When is Deep Prime applied?

Is Deep Prime applied before or after other adjustments in Photo Lab? For example, if one brightens shadow areas (increasing noise in those areas) is the noise reduction being applied to the original exposure or the modified image?

There are posts and articles which explain this to some extent. DeepPRIME, like PRIME, is applied during the demosaic stage, before most other adjustments - but not all:

New Dxo user quick question, order of adjustments - DxO PhotoLab - DxO Forums

I can see how your question matters if you’re using PhotoLab or PureRAW to do initial processing with demosaic and then want to export for further tonal adjustments. For what it’s worth, brightening the image after RAW conversion will only reveal noise that’s already there - not add more noise. So it makes sense to correct exposure while making sure that you’re applying enough noise reduction.

Here’s the thing. I am going to buy a DxO noise reduction option in one form or another. It is simply the best that I have found. Photolab has several critical issues that I am trying to get a handle on and if I can’t, I’ll go with PureRAW.

  1. The interface is REALLY hard to read on a 5K screen without reducing the resolution (if I wanted lower res I would not have bought a 5K screen!) The text color of inactive controls is way too close to the interface color and the small text size makes using it an unpleasant experience. Generally folks don’t spend money to put themselves through unpleasantness so DxO is shooting themselves in the foot with this design.

  2. The shadow control in Photolab effects a far greater range of tones than does ACR. Pull up the shadows and you’re pulling up too much of the midtones. BTW… where is the “White” slider?

So… if there is a noise reduction benefit to pulling up the shadows because DeepPrime is run AFTER that adjustment then I’ll deal with the issues mentioned and go that route. If on the other hand DeepPrime is effectively applied by the program before any of the other changes are made then there is no reason for me not to just go with PureRAW and adjust in Lightroom or Photoshop.

PhotoLab is different from ACR and other RAW developers with selective tone controls. Your observation is correct. There are topics in this forum that explore how it works and how to get the results you want. Search for selective tone and highlights and you’ll find these topics. There are also feature request topics asking that PhotoLab’s selective tone controls behave more like Adobe’s. DxO staff are certainly aware of the interest.

You should probably give PureRAW a trial. But if you find that you need more control over the amount of noise reduction applied to an image, then PhotoLab 4 Elite Edition is the way to go. You can export to DNG from PhotoLab and adjust further in Lr or Ps.