Panorama Stitching

You may correct me. A daylight film is meant to be used with daylight, assuming white light. When the light wasn’t white one had to use correction filters. That’s what you’re doing when using daylight wb and adjusting with the wb. Except PL uses 5400 for that.
I’ve been thinking when you tried to explain why you do it and I see the advantages for it.
Nevertheless a raw has only an input color gamut and that can’t be changed.


Except I set my cameras to 5600°K because I sometimes use a colour meter to measure the light and have found that 5600°K on the camera gives me the same rendering as I would have expected from daylight balanced film. DxO has decided that their interpretation of “daylight” is 5400°K - that’s up to them. But, when I shoot a measured colour temperature of 5600°K, with my camera set to 5600°K, I don’t want their interpretation of daylight because I didn’t set my camera to daylight, I set it to 5600°K.

So, since PL won’t play ball with fixed temperatures set in-camera by reading the EXIF correctly, my default preset includes a manual WB of 5600°K. Then I know that, if I photograph a grey card, I get as near to 128, 128, 128 as I can, not PL’s slightly different idea of neutral.

I do understand your way of working. No doubt. But the issue was that Peter thought wb and color profile would be an obstacle to stitch raw files. I just said a raw file doesn’t have a wb or output color profile. The resulting RGB raster image after demosaicing has.


not as in the rawfile would be the obstacle but more the processing of the rawfiles in to one large "file"The rawfile has cameracolorspace (sensors specification)
rawfile has a floating whitepoint, as in the WB is calculated and set in demosiacingproces towards a pixel image (RGB)
So a burst of images in a second or so would be the same (look) if the “exposure” is fixed during the burst and not recalculating wile bursting.
Al this would be storing a reasonable the same siblings in DoF, Exposurelevels, and such.
So far so good.
My point is could you stitch non demosiaced “pixels” like RGBG-raster/pixel(which are Lumination levels per sensorwell( aka exposure readout) of multiple images overlapping and aline together without first set WB and lumination?(which is done after demosiacing and RGBL is the factor for colorspace.)

And would it not be more easy to just use processed tiff files? (easier to find patterns to stack)
I mean is there a advantage to find in stacking rawfiles?

@Joanna Coming from a film background and squeezing the same workflow to digital photography is something I used to react on heftily. These days I don’t care anymore, but I have to add some points to this discussion. Sensors and films are so different from each other that your statement to me sounds like “I’m coming from a slide rule background, where are the slides on this bloody screen?” or “my lathe has hand wheels, I don 't need all this buttons of a cnc-machine, I just use the feed wheel as I used to do”. It’s not about old = bad and new = cool, better. It’s just different. And for the guys preferring an optical viewfinder: Apparently you learnt to live with the shortcomings of a concept developed in an era when there simply were no alternatives, or when a matte screen of 4×5" cost already a lot, not to mention pentaprisms (in this size you’d need a mule to transport a camera), so you have to get used of upside down finder images which also are right side = left side and vice versa. This way of visualizing your photo is not easy to learn and it’s certainly not the way, humans “see” their world. But it’s a way you/we were forced to learn as there were no other ways.

It’s great you still enjoy this technique since it took long to learn it and it would be a misconception to say “but digital is faster (or whatever you like to fill in for more convenient)”. The only faster thing is filling a memory card faster than you could load a film magazine, but it’s very questionable that any of the faster files would later be seen as an image worth looking at. If it (film) gives you all freedom you need to create your images: fantastic. There are just a couple of subjects coming into my mind when a field camera would not catch a single image. Nonetheless, taking your time for an image always pays up at the end. It just not necessarily “only possible” when using film. And there is no rule saying “only with a proper white balance” when it comes to “what makes a picture great image?”. Honestly, back in the days of film there were no two colour film types (negative or positive) showing the same colour characteristics, no matter how often “daylight type” was printed on their boxes. Even the same film type had differences between different batches, and batches wer involved in everything: film carrier, emulsion, developer, temperature, water quality, age of chemicals, type of developing machines… hell, there is close to no single truth in film. As there’s also no single truths in any sensor.

An image with good colours isn’t necessarily taken with “the precise white balance of 5421K” or whatever value you think you set your camera to. Measuring it and get the real number in K is a different story. And comparing your memory in your brains with the end-result is another different story. Therefore it’s pointless to give °K recommendations, too many variables influence the end result. Use the ones you’re happy with. And adjust it in post, if you feel it should show more green tint.

The one thing I learnt in photography: recipes are a good thing, but important is the taste of the soup when you eat it. And knowing what ingredients do is far better than trying to create repeatable, exact same taste each time I cook it. Or only use wood stirring spoons, cast iron pans and cooking with a gas cooker.

