New to DxO PhotoLab - coming from NX2 - a few random questions

Hi All,

Ok, I’ve been lurking here, reading, thinking. Trying to determine if DxO PhotoLab is right for me. Started my trial today. Hi everyone!

A few random questions that I’m hoping can get answered here:

  1. Speed - ok, so of course, like all of you, photo selection is a big deal. I shoot live music, and after I shoot, I need to go through sometimes 2,000 images to select which ones I want to keep/edit. The speed of PhotoLab concerns me. Bringing up each fully rendered image takes a while. (I’m on an i7 iMac) I’ve kept the setting to use the “DxO Standard” preset for RAW images selected. Do y’all shut that off to make the speed more tolerable? Any other tips relating to this? The 2 or 3 seconds to see the photo is kinda tough to swallow…

  2. Sidecar files. Ok, I found a thread where y’all are discussing sidecar files… Using them will be new to me, and I’m not sure I have a choice if I use PhotoLab, but I always edit locally on my SSD, and then move my NEFs and JPGs to a NAS. I see that there’s a database file that will probably be screwed up when I do that, but not sure that matters. Can anyone comment on that? If I have the original NEF and the DOP file, and they are named the same, am I cool?

  3. Saving edits. It LOOKS like if I make an edit and then select another image, that my edits are saved. Is that right?

  4. I found a thread on here where someone requested a brush tool to remove parts of the image that you DON’T want to be influenced by an “auto selected” control point - meaning you placed it and NxO did its best to make a selection - not always perfect (of course). I see that this is being considered. Wow, seems like a MUST HAVE tool! I used it all the time with NX2. Hope that is gonna be added!

  5. Learning PhotoLab - hm. Seems like the best way is to watch and re-watch this.’s/dxo-photolab-camera-export Right?

  6. Virtual copy - so I THINK you use this if you want several different treatments for the same image, for example?

  7. When you “reset” an image, you are basically going back to ONLY using what the “DxO Standard” preset has, right (if you keep that preference setting)? It looks like I can’t edit that preset, so if I want to change something, I just create a new preset, right?

Thanks all!

Jon in San Francisco

Hi Jon I’m fairly new on the forum too and have been interested in the sidecar issue. Lots of people here know far more than I do so hopefully they’ll answer your queries, I just wanted to say that there is a pdf manual downloadable from DxO Support pages at

Lots of words but I’ve found it helpful. Similar to the online help manual but an alternative when you’re fed up looking at screen.

Thanks kbird! Yeah, found that and am going through it page by page now…


You can access the same file and some additional resources from within PL: Help (F1).

Welcome, Jon !
It looks to me like you’re asking all the right questions, and you’re well on your way …

You do have a choice - it is defined in your PhotoLab Preferences.

If these settings are “checked” then PL will (automatically) use sidecar.dop files - If not then only the database will be used to hold your processing/correction settings between PL sessions.

More info on sidecars here: Pros and cons of creating .dop files

Yes, in this case you cannot rely upon the PL database - instead, as long as you keep the RAW file (in your case, the NEF file) and it’s associated sidecar.dop file together then you can move them between your different environments and you will have your processing/correction settings travelling with your RAW file … and, as long as you have the settings checked as shown above, the contents of your sidecar.dop files will take precedence over the PL database (which becomes, essentially, redundant in this case).

Yes, correct; it’s absolutely important that your RAW file and it’s associated sidecar.dop file have exactly the same main-filename … otherwise, PL will assume that no sidecar.dop exists and it will create a new one.
eg. ImageName.NEF and ImageName.NEF.dop

Assuming you have the Save/Load settings checked in your Preferences (as shown above) then “yes”, your edits will be saved in the sidecar.dop file that’s created for each image.

Yes, that’s a typical reason for creating a virtual copy - also handy for comparing 2 sets of corrections for the same image - or for experimenting with a particular set of corrections without losing previous work, etc, etc, etc

That depends; PL Preference settings allow you to assign a different “starting point” to replace the “DxO Standard” preset;
eg. DxO_PresetPrefs

Correct - The example above shows my customised versions of the DxO Standard.

Regards, John M


AWESOME information, John M. Thank you!

Ok, so let’s say I want to use almost all of “DxO Standard” but with one change. I have to just make that one change, save it as a preset, then change my preferences to use that new preset as the default for the file type I want to use it for (RAW, in my case). Right?

Relating to performance, any suggestions for setting cache and/or simultaneously processed images? Just leave those at default?

Lastly (for now), since I’m not going to be using the database at all, really since my files will all be moving to my NAS, do I need to worry about deleting it occasionally or something? Can the database pointing to incorrect file locations screw me up somehow?

  • Thanx again!
  • Jon

Hello Jon,
Welcome aboard :slight_smile:

  • Absolutely. To make your life easier there is one more option “Create preset from current settings”:

    You can create a preset directly from the preview or image browser by the right click which opens the context menu.

  • Cache size you can leave as is.
  • As for the number of simultaneously processed images (operation when you process your image in different formats JPEG/TIFF/DNG) - this value is based on the number of the dopcors possible on your machine. The app suggests you the recommended one but if you want the more number of images to be processed at the same time you can increase it (in your PC allows it).
  • Well, if you do not work with the projects but only with the file tree, there won’t be any pointing to the incorrect file location.
  • About deleting the database from time to time - it’s up to you - you can remove it from here - c:\Users\user_name\AppData\Roaming\DxO\DxO PhotoLab 1\Database\ from time to time.

Svetlana G.

May I jump in here for a moment and ask how I delete the database on a Mac? Apologies for being a little off subject.

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Let me ask @akarlovsky to reply.


You should go to /Users/user/Library/DxO Photolab v1 and remove DOPDatabaseV1

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I have 4 files beginning with DOPDatabaseV1 should I delete all 4?

All these files are re-created each time you launch Photolab so feel free to delete them all.

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Thank you, Svetlana!

  • Jon
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Thank you for the clarification. That seems to have worked fine.

Apologies for interrupting your thread Jon. Overexcited seeing your question that was similar to mine for the Mac!

Not at all!!! Good info! I’m on a Mac also!

  • Jon
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On a Mac running El Capitan (10.11.6) and PhotoLab 2.0.0, the path is /Users/~/Library/DxO

The files to delete are:

  • DOPDatabaseV2.dopdata
  • DOPDatabaseV2.dopdata-shm
  • DOPDatabaseV2.dopdata-wal

The only way I could get new ratings in from FastRawViewer (stores them in XMP files) was to delete the database. Ideally, there would be a refresh folder command. The issue with getting the new ratings is tied up with the database. So the only way to quickly get fresh ratings for existing photos I’ve found is to delete the PhotoLab database. I’ve added a link to /Users/alec/Library/DxO to my sidebar for quick access.

If anyone has a better workflow for this scenario (updating XMP ratings), please let me know. I have no wish to use the rating within DxO PhotoLab as then I’d have two incompatible rating systems competing. At least now, I know my ratings are safe within the XMP file and consistent.


Well Alec

I think I found the guy who will give me the answer to my request :smiley:
In my tutorial, I gave some paths for configuration files. But only for Windows OS.
I asked to the world for Mac OS path but nobody heard me :disappointed_relieved:

Many thanks in advance

Look for: Mac: XXX !! Inform me to the path to tuto.dxo [at] !! XXX
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