Useless DNGs?

Hi all,
I edited in PL5 DNG files from Pure Raw. I was pleased by the results.
My issue is that the settings made in PL (and melted in the DNG, no .dop sidecar) are not visible in either the finder, nor PhotoMechanic. There look the same as those produced by Pure Raw, without any editing.

Worse, I couldn’t import those DNGs in LR.
I ended exporting .tiffs, then jpegs, in order to keep my settings, by even then, I had to re-adjust all of them, as they didn’t look the same as the original DNGs (much lower exposure, excessive saturation, colors changes…), and have lost quality (peaks in histogram in TIFFs).
In my understanding, DNG files are universal, with the same quality than the raw file, and contains all the corrections made.
Instead, I get DNGs from DXO no other standard app or OS can display accurately.
I losed an afternoon working on files that I can’t use outside of PL5, so I’m a little upset : did I miss something, before I definitively drop DXO PL ?

Did you export the file after making your adjustments in PL5? PL5 does not change anything in the file you are working on, the file must be exported in order for the file to contain the changes made in PL5.

Thanks Mark, yes, the issue being that it seems I can’t use or read/use DNGs (with the edits) in another app, the MasOS finder, or a cataloging/browsing software like PhotoMechanic.
Not to speak of other compatibilty issues (SmugMug couldn’t import the DNG’s).

Indeed. DPL does not change RAW files, even if it understands DPR’s DNG files as RGB files. DPL can’t export a DNG as a DNG, which is a pity - because Lightroom can.

Other than that, PureRAW is not necessary if you have PhotoLab. DPR is like parts of DPL repackaged to make a new product. This means that you can skip either the DPR or DPL step.

Thanks, does that mean that DXO’s DNGs are stuck into either DPR or DPL ? Or only within DPL ?
They can’t go out if not exported in Tiff or jpeg ?

Not possible



  • CAM.RAW → DPR → DPR.DNG → LrC → LrC.TIF or LrC.JPG or LrC.DNG
  • CAM.RAW → DPL → DPL.DNG → LrC → LrC.TIF or LrC.JPG or LrC.DNG
  • etc.

Note: Lightroom can also export JPG and TIF files as DNG files.

  • DPL can show the built-in preview…but can’t customize such files
  • DPR can’t show the built-in preview, but it shows a “sorry…” popup

Thanks for taking the time for these very useful and clear informations !
I’ll try these combinations.
Thanks again

I’m glad you liked the results but as @platypus has already noted, your workflow appears to be overly complicated. If you have PL5 Elite then PureRaw is redundant because all the functionality, and more, of Pure Raw is available within PL5 Elite.

Of course if you only have PL5 Essential then you don’t have access to DeepPrime noise reduction in PL so perhaps that’s why you are using this particular workflow. Ah, OK, I think I might have just answered my own question.

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I don´t know what version of Photolab you are using but I have never had any problems with my DNG:s and Photo Mechanic Plus.

When using the DNG export option it says explicitly “Export as DNG (all corrections applied)” and that is exactly what is happening for me

Below I will show two different images.

  1. The first with a comparison of two DNG-images . The first image in that image is the original and the second I have changed the color of the yellow flowers from yellow to green with the Color Wheel. Both has been opened in Windows 11 and the Photo Viewer.

  1. The second image (the image below) is showing these two images that has been placed in a folder that also has been indexed with “Scan to catalog” in Photo Mechanic Plus after the images have been exported from Photolab 5.

As you can see I have no problems with DNG in Photolab or Windows Photo Viewer or Photo Mechanic Plus. That is at least three different softwares.

You always have to refresh the index with Scan to Catalog for the folder you have your updated images in. Maybe you just forgot that? I don´t think it´s a good idea to make people scared of using DNG of the reasons you have discussed here and DXO has put a lot of efforts into the integration of Photolab with Lightroom and DNG is the file format they have been using for that many years now. There is a plugin to Lightroom for this and you also can activate the “Metadata sync” in “Preferences” if you please.

Try for yourself!

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A little background information might help you move forward.

A dng is a container format. It can contain raw (mosaiced) or RGB data, normally referred to as a linear dng, effectively a Tif without a white point assigned. In LR when you produce a pano or HDR the dng is a linear dng.

Pure Raw does an automatic raw conversion and outputs a linear dng.

As others have said you don’t need Pure Raw if you have PL5 Elite. PL5 Elite is superior to PR because you get full control over the raw conversion rather than an “automatic” version.You can not only adjust colour, tone etc but decide how much of the optical corrections to apply, use volume distortion control on wide angle lenses, lens sharpening, amount of noise reduction etc.

If you make changes in PL5 and export a dng using the with corrections option, then these adjustments are present in the dng and can be seen by any program. Remember that a linear dng is a Tif in a dng container, you can’t not see the edits. There is an option to export the dng WITHOUT the edits, have you chosen that option by mistake?

In summary, forget Pure Raw and use PL5 to edit your photos. Remember PL5 supports dcp colour profiles if you need them, has local adjustments via layers etc.


You get this option only if you also have ViewPoint.

Yes, you are correct. Some of the vital functionality for PL only comes with the addition of Viewpoint and FilmPack. Always needs remembering :slight_smile:

Imo, getting the “DxO Premium Bundle” is the way to go for serious image customising with DxO products.

Thanks, I now understand it’s redundant, especially as I have both PR and PL Elite :woozy_face:

Interesting, thanks for sharing it with me.
I’ll take time this WE to experiment myself.


I choosed with the edits. maybe it’s because of this 2 steps (PR+PL) process which is useless and redundant.

Thanks for your answer !

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Although I never rely on phone-based cameras, I recently got a Samsung Galaxy S22 and there have been cases where I’ve used it to record images. I use the Expert RAW app but unfortunately, it doesn’t produce true RAW files–only DNGs. Although I can see these in the PL5 Photo Library, when I try to process them I get “This image cannot be processed because of an unknown error. It may be corrupted or in an unsupported format.” How were you able to open them? When I try to download a DxO Optics Module, I see that Galaxy phones are only supported through the S5, which was released in 2014!!! They’re also way behind on iPhones and other brands I’m sure. WTF?! I’ve requested that they support the S22 but I see no sign that they’re on the roadmap. I’m only continuing to shoot RAW (fortunately, it also records JPGs so at least I have images) in hopes that this will be rectified (ideally before I need to replace that phone with a new unsupported one). Very frustrating!

The story I heard was that DXO had a deal with Apple to provide optical corrections for the iPhone, iPad etc Knowing how Apple operate I would guess the contract prevents DXO supporting Android, particularly Samsung :slight_smile:

This may just be rumour but I guess there is a reason why the stopped supporting Samsung phones in 2014?

So to clarify:
PL will not change the original DNG.
It will export a new DND with your changes embedded IF you use the option “Export as DNG (all corrections applied)”
As others have suggested - it sounds like you are exporting as DNG without the “all corrections applied” being set.