Should PhotoLab do everything that other tools do?

Does the Tone Curve correction not work for you for that?


level and tone curve are two different tools, with level either from Ps or AP you have more control than just using curve for black point or white point with the “blending control”.

Keep in mind that neither Photoshop nor Affinity Photo have the capability to apply those types of edits directly to raw files. I’m not sure if ON1 Photo Raw has that capability.

Sometimes I think we lose sight of the fact that Photolab is primarily a raw converter/processor with a significant number of additional features and is not a full featured pixel editor.



Good point Mark. In this case though, adding a proper levels tool would make total sense for the ultimate RAW converter. I tend to use curves myself (have been doing so for two decades, took almost ten years for curves to become mainstream) and still love curves as they exist in almost every image application and behave similarly in most (curve calibration and scale varies). That said I do use levels in video editors and would welcome levels in Photolab.

This request – adding RGB levels – really fits into the hardcore DxO users’ mantra about better RAW tools. The great part of it is that those who don’t need a new levels palette never have to open it or even look at it.

My priority would still be to improve HSL to match C1: the new HSL tool is powerful but doesn’t yield me the same kind of clean results I’ve had modifying colours in my (very limited) use of C1. Advanced colour manipulation is relatively weak in Photolab, noise management is very poor in C1. Equalling C1’s strengths would be a good direction to go in terms of attracting new users: before C1 can finally decipher noise reduction.

PS. I see there is an HSL colour picker in Photolab 4. I’m looking forward to testing it out. Perhaps DxO is there already in terms of colour manipulation. I was talking more about quality of results rather than just the colour picker though. Looks l like I have some head to head testing of C1 colour manipulation against the new Photolab HSL tool in front of me.


I prefer " Master of all trades". Would that be possible?
At the moment, I use DXO PL3 for almost all images. 100% sure I’ ll upgrade to PL4.
Agree with Adrenochrom.
I use Qimage One for printing.

No it’s not possible. Not from the beginning of time. You are asking for Formula One car which functions equally well as a dump truck and as a motor home. Any other impossible demands to put forward?

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Just joking…I know that

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Guess, the answer is neither yes or no. Yes, if you are missing basic functionalities forcing a user to use other tools. No, because you always need your own mission and vision for your product and looking to all the different tools out there, you will simply see no trees anymore because of all the forests.

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I think that DxO should stick to making PhotoLab the best RAW processor on the market. Trying to match Photoshop for specific editing capabilities is a mug’s game.


One of the features I miss the most is multi picture compare. Specially since we can take now 20 pics/sec with the R5, it is pretty hard to compare different pictures simultaneously. We need the ability to zoom in, drag, apply same settings while able to see the changes on the selected pics, not only on the first. This would speed up ‘my’ workflow a lot.

Next to that… I kinda like dragging the histogram like some other tools have. I know there are sliders for that, but it is really simple to use on the historgram, specially if you could do this on red/green/blue/purple/cyan/yellow separately.

As for improvements… My gfx card is sleeping most of the time, my 20 cores are used for Prime denoising, but that’s about it. Better usage of whole my computer would increase speed and workflow.

Pierre - the trouble is that one person’s ‘exotic’ is another persons ‘regular usage’ and vice-versa.

Personally I would prefer DxO to be the ‘best’ RAW convertor with all the functions necessary for presenting a top quality ‘base’ image on which to build artistic interpretation. Including NIK was to me an unnecessary diversion from core strength and introduced a major distraction.


Hello @steveb,

Nik Collection is not a part of PhotoLab. It’s another product that is developed and sold by DxO. There is some simple integration between them but they are separate products developed by different teams inside DxO.



for me DPL is also the key point for all things round Raw developing, with basic features before developing. For me that means.

  1. Checking all the photos coming back from a phototour
  2. Doing all the basic steps like keywording, rating, deleting (for me a job within the library not the customize tab where it is at the moment)
  3. Doing a good EXIF job, which means searching for Exif Date like manufacturer , camera, lenses, Iso ranges and perhaps a customizable Metadata palette
  4. The best RAW developer(we still have) with some improvements in the user interface (it’s discussed all the time).
  5. A better Export and print output(it’s discussed all the time)

What I don’t need are all the stuff Photoshop and/or Affinity does

What I also like to have, is that themes are discussed for a long time disapear into nirvana and nobody knows about the status. It’s better to become a clear answer(positive or negative) instead of discusssing from century to century :innocent:

see you next week…starting weekend …now

One could certainly define exotic functions as those being used by less than 10%, 5%, 2%, 1% of advanced users. The percentage will go down as features are added.

The second aspect is on coverage of camera Raw formats and specific cameras. The obvious gap now is on Android and iOS phones, starting with the very popular Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone models.

For sure, RAW development is the core. Efforts should be placed on quality of demosaicking and on speed optimization.

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@Alex - That’s a pretty pedantic viewpoint - NIK launches/returns directly from/to Photolab and as for separate teams, so what, that’s only reducing the effort that could be made on addressing core issues ? For me, it sets an expectation in the user base that DxO will become a sort of all in one Lightroom / Photoshop application. I feel that is not realistic, you don’t but that’s cool by me, have a nice day.

If you are on a Mac, you would find rating, keywording, captioning much faster and easier with a dedicated tool like FastRawViewer or ApolloOne (Photomechanic would be on the lsit but it’s not a casual purchase).

The trick is to move the five/selects (i.e the photos you’d like to develop) into a separate folder when you are finished with grading/rating. Photolab is a very slow reader/browser (mainly as it’s not a reader/browser but a RAW developer with a simple folder view function attached).

The work involved in making Photolab a class-leading photo triage tool would be substantial (manageable though). Trying to turn Photolab into a DAM/catalogue software is really building a separate product entirely which has very little to do with the core RAW developer which is Photolab.

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Sometimes you need to do some basic ‘editing’ like exposure before rating/triage can really happen.
DxO seems the perfect tool for that part as it works on the raw files after all.

It would already be nice if we could compare 2 pictures next to each other (maybe up to 12 if your computer has enough power).

I take that into account when I do triage. Out of 90 files high ISO which I recently graded as five star, there were twenty which did not stand up to processing. It’s still easier to start with 90 than the 1500-1800 (we’re talking about sports here, with high speed bursts where only one image is needed; I don’t shoot a lot of frames for anything except sports).

I believe PL should not try to be the “everything” tool for photography processing. It will become too bloated and the interface will suffer. Stay elegant, with key tools easy to use with a clean user interface. Links to other tools are fine, but integration will always be a difficult game of catch up.


I can see Your point. You cannot be the champion in every game. Some improvements are still desired even, if they are only made at the same level of standard as in other software. One such subject is being able to run through your full workflow in only one software. This means a tremendous saving of time and labor. I highlight this with a couple of examples:

I frequently need to add watermarks to my pictures. That was a long process in PL3 and before. First you had to export the image to another software, adding the watermark and then return it back again. With PhotoLab 4 I can do it with one click. I am thankful for that!

I am one of those Lightroom users that mainly uses it to easily change the size of the image to suit its future use. If that could be done more or less the same way in PL an annoying physical work would then again be reduced. In LR it is easy to tell the maximum pixel rate for both horizontal and vertical amount of pixels as well as the maximum file size for jpg. In PL we need an iteration between the pixel count of the longest side and finally guessing what would be a suitable compression to achieve the jpg of desired. That takes unnecessary time and effort that is lost from image enhancing work.

Anyhow, the version 4 is a very pleasant and highly welcomed improvement witk new features and a new world of noise reduction. Well done, DxO!