Hooray ! - - PhotoLab v7.5 includes some important fixes to LA behaviour

Release Notes for PLv7.5 list some important fixes & enhancements to behaviour when in Local Adjustments mode;

Curiously, tho, the most important fix (in my view) is not mentioned here;

  • With PLv6, when applying Control Lines and Luminosity Masks, there was live/real-time feedback as the eye-dropper/sampler was moved around the image … This enabled fast and accurate location of the sampling-tool (in order to achieve the precise result required).
  • Sadly, this crucial behaviour was lost with PLv7’s new implementation of LAs …

  • It’s now truly EXCELLENT to find that this behaviour has been restored with PLv7.5 :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:… especially for those users who have avoided moving to PLv7 for this very reason !

Taking the listed “fixes and improvements” in reverse order;

  1. image
  • What this means is that “Show Mask” is automatically set “ON” (and is greyed-out/disabled, so that it cannot be set “OFF”) until one of the correction sliders is moved/adjusted … and then it becomes available for user input (via mouse or the “M” key).

I reckon this is a “good thing” … as it means that a mask is always displayed for a newly applied LA-tool even if “Show Masks” had been set to “OFF” - - which is handy for experienced users, and it makes the UX more obvious for new users :+1:

  1. image

In practice, this change especially impacts Control Lines & Control Points …

  • Previously, when one’s mouse moved over a LA widget or (most annoyingly) when moving the eye-dropper/sampler for a Control-Point or Control Line, the Show Mask effect would be automatically activated (even when the Show Masks check-box was NOT selected)

  • This was really annoying, because it was then impossible to see any details in the image in order to fine-tune placement of the sampling tool.

So, it’s really good news that masks are no longer “force displayed” :+1:

  1. image

This means that, whilst any correction settings are being changed (with the cursor located in/over one of LA correction panels) then the mask for the current LA-type is hidden (even if “Show Masks” is set to “ON”) … until the cursor is moved back into the image area.

There’s some “good” and some “bad” in this one, I reckon;

  • If it was only the mask itself (as per the Color or B&W setting) that was hidden - then I reckon that would be useful … in order to properly see the impact of slider changes :+1:

  • However, what I reckon is not so good is that the LA “widget” is also hidden … such that we can no longer see the boundaries of the “areas of influence” of the LA tool whilst sliders are being adjusted :-1:

All in all, tho, it’s truly excellent to see these fixes to PLv7’s LA implementation.


Wait - - There’s more !!

I’ve found another reversal of a regression from PLv6 to PLv7.5HSL;

With PLv6, there was instant/real-time feedback (of changes to colours in the image) when moving the “outer” control of the HSL tool - - Sadly, this was lost with the release of PLv7 … and it was necessary to release one’s hold on the mouse before the colour change was reflected … This was both tedious and “hit & miss” !

More excellent news … The original PLv6 behaviour has been restored :+1:

So, I can now think of only one major issue left to be fixed/reversed in PLv7+ … that is;

  • The change from there being stand-alone settings for Saturation & Vibrancy via the Color Accentuation tool in PLv6 … to these settings being conflated within the HSL tool in PLv7

This was a most unfortunate change, in my opinion - - made for dubious reasons;

  • With Color Accentuation as a stand-alone tool, it was quick & easy to review changes to Saturation and/or Vibrancy simply by toggling the CA-tool On/Off.

  • With Saturation & Vibrancy being part of the HSL tool (with PLv7+) … it’s now not possible to evaluate changes to these settings without other HSL settings having an impact …

  • And, similarly, it’s now not possible to review HSL settings without Sat&Vib settings having an impact … because Sat&Vib settings are now conflated/combined with HSL settings.

  • Note: It IS possible to isolate any one of the HSL settings (for On/Off comparison), by holding the mouse down, separately, on each channel … BUT, that’s just one-by-one … This is NOT an alternative to it being possible, for evaluation purposes, to isolate Sat&Vib settings entirely from HSL settings (and vice versa).

  • With Saturation & Vibrancy being part of the HSL tool (with PLv7+) … it’s now not possible to evaluate changes to these settings without other HSL settings having an impact …

Talk about a change that makes zero sense from a user perspective. Truly hope they revert this change.

I also found that 7.5 restores compatibility with Sony’s in-camera cropped RAW files. This worked in 7.3, then stopped working in 7.4, but now works again. Funny, since a support rep told me just a few days ago that the compatibility was basically an unintended consequence and there was no guarantee it would work again.

support and development/engineering are usually not so closely coupled that support can give the right answer without asking the dev/eng. I mostly had decent support when posting tickets, but from what I hear, there is some room for improvement.

Support often has to meet a target for how much time and effort can be spent on a ticket. But, getting best results in no time is impossible.

In the 10+ years that I’ve been a customer, DxO support has largely been one-way communication, with customer-provided info relayed to developers and only questions or test fixes relayed back to customers. I learned to accept that. But my frustration with trying to get questions answered or erroneous behavior confirmed led to my being invited into the early access testing programs. That was going very well, and I thought support was getting better also - for a while. All of it has since fallen apart. My later experiences have been thoroughly frustrating, insulting, demeaning, time-wasting… worst for products other than PhotoLab, but increasingly bad for PL also. So I’m not going to bother anymore unless they show interest in reconciling. On the bright side, I generally assume that info we get from support is coming from the developers. In the case of PhotoLab, that’s usually a positive thing.

