What are the most important improvements for v5?

Tall order, but I would like to have a unified merge feature, which would take a bunch of photos and merge them to HDR AND panorama, as well as source material supports that. That is, overlapping photos would combine to larger views (not necessarily just panorama but also expanding to all directions there is image data), and overlapped parts would try to adjust tonal data optimally (call it HDR). Supply necessary flips and switches to allow user adjustments. Export (and reimport) as DNG (or why not 16- or 32-bit TIFF).

I’m a Fuji user since Day 1 of the X100. And since the X-Trans cameras came out, this has been a repeated theme. I think the reason is that PL digs into the native RAW formats and they are all BAYER arrays. To make some of the advanced PL features work for X-Trans might require DXO to build an entirely parallel set of code, for what is still a pretty small market share (though a larger percentage of Fuji X-Trans users might be Pl customers – when compared to the rest of digital photographers).

I use PL 4 and like it a lot, but I convert my RAF files with Iridient X-Transformer. I have to use a different camera brand/model to save in the metadata to get those DNGs past PL’s filters (PL does not accept linear DNG files that are tagged with some camera brand information). You don’t get the most advanced PL features, but I still find the software to be very good, though a different look and feel than PhotoShop (which has a relationship with some of the processes used in pre-press workflows).

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1. The ability to accept linear DNG files. I do most of my digital photography with Fujifilm X-Trans cameras. I totally “get” DXO’s position that they will never, never, never allow PL to process native X-Trans RAW files. (I believe the reason is that the level of effort required to build parallel code to allow the processing of non-Bayer files is uneconomical – based on potential sales.)

What I don’t understand is why PL4 can’t handle a DNG file created by 3rd party DNG converter – such as those from Iridient X-Transformer. But actually, PL4 does accept those files – as long as they are tagged with another camera brand’s information during Iridient’s conversion. I’ve tested this with several different X-Trans file formats. So it appears that DXO has some kind of a lookup table that specifically excludes Fujifilm X-Trans files. The rationale escapes me, since Fuji owners have been requesting access to DXO for years.

There is a downside: A few of the most advanced PL features seem to require a camera’s native (Bayer) Raw file to function. I “get” that too. But I can do noise reduction in Topaz AI and still get 95% of the benefits of PL. After years of PhotoShop, PL works in a completely different way, but going back over several years to look for some of my more challenging post-processing situations, PL has done a better job with less effort – and those were from DNG files made with a “spoofed” camera brand/model.

There is no technical barrier – it is just a DXO attitude barrier.


Hi @LJClark,
Thanks for your feedback.
Some of your assumptions are correct, but others don’t.


  • It’s true that making PL available for X-trans will need us to rewrite our algorithms. Impossible? No.
    A very long and time-consuming process? Yes.
  • A “forged” :sunglasses: linear DNG created on Iridient X-Transformer can be used in PL: probably yes.
  • “It appears that DxO…excludes Fujifilm X-Trans files”… :thinking: (see below)


  • “DxO will never handle X-trans native RAWs:” DxO never said anything like that :wink:
  • “It appears that DxO…excludes Fujifilm X-Trans files”: PL does not process files that can’t be properly handled, not because this is our stance, but because this is what is all about…
    PL has been created since the beginning to deliver the best image quality, period. If you use a DNG for which DxO doesn’t have any calibration profiles, we can’t do much with your image, at least, we cannot deliver what our product is supposed to deliver.
  • “There is no technical barrier, it’s just a DxO attitude barrier”. There is no attitude, or ideological stance: the barrier is only technical. If we do not rewrite our algorithms there is no X-Trans possible. If we do not create the calibration profiles for X-Trans cameras, there is no X-Trans possible in PL.

As a photographer using our product I can fully understand your frustration. You’ll be amazed knowing that your frustration is shared by some of our colleagues here at DxO, who are avid Fuji users…
For now, this is the current state of X-Trans in PL.


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well, @StevenL, some of what you write can at least be discussed:

While it is true that if you don’t have algorithms and modules for Fuji gear, you cannot treat Fuji files to the same level as supported Canon/Nikon/Sony… files, we could still use all other tools that DPL provides (Unsharp mask, Exposure, white balance - need I write more?)

There is much more room than what we create with either/or: Take a rainbow, reduce it to infrared and ultraviolet and we’re left with nothing visible…

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Thanks for your response. Up to this point, the best I was able to get from DXO was a “I’ll pass your concerns on to < ______ >”.

