DxO PhotoLab in the test: image editing for professionals


With PhotoLab 1 is supposedly a completely new RAW image processing at the start. Because DxO has renamed its software Optics Pro (previously version 11) to the current update and restarts the version numbering. Unfortunately remained the unnecessary separation in two editions – with a reasonable surcharge. After all, you will not be forced to subscribe here. We have tested the Elite version due to the much larger choice of tools.

While the user interface presents itself in the usual layout, its functionality has been significantly reduced. It is gratifying that photos can still be easily accessed and edited via the folder navigation. The import into a separate image database is eliminated. Upon first opening the image, an automatic correction is carried out if desired. This is based on camera and lens data stored in the RAW image. DxO loads the appropriate hardware-based correction values ​​from the server and automatically corrects lens-focus errors, distortion, or sensor-related issues, as well as colors. This is not yet a perfect picture supplied, but the subsequent adjustment is thus much more fixed. In the actual editing, the functions are housed in a large range, the arrangement of the elements can be changed as desired. Also, editing with two screens or even an almost “window free” full screen mode is feasible. The correction tools include everything needed for image optimization, often relying on intelligent automatic functions such as SmartLightning or ClearView, which combine several parameters into a single slider.

The checkpoint correction in DxO PhotoLab

The selective adaptation directly in the picture has been a weak point of the software PhotoLab , With the integration of the Nik filter software, however, precise range corrections via control points are now available. Furthermore, you can work with classic image masking using the brush tool and various gradient filters. Also very helpful: The repair brush, which is also known from Lightroom, offers a much better functionality in DxO PhotoLabs. Because instead of an improved stamping tool, the defective area only has to be painted over roughly, the rest is done automatically by the software. The grip for photo editing eliminates it – no matter if face wrinkles, the power line in the landscape or other unwanted objects.

DxO supports all common RAW formats and is constantly updated here, only Fuji cameras are not supported at all. JPEG and TIF images are processed without problems, but many hardware-based automatic corrections are no longer available.


Sophisticated RAW photo editing with professional tools, unfortunately also for professional price.

Test result
Product name RAW processing on Mac
Manufacturer DxO Labs
  • Car Corrections, Retouching Tools, Workflow, selective adaptation
  • Price policy with two separate versions
System Requirements OS X 10.11, Intel i5 Processor, 4 GB RAM

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