Everybody’s workflow is different – and usually for a reason.
White Balance: What to pick as reference? - #13 by Wolfgang

While I’m no landscape ‘junkie’, for panorama work I think it’s best to use fixed values for white balance and exposure (exp. triangle) – and to live with some compromise when to handle high dynamic range.

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And focus.


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I also do stitching quite a lot and use the same workflow as described with ICE.
Pretty much back and forth from and into PhotoLab and having a PhotoStitch feature would be pretty much of a relief.
Hence I fully agree to the above.

Whether this should be a paid add-on or should find its way into the feature list of one of the next versions is something DxO will need to give a deep thought:

  • on one side it’s effort to implement and test as well as workflow relief for the users (as said above)
  • on the other side other (similar) tools already provide it so this would be catching up with features … also ICE goes for free and an upgrade has a price too … at least - to my view - this feature would justify more the price of an upgrade than the migration from PL4 to PL5.

There are already too many upgrades. I spend $200 for PL and I need to buy an add on to fix perspective distortion???

And another add on to get a fine contrast slider???

Please. Please. No more “upgrades” for features the competition has in their standard tools.

By the way capture one new panorama stitcher looks really nice. And it’s not extra $$$.

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I understand your concern about pricing, but as a comparison, a new license for Capture One costs $299 USD. A new license for the PhotoLab 5 Elite bundled with FilmPack 6 Elite and Viewpoint 3 currently cost $289 USD.

The annual PhotoLab upgrade costs around $79 or less depending on sales. Viewpoint and FilmPack are not updated every year. If I’m not mistaken, the annual upgrade cost for Capture One is $149, double that of PhotoLab.

Many PhotoLab users are not interested in FilmPack or Viewpoint functionality and therefore save money by not purchasing them.

By comparison DXO pricing is a bargain. I purchased Photolab 1 Elite, FilmPack 5 Elite, and Viewpoint 3 In late 2017. Since then I have upgraded to every new version of PhotoLab. There has only been one upgrade for FilmPack In all that time, and no upgrades to Viewpoint. I consider the PhotoLab suite a bargain. I use it almost every day and I have never regretted the financial outlay for a single second.

Additionally the licenses for FilmPack 6 Elite, and Viewpoint 3 come with a standalone version as well as the version embedded in PhotoLab. That allows license users to take advantage of FilmPack and Viewpoint features with other editing software.

There are various features in other software that are not currently in PhotoLab. Panorama stitching is one of them. Perhaps DxO will add that feature to some future version or perhaps not. In any case, with or without that functionality, DXO’s suite is superior software which is priced correctly, in my opinion.


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You can’t compare sale pricing from DXO with non sale pricing from capture one. Capture one goes on sale too.

The suite is still more expensive from DXO. And if you look at the Sony, Fuji, Nikon only versions they are substantially cheaper even than the sale price for DXO.

I almost feel like you get this base package and then have to add a-la-carte additional adjustments you may want to use.

And perspective correction? An add on? Seriously? On what planet is that okay? Really?

Yes, the camera specific versions of Capture One are much less expensive. But what if you use cameras from more than one manufacturer or just want to process images that were captured by a different camera system? Or what do you do if you decide to buy a new camera from a different manufacturer and still keep your other cameras? Are you telling me there will be no extra cost involved to upgrade to a version that supports more than one camera system?

The manufacturer specific versions of Capture One are less expensive because they limit their functionality to a specific brand. That might work for you, but for many people, including me, that hobbles the software with an unacceptable limitation.

Viewpoint is far superior to the already built-in perspective functionality in many programs. This similar functionality in ON1, for instance, is extremely poor by comparison. Some other software titles have equally poor perspective control, and some don’t even have it at all. It is well worth the cost.


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I guess I just object to the a-la-carte style of pricing. I haven’t decided if I’m going to stick with PL. I may just go for pureraw to get my DeepPRIME fix and then I can do all my edits (even non Sony files) in my old Sony version of capture one. With built in distortion correction. (Still running v20)

The modular nature of DXO’s various offerings gives users a lot of flexibility. Opting to use PureRAW in you work flow instead of Photolab is one of them. However, keep in mind, that PureRAW lacks the range of adjustments for its functionality that is present in Photolab. If you haven’t already done so, I would download the trial version of PureRAW and test it before deciding to purchase it.


