November 12th, 2008
I am taking another look at DXO Optics Pro because DXO recently did a release and a e-book subscriber suggested that I give DXO coverage in my book.
I have to say up front that I’ve had some resistance in the past to using DXO in the past because:
- They charge twice as much ($249 USD) for the same functionality, if you have what they consider a “professional” body, like a Canon 1D series, 5D, Nikon D3, D2X series, D700. For all other bodies the cost is $124 USD for exactly the same software. I don’t think this is a good way to price software.
- The features in DXO are possible to do in other ways for less cost.
- In the past versions when I’ve used DXO trials I’ve found the user interface to be a little convoluted.
On the other hand, as I look at the DXO Pro 5.3 version it has some really strong points:
- It automates fixing barrel distortion and chromatic aberration.
- It does volume anamorphosis correction. I don’t know of other software that does this.
- It does perspective correction (converging verticals) manually.
- It automates color, exposure and lighting optimization.
- As of version 5.3 it does a great job of noise reduction. It does the best noise reduction if you give it RAW files because it does the noise reduction before RAW conversion.
DXO ads have always made a big deal out of the fact that you can do barrel distortion correction in batch mode. PTlens ($25 USD) does exactly the same thing. Lightroom does all the other corrections, accept volume anamorphosis, although not in batch mode.
I know that a number of PFRE readers that have a heavy shooting schedule use DXO Optics Pro just because it saves so much time in post processing. I would say that if you do not use what DXO considers a “professional” body I think it is a good value at $124 USD. But at $249 USD, I’m just not convinced yet that it’s a necessity. What do others think?