DXO PL v7 is it worth upgrading?

First of all, one little advise.

Since PLv7 release date this year was earlier than usual, it means that end of trial duration will be before Black Friday sale. Don’t upgrade! Wait for the sale. It would be probably about 69$.

After trying the trial version for a while

Let’s see what’s new in PL v7?

  1. A new color calibration tool based on industry-standard color checker charts

  2. LUT (Look Up Table) support

  3. An improved Black and White workflow

  4. A new Local Adjustments palette

  5. Additional HSL Colorwheel for Local Adjustments

  6. An improved mask display

Now let’s see:

  • Color calibration tool - nice tool, I even bought already the Datacolor Spyderchecker24. I can tell you that even without upgrading, you can still use the colorchecker chart for W.B. and exposure compensation. These two adjustments can solve most of color correction issues in most lighting situations even without creating the color calibration DCP profile. In general, a nice to have feature but not a must. see attached sugested workflow for spyderchecker24
  • LUT (Look Up Table) – nice feature, don’t know how much would I use it
  • Black and White workflow – Nice start if it will be expended in the future into incorporating Silver Efex tools into PL. But right now, it’s too less features for not to go to Nik Silver Efex, so it’s not that tempting to upgrade.
  • New Local Adjustments palette – let’s keep on
  • Colorwheel for Local Adjustments – Nice feature, but again, no eyedropper. Why? Maybe left it for an update version later on…
  • Improved mask display– let’s keep on

There’s some new options on color rendering too. Such as vivid, portrait 1, 2, 3 - nice thing to have.

In general, I don’t like the DXO business concept. For instance:

  • Vignetting (Darkening edges) – what does it has to do with Filmpack? Why isn’t it in the PL?
  • Fine contrast – what does it has to do with Filmpack? Why isn’t it in the PL?
  • Luminosity filter - what does it has to do with Filmpack? Why isn’t it in the PL?

Would I upgrade? Even for 69$ ?
Maybe yes, but maybe No. It depends on how would I feel about it. It’s not the money. It’s just too less new editing features while the world of photo editing expends the boundaries of photo editing,such as AI masking etc. Oh,yes on the B&W workflow there are some positive film simulation too 4 or 5… Again too less. I can still have much more in silver efex
Sadly Dxo PL became more and more irrelevant in the last years.
How many YouTube English language videos were up till now? 10-11… (I don’t count those posted by DXO} 11 posts for new upgrade? And now that Lightroom has AI Denoise, who would buy the Pureraw plugin? The sales of that piece of software will be cut by 90%. Irrelevant… did I mention it?
And it’s sad because PL is a very good piece of software.
SpyderCHECKR 24.pdf (304.2 KB)


FilmPack is not just about film emulations. It never has been.


I think that @cohen5538 is not happy to see features, that are part of other raw editors moved out of DPL and into DFP (or DVP if I may add it here).

From a completeness of feature set point of view and imo, it is best to get the bundle with DPL and DFP and add DVP too. We can save money by checking bundle and single product prices and combining accordingly. Moreover, prices can vary greatly depending on where you live and the currency you use…and discounts that DxO might grant for Black Friday, the holidays or for other occasions.

Is DPL 7 offering enough improvements to justify the upgrade? The answer is, as always, yes or no, depending on one’s personal evaluation criteria.


I’ve always been a believer that if somebody wants the entire PhotoLab experience the only way to achieve that is to purchase the entire PhotoLab suite, including FilmPack and Viewpoint. Just because some people don’t feel FilmPack adds any specific value for them does not mean it is not a worthwhile purchase for others.

Yes the entire suite is expensive. There is no doubt about that. However, for most of us who own the entire suite, we would not give up any part of it. By modularizing it, DxO has made PhotoLab more affordable for those users who feel they can live without most of the features in Viewpoint and FilmPack. I know I can’t live without them and use many of those features on a regular basis.


Are you sure?
Has DxO communicated this offer?

Hope dies last :sunglasses: :grinning:

Past year it was the same.
I upgraded for 69$
Otherwise for 109$ I would skip this upgrade.


Nice to see the glass half full view.

It’s all about naming. Imagine if…
PhotoLab → PhotoLab Lite
PhotoLab Elite → PhotoLab Standard
PhotoLab Elite + FP + VP → PhotoLab Extreme

I reckon there would be less complaints. :man_shrugging:


Thank you for this review!
In my case, I am still in PL5 but upgrade is not possible, I would have to re-buy the full version. Is it worth it ?

No @Altix check it in Dxo website.
You can skip one upgrade (I have upgraded from pl4 to pl6)
So I believe you would be able to upgrade from pl5 to pl7 without any problem

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What do you think Filmpack is a about then?

Compare the price of a Filmpack upgrade with the price of PL Elite. Should we pay what it costs without the “hostages features” held back in Filmpack in order to force us to buy ir?

I would never have bought it unless “Fine Contrast”, one of my most indespensable tools was a part of the “hostage features” and now the DXO plan seem to be to force us to upgrade even Filmpack everytime we upgrade PM. Remember, we were likewise forced to upgrade to FP 6 too of a similar reason.

