DxO PhotoLab 6 - more confused than ever?

I recently upgraded from DxO PhotoLab Elite 5 to 6. After reading many of the forum topics regarding DxO Wide Gamut working space, color rendering, soft proofing, and virtual copies, I feel more confused than ever. I am not a professional photographer, and I don’t print a lot of my photos, but I still like to present the best-looking photo that I can, either printed or viewed online. I would normally say my technical savvy is about average, but after reading some of the forum threads on these topics, perhaps it is below average! I almost feel as if I need a degree in graphic design and/or engineering to be able to understand and best edit a photo using DxO PhotoLab 6 right now. I hope I am not alone in feeling this way.

The DxO PhotoLab 6 User Guide doesn’t go into much detail on many of these new features, so it doesn’t answer the majority of questions and confusions I have. Is DxO planning on coming out with any Webinars or video tutorials that might better explain these new features, the finer points of using them, and when to use or not use them?


Frankly, there’s plenty in the threads on these subjects that could be called incorrect or speculation. I agree on the need for straightforward guidance. DxO has noticed but hasn’t said exactly what they will provide, as far as I know.

With a little bit of experimentation, I’ve come up with a workflow that is very simple and reliable:

  • Use DxO Wide Gamut.
  • Keep Soft Proofing on for sRGB. (I display in sRGB and export to JPEG in sRGB for online viewing.)
  • For Color Rendering, there are only two Generic options right now. Most of the time, I just use the DxO camera default (generic) rendering, which imitates what my camera writes to JPEG. It takes care of most of the taming of very saturated colors for me, so that very little adjustment is needed for a good rendering. But sometimes, the neutral color option is more pleasing, so I will use that instead.
  • Adjust “Protect saturated colors” in the Color Rendering palette as needed. Usually, the combination of the selected Color Rendering and Soft Proofing takes care of this, but in PL5 I was setting this to 80 or higher all the time.
  • If I want to use a film rendering instead of the Generic color renderings, I have no problems doing so, except with a couple of them that need to be fixed for DxO Wide Gamut. (The problems are obvious.)
  • Adjust everything to taste and enjoy PL6.

Hi @bphillips

While a degree might help to understand what’s going on behind the scenes…it is not necessary to get DPL to do what you want it to do. A few hints might give your confidence with DPL6 a little boost.

  • Select the “Legacy” working colour space and the previews will almost completely look and behave like they did in DPL5.
  • You can get finer nuances in (close to) saturated hues by using the “DxO Wide Gamut” working colour space…but the initial look of the image might be different than in DPL5. Use this WCS if you can enjoy subtle differences and are ready to learn again, how to obtain the colours you’re after.

No degree needed, just the readiness to do things slightly differently.


Thank you! I do hope though that DxO comes out with some Webinars and or tutorials.

Thank you! I have been using the DxO Wide Gamut, but based on some of the forum remarks was wondering if I shouldn’t, especially if I am going to print a photo. The soft proofing seems the most confusing to me, especially since not all of the features appear to be live yet - Simulate paper on ink is grayed out, for one. In the soft proofing, the histogram changes when I choose different ICC Profiles, but what I see on my monitor does not appear to change. Some people state that the changes might be so subtle that you may not notice the difference. I wonder if I should assume that if I can’t tell the difference when choosing various ICC profiles, if I print a photo if that would still be true. I hope DxO comes out with more detailed explanations and guidance on these features.

Hi Beth,
how have you been printing so far? What software, did you ever use softproof? What monitor (colour space) did/do you use? Sorry for all the questions, it’s just to find out how to bring you forward – if you like. :slight_smile:

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The few things I have printed, I have uploaded jpeg files to a company that printed calendars for me. I did not use soft proofing. My monitor is an Asus ProArt Studiobook laptop which has IPS DCI-P3 color gamut

That is correct behavior. The histogram you’re seeing in Soft Proofing mode is for the color space/profile you’re soft proofing in. The image is not likely to change unless there is clipping of saturated colors, highlights, or shadows introduced by the transition to the output color space. The indicators in the histogram (on/off toggles) will let you see if there might be clipping - but you don’t have to adjust anything if you like the automatic corrections performed by PhotoLab in the process of preparing the final rendering. (This is something that some people discussing these functions don’t seem to understand. It really isn’t that complicated IMO.)

Yes, the paper and ink simulations are going to be added into PL6 a bit later on.


If you want to “have a go” with the new Wide Gamut working color space then (FWIW) I can (personally) endorse Greg’s recommendations, as listed above.