First, please remember that in my comment in this forum I asked for, in PL5, “ The ability to accept linear DNG files .” My comments concerning PL not ever accepting X-Trans native RAW files were primarily to ensure that you understood that I understood the considerable level of effort it would take to build X-Trans native RAW support into PhotoLab. Another part of that comment is a suggestion for X-Trans shooters to look past that limitation and consider PL for its remaining features that work with TIFF, JPEG, and DNG files – and which are quite good.

The issue remains DXO’s blocking of DNG files that contain metadata that identifies the camera as a Fujifilm X-Trans camera. Or maybe it is more accurate to assume that PL will only intake files where the metadata matches a list of cameras that are approved. But that continues to puzzle me.

You concerns regarding the results in PhotoLab from unknown DNGs may be legitimate, but only to the extent that the “unknown” might become the “known” with a little outreach. Has DXO ever talked with Iridient and asked for samples of their DNG files produced from X-Trans RAF files? Iridient was very helpful to me, and even suggested how I could tag the DNG files (set up to be done during conversion) to represent a sensor that had properties similar to the sensors used in Fujifilm cameras. I have successfully converted RAF files from X-T3, X100F, X100S, X-Pro1, and X20 cameras. All of those files worked in PL4 if they were tagged “properly”.

A final note on my comment “ DXO ’s position that they will never , never, never allow PL to process handle native X-Trans native RAW file s ”. For Fuji X-Trans shooters, the current situation is indistinguishable from “never”. But that’s reality, and there is an acceptable way to use linear DNG files, converted from X-trans files, in PhotoLab.

Get some of your in-house Fuji shooters together some day and we’ll Zoom.

@LJClark, @platypus I guess our in-house Fuji fans will love to make a Zoom call with fellow X-trans shooters :wink:
Again, as said before, if we do not have calibration files we cannot deliver a full PL experience. As a user I can understand that having “some PL” is always better than “no PL at all”, but at this moment this is not something DxO is comfortable with.

I quote "For Fuji X-Trans shooters, the current situation is indistinguishable from “never”. Because I’m a very rational person, I do not fully agree with that (even if I get your point): instead of “never” I would rather say “not possible yet”.

I’m not a X-Trans shooter, but I can understand the notion that DPL should be able to handle files from this family too. As for “not possible”, I’m inclined to read it as “not ready” yet in the sense that DxO’s financial management has not agreed to go that way yet.

As far as I can see from whatever the Internet spits out about X-Trans conversion, Capture One seems to be the app to go to at the moment.

I can’t comment about Capture One’s conversion quality, but I’m 100% sure of the following: if one day PL will be able to handle XT files, it will do it with the unmatched quality DxO/PL is known for.


Pixel Shifted file support for Sony’s ARQ and other brands as this is becoming more commonplace. To be clear its not support for compiling pix shifted files needed but support for the file after in DXO :wink:


I understand DXO’s position. Let me tell you a little – true – story…

In the early 1990’s the agency I worked for was able to sit down with a senior manager for a major defense contractor (billions of dollars annually) and talk about quality and customer expectations – we wanted to apply lessons learned to our own missions. This defense contractor had experienced a very rough spot with their primary military customer. That customer has having problems with the products – the type things where people can die during training. The customer felt that the company just wasn’t listening. Future contracts could be at risk. After two rounds of customer surveys – with no resolution, they decided on a third round. In that third survey one of the customer responses used the term “technical arrogance”. That finally nudged the company into a state of reality.

Technical arrogance” is not my term. We heard that straight from the lips of the senior manager. The company finally realized that attempting to dictate customer expectations was a risky business approach.

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Even suggesting that DXO’s stance might be a display of “ Technical arrogance ” is ill considered unless you know all the technical reasons behind their decision making process. This may include, amount other things, reallocating a significant portion of their resources away from normal development and support of their core products.

DXO has to decide, based on a cost/benefit analysis, how best to allocate those resources. Similar arguments could be made by those who want DXO to port PhotoLab to Linux. The effort to support X-Tran is apparently very significant from DXO’s point of view and the business case may not be strong enough to invest significant resources to it as this time. That does not mean they are doing nothing, But it does mean that support for x-tran currently may not be one of their higher priorities.


Please show me even one instance where I have ever advocated that DXO expend any resources for support of X-Trans native RAW files. You won’t be able to, because I never have.

If you bother to go back and look at my posts you’ll see that all I have asked for is the ability to import linear DNG files. Currently, PL4 blocks the import of linear DNG files that (apparently) carry metadata indicating that the originating camera was a Fujifilm X-Trans camera. If the camera brand and camera model tags are changed during the conversion process from X-Trans to DNG, that file is than accepted by PL4. The only change is the brand/model tag. The DNG file is no longer an X-Trans file – it is now a DNG file. But for some reason PL actively blocks an otherwise identical DNG file if it has the Fujifilm tag.

