PhotoLab 3

Can someone explain to me what is really new in PhotoLab 3. I don’t see anything of substance.

Check out Robin Whalley on Youtube, it explains all the new features, HSL is great! Also here


Local adjustments now can be adjusted in a local adjustment/layer tool in which you can also invert the masks (select an area and work on things that were not selected…)

So they have reintroduced the color wheel from the Mac version of Optics Pro. I just hope it is better than it was back then, and I don’t know why they could not have included a color picker to identify the specific color to adjust.

I did not see much else new worth mentioning. I will try it but unless there is something hidden or unless the color wheel is much more useful than a few minutes indicated I will stick with PL2.

I did not see that. Thanks for mentioning it. Reversing a mask was one of the items I thought was needed in PL2.


The keyword feature may be nice.

I am sure some will find it very helpful but I do not use a DAM or any of that type of feature. I store my images on two separate hard drives but they are neither key-worded or stored in a DAM. I thought about doing that but I already have so many non-key-worded images that it seems pointless.


It makes your wallet lighter.


Several great new features, just do a simple search and enlighten yourself: Check out Robin Whalley on Youtube, it explains all the new features, HSL is great! Also here


My question was more rhetorical than anything else. Sorry if that was not clear. I was not at all convinced by what I’ve read and I am trying out a 30-day test version. First impressions: HSL has changed mainly in look not so much in functionality and still has a way to go before it becomes as good as the one from e.g. Capture One: no color picker and no differentiation between shadows, midtones and highlights are major omissions IMHO. Keywords were long overdue, nothing spectacular there. Local adjustments are nice, but they already were nice in PL2, changes here are also minor IMHO. Will continue trial and decide at the end.

The only new feature that strikes me as worthwhile is the ability to invert a mask. I need to look a bit more at the new HSL functionality as it seems to be trying to mimic the Color Editor in CaptureOne but for some reason there is no color picker.

The cost of the upgrade ($69 for Elite in the US) is not high but I am not sure that the ability to invert a mask is worth that much.


Well one consideration for you may be if you wish to upgrade to Catalina, PL3 seems to be totally compatible with it.

DXO-PL 3 now has a local adjustments opacity slider like C1Pro. So you can inititially set opacity to 70%, make adjustments to sliders and then vary opacity to fine tune the adjustments, just like in C1Pro. As I generally go pretty much straight into local adjustments this is great for me. I think the HSL will be expanded with a colour picker and a skin tone sub panel will be good.


That would be great, but what makes you think that they will do that? I was surprised that there was not a color picker but the old HSL controls did not have one either.

Given PL’s history (and OP before it) of not providing a color picker I don’t expect to see one, as much as I would like to. A color picker would probably be enough, along with the mask invert and the opacity slider, to get me to update, but I am not holding my breath.

I also wanted a color picker in the beginning. But having worked now a bit with it I do not really miss it.
Adjusting the sliders on the 3 rings does everything very intuitively.


One of the problems with it for me is that it is a global tool and I don’t see any way to restrict the color adjustments to only one area. It would be much more helpful if it worked with the local adjustments so I could mask out what I want.

As it is now the only way I can do that is to use PL3 in conjunction with something like PS and layers.

Mike - put it up as a feature request and you have my vote!!!


It is done.

I had some issues which I put in another post, but the upgrade seems to be an upgrade this year.

The big plus I found and made use of today was the layering of the local adjust tools. It was great creating two different gradients and an automask and blending the layers to get just right.

The new HSL tool is a good addition as well.

After today’s short session, seems to be pretty worthwhile upgrade. A few things seem a little snappier as well.