Part 2 - Off-Topic - advice, experiences, and examples for images being processed in DxO Photolab

I wanted to find out what you were referring to:

I used to dream of having a Hasselblad, but from when I was hatched up until now, I have lived in a 24x36 world.

Motion discomfort? The first time I tried out the small Z-series camera, I thought I would get seasick. Maybe Wednesday I’ll find out if/how they have improved.

I know I’m not being “fair”. I guess I’m too opinionated, based on my own experiences, or lack of, but the article I linked to does a pretty good job of explaining how I feel. 99% of the time, I’d rather see with my own eyes, than watch a television monitor of what I’m about to photograph. I do know the mirrorless does some things better, and I might eventually own one, but not now.

I guess I have a “dual photographic personality”. As an artist, or that part of me that hopes to be an artist, I agree with you. As a “photojournalist”, for better or worse, the bigger part of me, I take photos wherever I find them. I like to say “do the best you can with what you’ve got”. Maybe I should add “wherever you happen to be”.

Sadly, photos find me, much more often than I find them. When I go to take photos of places in India, I usually can select where I want to be, to get the best photos. But most of my life, I’ve been taking photos of interesting things from wherever I happen to be at the time.

I don’t have any “keeper rate”. If I really enjoy two photos out of 50, I am pleased, but I rarely consider the things you mention - capturing an interesting moment at the perfect time, correctly exposed, sharp, and illustrating what was going on (which caused me to take the photo) is of a lot more concern to me. If the reason why I took the photo in the first place comes through, I guess that is my goal.

I’m grudgingly learning not to do the impossible, at least not for posting here. My recent bird photos from much too far away pleased me, because of what I actually did capture - but I now accept that those pixelated crops are really just that - pixelated crops. My plan to fix this - go to where the birds are, and shoot from there.

I am also much too stubborn to not take a photo even after I realize nothing good will come of it. People in this forum might think it’s just wasted, but the people, both in USA and in India, who get to see them think they’re great. To me, a not so great image still beats no image, even if I’ll never post it here in the future. Again, it’s “do the best I can” but I can’t afford a 2,000mm lens, and if I had one, I couldn’t hold it. Hopefully this coming Wednesday I’ll be at a place where the birds hang out, close enough to capture a good image. I hope.

Let’s assume you are correct, which I don’t agree with, but anyway, I don’t have many options. I don’t have a boat, and don’t want a boat, and don’t have a friend with a boat, so my Biscayne Bay photos are all I’ve got access to. I can also go down to the walkway along Biscayne Bay for low angle shots, but I rarely see anything interesting from that viewpoint. I can get photos of the cruise ships from the city park opposite where the boats come and go, so that’s where I do go.

Do you have a website with your photos, and if so, can you post a link to it? Mine is which has photos from all over the world, so you can see how well, or poorly, I do in other locations.

Which image editor do you use, and why?

I’ve viewed your Smugmug page as well as your YouTube channel. You have a great variety of quality images posted. I think you take your best images when you are out walking around and capturing things you find interesting. If you still want to take images from your balcony at least change the time you do so. The middle of the day is no where as good as the early mornings or evenings when you have the light in your favor. As far as software I use Photoshop and Capture One. Each has their own advantages. Topaz for any noise reduction.

I think you missed my point - I don’t base when I go out on my balcony by the time of day, I walk out the door to the balcony when something interesting is happening. Of course, I try to go shopping, or to the doctors, or dentist, or whatever, in the morning when traffic is most reasonable, and I’m more likely to be home in the afternoon when traffic here is starting to build up.

For editors, I’ve had more than I can count. I’ve had Photoshop for the longest of any of them, and still have Adobe’s plan for Photoshop and Lightroom. I used Lightroom “forever”, and thought I was happy with it. Then I read about PhotoLab 3, and decided to try it.

