop down to f/16 you can increase radius to 1.2-1.5.

Best regards
Erik


Risking it here but I have to post this, if only for someone to prove me wrong. Iíve been testing the new DxO converter against LR using Canons (5D2 and 3, 1DS3), Nikon D800 with a variety of lenses, and a Sony RX100 - fixed zoom.

My findings, briefly, are that DxO extracts significantly more detail from these cameras without planting artifacts. I find the colors better (ie, more accurate and more pleasing - I know, itís subjective) and the tones better. Iíve tried various sharpening routines with LR images but canít get near the DxO results.

For me, in side-by-side comparisons of my best efforts with LR (after using it regularly, professionally, on thousands of images from its initial release) and DxO (after about two weeks of playing), DxO is better by a surprising margin.

I donít like the DxO interface, would much prefer to have a LR approach, with similar sliders and options, but with such an improvement in results Iíll put up with it. And LR is far more advanced in certain areas, such as adjustment brushes, gradients, etc, but these are all easy to dupllcate in PS. Ok, it's another step in the workflow but for a better result it's worth t.

The only area so far that I have seen LR get slightly better results is in extreme highlight recovery. Really extreme, around the 250 area. And if I get my exposure that wrong, well, I deserve to struggle.

Iím surprised at how much better Iím finding DxO. Iíd be interested to hear from others who have made side-by-side comparisons to see what people think.

I have no connection with DxO and no-one from Adobe has pissed me off. Just a punter looking to get the best from my images.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 05:32:45 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Chris Kern
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 02:45:55 PM »
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Risking it here but I have to post this, if only for someone to prove me wrong. Iíve been testing the new DxO converter against LR using Canons (5D2 and 3, 1DS3), Nikon D800 with a variety of lenses, and a Sony RX100 - fixed zoom.

My findings, briefly, are that DxO extracts significantly more detail from these cameras without planting artifacts. I find the colors better (ie, more accurate and more pleasing - I know, itís subjective) and the tones better. Iíve tried various sharpening routines with LR images but canít get near the DxO results. . . .

My experience is similar with respect to a Nikon D800E and LR 4.X.  But a while back when I made some test shots with a Nikon D90 and a Canon S90, I couldn't detect much of a distinction between LR 3.X (using the appropriate camera profile) and DxO (can't recall which revision now).  In fact, I was on the verge of abandoning DxO altogether until I started using the D800E.

I only use DxO on images I consider candidates for a significant preprocessing effort, and I only use the automated module corrections, not any of the manual controls.  In other words, I use DxO to render the image and adjust for sensor and lens deficiencies, then import the DNG into Lightroom for everything else (that doesn't require pixel editing).  That way, I figure I'm keeping almost all the benefits of LR's parametric editing. I archive the raw file as well as the DxO-emitted linear DNG because who knows what the next generation of software will offer.

While I was generally happier with DxO for the D800E images when I made some comparisons shortly after acquiring the camera, I didn't consider the difference dramatic ó and I had to zoom the image to 1:1 to see it, so I'm not certain how much it would matter in a print.  (I didn't produce any comparative prints.)

Finally, as you suggest, DxO's user agent is pretty awful.  Lightroom's, on the other hand, is a pleasure to use.
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 11:58:14 PM »
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Hi,

No problem that you prefer DxO, that's your choice, just a few observations.

- Lightroom is much more than a raw converter, its a parametric DAM tool.

- Have you tried to use Lightroom with deconvolution? Try to select amount to 45, radius to 0.8, amount to 100 and use some masking (15) and liminance noise reduction (15). If you stop down to f/16 you can increase radius to 1.2-1.5.

Best regards
Erik



Did you mean to select amount to 45, radius to 0.8, DETAIL to 100, and use some masking (15) and luminance noise reduction (15)?

You mentioned this tip (or a similar one with 100% detail) a while back in another post.  It works really good on landscape images.  Thanks!
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stewarthemley
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 03:13:53 AM »
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Well... care to share? Huh
Hi Slobodan.

That's always the dliemma. If I show my best efforts, taking into account my tastes/needs/etc, and my ability or lack of it, how relevant will that be for others? I believe that people should process images how they want then make the comparison. Not ducking out here, just inviting people to try something in case its better for them.

Eric,

Yes, I've spent longer than I should testing various sharpening methods in LR, DxO, C1, Raw Developer, PS, etc. Nothing I've found, including your suggestions - thanks - can get so much detail with so few artifacts as DxO. And, to my surprise, it does show in prints as small as 10x8. For me that's a small print and when you go to 36 (inches) it shows even more. I will have to reject the f16 bit. No lens I own, or know about, will be acceptable (to me - we're all different) because of diffraction. I usually call a halt at f8 when the difference begins to show. Maybe I'm a detail junky! I agree that LR has so much going for it, I really wish it could give me the image quality of DxO. For me, that's the ultimate crierion and I'll tolerate a slightly prolonged workflow to achieve it.

I was surprised by DxO. I have tried it a couple of times in previous versions and rejected it because I found the tones to be verging towards the HDR look, which I really don't like. Maybe they have fine tuned it but for now, it's my converter of choice. Which is great because each time I change converters, my images look a little better! Long live competition.
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 04:58:20 AM »
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That's always the dliemma. If I show my best efforts, taking into account my tastes/needs/etc, and my ability or lack of it, how relevant will that be for others? I believe that people should process images how they want then make the comparison. Not ducking out here, just inviting people to try something in case its better for them.
To me it's way faster to kindly ask for an example rather than downloading the beta, installing it, learning how to use it, look for Raw images, process them and do the compare. Smiley
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kencameron
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 05:12:36 AM »
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Did you mean to select amount to 45, radius to 0.8, DETAIL to 100, and use some masking (15) and luminance noise reduction (15)?
 