Without these marketing tricks we would have a far better offer sticking with an old version of NIC Collection (I still use version 4 despite version 6 is the last one), despite it’s as poorly integraged as it is.

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I used FP5 with PL6 and it provided ‘fine contrast’ without an upgrade …

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It wouldn’t make any difference. A lot of people want everything at a much lower price.


You and I look at this completely differently. From my point of view virtually everything in FilmPack is an essential feature. The only feature I never use is light leak.

I am sure for many people there are multiple features in PhotoLab Elite that they never use but they are still paying for them. Perhaps we should let users pick and choose just the features they want and only pay for them. Unfortunately no software works like that.

Most people who bought PhotoShop and Lightroom back in the day when they were expensive non-subscription products didn’t use half of the features available to them. That’s the way software works. A company offers a product and you either decide it’s cost effective for you or it isn’t.

I have been using the Microsoft Office Suite for over 30 years. I’ve never used more than a fraction of all the capabilities that were available. Before they moved to the current Microsoft 365 subscription pricing, It costs an absolute fortune to upgrade. While I certainly wanted it to be more inexpensive, I never once heard anybody express the vitriol I see here. Instead, people just purchased office look-alikes for a lot less money.

We have a choice and we can vote with our dollars or Euros if Dx0 prices are too high. I just find this constant never ending complaint-fest as useless venting. For those who are unhappy with the prices you can state your concerns, but then buy something else, and move on. The current continuous discussions in this and other threads over the DxO pricing models is getting old.



As already stated by @cohen5538 that’s not true, you can still upgrade from PL5 to PL7 at a discount. Login to your DxO Shop account to see that discounted price.

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and drop the Lite version for PureRaw – just saying

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It may indeed be useless venting but does not the fact that it occurs so frequently and (to me at least) appears to be on the rise, tell us and more importantly DxO something about the consequences of their current marketing strategy? Could it be a hint that a not insignificant chunk of their customer base are getting close to doing as you suggest and be about to:

Modularizing PL is one point, the features and bugs are another ones.

  1. The new color calibration is a a spot metering methode. Imho it will work fine, if you can place the color table nearby the object to be photographed…
    If you do not have access to the object, it perhaps will not work properly. This eventually the case if the object is far away, in glass case with a separate illumination (e.g. in shops or museums) etc. Same for using a conventional grey card.
    So the benefit of this (very good) method will depend on ones purposes and shooting situations, but it will be limited.
    I did not read all comments to that feature, but a comparision between grey card and color table perhaps might be interesting as to the marginal benefit of the colour table.

  2. Imho, there are still some pretty inconvenient bugs in PL; e.g. cropping ratio and image size depending on the geometrical correction (horizon, square etc), or that not-working flexible grid for ReShape (forgotten its correct naming) etc.
    Imho, for many users a cleanup of these well known old problems would be more helpful than some design mock ups or sophisticated calibrating methods.




I have been in the Beta Test team for several years, and had a free license that do not allow upgrades. Need to come back to normal business, but I will wait for Black Friday :smiley:

I said I already had what I needed with what was offered in NIC Collection 4 and more over when it comes to styles and film simulations. If it had not been for the “hostage policy” I wouldn´t bother at all with Filmpack. An upgrade of Filmpack is not far from what it cost to upgrade Photolab Elite. That isn´t really resonable since it also just complicates and confuses things.

Why not just charge some more for the Photolab Elite and give it all to us without any further conditions. Having to buy a completely other software just to obtain a few indispensable tools is just very strange and not all that common. I can´t really recall I have seen anything like it and I saw a lot of software when I was working in a Nordic IT-distribution company as a product manager and later as a developer of business systems. If you are not aware of this strange policy as a new customer you might even miss out completely on some tools they might like and need.

I have a lot to say about Adobe over the years but either they or the Phase One/Capture One people ever seemed to have considered DXO: s marketing mess. In fact, I think I even prefer the subscription model before this dribbling DXO have devoted themselves to the last years. Maybe they shall consider the subscription model too if they have problems to survive economically.

There is a lot of differences in policies just among the manufacturers of the software I use. Camera Bits are on the other extreme side with their PhotoMechanic 6 where they haven´t forced anyone to pay a cent more over the last three years since. It is still this version 6 despite we had got a numerous upgrades over these years for free. Despite that they are able to offer really first-class support och a first-class dialog through their forums. Others like XnView are totally free and despite that it is maintained with countless improvements and maintenance upgrades.

Some here suggest we shall take our money and go elsewhere and start complaining or come with not so appreciated feedback to DXO about their software problems but I don´t even need to do that since I have used Capture One in parallel for 10 years, but I might just settle with what I already have which works fairly well for me after all and cease to upgrade totally as I already have done with Capture One where the last version will be my last one to. I don´t really need DXO for anything anymore because there is a workaround on most of the problems I see now. If they solve the problems, we have discussed sins the release of version 7 - they solve them and if they don´t I won´t really care. I have what I need until I will “pulling in my oars” for good as we say out here in the Baltic Islands when people die.