Fiddling with the brand/model is a silly workaround with the downside being that I may need to change the metadata on the final file to indicate the correct brand/model. A few of PL’s more advanced features are unavailable for a linear DNGs (advanced denoising and lens corrections) but those only represent a fraction of PhotoLab capabilities. I’ve been using Topaz DeNoise AI anyway, so the loss of DXO’s denoising is not that big of a deal.

It is also interesting that a JPEG file originating in an X-Trans camera is accepted by PL. That JPEG has been subject to much more camera-specific manipulation than a linear DNG file.


I was responding to the suggestion of technical arrogance only. I never said or implied that my response was to counter something that you had explicitly stated. Whether you intended it or not, by retelling your anecdotal story there was a clear implication that the term "technical arrogance" might be applicable to DXO’s position on supporting x-tran. Since you were responding to @StevenL’s specific post about X-Trans sensor support, nothing I wrote when I responded to you was related to any DNG issues.


The alternative is getting comfortable with loosing customers because you won’t give them “some PL” for DNGs where you don’t have calibration files.

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I’m not sure what kind of “calibration files” Steven is talking about.

The camera make/model metadata that I substitute for Fuji camera information when I use Iridient X-Transformer to make DNG files has absolutely zero impact on the DNG image data or other processing at all – so there doesn’t appear to be any good reason that they don’t accept this format with Fujifilm make/model metadata as well.

It could be they ignore the DNG color profile and other standard DNG color information and use their own custom color setup with these files and since they don’t support the Fujifilm models in RAF format they lack the color profiles for these models and they don’t want to go to the work to create the profiles (or adding basic support for the embedded DNG camera profile format).

And I probably need to repeat that I certainly am not asking DXO to provide full Fujifilm X-Trans native RAW support to PhotoLab5…That’s a heavy lift. I’d just like for PhotoLab to use a DNG file as DNG files – as they are intended to be used.

He’s referring to a DxO Optics Module - each of which is specific to a particular {body+lens} combo … containing the “calibration” settings by which PL applies automatic corrections (specific to this combo).

John M

The first thing that was present in Nikon’s (Nik’s) good old Capture NX-2. As I sometimes encounter troubles with the eye dropper color picker. Especially when shooting with LED theatre lighting.

(and at day #1 I already encountered the 2000K low limit, Theatre light nowadays is strange!)

Perhaps the problem is that DXO is trying to deal with a paradigm shift. PhotoLab has a lot of DNA coming from DXO optical correction software. That legacy may be at odds with them now trying to make a product geared more towards a wider range of post-processing requirements – challenging when trying to drive customer expectations in a certain direction – perhaps defined by the past.

That may be a problem going forward. Maintaining and adding to a matrix of thousands of camera:lens combinations is going to be increasingly expensive. Baking that into PhotoLab as a primary gateway to users is an “interesting” approach. And I’m not sure how DXO’s corrections correlate to corrections that more and more camera/lens manufacturers are adding on the hardware/firmware side. Tangential, looking back at some of my Leica M9 files, the lens information was only accurate for the three Leica lenses I used. I (like many other M8/M9 users) hand coded the lens mounts to of Zeiss and Cosina/Voigtlander lenses to deal with vignetting. And software correction of some lens characteristics, to the extent is it applied, results in some loss of detail.

One feature/process loss resulting from spoofing a make/model camera is that you loose +PRIME and +DeepPRIME noise reduction. However I prefer Topaz anyway.

(I wouldn’t be surprised if Adobe is working on a much more AI-based PhotoShop-something or a Lightroom-AI. There are a lot of commercial graphics and pre-press genes floating around in PhotoShop. While that has developed a cottage industry of books and workshops, an AI solution would be - perhaps - “liberating”. For some reason current Adobe software manages to intake DNG files, even if their conversion of X-Trans files is not universally loved. I wouldn’t expect that to change.)

I follow your argument, Larry, but - if all that PL did was to apply “generic” adjustments as per camera-recorded info then there’d be no significant incentive to use PL (ignoring, for purpose of my point !, PL’s excellent RAW-processing algrorithms) … one might as well use ACR, or something similar. That is to say; for me, and many other PL users - it’s precisely that PL delivers such effective lens-correction adjustments (from actual {body+Lens} calibrations), and does so automatically, that makes it so attractive.

Regards, John M