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.
Join the newsletter!
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
ESET Internet Security
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Tivoli PAL BT
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- CBA capitulates, will support Apple Pay next year
- Intel unveils the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2
- Fetch TV expands with Aussie Broadband
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
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.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?