Back to C1

Goodbye DxO Photolab.

After moving my pictures to another external RAID, the “correcting the file path” in a project command let my Mac freeze. In a project of only 1200 images, distributed into two folders. That’s unforgivable to me.

Same situation in Capture One: Just point the name of the old drive, right-click, “find”, point the new drive an done, took me less than a minute. After watching the beachball for 4 minutes straight, I used the “quit immediately” command to terminate DxP PL. This is no acceptable way to use these projects. I now will import the files into C1, organize the projects, albums and groups there and continue working with an app which suits my workflow much better than PL. It’s a pity that DxO is relying on external image browsers to organize images in a better way than copying files to other folders. :disappointed: It’s a bit sad, some work to do, but maybe I’ll try again. 4 or 5 main versions later.

If you are abandoning PhotoLab for whatever reason that is your choice of course. If the product doesn’t fit in your workflow, I certainly agree that you need to move on.

However, since you are an OpticsPro EA member, I hope that DxO realizes that you’re no longer using their software and considers removing that designation which allows you to access PL6 beta versions. I hope you don’t think I’m being mean spirited, but, it is probably not appropriate for you to continue being a member of the beta test team if you are moving your processing to Capture 1 and will no longer use PhotoLab.



That is not your or mine decision to make. @CaptainPO first regretted as I stepped back from the idea to become an EA member as he thought my input might be of value, while I thought, all these contract things are making me feel like a “soon to be criminal”.

And since I bought PL, FP, and VP I’ll take the liberty to use these licensed products whenever I feel they suit my needs better, no matter what your concerns about that might be or not.

Is that a kind of defense mechanism of you or are you seeing yourself as a team leader/bouncer in the EA group who decides who’s in or out? I’m aware if I’d participate in the EA program, I’ll work for free and my input goes back to the developers. I see my work as a gift with no more benefit than maybe a better product than it is now, and I also see DxO could use some input concerning image management. But rest assured I know how to use my time.

I am not a bouncer nor am I attempting to decide anything. That is up to DxO.


Bear in mind that participation in a beta is not about what you want to see in PL, it’s primarily about testing what DxO have worked on and that needs checking. Sometimes, the opportunity may arise that something that you perceive as a need coincides with what they are working on, in which case, such contributions are welcome. But, when it comes to missing features, it is DxO who are in the driving seat, not the testers.

I agree DAM is not a strength of PhotoLab but it is improving.

It is also not a strength of Capture One by the way, I use both extensively. From my point of view, DxO PhotoLab works best when you use it as you would use a session in Capture One, just browse the folders on your harddisk with no projects and no moving of them.


I am aware of that, Joanna. And I’m not insisting to remain EA member. I just see in this forum quite a few programmers or former programmers and now retired people. And I might be very wrong but I also see a lot of resistance against even the idea of making the DAM part stronger so for DxO themselves it looks very much the way “never change a running system”. In other words, these conclusions give me more reasons not to continue with PL and more doubts than hope that this PL concept would be altered any time soon. You know better than me how much time EA need to invest. If I’m kicked out – and Mark’s first comment was pointing very much in that direction – I probably gonna save a lot of time and use it for other things.

Capture One has also a couple of gaps in their DAM, I know very well. But DxO’s DAM is much more a huge gap than a collection of small ones. Both are making the post-processing road bumpier than it needs to be.

Anyway, thanks to this forum I learnt that sidecars can’t be trusted to help different apps reading some metadata. And since the future of both apps is not including any solid promise to become better, I’ll just keep in mind to not rely on any app.

My thought is that the name of the product says it all - PhotoLab - a lab for processing photos. A description that conjures up the many years I have spent developing both film and digital images, not cataloguing them.

Cataloguing (DAM), to my mind, is a separate concern that not everybody is interested in; and if they are interested, they have usually already chosen their tool and have put a lot of hard work into classifying their images.

Personally, I would have liked to see DxO implement this as a “plug-in”, a bit like FP or VP, which I could then have chosen. Most important of all, however DxO implement a DAM, it is not an easy task due to the many “standards” that other DAM solutions adhere to (or not) and I, for one, am not at all surprised that they haven’t got it totally right yet from the point of view of metadata compatibility. But that can, and I believe will, change.

However, the “pain point” that triggered your “explosion of frustration” has nothing to do with the DAM and much more to do with the monolithic database, combined with synchronisation of projects, DOP files, etc.

Personally, instead of using PL projects, I have used macOS Finder Tags and Smart Folders. No matter where you move the files on disk(s) the Smart Folders will keep track of them based on whichever tags were applied.

It seems a bit extreme to chuck out the best image editing tool around, just because it’s crap at managing projects. But YMMV :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I agree with most of this, but it was never going to be a plug in as so few would ever have paid for it that was a non starter once the marketing people went oneto the DAM stratagy.