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Hej Mark and Mike,

to my opinion the PhotoLab pricing is ok and adding features via an add-on price is pretty much ok.
When I started with RAW processing I had a look around what I should use as a RAW processor and was quite impressed about the market leader product Lightroom. However since I don’t use PhotoLab every day (in fact maybe monthly) I didn’t like the monthly charge of the market leader. Also I felt like being too much locked up in Adobe’s universe with the database and everything.
After some checks I went for OpticsPro which at the time I felt had a good price / feature ratio.
Over the years DxO added impressing features such as “ClearView”, “Prime” and “DeepPrime” as well as the local “U-Point” options. In parallel the tutorials were quite helpful keeping pace with using the features. In fact it was fairly nice seeing all these advancements, also confirming me in the decision towards DxO! (so big kudos in case the team should read this :-))
As these features were adding benefit to my photos quality I didn’t see it a problem paying the add-on price which I considered reasonable at least in the discounted version, to support DxO’s efforts for implementation, testing and - not to forget - maintenance and support.

To my feeling the recent PL5 version is a little exception as I do not see many features that I could make use of. So I thought the team may have run out of ideas what the next versions should contain.
Hence I suggested adding panorama stitching which I use a lot and would really be a relief. As I see this feature also in other competitive products it may be worth adding it.
From my point of view this should be a top candidate for the PL6 feature list :wink:

thx Joachim

Hi Joachim,
I completely agree to almost all you wrote - but not to the panaroma thing, it is that easy with some discipline and Microsoft ICE that it would not be worth the effort.
Instead, it will produce lots of unjustified complains and support efforts because even when taking the picture some discipline and care is necessary which often can not be balanced by software later.

See my workflow post #13 above. Thanks.

  • Technical advantage for sport: exact sync with action.
  • Technical advantage for sport: much lower eye fatigue.
  • Technical advantage for sport: no problem switching back and forth between viewfinder and

Your celebration of the new seems naive to me. Progress seems to mean we can kill many more millions much faster. Progress seems to mean higher populations to live in misery and lay waste to the earth like locusts. Newer is not always better.

@MikeR @mwsilvers @Fotoguido

Reading everyone’s impressions of à la carte pricing and complexity or lack thereof for panoramas.

  1. Almost every photographer who owns PhotoLab should own Affinity Photo for when we need a bitmap editor. Affinity Photo has an excellent panorama module. Hence needs is not that acute.
  2. ViewPoint has not been updated for a long time. Panorama would fit right into ViewPoint’s mission (perspective control). Adding Panorama to ViewPoint as a paid upgrade to ViewPoint would stop add-ons from multiplying like rabbits and still provide a revenue boost for adding Panorama. I’d buy the upgrade to ViewPoint myself if it would work on Mojave.

Comparing the pricing of PhotoLab tools with that of marketing companies like MacFun/Skylum or On1 (more respect for the latter than the former) is unfair. How many times has Skylum managed to sell photographers a broken and dead-end RAW tool (Luminar) or primitive HDR tool (Aurora HDR, which is now on version five or so and seems to be retired in favour of Luminar Neo).

Heck those clowns at Skylum are now charging an extra 30% to be able to install their software on a second computer (what they misleadingly call a second seat). And discounts or not, CaptureOne works out to be more expensive annually than PhotoLab. Normally the annual upgrade costs about €130 unless one hits the Black Friday or end-of-year sale just right (I stopped maintaining my copy a few versions ago, as I was happy with PhotoLab, though C1 will probably get my money this year as C1 will still support Mojave for at leaast a year and a half).

If it weren’t for the mule-headed macOS support policy (OS-1), PhotoLab and add-ons would be ideal photo editing software. DxO has finally put the no Fuji nonsense behind them (oops, there’s still the black eye of the MIA mobile phone RAW support). Still DxO treats us better than the competition.

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I agree. I own a license for Affinity Photo and use it for those things best suited to a pixel editor.


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Microsoft Research no longer updates ICE. Suggestion : like Nik collection, DxO could get the rights and embed ICE in their toolsuite.

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Although I agree personally as I use PTGui for Pano, I think we need to recognise that DXO needs to be competitive in the market. In the early days a raw converter was just that, load the file into LR, make global adjustments and then export a tif to Photoshop.

However, much to Adobe’s dismay :slight_smile: LR ate PS’s lunch and now, with extensive local editing, colour control, sophisticated masking based on colour and luminosity, most photos can be finished in the raw converter with pixel editors relegated to compositing, extensive cloning, object removal etc. Pano and hdr were part of the pixel editors function but they have no been subsumed into the raw converter, certainly for “simple” panos where movement isn’t an issue.

That’s where the “market” is and DXO can’t ignore reality. In 2021 a certain level of functionality is expected in a raw converter and if DXO can’t meet market expectations then it will decline in market share. Not something I want to see. So although pano and hdr functionality are of limited interest to me I hope DXO and DXO supporters, like forum members, will recognise the market need over their own preferences and support increasing the functionality of Photolab…

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