Otherwise, for a simpler life you can stick with Classic … Note that neither of these settings are “baked-in” anywhere - - so you can always come back later and switch over to Wide Gamut (tho, your edits may then require a bit of tweaking - depending on your assessment via Soft Proofing).

John M

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We certainly hope so too !!

May I suggest to fellow-users that we raise a Support Ticket to get some focus on this urgent requirement … I’ve already done so.

John M

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Another hang-up is that the PL6 user guide is half-baked, loaded with mistakes that make it useless for understanding the new features. This happens every new release, but has been especially bad this time around. I hope they’re fixing the problems quickly. I reported this, but won’t touch the guide again until I know it’s fixed.


Thanks! If I see no difference on my monitor if I soft proof, even though the histogram changes, is it safe to assume that a printed copy or view on a different monitor would look the same? (I know, I should never assume!)

Thank you!

The histogram changes with the color space being analyzed. Soft Proofing looks at how the image fits into an output color space. Otherwise the histogram probably represents the working color space. The image rendering from the working color space on your monitor doesn’t necessarily change whether soft proofing is on or off. If the soft proofing color profile is different from the monitor color profile, then you might need to rely on the gamut warning indicators to see the difference in output. Otherwise the two gamut warning indicators will be the same.

Of course, you can’t expect WYSIWYG on your monitor unless the monitor can display the full color gamut of your image in the color space of what you’re soft proofing.


What you see is in the color space of your monitor. Changing the soft proof color space doesn’t change that.
In general when transforming to a narrower/other color space the main problem are the out of gamut colors. How does the transformation deals with that.
In general a perceptual rendering intent is used. All the colors of the wider gamut are compressed in the smaller gamut. The colors change a little but relation between the colors is kept.
When during transformation from one gamut to another gamut the colors must be kept, being exactly the same, then the out of gamut colors can’t be transformed to that newer gamut. Soft proofing is a tool that makes these colors visual, as a warning.
Just go ahead as you used to do.



Thank you! With all of your input, some of my questions have been answered!

Hi Beth,

when you have been happy in the past, just continue and keep working
in PL6’s Classic-Legacy mode,
which in additon to PL5 also offers the possibility to softproof.

The screenshot shows

  • the generic DCI-P3 display profile (black)
  • two paper profiles from a printing provider,
    • for classic photo paper (green)
    • and digital print (yellow) – especially the last one common for a printed calender.

In this example the paper profiles fits well into the DCI-P3 colour range,
while others may exceed that in the green-blue area
(negate the so-called rendering intent relative … for now).

Working with highly saturated colours needs some care – to not loose (too much) texture.

DxO’s Wide Gamut mode can handle all colours available in your pic, including those outside of what your display can render – and later the printed calender will show.

To get along, the MONITOR gamut warning
shown here in Windows OS

puts a blue overlay on your pic for the area with colours exceeding your display’s colour range.
The so-called ‘out-of-gamut’ colours have to be processed ‘to fit in’.
[ → PL6 Classic-Legacy takes care of that ]

BUT, your calender might show way less colours than your display is able too.

To visualize you can use the DESTINATION gamut warning (softproof on !)
shown here with both warnings on

which puts a red overlay for the area with colours exceeding the paper’s colour range.
This difference also has to be transferred ‘to fit in’.
[ → PL6 Classic-Legay does it … (well, almost) … ]

Suppose, more of interest is the softproof / the onscreen simulation how your pic will look like when exported.

  • When you have (imported) such a paper profile, you can simulate the expected output and optimize on screen to get a more suitable outcome*) – but export this ‘optimized’ version with the sRGB IEC61996-2.1 profile, as that is what the printing provider (usually) expects.
    *) for the moment there is no paper & ink simulation yet

  • Otherwise (and for social media) you can softproof with the sRGB IEC61996-2.1 profile to control how PL6 WG mode handled your pic’s colours for the sRGB output – and ‘correct’ before you export to sRGB.
    [ → the softproof version highlighted you can use the export option ‘same as softproof’ // also in PL6’s Classic-Legacy mode ]

  • Don’t let the all new DxO Wide Gamut mode overwhelm you. Simply try out what works best for you. Softproofing is a possibility to preview what you get, while it does not overcome the screen’s limitations.

In Colour space comparison – from practice I’ve shed some light on different monitor colour spaces vs. printing outputs (in section C. → my monitor’s colour space vs. my paper profiles).


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Thank you so much! Your explanation helps very much!

DxO is in Paris, something may be lost in translation.

Language problems tend to be minor. Some parts of the English user guide were not in English. But I’m also referring to info that was incorrectly copied and pasted from another source, procedures/images that don’t match the UI, descriptions that are technically wrong…

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