See this thread:

I can remember a time, just a couple of years ago, when @sgospodarenko or other DxO employees would answer a poster’s question or else call it to the attention of a developer that was intimately familiar with the software that the poster’s question addressed. I seem to remember that most of these problems got answered. Sometimes this would result in a new version being released the following week. Oh for “the good ol’ days”!


Yes, those were the best of times for us! But only for PhotoLab users.


I was the one who started that thread and I’ve gone through an extended email exchange with the support people on it. I have to say that the skillset is ‘mixed’ on the customer support side. Fabrice there is great … very helpful, supportive, patient, and knowledgeable. Exactly the sort of person you want in that role. The first person I dealt with (no names needed) was polite but seemed not to understand the problem at first (asked for irrelevant information) then implicitly suggested that I was imagining things … I had to send multiple emails and files just to prove to her that the problem didn’t exist in earlier iterations. This wasn’t done with any malice, mind you, I think it was just a lack of deep product knowledge and understanding on how to deal with customers. I do have to say, though, when Fabrice took over, he saved the day and my frustration dissipated.

I’ve just “discovered” there’s yet another SIGNIFICANT behavioural improvement in PLv7.5’s UI/UX when working with Local Adjustments.

Previously, when returning to the LA-Tab (such as when adding LAs and then switching to Global mode, and then coming back to the LA-Tab … or when switching to a different image, to which LAs had previously been added) the user is shown a list of all those previously applied LA-masks.

  • The natural action taken (by a user familiar with mouse-based UIs) was to click on the specific LA that they now wish to review/refine … BUT, nothing happens !!

  • Instead, one needed to first select one of the LA-types from the LA-type-toolbar … and, only then was LA-mode activated.

  • This was totally counter-intuitive, and very confusing (as a result)

Now, when returning to previously applied LA corrections, one no longer needs to select one of the LA-types in order to activate LA-mode … Now, it’s enough to simply select the LA correction that one intends to work with (from the list of previously created LA-masks) - and LA-mode is immediately activated, and you’re all set to work with the selected LA-mask.

Because this is now intuitive behaviour, it makes for a MUCH better user experience :+1:


That’s a big win! but I still hate the new LA UI I wish they could put the sliders back on the control points as has happened with the latest Nik where it’s a configurable display option. I hate having to mouse back and forward and scroll up and down to do local adjustments!

1 Like

Sorry, that is just not going to happen.


Do you know why? After all they removed them in the Nik collection then put them back (as an option) due to user demand. I know a lot of folks who haven’t upgraded to 7 from 6 because of the UI change. I don’t see any technical reason why they can’t put them back and I can see a commercial reason to do so. It seems to be a win-win for everyone. So why do you think they wouldn’t do for PL what they did do for Nik?

DxO added the HSL tool into local adjustments. This is one technical reason. Another seems to be their evolving approach to the UI, which borrowed from Viveza but didn’t duplicate it. As a TV character named Kosh said, “The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.” Maybe DxO will revise their strategy again one day, but for now they are picking a direction and moving that way rather resolutely.


The HSL tool is, I agree, an exception but it is not the most commonly used tool and the others can be made accessible from both places. After all, DxO did exactly the same with Nik and put everything on the right panel then replaced the on-image sliders. Those sliders don’t replace the right panel they augment it by making the most common adjustments more easily accessible. The current solution is horribly inefficient, especially when doing projected teaching sessions at workshops where attendees find it much harder to see what the instructor is doing as the mouse leaps about the screen, but even in long personal sessions it adds about 10% to the time taken to edit a batch of images. I hope they fix it, it would be easy to do with an extra checkbox at the bottom of the screen “show adjusters” or some such… I live in hope. :slight_smile:

I would love to have this option. I did really like the previous (PL6 and earlier) UI for local adjustments, and to have the option to use it along with the current side panel UI would be awesome.

I agree, so much mouse movement is currently required - especially with a large, high res monitor. Making multiple (exposure, contrast, etc.) local adjustments was once simple and quick, but now it is a chore :frowning:

I do love having HSL control on a Local Adjustment level too. However, I only apply HSL to a minority of LA adjustments. Obviously other peoples’ needs will vary to mine.

Unfortunately, only DxO knows where they’re going next with the local adjustments in PhotoLab. I’d be happier if they reduce the amount of vertical space required for the local adjustment palettes (they have this feedback). Then we would essentially have a larger equalizer that is not overlapping the image. But DxO’s updates, good as they are, are rather incremental and never seem to be finished IMO. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:


@John-M It was nice to see a topic here that was actually super positive. I realize this is a support forum and I should expect more negative than positive comments.

Still it’s refreshing.


Thanks, Brian … but, it’s simply a case of giving credit where credit’s due …

Quite a few PL users expressed their unhappiness with various aspects of new implementation of Local Adjustments in PLv7 … So, it’s excellent to see that DxO has taken notice and has responded accordingly … And, I’m hopeful there’s more to come on this (See Greg’s comment, as one such example).


1 Like

Yes - that would definitely be a worthwhile improvement … thereby making the new LA UI much less cumbersome (or, much more efficient) to work with.

Meanwhile, here’s how I make this situation a little better;

  • I have all LA panels selected as Favourites - EXCEPT for the HSL panel.

  • When I use Local Adjustments, I click on the LA-tab AND the Favourites button

  • With result that the entire LA palette (containing all panels, except for HSL) is now visible … which makes it MUCH easier to navigate

  • If/when I need to use the HSL panel, I temporarily un-select the Favourites button.

It’s not ideal, but it’s better than having to chase up/down the LA palette !


Back to the Solo Mode request, proudly ignored since years…