PhotoLab 3 is in!

That’s a very good/objective way to look at it, Paul.

John M

As usual, I’m an early adopter for a new version because I have chosen to support DxO in their struggle to survive. For this version I wanted a clone tool and keywords. The keywords are slightly underwhelming as I would have liked hierarchical capabilities. However the new repair capabilities are way beyond what I was expecting. Gold Star! As for the feature I didn’t care about, the HSL wheel, I’m blown away by the implementation. It is lovely. Yes, a picker would have been nice, but what is there is a very intelligent design. Two Gold Stars! Now I may be missing something obvious, but given that PL3 is now my favourite colour manipulator (didn’t use it before), is there a way to mask the HSL adjustments? I want to apply it to just certain areas but can’t see this in the local adjustments, and can’t find any reference to this capability anywhere.

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They are:
Insert the> (or <) character to define a hierarchy


Sneaky!! Thank you

Dear Mac users,
Is it safe today to use Photolab 3 with macOS Mojave for a productive use ?
I was not able to see any severe problem. What about you ? Can I upgrade to PL3 with peace or should something be fixed before ?

Does this make your wish come true, especially the last post in the thread ?

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Thank you! However, a wish only comes true when intention becomes implementation.:wink:

But… we can not dance faster than the music :crazy_face:


I entered this as a requested feature and got a response from Dxo saying it was in the pipeline, so presumably we will see this in the future. Check out the last entry in this thread:

@MikeFromMesa … I gave your request’s url as an answer to GaryB and now you answer me or yourself actually :grin:

There’s a lot of different Mike’s on here!

So, if I don’t buy any more bodies, the new modules should work in DPL2?

I currently have no wish to go to Win 10.

Ha. I guess I need to start reading the entire thread before responding. :smiley:

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Sorry it was not for you Mike :slight_smile:


I am pretty puzzled by this release. On one hand, I bought it because I want DXO to continue to invest and improve on Photolab and they need money for that, on the other hand the new features didn’t really excite me that much.

The HSL wheel was praised by many people, but I just can’t find any use case for it that also doesn’t require to combine it with masks/layers in order to preserve certains areas from unwanted modifications (so I have to stick with U-points and brush masks for now). The lack of a colour picker also makes it slow to use (you have to mess around sliders until you find the right colour), and there is no option to split the effect by highlight, shadow or midtones. I like the design, and it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not a finished tool IMO. The repair tool is also pretty hard to use as you can’t see in real time what you did because of the mask because the rendering is not done in real time (only when you release), making the selection mask disappear while dragging would help. Same goes for the layer management, it’s not possible to rename the layers, to group them, or to create an empty layer to get easier before/after effects of some changes that involve multiple sliders. The invert mask was sorely needed though.
The software feels a bit faster, which was one of the major complaints of everybody, but ironically, though this was the most expected feature it’s not mentioned anywhere that I know of. For me that’s the main reason to upgrade (with the invert mask) as the other features are not really usable yet.

It may sound a bit harsh, and Photolab is still one of the best photo software available, but it’s in a weird position where I cannot recommend it to amateurs as there are simpler software that will give very decent results, and it just can’t beat Lightroom/Capture one in terms of maturity, camera support and workflow for pros. This leaves DXO with an ever shrinking market as cameras get better at high ISO, and competition adds features. IMHO, they have to “go big or go home” at this stage. I don’t believe they can survive by delivering incremental updates like this one. They need either killer features or they need to really quickly close the gap with Lightroom/capture one (which can potentially be done by leveraging the community if needed (plugin support, crowd funding, open-sourcing part of the software, involving volunteers in some tasks…)).

Hopefully DXO will agree with me and deliver an awesome V4, in the meantime I’ll continue to use the V3 in complement of capture one.


Bienvenue Jérémy

I would love to see a practical example of different tint deviations on the same image.
For a natural rendering of course :slight_smile:

Hey Marc, in the holidays I started with PL2 to edit my photos. I hesitated at first and did some tests with copies. After watching the first video tutorials and testing PL3 again with copies, all with success and without problems, I’m just editing the photos of the last days, which I didn’t have time for during my holidays now with PL3. Everything works fine and since today I finally say goodbye to PL2 :wink:


Bonjour Pascal,

Basically anything when you have several objects of the same colour (or very close) and you want only one impacted. The issue can usually be solved by other tools than the wheel because masks have hue, saturation and exposure (close enough to HSL :wink: ), so it really is uniformity that is the issue.

