Prefers DxO XMP or embedded data?

Hi DxO team,

given that the setting “Preserve metadata in XMP sidecars for RAW images” is checked:

Which metadata will DxO use if the RAW file and a XMP sidecar have different contents?

E.g. if the “description” tag contains “a nice dog” in the RAW file but “an ugly beast” in the XMP sidecar?

Is this on a “per tag” basis?`

Is this the same for all tags?

What if one tag is only in the XMP sidecar and another tag is only in the raw file?

Will future releases of DxO Photolab handle this the same way?

Thanks in advance,


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Obetz, my experience with ratings is that DxO prefers its own metadata over the XMP, once its own data is created. Even if the XMP has a later modification date.

If I am not mistaken DxO reads only notation (0 to 5 stars) in XMP sidecars.
He displays it in yellow on the thumbnails.


No, DxO PL reads much more metadata, displays a lot even in the user interface and forwards much more to the exported image.

Thanks for this interesting information!

My primary intention is yet to learn whether metadata is taken from the XMP sidecar or the raw image.

Ah. That’s interesting.
Could you mention some of them ?

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Besides the tons of technical data (aperture, speed, focal length, ISO, lens, GPS coordinates etc.) generated in the camera:

  • Creator aka author aka By-line
  • Copyright aka rights
  • Description aka Caption
  • Keywords
  • Location (Country, City, Sublocation)
    and much more.

Such data can be stored in Exif, IIM or XMP sections, all of them either embedded in the raw image file or in a sidecar, IOW same information can be stored in several places.

A raw developer like Photolab can act as “creator” or “changer” in MWG speak with far-reaching consequences.


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A XMP sidecar may include all these informations but DxO doesn’t read them!
DxO reads all EXIF metadatas include in the raw / JPEG file.

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What makes you say that? I’m afraid you are wrong.

Tant pis !
EXIF informations are metadatas in header of raw and JPEG files.

in contrast to your statement, DxO does read description, keywords etc. from the XMP sidecar.

This information can also be embedded in the raw file itself and DxO reads it as well.

Knowing this, my initial question is still unanswered by DxO people.

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Dear All,

  1. Let say about exporting first,
  • PL will keep all informations from embedded data (Exif/Maker notes) for output image.
  • About XMP, there are several parts in the content.
    • if the “preserve metadata in XMP sidecar for RAW images” option is checked, PL will keep all informations from XMP sidecar
    • if this option is unchecked from preferences, output image will have only few information from XMP sidecar (like rating, orientation)
  1. About rating in PL and output image: the priority is set as following: PL > XMP > EXIF. By default, rating from XMP/Exif will be imported in PL (yellow star), once we change the rating in PL, the highest prio will be taken for PL and output image will have the rating from PL.

  2. About keywords, PL won’t display keyword/description/comment from Exif part. Currently ONLY keywords from XMP sidecar will be imported and displayed in PL.
    XMP writing (inside PL) part has not yet been implemented, but may be in the near future.

So with an example from obetz, only “an ugly beast” keyword will be used in PL.

So please dont hesitate to share us your thinking on this topic.


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My experience has been that once PL writes any data to its database, the XMP sidecar is never looked into for that data again (unless you delete the database).

That behavior is unfortunate as many photographers use other apps that update info in XMP and play well together.


thanks for your detailed answer especially about the “preserve metadata in XMP sidecar for RAW images” option, htran.

We need to be cautious about the wording: “XMP” is used to name the sidecar but also for an information section inside the image file or sidecar. Sorry that I was not that clear in my OP.

I think I remember that XMP data embedded in the raw file is also read by DxO Photolab if there is no XMP sidecar, IOW: If XMP-dc:Description embedded in the raw file contains “a nice dog”, and there is no XMP sidecar, the exported jpeg will have “a nice dog” in it’s XMP section.

Can you confirm this?

I don’t think that there is anything like “Exif keywords”. Exif has only fields for a description. The relation is described by the MWG (website currently down) and here:

Will an IPTC IIM section be read and exported by Photolab?

Generally, I think it is a good idea that DxO Photolab gives the sidecar data higher priority than the metadata embedded in the image file. If an application creates a sidecar, this is very likely the most recent container.

Perhaps DxO can explicitly point out in the Photolab documents that this is intentional and will remain unchanged.


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Hello Oliver,

I do not work with sidecars - only embedded data. I can confirm if you embedd “a nice dog” into your file (raw, jpg…) and run that file through DPL then “a nice dog” will be in the exported file.


Dear obetz,
Yes, i confirm that output image will have the same keywords from input one even keywords come from embedded XMP or from seperate XMP sidecar.

Hi ScottinPollock, obetz,

I do agree with you on this point, but this feature will be useful once XMP writing is available in PL.

PL doesn’t use any data from IPTC

Thank you for this comment, we will clarify them in the help document.