Results were mixed - at first, I was lost, so I joined this Forum before dumping it, and going back to Lightroom. Then, I met many people here, who showed me that the problems in my photos were MY fault, not the software. User @Joanna here basically I should pack up and go home, or get my monitor calibrated, which I didn’t understand back then. There are a lot of people in this forum, who seem to agree I need to get what I am doing corrected, before even thinking about the software - and regarding the software, to say I was lost would be an understatement. I “grudgingly” went along, thinking they didn’t understand… …until it came to me that >>>I<<< was the one who did not understand.

I’m not perfect, but thanks to the advice in this forum, I am a heck of a lot better about any of this than I used to be.

I still had my Lightroom, but there were two things that killed my interest in Lightroom. The first, is that all of my work, everything I’ve done, for decades, is in one file - the catalog. Lose the catalog and everything is gone. So I tried making copies, and backups. Anyway, if you edit something in PhotoLab, in a raw file, and your image is “photoxx.raw”, you end up with your original image “photoxx.raw” AND another file “photoxx.dop”. which is a summary of everything you did to the image. Backup those files, and even if an alligator swallows your computer, all your work is safe in a backup drive.

Another thing that I like and hate, is that PhotoLab knows anything and everything about my hardware, along with my images. As I recall, Lightroom just edited my image, and didn’t care if it knew what camera I took it from. Maybe they’ve learned - but PhotoLab knows and understands my equipment, such that if I use my 24-120 Nikon lens, which is loaded with distortions, PhotoLab fixes all those when it opens the image.

I loved that, and hated that - as while most of the time it is wonderful, if I take photos with my Leica M8.2, DxO doesn’t know what a Leica M8.2 is, so it won’t even open the image file. (I cheat, and edit the EXIF data for the image, and change the camera to a Leica M9 or M10 which DxO is happy with. Probably not technically perfect, but good enough for me.

I love and hate PhotoShop. It can do a trillion things the PhotoLab can’t, but when it comes to processing a dozen or so images, I used to use LightRoom, not Photoshop - and from what I’ve seen, PhotoLab now is the better choice.

I could go on, but no reason to, or not to. I’m sold on PhotoLab, and prefer it. What others use is up to them. What really counts the most is the finished images. But PhotoLab includes tools that are not yet available in Lightroom. You probably know of the Internet “teacher” PhotoJoseph. He has videos on how to do things in all the popular editors. His was the final “seal on the door” for me sticking with PhotoLab. (But I have the Adobe Photography Plan, so all the Adobe stuff keeps updating for when/if I want to use it.)

I still have the free version of Capture One that came with my Fuji camera. I used to use it overseas. I’ve got the latest PhotoShop, and it can do things the PhotoLab can not. If you want to remove a person, or a car, or a tree, from a photo, it does that automatically. But that’s not what PhotoLab was made for. Seems to me that you really need Adobe Lightroom, not PhotoShop?

Oh well, thanks for writing. Everyone is different, and has different desires and ideas. The group of people in this specific topic seem brilliant to me, and are way ahead of me. It’s a great place to learn. I hope you stick around, regardless of what editor you use. :slight_smile:

You asked what software I used that’s why I provided that to you. Adobe Camera Raw is a part of Photoshop and that is what I use as my raw editor. It has the same processing engine as Lightroom and the results are the same. Final processing is made in Photoshop which does a lot more than just removing objects. Capture One is my go to for processing Fuji Raf files.

I know what you mean on both points - Photoshop is far, far more than an image editor. It is an incredible program, but for me, I did a lot of special things with it, mostly creating images, long ago. Now 99.9% of what I need to do is just to edit my images.

I too got Capture One for my Fuji Raf files, from my X100 cameras. That stopped with DxO added the Raf file support to PhotoLab. The free version was a basic editor, but it didn’t seem very powerful. I tried to teach a friend of his how to use it with his X100s, but we didn’t get very far.

If/when you have time, can you upload one of your images here?

When I started with digitally editing photos, I used a copy of PhotoShop 2 on a Mac LC III.
I never liked it that much and was fairly happy when Apple introduced Aperture which was a power hog and never smoothly on the iMacs I had then. Enter Lightroom, lower cost and sunning smoothly and fast, so my decision was made and I never regretted it. While OpticsPro had a few unique selling propositions and worked wonders on photos taken with a Nikon D200 in regards to clarity and noise, it had no feature whatsoever in the field of asset management.