I didn’t do any serious edits with V3 yet, but I tried to on two photos. On one the sky was kind of a gradient and dropping the luminance impacted some (dehazed) rocks in the background, on the other one I wanted to make yellow flowers pop on the foreground in order to create some kind of leading lines, but in the background there was similarly coloured tree leaves that I didn’t want to notice. Both issues could be solved by U-points, but for the sky just editing colour highlights in capture one was faster.

You can find a lot of examples :

  • you may have a city night photo, and you want to emphasise a particular avenue to create clean lines, you can accentuate the yellow or blue city lights, but you’ll want to drop the luminance elsewhere in the photo for the same lights as well as for publicity screens. Just having a brush stroke along the avenue and then using the wheel would make that really easy.
  • We can also imagine that you want to make autumn leaves redder, but you don’t want to impact the wood colour of the tree. Because the leaves comes in all shapes and colours, it’s going to be hard to isolate them from anything brown or red in the image without masking.
  • If you want to bring the attention to the diversity of trees, one way could be to make sure the grass underneath them is uniform and less saturated so it doesn’t catch the eye, but wouldn’t that impact some of the trees too ?
  • in some sea images, you may want to shift the water towards a more light emerald/turquoise colour, and sky towards a deeper blue, you can definitely do it with the masks, how would you go about it with the wheel ?
  • I usually use uniformity for skin tones (kind of a fast frequency separation if you want), but how do you differentiate a dark skin from dark wood or a pale skin from say porcelaine ? You’d have to get really precise, and if your light is not really uniform you’d have to deal with gradients of colours and potential colour casts all over the place making a precise selection really hard.

So yes there are images where you can get away with the wheel, but there are many situations where using the wheel is difficult at best, and it’s way faster to rely on other tools. If you can’t use uniformity, you really have to do frequency separation in a pixel editor though, and that’s time consuming. I think the new wheel is a good tool, but at the moment I just cannot use it as much as I’d want to, with masks I would use it in at least 10 times more photos.

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My point of view is this one:

  1. I already have PLab2 Elite, so I’ve paid my Elite version / Prime algorithm fee (and I’m super happy with it)
  2. PLab3 is upgrading here and there existing features that were not necessarly very well designed previously, but it feels a little not enough to me to call it a +1 upgrade… many people are complaining about this as well.
  3. none of those upgrades are related to the Elite version, or Elite-only. Therefore it is an upgrade related to the “public” core of Photolab.
  4. Why would an Elite user have to pay a premium fee to finance a core upgrade? --> that is my point.

I don’t mind people paying a further fee for the prime denoising on their first purchase, I chose to do it myself. But I feel like an hostage of that choice now that I know every upgrade will cost me more than the regular fee only because I chose to pay more “once” in the past… I’ve already paid that ELITE fee, how many times does DXO wants me to pay for it?!


I am afraid this is just a matter of interpretation. I understand your frustration but DXO is far from the only one to do that. That’s actually pretty standard.

It all depends on the phrasing. They can sell you license for elite features for all versions, and then photolab (2 items in your cart), and update them separately.
However DXO chose to consider that essential and elite are 2 different products, and they sold you one product and offer you upgrade for this product.

That said, the pricing was also done to reflect this, if they charged for lifetime elite features, they would charge several hundred dollars for them. So you would pay photolab 100$, and 50$ upgrades, but your entry fee would be maybe 400$ for the elite features and 200$ for elite upgrades every 3-4 versions of photolab.
For them it’s better to sell regularly than to sell big but only once (it’s easier for accounting, even if totals end up the same on average), also it’s complicated to maintain a software with several versions of the algorithms because some people upgraded elite features and some didn’t. And for you this means that you don’t make a big investment to begin with. I tend to prefer the current model than a high entry fee one, but that’s a personal preference.

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