Smart Lighting - different results for a series of images


I’m using PhotoLab 3 to process a series of raw images that I’ve taken using a turntable, with a white background (Canon 5D and 7D)

I have a problem with the Smart Lighting option, when I apply the same setting to all the photos (Intensity 30)

: the black point is upredictable, and quite different; for a group of photos the look is the same, but I have other raw, processed photos that are different (see attachment). If I disable the Smart Lighting, the results are consistent for all the images

Is it an expected result using the Smart Lighting option? This way it is almost useless if you need to process hundreds of images for photogrammetry

thank you for any explanation


Good morning,

Well, SmartLighting is an autocorrection based on a specific algorithm. In you case it needs to be investigated.

First, some questions:

  • Are those images above from the same body and lens?
  • How do you apply the same correction for the whole series? By a preset? Copy/paste all corrections?
  • And finally, could you, please, provide me with 2 originals of the images above + their sidecars? (please, upload them to under your Forum name and let me know when ready).

Thank you,
Svetlana G.

If I may add, it doesn’t take much change in image content to skew an algorithm. It’s a bit like using averaging auto-exposure on the camera - when something enters or leaves the shot, the average changes. I suspect this could be the case with the Smart Lighting algorithm.

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thank you Svetlana and Joanna for your answers, I have just uploaded the two raw files (same body and lens, same shutter speed , iso…)

I usually edit one image, save as preset, and apply to all the other images

I can understand the algorithm may change with different lighting conditions, or when something enters or leaves the shot, but as you can see, the two images are not so different, and I was surprised to see such a different result with the Smart Lighting tool


Thank you. We’ve got the images and they will be analyzed.

Svetlana G.

Hi @arlo. You’re perfectly right, on the samples you provided, even if pictures are very similar, automatic handling of the black with smart lighting is different, and behavior is not stable enough in that case. Sorry for the inconvenience. We have well noted that as an improvement to bring when we’ll work on the new generation of smart lighting algorithm. In the meantime, working with very similar inputs, using manual exposure and selective tones will bring stable results.


ok, I will disable the Smart Lighting tool
looking forward to the new generation of the algorithm

What amazing customer feedback from a software company … another excellent example of why I like DxO so much !

John M