Anyways, here I an, using the best of both worlds, Lightroom Classic and PhotoLab, and if I had to kiss one of them good-bye, it would be PhotoLab because it is a nowhere as well equipped asset manager and has no provisions to keep its database aligned with what is actually stored in the photo archive.

Both Lightroom and PhotoLab store everything we do in their catalogue/database. And both can be set to write that stuff to sidecar files. Lightroom and PhotoLab store slightly different sets of information in their .xmp and .dop files respectively, but whether you have these files or not is a matter of choice. Both apps can be set to write those files or not.

No backup, no mercy.

Anyways, neither Lightroom nor PhotoLab nor Photoshop nor … is better, but they can complement each other … and what we do or think is a matter of our choice, mostly.

Hmm, am I wrong that Apple’s Time Machine backs up all my files, and later on, I can recover individual files, or my whole computer (think of a huge crocodile!). I have two Time Machine drives, and alternate between them, so one or the other should have my data …unless it is a giant Crocodile which eats both my computers and both my backup drives.

I guess I’m getting lazy in my old age, as I stopped worrying about this once I switched to two Time Machine drives, kept in different locations.

For better or worse, I now have PhotoLab and related stuff, Lightroom, and PhotoShop. Every so often I get to remember how to use Lightroom, usually if I’m looking for files from many years ago.

Strange, last night I was watching a YouTube video telling me how wonderful the Nikon D200 was, and how well the CMOS sensor worked. My brother has a D200, but never uses it - I had to help him buy a charger and two new batteries.

Did you think there was anything “special” about the CMOS sensor? Did your PhotoLab recognize the camera?

(Not for me - I’ve already got a D2x.)

While you like “entertainment” – the D200 has a CCD sensor, no CMOS.


My fault - I meant to type CCD and my fingers got confusabobbled. I apologize for them.

People seem to like those old CCD sensors. There were discussions in several forums about this.
" CCD sensors create high-quality, low-noise images. CMOS sensors are usually more susceptible to noise . Because each photosite on a CMOS sensor has several transistors located next to it, the light sensitivity of a CMOS chip tends to be lower, as many of the photons hit the transistors instead of the photosite"

I’m not sure what to believe - presumably this is a reasonable explanation:

Regardless of the facts, despite my typo above, I keep reading that CCD creates “better” colors.

That doesn’t account for the this text from that article…

However, recent advancements in CMOS have led to the production of CMOS image sensors with image quality approaching that of CCD sensors, making them increasingly competitive in various applications. Recently, as of 2020, CMOS cameras have caught up to CCD cameras in image quality. [The difference between CCD and CMOS image sensing]

CMOS vs CCD verdict: Historically, CCD. But both are comparable today.

Then you need to bear in mind that CCD were used in the early days of sensors, which soon moved to CMOS. Heck even your D780 is CMOS.

I can process all my D100, D200, D810 &nd D850 images without any problem.

Joanna, I know what I currently think, but not enough to argue this one way or another. I know a lot of people in the Leica forums feel that the color quality they got from CCD was degraded when Leica switched to CMOS. I hear the CCD people saying it was better, and I hear the CMOS people saying it’s just as good.

I would be very interested in what YOU personally think about this.

As you write, even my D780 is CMOS, but I suspect that is due to other reasons, not color fidelity.

I don’t think I’m in any position to judge.

I suppose I could take the same image with my D780 and my D3, at the proper exposure, with no editing, and compare them.

Here’s a topic that may explain the visual difference:

And a sentence that seems to sum it all up:

"There is some quality of the CCD sensors that makes the color rendering amazing straight out of the camera. You can achieve the same look with CMOS sensors in post, but the RAW files just have a different native look. I have a difficult time describing what those differences are, but they are there. They are really apparent in mixed-source lighting. The CCD sensors seem to handle mixed-lighting sources more elegantly. "

I’m curious about all this, but I’m not sensitive enough to the color issues to agree or disagree. Maybe @Wolfgang has an opinion.

