"If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63."
DxO Labs Optics Pro 5
- Excellent tools for batch processing Raw files; superb colour rendition
- Somewhat fiddly downloading experience; limited lens and camera profiles; lacks compatibility for some makes
While we rate Optics Pro highly, for Pentax, Sony and Olympus users, compatibility is thin. Camera and lens support is focused on the two main players, Canon and Nikon – and even then there are some obvious absences. Lens modules are free to download, but if you're a user of pro-spec cameras, such as the EOS 1D series or Nikon D2 range, you'll need to purchase the more expensive Elite package. And, at $299 without added functionality, this seems like quite a jump.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
As automatic image-quality enhancement software goes, DxO Optics Pro stands out from the crowd with its user-installed base of camera and lens correction profiles. The addition of lens look-up profiles helps correct inherent optical defects such as vignetting, distortion and chromatic aberration, but it's DxO Labs' astute auto-correction and superb colour rendition that makes Optics Pro such a powerful tool.
Left to its own devices, Optics Pro will automatically correct and process batches of Raw files that may well have different camera and lens combinations; correction isn't limited to Raw files, so even JPEGs can benefit. But there's so much more to Optics Pro than that.
Batch processing using one or more presets can provide the user with some control over the process and, naturally, single Raw files can be converted and corrected individually using nothing more than a slider or the occasional eye-dropper.
However, users of previous versions have had to endure an unintuitive interface with enough idiosyncrasies to make the learning curve steeper than necessary, and, unlike rival tools, conversion and correction have been fiddly, time-consuming processes.
Version 5.0 addresses these problems specifically, although it's currently only available for Windows users – a Mac edition will follow. The developer states that version 5.0 has seen a pretty dramatic decrease in conversion times – it's claimed to be up to four times faster than version 4.5. This is all thanks to an entire rewrite using .NET and utilising GPU processing where a dedicated video card is installed.
Although we couldn't see a vast improvement in rendering or development times with our laptop, version 5.0 delivered some slightly cleaner-looking files compared to version 4.5, with noise reduction applied before conversion and, crucially, a new demosaicing algorithm that adopts non-local interpolation.
In spite of the anti-dust systems appearing on digital SLRs, cleaning up Raw images is still a necessary task for photographers. Version 5's new spot blemish feature is, therefore, a welcome addition, especially if you intend to use the utility as a stand-alone application.
The interface has undergone a cosmetic transformation. It's pretty slick-looking, but stops short of being a significant improvement over the previous offering. While we appreciate the row of shortcuts, the workspace is still a little cramped compared with Adobe Lightroom, and it's not as user-friendly as Phase One's Capture One 4.
Nevertheless, we like the simplification of the output settings during processing, especially dropping the project option and allowing the user to choose an output folder. This sounds simple, but the layout of version 4.5 was unnecessarily complicated.
That said, there's still some work to be done on selecting output image size. It's fine if you think in terms of pixel dimensions, but it would be better to add more than just the two print sizes.
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PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
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