My issues with DXO Photolab 4.2


I’m using Lightroom for many years. Now I’d like to switch to Photolab as I like the sidecar .dop file system more and the new Deep Prime is just awesome!

But there are issues at the Photolab that are still holding me at Lightroom.

I’ll show you an example.

Take this RAW file:

In Lightoom everything is quick and easy:

  1. Import.
  2. Crop:
    Please notice the straight edges of the paper.
  3. Click to Auto to tune the lightness.
  4. Add +2 EV in Exposure.
  5. Export with the option Sharpness: Screen, Medium.
  6. Done.

The result is good for me:

But the Photolab is a different story:

  1. Open the RAW file.
  2. Set the DxO Standard preset and crop the image:
    Do you see the curved edges of the paper?
    Please note that the Distortion correction is enabled and the profile for the lens/camera is downloaded.
    How is this possible? Lightroom is better than Photolab in automatic correcting the lens distortion? Even the embedded JPEG in the RAW file shows straight edges.
  3. If I enable the Volume Deformation (Diagonal), the edges are fixed - but not as good in Lightroom. However a new strange ghosting is visible along right side: Luckily this is not visible in the export.
  4. OK. I disable the Volume Deformation and set the focusing distance in the GEOMETRY section. The edges are now straight: Do I have to set the correct focusing distance manually for each picture to get the distortion corrected?
  5. I add +2 EV in Exposure.
  6. Export with Bicubic Interpolation:
    Too soft for me compared to the Lightroom export.
  7. New Export with the Bicubic sharper Interpolation:
    Now the picture is oversharpened for me compared to the Lightroom export. I’d like to see more options for the post-resize sharpening. BTW Bicubic interpolation is outdated now. I’m sure you’ve heard about Lanczos resampling…
  8. I’m trying my best to tweak the lightness of the image to get the best result. After 10 minutes I got this:
    But the result from Lightroom is is still better for me. Especially in these areas:

To sum it up:
Lightroom did better job in:

  • Automatic distortion correction.
  • Automatic light correction.
  • Post-resize sharpening.

At the end:
When I try to open a RAW file from my phone (OnePlus 6) it works only in the Lightroom. Another point for the Lightroom.

Hi @Vladimir,
out of curiosity I downloaded your raw file and could follow your problem.

I remember some reports – maybe check here PL4 requires manual focus distance entry while PL3 didn't - #16 by Marie and get in contact with @Marie

Hello @Vladimir ,

for now PL doesn’t read focusing distance in Sony A7R file that’s why you need to change its value manually if this is needed, you can look to the link Wolfgang inicated you.
Your picture is shot at 0.58m which is in the lowest range of focus for that lens and by default we set focus to infinity as it is the most common use.
We plan to change that behavior for Sony A7R camera but it will require some modification of Optics Modules and I need some time to do it.

About bicubic interpolation I’ll let @sgospodarenko have a look or redirect.


Just a quick edit_

Changing the distance setting is indeed reducing the curve of the cardboard (or whatever it was) but it is also increasing the curve of the border between the two wooden boards that meet near the left edge. Anyway, you can get close enough and simply crop off what you don’t want.

As for general use: Lr and PhotoLab are different tools and each needs some getting used to. I’ve used Lr from version 1 on and it’s still my main photo app because of its asset management and printing capabilities. Changing between Lr and PL takes some getting used to because they do things differently.

Whether one way of doing things is “better” than the other is a matter of taste and experience rather than one of absolute measurement.

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Hello @Vladimir ,

Svetlana G.

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