Two More Applications For Correcting Verticals, Barrel Distortion and More

November 6th, 2009

In the interest of covering a broad range of software alternatives for correcting verticals, barrel distortion I want to summarize two other applications:

ShiftN: A reader pointed out this free Windows only application to me. I’d heard of it but never tried it before. Since I recently purchased Parallels for my Mac, so I can tryout windows only applications, I decided to try it out. ShiftN corrects converging verticals, rotation and barrel distortion. To correct barrel distortion you must give it a “radial distortion parameter” for your lens. I must say that I am impressed by ShiftN’s approach at automatically correcting converging verticals. For many images it is quick and easy. It sometimes needs some help identifying the most significant verticals. It identifies all the verticals that it is using for the correction algorithm and you can choose to throw out the ones that are not walls (like the red lines in the photo to the right). Windows users that need to keep software costs at a minimum should give ShiftN a try. It is a very useable application and the price is hard to beat!

DxO Optics Pro: Many advanced real estate photographers like DxO Optics Pro because it can save time by processing images in batch mode much like the PTlens. Additionally it has corrections for a few more distortions than other correction software. DxO Optics Pro does the following kinds of corrections:

  • Lens distortion correction: Barrel/Pincushion distortion, complex distortion (whatever that is) and fisheye distortion
  • Vignetting distortion: Light fall-off in the corners
  • Chromatic aberration: Color fringing in high contrast areas
  • Lens softness correction: Much like capture sharpening or adjusting clarity in Camera Raw or Lightroom
  • Volume anamorphosis distortion: Comes from projecting a 3D object in real life on to a 2D sensor
  • Converging verticals and horizon correction: The familiar converging vertical and camera rotation problem

Version 6 of DxO Optics Pro was just recently released. There is a thread in the PFRE flickr discussion group discussing this new release that has a lot of good information and insights.

In the past I’ve tried out DxO Optics Pro a couple of times but never become a regular user of it because I had bad experiences with it’s reliability. To be honest I’ve also have never been able to get past DxO’s pricing philosophy where they charge $100 more if your camera has a full-frame sensor than if it has a cropped sensor. To me, this application is just too expensive for what you get.

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3 Responses to “Two More Applications For Correcting Verticals, Barrel Distortion and More”

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  • Larry,
    Good stuff as always.
    I was one of the “Jeremy Esland DxO Converts.” Rather than looking for a plugin for LR or PS for some lens issues, another for noise, and yet another for advanced lighting controls, I gave DxO OPE a try. Yup… costs more for anything they consider a professional body.
    Earlier versions were rather buggy, though many of the issues were corrected in the last of the v5 releases. V6 impressed me as no prior version had. I use one simple app for asset management and tagging. Any version of LightRoom or ACDSee Pro can handle that. For everything else short of layering in fires and skies, I use DxO OPE.
    For the money, the current version makes quick work of things that other apps need costly plugins to handle.
    Version 6 (currently WIN only) is worth a trial for anyone on the fence.


  • […] here’s the absolute fabulous news – Larry over at PFRE blog alerted me to this software, it’s […]

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