There are many aspects to our DSLR’s over and beyond the type of sensor the camera uses, and unless one of us wants to go back to the old technology, we’ll all be using the latest technology, CMOS.

(I do remember liking my old CCD Nikon photos a lot, but I never could identify WHY it is I felt that way. Maybe the sensor is part of the reason, or maybe it IS the reason. I dunno.

Every technology have their time and reign. But progression will continue and sometime for the better and other times for less cost.
Let it be emulsion, optics or sensors.

Even though the colours from the D2X modes I-III were loved by many - including me - simulations from newer systems and sensors can offer the same and thousands more.

But the legacy can be worth so much more. :heart:

I just watched this video; it’s not all that long, but the guy explains his feelings so clearly, and why…

I can’t argue with what you wrote “Every technology hav their time and reign”… but there was something about my D2x and my D3 that made me really love the images. Maybe now I understand.

If indeed, the colors from CCD are better than the colors from CMOS, that is something to consider.

I could never explain to Joanna “why” I like the images from those old DSLR cameras so much. Perhaps it was the sensor. I guess I could take the same photo from both my old Nikon and my new Nikon, and see if I can notice any difference. Or, with all Joanna’s expertise, maybe she can explain this in easy to understand words. A lot of people in the Leica forum are convinced about this, and people in that forum are trying to come up with settings to make the CMOS images more like CCD images.

Watch the video I just linked to. He explains things better than I can.

Of course, that is going to depend on whether they were using RAW or jpeg files.

Simple. Since I always hoot in RAW, I really don’t care what the colour is out of the sensor, I just adjust it to suit and use FilmPack if I want a particular look and feel.

Or maybe it was the jpeg settings you used.

When it comes to the look and feel of an image, there is no better or worse, just different.

I smiled at your hooting when viewing images!! :slight_smile:

If I just visited a family member and took, let’s say, 25 photos, I might actually do as you say and capture them in ‘jpg’ mode, so I could share them easily. Normally, my cameras are all set to shoot in ‘raw’.

If I wanted to quickly view those images on my computer, I would use whatever image viewer came with the computer. So many people are saying those images were more colorful when shot with a camera using a CCD sensor.

I hardly ever shoot in ‘jpeg’, unless the images are just to give away and I don’t care.

I don’t agree with that; there are too many mistakes people can make to end up with “worse”, but I know what you mean, and agree (for those of us who know how to adjust the looks of an image when necessary).

But the question remains, were they shot in jpeg, which always tends to make images more colourful, regardless of the sensor type.

For me - I don’t remember.

For others - well, if they are jpg shooters, it would be jpg for both CCD and CMOS.

Twenty years ago, when I was shooting the D2x I’m pretty sure I was using ‘jpg’. When a few years later, I bought the D3, most likely still jpg.

When I joined this forum, using PhotoLab, and being told PhotoLab was designed for RAW images - that’s probably when I made the big switch.

…and I mostly agree with you, with RAW it doesn’t matter - everyone can create any colors they want. But when this anonymous shooter returns home after a week of holiday, with a few hundred snaps of his (family?) holiday, is he or she going to want to just share the images, or spend several hours editing first, and then share???

…even for me, it all depends. If I care about the images, I’ll use RAW. If not, I’m likely to just shoot in jpeg, less “homework”.

I went to Wakodahatchee Wetlands early today, and finally had birds come to me, rather than try to catch them outside my balcony. Here’s one of my favorites.

D780 worked fine, my 300 “p” lens ditto. I was mostly able to hold the lens steady too. I think I took 1,000 or so photos in all.

I got to take both photos of the birds and other animals, and a few of the birds fighting for “who was in charge”.

Rather sleep right now. Will post one photo here, and one of the “fighting” tomorrow.

780_3971 | 2024-04-04.nef (28.4 MB)
780_3971 | 2024-04-04.nef.dop (13.1 KB)

1 Like