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I guess it depends on your priorities; a choice between the best RAW processor (and unique features such as DeepPRIME, to name just one) … or something else that groups/manages image files better.

John M

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If any app causes a freeze of the whole machine (because I have to clean up the app’s projects as it is too stupid to manage them) it has to go. And that happened more than once, in fact it was pretty hard to get the OS to “quit immediately”, so in my limited non-programmer view there must be some serious trouble inside the app, I just feel I cannot rely on this think anymore. What next? No longer being able to read the DOPs? I don’t know, and I’m hesitating to find out the hard way.

To the people considering the best RAW-processor being PL: You might be right, but I’m not agreeing fully, and my priorities might be different. I want a good enough RAW processor including a good enough DAM. In one app, not a collection of 4! PL falls short on the second part, and it’s processing qualities are not compensating the massive flaws of the other part. So why continuing and getting annoyed from time to time? Come on, that’s not the end of the world, one user more or less, who cares?

@JoJu, your decision is what it is: your decision.

When Adobe made Lr a subscription software, I was very much tempted to drop Lr for PhotoLab. I’ve used keywords for a long time and DPL has made some progress, but its current capabilities in this area are not good enough yet.

Enjoy whatever you do, but be aware that “save a lot of time and use it for other things” does not save time, which goes by anyway, no matter what we do or don’t do - but can possibly make things more positive than what you seem to experience here.

Thank you @platypus for your kind words. I’m not self-disciplined enough to spend much resources on keywording. For me the easiest way to find my images was (and probably still is) put them into collections/albums/projects/groups whatever, give that collection a good enough name and use the full-text search. Which neither C1 nor DxO have. But at least C1 has the possibilities of grouping one single image into numerous projects without loosing them so easily when moving to a bigger storage container.

So, finding them has become harder.

But going through some 10.000 old images and keyword them is no option as I’m the only user of my database and read to much about incompatible keyword systems. So, opposite of wasting time on something with limited use for me but causing troubles eventually, I prefer my old system of project or subject oriented sorting. And that does not save time in terms of “storing time away and keep it fresh for busy moments”, but I suspect you got the idea anyway :grin:

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It’s funny I left C1 among others things because of wonkyness and corruption of catalogs and session databases that required me rebuilding session databases. I’m not fundamentally a demanding DAM user but the edits and keywords I don’t want to lose. Now that keywords are stored in dop sidecars, there’s no real risk anymore of losing stuff in DXO.

Anyway good luck with C1. As others have stated sessions is the way to go. If you use a catalog and have any corruption all out will have left are tour unedited raw files.


Not at all. If I would opt for sessions, I could use Pl as well. I’m sorry you made bad experiences, but no matter what, backup is the key. I once had troubles with PL as it suddenly was trying to use an old PL4 catalog (and caused a renaming mess in it’s database folders.) Can’t remember what, why and how it happened but all projects were gone. Okay, with their limited functionality I’m staying clear of it anyway.

Deleting the corrupted database and replacing it with the last working version from a TimeMachine backup was quickly done. But it should not happen in the first place.

I need some structures like PL’s projects (only in a reliable and usable version) or better, something like C1’s collections, groups, project and intelligent collections. I hate to copy files and I like to use a database with metadata and single-source, multiple use of images.

When abroad, I also don’t use sessions - I prepare my temporary catalog and import it with all edits and metadata into the main catalog.

Summary of review by Life After PhotoShop (Link):


It’s a matter of priorities; where mine are heavily pitched towards RAW processing - and I coudn’t care less about DAM deficiencies.

I’m not being critical of your decision, JoJu - just pointing out the choices to be made.

John M


I fully agree, @John-M, a matter of priorities. Just to remember: I didn’t step into PL cosmos to “find the best RAW processor” - I just gave it a try as Capture One was once again not ready to handle some cameras which at the time were 2…3 years on the market, but Lumix FF had no priority for Capture One devs. It’s good to know DeepPrime’s denoising, but honestly I could not care less about noise :wink:

And I would not mind paying extra for Elite+FP+VP, if the interaction of the library and the PL part would be more fluent. The amount of extra clicks to activate the undocked library, the behavior of that part already show “it’s not a priority of DxO to let me browse through my images”. :thinking:

When it comes to “excellent lens corrections” - yes for the mainstream lenses, no for anything else. No way to use at least the manufacturer lens profile until the “excellent lens profile” eventually finishes. Sorry if I don’t jump into the waxing poetry department – somebody is highly enjoying that PL has met his priorities :crazy_face:. Fine.

No problem, J-J … I can see you’re making a compromise based on your own specific needs, and I wish you all the best.

Au revoir, John