Photolab 7 and local adjustments

I just downloaded Photolab 7 and have been testing the new local adjustment features (although I never had Photolab 6 I guess they are new). So far it seems like the possibilities have increased, most notably the possibility of applying the color wheel locally (which I think is an improvement). Some things seem a little bit strange, or then I just can’t figure out how to do it.

  1. The disappearing control line (control point etc). When moving to the side bar where the sliders now are located, the control line can no longer be seen on the screen. Would be nice if it could be toggled on and off (or maybe I haven’t found the button yet …).

  2. Is it possible to somehow protect and area from being affected? It seems fairly common to have something in the area marked by the control line, that you do not want to change (as a tree against a sky). I tried to see if you could do this with the brush, but didn’t find a way.

  3. What is the option “only available in Filmpack 7, or higher”?

  4. If the color wheel can be added to local adjustments, it should also be possible to add the channel mixer. Hence, old Filmpack owners would also get something new. Now the channel mixer is, so to say, sold two times to the same customer (what has been there all the time in Filmpack has now been added to Photolab 7, or is there any difference?).

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Those masks are not (V6.xx) fully mixable (seems some are bitmap masks and some are not).
Control lines only mix with control lines and control points.
So you need an other control line or a control point to create a protected area.
If this has not changed, to create a protected area you have to push ALT when adding a second control to the same local adjustment.
PC version here.

That is the new Luminosity masking feature.


The luminosity mask. This is sad they use this kind of trick to try to sell Filmpack.

It should be possible to add lot of tools (a nice and rewamped curve tool would be more than apreciated).

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FilmPack and Viewpoint are integral parts of PhotoLab. Their features are hardcoded into PhotoLab and are not plug-ins. The licenses for them only unhide and allow access to features that are already there. The goal was to make PhotoLab more affordable to those who were willing to forego Viewpoint and FilmPack features to save money. However, all three products are required to give users the entire PhotoLab experience.

DxO could decide to unlock all its Viewpoint and FilmPack features without the need to purchase additional licenses but in that event the cost of PhotoLab Elite would increase significantly.


Only to get a luminance mask ? It has nothing to do with filmpack specific functionnalities.
This is only to sell filpack to people who does not want it.

What bother me is this luminance mask. Not filmpack functionnalities.

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You also get 4 fine contrast sliders, creative vignetting, frames, textures, filters, a blur tool, and several other features besides the 100 or so film types and effects. You have a choice. You can just purchase PhotoLab and get the features available in it or you can purchase the entire suite and get everything.

For years I have been an an advocate for only one version of PhotoLab with all features included even though the cost will be substantially higher. Having it divided in pieces just causes confusion and anger.



Aren’t fine contrast sliders usable without filmpack since v7 ?
It seems I heard that.

Yes. I understand filmpack can be a separate tool because its orientation is specific.
But again, luminance mask is a basic tool, and this is purposely that it is hidden.
Why not hide the curve tool then ?

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They have always been part of FilmPack. I also forgot about the Channel Mixer which was also part of Filmpack. I believe it still is part of FilmPack 7.


It is very possible that when the Curve tool is added to Local adjustments it might also require a FilmPack license,


I know. I have filmpack 4 (this is why I know I don’t need filmpack). Maybe I make a confusion with channel mixer, but I thought now fine contrast we’re no more hidden without filmpack.

This would throw me reluctantly back into the arms of adobe (relunctanly not because of their product quality - which is very good - but because of their strategy).

People have posted here saying Creative Vignetting tool is a basic tool and should be in PhotoLab without the need for an additional FilmPack license. Other have said the same thing about the Channel mixer and the fine contrast sliders. You can’t pick and chose only the individual features that are important to you. As I’ve said many times over the years, PhotoLab is really just one program divided into three pieces which provides pricing flexibility to those on a budget.


Creative Vignetting is what we could call an fx tool. It does not reveal what you recorded in your raw file.
Channel mixer is very specific too (intended for black and white).

Making masks to control colors isn’t. Doing selections isn’t.
Fine contrast sliders are not.
Control tools for values, hues, colors, saturation, sharpness are tools that should be part of PL.

If they want to sell their software 500 euros, ok. Why not.
But amputate it to fool users is not a good strategy at all.

This is my final word on the subject. There is actually just one program, PhotoLab, which contains everything. DxO broke it into three pieces, four if you include the Essential version, for pricing flexibility. Some of the decisions regarding which features are available may seem arbitrary to you, but we are not privy to DxO’s logic when making those decisions, We all have a choice. We can either purchase the complete feature rich suite or we can save money and choose to not purchase Viewpoint and/or Filmpack and live with a more limited and in my opinion crippled product. I choose to own everything. There are very few features I don’t not use on a regular basis.



Not arbitrary at all.


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The masks visibility is a bit messed up in this version. The mask visibility menu is at the top right of the image. You can also press M to activate the colored mask (but not the B&W mask as before). You can protect a zone by selecting a control zone and pressing Alt-Left click.

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The Channel Mixer in PhotoLab 7 no longer needs a FilmPack license. This is one of the improvements to the workflow for black-and-white/monochrome images.

The “fine contrast” sliders and creative vignetting remain part of FilmPack for now.

Also, a number of new features in FilmPack 7 are new to the standalone/plugin app but not new in PhotoLab.

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That is true, but I bought FilmPack6 two years ago with the intention that it would be the current version as long as FilmPack 5 was. Now after two years they have updated it to 7 with small additions and want new money. Next year there will be FimPack8?
These additional costs are not calculable.

I tried protection of an area using a control line and Alt + control point. Obviously, you have to use quite large circles in order for it to work because of the fading towards the edges, but it seems to work quite nicely.