I come across this thread today because I would like to export my file into DNG and re-read it straight back to DXO Photolab!
I am fully aware that the DNG file generated by DXO Photolab is not a raw file anymore because “some corrections have been applied in a non-reversible fashion, such as demosaicing, noise reduction, etc.” (quoted from DXO website).
I want to export my file in DNG because I want to save disc space! I am using the 45MP Nikon D850 and take mainly pictures of birds, small birds. The reach is never enough, therefore, I crop my image most of the time. However, I am still stuck with all those 45MP data! The cropped DNG is smaller than the cropped 16bit TIFF file or the original raw file. In addition, I assume that DNG file still has more than enough data for future processing (not like JPG). Also, I do not have to assign a color profile (not like when exporting to JPG or to TIFF)! That may sound minor but I already came across situations where my picture just get muddy once I view it on other device because I messed up the color profile!
I don’t crop my raw file with other softwares and import it into DXO Photolab because once processed by other raw converter, the image is no longer a raw file. Therefore, I loose “Prime denoise” which is the main reason why I bought DXO Photolab Elite in the first place (I almost bought Topaz Denoise and I hope I made the right decision)!
One may ask why don’t I switch my camera to the DX format mode. The answer is because switching back and forth between FX and DX is not always that convenient. Just not have time for it in the field. In addition, the extra field of view on FX format can save your bird in flight shot! Nothing is more frustrating than having that bird in the shoot with the right light, perfect body position, tack sharp focus but with the tip of the wing touching the edge of the frame!
Now that the file is cropped and smaller, I want to read the smaller DNG file straight back to DXO Photolab for further processing. I find it inconvenient to process the image between several softwares (I do not photoshop my shot I only gimp them lol ). This is another reason why I chose DXO Photolab over other Raw processor software + Topaz Denoise.
I agree with the OP, it is quite weird that a software cannot read the file that it generates! It would be a nice feature to have! I hope they will have a look at it. It should not be a major implementation and therefore, hopefully, will be implemented not only in the next major release => $ $