PhotoLab Essential vs Elite Editions

As long as an “Essential” edition is available, people will get frustrated because they have tested the “Elite” Edition (there is no way to switch the trial to “Essential”) and got themselves the “Essential” edition in order to save a few bucks.

I do have a license for DPL4 Essential and wanted to show the differences and focus on the differences that would bug me most in relation to image customising. Your mileage may vary and it is not my intention to present the definitive answer to all your questions…
Again, all that follows relates to DPL version 4.

So, this is what you got with a trial of DPL4:

And this is the DPL4 “Essential” edition:

Customising tools you give up with the Essential edition of DPL4

  • PRIME and DeepPRIME noise reduction (these alone almost justify getting the Elite edition)
  • Color Rendering: Additional profiles (adds to why I’d go for Elite)
  • DxO ClearView Plus (hardly ever used)
  • Instant Watermarking (hardly ever used)
  • Moiré (never needed to use this tool so far)
  • (note that the contrast tool extensions come with FilmPack, not DPL Elite)

Ease-of-use things you give up with the Essential edition of DPL4

  • Preset: Edit existing presets, create partial presets (adds to why I’d go for Elite)
  • Palettes: Create your own palettes, filtering favourite/active tools (adds to why I’d go for Elite)
  • Export: Simultaneous export, e.g. JPG for Web, TIFF for printing (adds to why I’d go for Elite)

Other differences exist.

Please add your ideas about why to (not) go for the Elite edition. As for myself, I hope that DxO dropped the Essential editions of their products. Imo, the “Premium Bundle” is the way to go.


This is the “official” list of differences - it’s rather extensive:

What are the differences between the two editions of DxO PhotoLab? – Help center

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Thank you, @Egregius : Now I would like to have a contact at DxO to suggest a direct explanation of some functions (like mouse hovering with, or a link to, a bit more text). Also, at first glance the feature list of Elite is shorter and appears a bit wildly structured. I’v e seen lists like that which led the reader directly to the differences and additional benefits, sorted in topics.

@platypus is the filmpack and viewpoint only avaliable for the essential version? I don’t think so…

The list of Elite features is shorter since they are additional functionalities compared to the Essential version

I’v seen that after reading the explanation, I just thought something like this tells more without reading all texts before:

:heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
:heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
:heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
:heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
:heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:

It was like that before, right ?

FilmPack and ViewPoint can be licensed separately, no matter if DPL Essential or Elite is used. FP and VP don’t need to be installed, their license keys unlock the features in DPL.

BTW: FP and VP don’t show up unless licensed. I edited the workspace config file to make them visible, but they remain unusable unless the lic-keys have been entered.

No idea, no memory, but if I want to see the differences and (as new user, maybe) am not sure what Prime oder DeepPrime means I don’t think I would find the current list a good overview.

@platypus Ok, I see. Your screenshot of Essential verison just showed some palettes the Elite screenshot didn’t contain.

I found this but it was for v2

FP and VP palettes are shown, but not expanded in the Elite screenshot. You can always look at the other screenshot to see what you’re missing without FP and VP…except for the “hidden” features that come up in DPL’s tool panels, e.g. the additional contrast sliders.

Yes, differences have been communicated more clearly, but the current way works too, at least for people who already know DPL… :thinking:

From the way how DxO is now making the essential editions less prominent (clicking on “buy” takes you to the elite edition page), I get the feeling that DxO is a) trying to push Elite and b) possibly considering to dump Essential, which, imo, would offer a few advantages to DxO (less stuff to maintain, support and document) and more happy users (lower number of frustrated users that have fallen into the “cheap” trap).

I like this table style better than the newer one. And I got the other display as well:

But only after clicking on the FAQuestion

What are the differences between the two editions of DxO FilmPack?

This information applies to version(s): 6 (note from JoJu: Already available? :astonished: :grinning:)

Yeah - it’s great information, but could be more detailed and is too hard to find - e.g., not available directly from the product marketing pages at An example of what could be more detailed: the FilmPack comparison table shows “micro-contrast” as a feature of the Elite Edition, but what you actually get with PhotoLab integration is a set of “fine contrast” sliders that complement the already-existing microcontrast adjustments.

Yes, FilmPack 6 has been available for a while now. PhotoLab 4 and 5 were updated to include its integrated features.

Honestly, either get elite or none. I find the essential version completely pointless with the lack of DeepPrime. You save some money but how much do we spend on photo gear and computer hardware to then skimp on the software?


I paid €229 for the PL1 Elite “Photosuite” bundle in December 2017

I then paid €69.99 for the PL2 upgrade in October 2018

The same again for the PL3 upgrade in 2019

The PL4 upgrade was similar, although I can’t find the invoice but the PL5 + FP6 upgrades came to €89 in November 2021.

I really don’t count that as expensive, especially since it is the only software I regularly pay for, apart from Affinity Photo, which cost me about €50 a few years ago. Especially since Lightroom would cost me €144 per year.

Lr for 5 years - €720

PL ELite + FP Elite + VP over 5 years - €529


I get my yearly Adobe photo subscription at about 99€…for Lightroom, Photoshop plus 20GB cloud space.

in addition, as of course you know, if you decide to no longer upgrade DxO’s products they will continue to work.just fine into perpetuity, but if you stop paying for an Adobe subscription you lose editing capability immediately!


True, but there are many apps out there that can deal with that, e.g. PhotoLab. Maybe it will evolve towards having decent asset management support by that time.

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