Improve the viewer!

As I have been asking SEVERAL times in the past 4 years… improve the viewer!

We want to see the full effects of Lens sharpness/unsharp mask/microcontrast/fine contrast/fringing/aberrations correction even at zoom levels below 75%! Modern PC’s computing power allows it!

Make it configurable, if you wish, a Preferences option saying “Full corrections will be applied from xx% zoom level and upwards only”, where xx can be chosen by the user as a compromise between accuracy and speed.

The ONLY option that should not be applied in real time is denoising, that is best left only to the export stage and the mini preview window.

Will we finally have it for PL8 like all the other competitors already do? It would take almost ZERO effort to implement it! And to speed it up, make the viewer use the power of the GPU and/or of multiple cores! The current viewer is obsolete, and qualitatively ugly! PL has the best JPEG quality export of all RAW converters, and it’s a shame that this quality cannot be previewed in real time (and often with misleading previews too).


Are you able to judge sharpness without denoising ? on a 6400 iso shot for example ?

It’s not to judge sharpness per se.

It’s because the lack of application of all the things I have listed above has a HUGE impact on perceived contrast, brigthness and saturation too. I have provided countless examples (screenshots) in the past, which show how skipping these steps below 75% can lead to very misleading judgement of saturation. In other words, images shown below 75% appear falsely much more saturated than at 75% or above (which is how they will appear in the export too).

Mostly I shoot landscapes at 100-200 ISO, so denoising doesn’t have a visible impact (but it would be very performance impacting).

Yes. I agree this is a problem that should be solved.

I would put this needed improvment in the same pack as the possibility to compare different images (which does not exist in photolab …).

But seing what DxO is able to develop in one year … This only feature would maybe called a major upgrade …

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Yes, the image comparison would be welcome too!

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Just to illustrate my point once again…

Screenshot from my 4K monitor at 70%:

Screenshot from my 4K monitor at 75%:

Notice how blurry the first one is… and consider that here it’s a 1080 rescaling: on a 4K monitor it looks even worse.

Notice also the tonality of the grey rocks behind the lake: it’s warmer (more yellow) and less bright in the one at 70%.

And this is the JPEG output, which looks great because PL is a wonderful program… but it looks VERY different from the 70% preview.

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Not convinced yet? Here we go again…



Full JPEG output:

Look at the detail on the mountain in the background: at 70% it looks like the photo is completely out of focus.

With a 4K monitor, to be able to work on a Nikon Z6 image in its entirety, the zoom level needs to be 44%. So I would need all corrections to be applied at least at that level too. And lower than that for higher megapixels bodies.

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Quite simple:
If the software is not able to show me my photos screen filling (in my case 21% zoom) sharp, it is useless for me.

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Let’s hope that it will be taken into consideration for PL8, or for a 7.x version.

I have been calling to the attention of DxO about this since PL3… and they have always replied that “they would think about it”.

Probably they think that rewriting the viewer code so that it works like it should doesn’t have the same appeal on new customers of adding new flashy features…

Yeah this is a much needed feature and it is totally doable, just make it optional for users.
If we find it too much of a burden to the PC we will turn it off.

Now I often thought some of my photos are out of focus, until I zoom in beyond 75%, it’s just inconvenience.

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And I would add to this “pack” the clean and easy ability to (at least) undock the main window to put ot alone full screen and have tools palette interface on a second monitor.

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About the “burden”, let me add a couple of considerations…

Other RAW developers are MUCH, MUCH faster in generating a preview than PL. And they manage to be faster while at the same time NOT having this blurriness at any zoom level.

So, it’s not only a matter of allowing sharpening/microcontrast/aberrations correction at zoom levels below 75% (optionally). It’s a whole matter of complete rewriting of the visualization engine, because there is plenty of margin for optimization both in terms of performance and quality.

And that’s why I hinted at why GPU acceleration (so brilliantly used for DeepPrime) could be used also for speeding up the viewer.

No more blurriness at any zoom level AND better performance? A dream, but doable!

@sgospodarenko remember how many times we already had this discussion? :wink: