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DxO PhotoLab 6 Review

DxO PhotoLab Review

This DxO Photolab 6 Elite review looks at the premium edition of DxO‘s photo management and editing studio. And with tools such DeepPrime Noise Reduction, ClearView Plus, and Smart Lighting, DxO PhotoLab 6 is easily one of the best photo editing software applications.

However, DxO Photolab 6 exists in a crowded market and must compete with Lightroom and ACDSee Ultimate. Does DxO Photolab 6 Elite have enough to stand out from the crowd – let’s find out. Jump to Conclusion.










Table of Contents

What is DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite

DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is a standalone all-in-one photo studio for PC and Mac. And as an all-in-one photo studio, DxO Photo Lab 6 Elite has features such as Photo Management, Presets, AI Noise Reduction, and Photo Editing.

DxO PhotoLab Review (Video)

DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is the premium version of the cheaper DxO PhotoLab 6. While the two versions have a few differences, the most notable difference is that the Elite addition gets DeepPRIME AI noise reduction.

The inclusion of DeepPrime is, in my opinion, worth paying the premium – even before considering Elite’s additional functionality, which we’ll explore later in this DxO Photolab 6 Review.

DxO PhotoLab 6 Release Date

5th October 2022.

How much is DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite

DxO Photolab 6 Elite costs US$219, with the essential edition costing $139,

DxO Photolab 6 Trial

Download your PhotoLab 6 Elite free 30-day trial. No credit card is required.

What does DxO PhotoLab 6 do

Photo Management

DxO Photolab 6 has a simple but effective photo management system. For instance, you can manually edit your photo’s metadata, rate your image, and tag your photo with any number of custom keywords.

DxO PhotoLab 6’s photo management is straightforward and pleasant to use.

Furthermore, DxO PhotoLab 6 features a simple but effective search system. For instance, you can type “Nikon D750” to find all images taken with that camera or ‘Bird’ to recover all photos to which you’ve assigned the keyword ‘Bird.’

Moreover, you can combine both searches to find all photos assigned with the keyword ‘Bird’ taken with a Nikon D750. Overall, photo management in DxO PhotoLab 6 can bring order to the most chaotic photo collections.


Like almost all photo editors, DxO PhotoLab 6 has Presets. While PhotoLab 6 doesn’t ship with many Presets built-in, you can always make your own.

Browsing DxO PhotoLab 6’s catalog of Presets.

Raw Conversion

DxO PhotoLab 6’s class-cleading raw conversion is something to behold. PhotoLab 6 uses bespoke optical modules optimized to suit the characteristics of specific camera/lens combinations.

DxO PhotoLab 6 will do a one-off download for each camera and lens combination you own.

As a result, DxO Photolab 6 can correct distortion, remove aberrations, and fix vignetting in a way that is tailor-made to the camera and lens you took the image.

The overall effect is very impressive, entirely automated, and reliable. However, you can disable this feature if you prefer to do the work yourself.

Photo Editing in DxO

DxO PhotoLab 6 is a traditional photo editor armed with some modern tricks. Thus, for the most part, you’ll be polishing your photos with classical adjustments such as white balance, tone curves, and exposure.

Comparing an edited photo with the original.

Yet this is not to say that DxO PhotoLab 6 is antiquated. On the contrary, DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is equipped with DeepPrime – an AI noise reduction tool and one of the best noise reduction software applications you can get.

Plus, there are DxO’s compound effects, namely Smart Lighting and ClearView. Stay tuned for examples of these effects coming right up in this DxO PhotoLab 6 review.

Batch Editing

DxO Photolab 6 batch editing feature is effective and straightforward to use. For example, you can apply a single Preset to multiple images or replicate the adjustments made to one photo to others.

AI Noise Reduction – Elite edition only

DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is equipped with the same DeepPrime AI noise reduction found in DxO PureRaw 3. In other words, it’s one of the best noise reduction software applications.

Unlike traditional noise reduction, which sweeps away noise and detail equally, DeepPrime AI noise reduction will denoise your photo while enhancing detail. And as you can see from the sample below, the results are spectacular.

DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite

Unfortunately, DeepRRIME only works on Raw files, not JPEGs. Furthermore, you cannot observe the effect of DeepPrime in real time as it is applied only when you export your image. However, you can export your image and edit the denoised image like any other photo.

If you don’t need a fully functional photo editing application, DxO PureRaw 3 costs much less and includes DxO’s raw conversion and DeepPRIME noise reduction. Read DxO PureRaw 3 Review for more information.

Smart Lighting

Smart Lighting is an automated scene-relighting tool that rebalances shadows and highlights for an overall brighter image. For example, Smart Lighting is very effective at brightening up back-lit subjects, but you can use it on almost anything.

DxO Smart Lighting


ClearView is a sharpening tool that cuts through haze and mist, restoring washed-out details. A sort of modern-day Clarity tool.

DxO ClearView

DxO PhotoLab 6 Tutorial

How to edit your photos with DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite

Is DxO PhotoLab 6 worth it?

DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is feature-rich, well-priced, and straightforward to use. Its bespoke optical modules offer class-leading optical corrections, and its AI-powered DeepPRIME noise reduction is about as good as noise reduction gets.


As a traditional photo editor, DxO Photolab 6 is very capable. The interface is attractive, responsive, and straightforward to use. As you would hope, PhotoLab 6 features all the standard tools for adjusting contrast, color, and brightness.


Ergonomically speaking, DxO PhotoLab is good. For instance, you can save your edits as presets; thus, you’ll never have to repeat your best work. You also have the option to divide your toolset by category or view it as a single long list. However, you are more likely to use ‘Favorite Corrections’ – a list to which you can assign all your favorite tools. Lovely.

DxO PhotoLab’s Sharpening is very good.

However, there is room for improvement. For instance, DxO PhotoLab’s color wheel enables you to target your adjustments by clicking on and sampling a specific area of your image. In contrast, many other adjustments are entirely slider driven.

And while it is easy to enable or disable any given adjustment – many of the adjustments cannot be reset to default. Instead, you’ll have to take the time to drag the sliders back to their home position. While this is a minor complaint, it applies to every edit you’ll ever do.

One area in which DxO PhotoLab 6 offers plenty of on-screen adjustment is masking. Specifically, its iPod-style Radial menu provides an easy way to bounce between different brushes and control points.

On masking, the Auto Brush is impressive but slightly confusing as the mask overlay is applied without edge awareness, but the actual adjustment is edge-aware. Nether the less, it gets the job done, but in this day and age of one-click object-recognition-powered automatic selection, it feels a bit quaint.


DxO PhotoLab 6 has all the usual tools and adjustments, such as exposure, white balance, and tone curves – plus Presets and an effective photo management system. However, DxO PhotoLab 6’s more advanced features demand attention.

First, DeepPrime noise reduction is terrific and one of the best noise reduction software applications there is. And while difficult to measure, I consider DxO PhotoLab 6’s camera-lens-specific optical corrections class-leading.

Combined, these two features will dramatically improve your photo’s image quality, and that’s before you’ve tried Smart Light and ClearView.

DxO PhotoLab 6 features a useful Watermarking feature. You can use text or images and save multiple variants.

However, aside from these features, DxO PhotoLab 6 does lack in terms of automation. For instance, DxO PhotoLab 6 does have presets, but they lack the sophistication of the one-click-and-done presets seen in other applications.

Nor does DxO PhotoLab 6 feature modern-day super-adjustments that intelligently enhance your sky or blur your subject’s background. Instead, you must achieve these effects manually.

As for photo management, DxO Photolab 6 is well-presented, straightforward, and good enough. But if you’re looking for advanced photo management features such as geotagging, intelligent searches, AI-based keyword tagging, and face recognition – you’ll need to look elsewhere.

DxO PhotoLab 6 Alternatives

DxO PhotoLab 6 vs Lightroom

DxO PhotoLab and Lightroom are similar in use, and both produce wonderful-looking images. Thus the most significant difference is that you can buy DxO PhotoLab 6 outright, while Lightroom is available by subscription only.

