Which features will the PL7 successor get?

DxO showed a lot of really nice features at various other tools: during the last months:

  • Luminosity Masks (FilmPack 7)
  • DeepPrime XD2 (PureRaw 4)
  • elliptic U-Points / Control Points (Nik Collection 7)
  • Polygon Masks (Nik Collection 7)

Can we expect to see these 4 really useful features in the next major Photolab update ?

I hope so! It would be a shame to take extra money from Photolab customers for getting a “complete” software!

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The “Luminosity Masks (FilmPack 7)” is allready in PL7 if you activate a FilmPack 7 license.

For the other three points I think/hope you are right.

Exactly what I wrote: Photolab is not complete unless you buy one of these extra packages …

I think the only thing we can expect is DeepPRIME XD2. To add the other three features you mention to PL would be a disincentive for people to buy FP or NIK7.

yes, but formerly PureRaw 4 and Nik Collection 7 weren’t “members” of the Photolab-eco system;-) Please don’t give dxo any stupid ideas;-)

The question is whether this will be enough to persuade new buyers to purchase the product. Unfortunately, in addition to DxO Photolab Elite, you also have to buy 2 other products to be able to use everything in PL. On the whole, however, there is a lack of innovation.

Not adding at least some of the features would be a disincentive for PL customers and a push of PL users towards the competitors.

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and this makes it quite expensive !

Certainly, we can expect whatever we want…but it doesn’t forcibly make things happen.

The more we expect, the less we get.


Thought experiment only - I haven’t tried this…

Why stick with PL when a person could process the RAW file in PR4, gaining access to XD2, then proceed into NIK for all the tone, color, effects. Doesn’t this accomplish what PL does?

Many PL users are effectively doing a similar 2-step process by generating an intermediate DNG with the optical and denoise technologies baked in before applying the tone, color, and effects with the idea that this workflow provides better control of these final steps.

PL’s DAM is already weak, so each user could choose what works for them. Adobe Bridge is free and does more than PL.
Presets are numerous in PR4 and NIK.

If someone is using these packages with LR (or LR standalone) they are already doing a 2-step process with the tools in LR/PS/BR thrown in as a bonus.

What special features does PL have over the workflows above?

In theory, one could upgrade PR and NIK separately as befits the user rather than hope for what DxO decided what to include in PL.

Compare several photos in same view?

The special thing about PL is the one step processing.

I tried Lightroom and I found out that I don’t like these intermediate files which need a lot of space an need to be deleted at the end because they don’t show the final result. THe same would happen if I combine different DxO tools.

Waste of time (due to different steps in different tools) and waste of disk and/or cloud space

sure, but which tool of DxO offers this? I was just referring to what is already available and could easily be implemented without causing significant development costs.

I too would like as seemless a workflow as possible, however, perhaps I should revise my question to emphasis that…

Has anyone tried the combo of PR4 XD2 denoising with the new standalone NIK to comment on whether or not integrating these two products in a new PL would be a valuable or worthwhile one-step workflow?

In PL, the denoising algorithm is applied on export. Also, some sharpening effects are not applied unless the photo is zoomed to 75%. So I sometimes do a back and forth to tune these adjustments. This effectively becomes a two-step (or more) workflow.

I sampled PR4’s XD2 denoising and found it reduced the fringing and halos in high contrast edges in all the samples I tried. It also provides a larger preview window to better tune the denoising? The samples I tried were of birds against a bright sky, but at least I could see the effects before “export”. Batch processing 100 photos with PR4 did take a bit of time but focused on other things during that period. This success leads me to toy with reverting to older two-step workflow where I batch demosaicked before further processing.

While I really like Control points/lines, I struggle with getting the correct balance of +/- CPs to mask an irregular object (bird) or similar color/tonality areas (brown bird on brown tree). The autobrush struggles too. Hence my interest in the new NIK tools and perhaps their tuneable presets.

If the combo of these two products are a good match it seems like a no-brainer to integrate these into the PL. That’s a provisonal “wish”. I think this would help DxO’s development cycle if these “modules” could be placed in PL for these users, or as plugins for other workflows.

improvements in PL’s DAM (keywording and batch renaming for me) as well as the ability to compare 4 selected photos (culling and adjustments) would be great too.

DxO’s denosing/demosaicking technology is the most important part of their suite of tools in my workflow. Currently PR4 seems ahead.

PureRAW is a simplified subset of PhotoLab, therefore its functionality is already integrated in DPL, except for XD2 denoising, which I suppose will appear in DPL sooner or later.

Nik Collection apps currently only handle TIFF and JPEG files and are therefore not ready to be integrated in DPL like DFP and DVP.

How DxO packages functionalities is mainly a question of maximising revenue/effort, which is perfectly okay for any profit oriented company. Integrating all if Nik’s features into DPL would, imo, take too much effort and the resulting product would have to be too expensive.

Check out your bakery: selling a cake piece by piece makes it sell easier and at better profit.

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But my bakery sells complete cakes for a reasonable price, too

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Or make people don’t like this and go away (I know several people waiting v8 to choose their next boat - I’m one of them of course).

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Introducing the elliptical U-Points and the polygon masks would be a good reason to keep some customers as long as the automask functionalioty does not work as expected. At automasking Lightroom has a huge lead (main subject detection, sky masking, …) and I did not see any attempts of DxO in the past to improve something for automasking.

In my case lenses make >50% of the total cost, cameras and computers some 20% each, while software makes <5%. Without the software my photos would be 0% of value, so no complains here. Lifetime PL+FP+VP license costs as much as one low-end lens.

It would be natural to merge PL+FP+VP into a single product. However, DxO have to adapt to their market (as they see it), which will make some happy and others frustrated. There is a lot of basic things to be improved in PL7, but quest for new buzzwords may prevail. For example, I would like to get some control over halos which (must) appear when local contrast adjustments are made (e.g. Microcontrast, ClearVision) but this topic is not “trendy” enough. It seems there’s some development in the “SmartLighting” area, perhaps ClearVision will get a new face, also diffraction and moire topics are still addressed by current research work. On the other hand, camera software may follow the smartphone suite and preprocess the raws “for your convenience” to the point, where 90% of the current LR/PL/C1/… software users will stop using it (?). After all, less than 1% of people care about photo quality. Hopefully I’m wrong. I would like PL8 to improve “basics” first.

Lot of marketing fuss is made about things that less that 0.01% will really use, although many “want” to have it (e.g. combining hundreds of focus-shifted raws). Rather than improving what we have, we are behaving like a herd of sheep guided by crazy “leaders”. Luckily, I have “lifetime” PL license, which keeps me safe for some 5+ years to come.

Before auto-masking/AI masking etc it would be nice if either the masks are appropriately updated following a subsequent geometry change, as is the case with LrC or COP.

If that is too difficult, at least there should be a warning message if you try to change geometry (perspective, horizon, reshape, etc) on an image with one or more local edits.

(And while you are at it, fix the undo system in PL8 - I am fed up of hitting CMD-Z to undo keyword changes only to have the program undo whatever last visual edit was made instead!)