Just tried this on some landscapes with trees and leaves. Nice, thanks. Can anyone explain, in plain english, what deconvolution does?  I have googled it, of course, but explanations like this don't work for me. And I have tried looking at what it does, by playing with the slider, but can't see any consistent impact.
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stewarthemley
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2012, 05:22:41 AM »
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To me it's way faster to kindly ask for an example rather than downloading the beta, installing it, learning how to use it, look for Raw images, process them and do the compare. Smiley
It's faster, no argument, but how relevant and useful to you? How much contrast do you like? Where do you like your black point? And highlights, where do you like them to blow, if at all? How sharp? How dark/light? Warm/cool colors? All the same as me? Etc, ad nauseam. Modern converters are so good at manipulating images just one slider can make a tremendous difference. I stand by my view: you have to make the effort, invest a little time, if you want to see if something is better for you.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2012, 05:27:11 AM »
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It's faster, no argument, but how relevant and useful to you?

More relevant than a post simply exclaiming one is better than the other ... Just sayin' ...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2012, 05:33:43 AM »
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Yes, you are right! Fixed!

Erik

Did you mean to select amount to 45, radius to 0.8, DETAIL to 100, and use some masking (15) and luminance noise reduction (15)?

You mentioned this tip (or a similar one with 100% detail) a while back in another post.  It works really good on landscape images.  Thanks!
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2012, 06:11:19 AM »
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It's faster, no argument, but how relevant and useful to you? How much contrast do you like? Where do you like your black point? And highlights, where do you like them to blow, if at all? How sharp? How dark/light? Warm/cool colors? All the same as me? Etc, ad nauseam. Modern converters are so good at manipulating images just one slider can make a tremendous difference. I stand by my view: you have to make the effort, invest a little time, if you want to see if something is better for you.
I suppose with DxO OP you'll be able to adjust HSL more or less like LR, same as for the contrast, exposure and so on.
Demosaic algorithms and detail recovery is what really interests me so, go on with the compare, don't worry about the parameters Smiley
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stewarthemley
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2012, 08:55:33 AM »
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More relevant than a post simply exclaiming one is better than the other ... Just sayin' ...
I started the thread because I like to try to help people. If someone tries this item and finds it better then I think that would be good. Do you disagree, Jeremy?

I have said, twice and in detail why I don't think my efforts at processing would be of benefit to other people.

EDIT: Hi Mac_paolo: I have just re-read my above statement and I don't want you to think I'm getting at you. It's just that I really don't think it would be that useful to try to judge whether a converter is better for you by using someone else's settings. There are so many variables at work. And it's really not that difficult to download it, pop in a raw and see what comes out. Hope that sounds a bit less abrupt!
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 09:45:03 AM by stewarthemley » Logged
kers
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2012, 10:46:28 AM »
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D800E Raw: from what i have seen dxo has some benefit with backlit conditions but i like the detail better with ACR photoshopCS6... ( same as Lightroom4 i guess)

What i do not like about DXO is that i am never sure what is going to happen - or what has happened to my image.. In ACR it is very straightforward.
Maybe i have to read the tutorial again...

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Pieter Kers
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stewarthemley
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2012, 11:33:52 AM »
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Totally agree about the interface. Just did about thirty images in DxO and by number ten I was crying out for LR's simplicity. I guess they want the thing to be as automatic as possible, which it almost is, but then when you want that extra bit of tuning, which most of us do, it's a right royal pain. I'm not sure how I'm going to react with my next batch of several hundred images, which I do about every ten days. Maybe I'll regret my original posting!
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2012, 01:11:55 PM »
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Hi Mac_paolo: I have just re-read my above statement and I don't want you to think I'm getting at you.
Never mind, thanks anyway Smiley
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2012, 01:49:55 PM »
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I started the thread because I like to try to help people. If someone tries this item and finds it better then I think that would be good. Do you disagree, Jeremy?

I think it would be MORE helpful to SHOW us what convinced you.


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Chris Kern
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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2012, 01:57:11 PM »
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Totally agree about the interface. Just did about thirty images in DxO and by number ten I was crying out for LR's simplicity. I guess they want the thing to be as automatic as possible, which it almost is, but then when you want that extra bit of tuning, which most of us do, it's a right royal pain. I'm not sure how I'm going to react with my next batch of several hundred images, which I do about every ten days. Maybe I'll regret my original posting!

I gather you use DxO's manual controls.  I use it solely as a batch preprocessor, and even then only on images I am willing to put a lot of time and effort into (and even then, as I mentioned in my earlier post, only those made with the D800E).  That mitigates the pain of the DxO user agent somewhat.  I have a preset I call "module corrections only" which applies the automatic adjustments for vignetting, distortion and lens softness.  No sharpening, perspective changes, color modifications (I have DxO generate linear DNGs, and adjust the white balance in Lightroom)ójust the few corrections, based on my reading of the descriptive information on DxO's website, that appear to be based entirely on the company's sensor and lens testing program.  Then I import them into LR and do the rest of the work there, with an occasional round-trip through Photoshop.  In that sense, I think of DxO as a substitute for LR's lens correction module.

And I'm purely an amateur, with a low-volume workload.  If I was trying to a living with photography, I'm not sure I would be wiling to put up with the extra step.  (Actually, if I was trying to make a living with photography, I would probably need to have my head examined. . . . )
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