Object Recogntion-powered masking in Adobe Lightroom. Read Lightroom Review.

Specifically, for US$9.99 per month, you get 1TB of cloud storage, an endlessly updated version of Lightroom, one of the best photo editing software applications, and the ability to view, edit, and distribute your images over the web. Lightroom is also equipped with impressive AI noise reduction and image upscaling, object recognition masking, and Face Recognition-powered photo tagging.

However, neither Lightroom’s cloud functionality nor forever-pay subscription is for everybody, especially when alternatives such as PhotoLab 6 Elite offer much of Lightroom’s functionality for a one-off price. Read Lightroom Review

DxO PhotoLab 6 vs DxO PureRaw 3

DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is a feature-rich photo editing and management application. In contrast, DxO PureRaw 3 is just a raw conversion tool.

However, DxO PureRaw 3 includes two of DxO Photolab 6’s most compelling features – namely DeepPrime Noise reduction and camera/lens bespoke optical corrections.

Therefore, if you have chosen your favorite photo editing application and want to bolt on raw conversion and AI noise reduction, you can hardly do better than DxO PureRaw 3.

But, if you buy DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite, you’ll have everything DxO PureRaw 3 offers and plenty more. Read DxO PureRaw 3 Review.

DxO PhotoLab 6 vs ON1 Photo Raw

DxO PhotoLab 6 and ON1 Photo Raw are all-in-one photo management and editing suites combining traditional photo editing with modern super-features.

Sky Replacement in ON1 Photo Raw. Read ON1 Photo Raw Review.

However, ON1 Photo Raw is one of the most feature-packed photo studios you can buy. For instance, it includes adaptive presets, effects, AI-upscaling, AI noise reduction, Portrait enhancement, Sky Replacement, AI Keyword tagging, and, crazy as it sounds, much more.

But as a side-effect to all of this functionality, ON1 Photo Raw can be a little clunky, and I’m not particularly fond of its effective but somewhat dated-looking interface.

Therefore, if you prefer speedy hands-on editing, try DxO Photolab 6. Anybody else, ON1 PhotoRaw. Read ON1 Photo Raw Review.

DxO PhotoLab 6 vs Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is a photo editing application that begs to do all the work for you. For instance, Neo’s Presets are second to none. Its effects-oriented tools, such as Golden Hour Glow, Foliage Enhancer, and Skin AI, enable you to edit photos without knowing anything about photo editing.

But thanks to Luminar Neo’s enhanced AI, it tends to run slower, and I would not use it to edit large batches of photos. And while Luminar Neo has an AI-powered noise reduction application in Noiseless AI – it’s nowhere near as good as DxO PhotoLab 6’s DeepPrime. Read Luminar Neo Review

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DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is an excellent traditional-style photo editor with modern perks. When editing your photos, DxO Photolab’s attractive, straightforward, and responsive interface gets out of your way, resulting in a smoother workflow.

DxO PhotoLab 6

As for modern perks, DxO PhotoLab 6’s DeepPrime Noise Reduction is merely World-class and easily worth half of PhotoLab 6’s asking price. And thanks to DxO’s custom camera/optical lens models, your images will immediately look better the instant you open the file.

But there’s no getting around it; one no longer has to be nudging exposure, fondling tone curves, or stroking white balance to polish their image to perfection. Instead, AI-powered applications such as Luminar Neo are stocked with tools such as Sky Enhancer, Auto Mask, and Golden Hour Glow, enabling you to edit photos without knowing anything about photo editing.

However, you may prefer to have it your way and do all the heavy lifting yourself, and, in this regard, DxO PhotoLab 6 is a good option topped with stunning noise reduction and optical corrections.

Overall, DxO PhotoLab 6 is effective, and enjoyable and includes class-leading optical corrections and noise reduction. Thus, I highly recommend you give DxO PhotoLab 6 a go. Try DxO PhotoLab 6 free for 30 days.

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