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Home » DxO PhotoLab Review 2023 – PhotoLab 6 Tested and Compared

DxO PhotoLab Review 2023 – PhotoLab 6 Tested and Compared

DxO PhotoLab Review

In this DxO Photolab Review, we’re looking at DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite, the latest and greatest edition of DxO‘s photo management and editing studio. And with tools such DeepPrime Noise Reduction, ClearView Plus, and Smart Lighting, there’s much to like about DxO PhotoLab 6.

But while DxO Photolab 6 gets a lot right, its overall feature set is bettered by applications such as ACDSee Ultimate and ON1 Photo Raw. Nevertheless, DxO PhotoLab 6 has some compelling features and an excellent user interface. So, is DxO PhotoLab 6 the photo editor you’ve been waiting for? Let’s take a look. Jump to Conclusion


DxO PHOTOLAB 6 ELITE EDITION

World-class Raw Conversion. Even better Noise Reduction.

BUY DXO PHOTOLAB

LIFETIME LICENSE

SUPERIOR NOISE REDUCTION

DxO OPTICAL CORRECTIONS

$219

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30-DAY UNLIMITED TRIAL

NO CREDIT CARD IS REQUIRED

FREE TUTORIALS

$0


What is DxO PhotoLab 6

DxO PhotoLab 6 is a standalone all-in-one photo management and raw conversion and editing suite for PC and Mac. And as an all-in-one photo studio, DxO Photo Lab is loaded with features such as Photo Management, Presets, Noise Reduction, and Photo Editing. In this DxO PhotoLab review, we’re looking at the top-tier version of PhotoLab, namely PhotoLab 6 Elite.

Photo Management

DxO Photolab has a simple but effective photo management system. Manually entering additional metadata is straightforward, as is rating your image and tagging your photo with any number of custom keywords.

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

Furthermore, you can retrieve your photos via search. For instance, type “Nikon D750” to find all images taken with said camera. Or, type in ‘Bird’ to recover all photos to which you’ve assigned the keyword ‘Bird.’ Furthermore, you can combine both searches to find all shot’s with the keyword ‘Bird’ taken with a Nikon D750.

Also, DxO Photolab’s photo management window is the place to batch edit. For example, you can apply a single Preset to multiple images or replicate the adjustments made to one photo to others. Either way, batch editing in DxO Photolab is easy and fast.

Presets

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 raw conversion uses optical modules specifically designed for each camera/lens combination to correct distortion, remove aberrations, and fix vignetting. Furthermore, the process is entirely automated and highly effective. But if you prefer – you can disable this feature and apply the corrections yourself.

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

Photo Editing

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.

At the same time, DxO PhotoLab 6 is equipped with DeepPrime, one of the best noise reduction software applications you can get. And I have no doubt you’ll enjoy supplementing your adjustments with DxO’s compound effects, namely Smart Lighting and ClearView. Stay tuned for examples of these effects later in this DxO PhotoLab review.

However, you should consider DxO PhotoLab 6, a raw conversion and development tool similar to Adobe Lightroom – rather than Photoshop. In other words, you cannot add text or vectors or apply adjustments in layers with DxO PhotoLab 6.

How much is DxO PhotoLab 6

US$219

DxO PhotoLab 6 Trial

You can try DxO PhotoLab 6 free for 31 days. No catch, no credit cards, and no-nonsense. Try DxO PhotoLab Elite Now – Free.

DxO PhotoLab 6 Release Date

5th October 2022.

DxO PhotoLab Key Features

DxO Photolab 6 is a well-featured photo management and editing tool with some stand-out features.

  • DeepPrime Noise Reduction
  • Custom Optical Corrections
  • DxO Smart Lighting
  • DxO ClearView

DeepPrime Noise Reduction

DeepPrime Noise Reduction is an outstanding photo denoising tool and is up there with the likes of ON1 NoNoise AI and Topaz Denoise AI. In other words, it will denoise your photo while enhancing detail, and the result is truly transformative.

Original
DxO DeepPrime

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.

Finally, you can buy DeepPrime noise reduction separately as part of DxO PureRaw. Read DxO PureRaw Review for more information.

Optical Corrections

DxO Photolab 6 downloads specific optical modules for each camera and lens combination you use. For instance, PhotoLab 6 will use separate optimized optical modules for a Nikon D750 + 50mm F1.8 and a Nikon D750 + 35mm F1.8 combination. As a result, DxO PhotoLab 6 has some of the best optical corrections in the game.

As a result, you can expect class-leading sharpening, distortion and vignetting correction, and chromatic aberration removal. Best of all, it’s entirely automated. But, if you prefer, you can switch it off and apply the corrections yourself.

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 really, you can use it on almost anything.

Original
DxO Smart Lighting

ClearView

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

Original
DxO ClearView

Is DxO PhotoLab 6 worth it?

DxO PhotoLab 6 is a traditional photo editor with some new tricks. And whether that’s a good thing depends on you.

Performance

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.

Ergonomics

Ergonomically speaking, DxO PhotoLab is good. For instance, you can save your edits as presets, meaning you 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.

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 a little 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 automatic selection, it feels a little quaint.

Features

As you may have gathered, DxO PhotoLab 6 is just as equipped as other, more traditional photo editors. Therefore, it’s more sensible to focus on its more contemporary features.

First of all, DeepPrime noise reduction is terrific and, here or on its own as part of DxO PureRaw, is one the best noise reduction software applications you can buy. And while challenging to qualify, I’m pretty sure DxO PhotoLab’s camera-lens-specific optical corrections are class-leading.

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. That being said, you can achieve any of these effects so long as you are willing to do your heavy lifting.

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 Compared

In this part of our DxO PhotoLab review, we’ll compare DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite against similarly priced alternatives. Namely,

  • ON1 Photo Raw
  • ACDSee Ultimate
  • Luminar Neo

DxO PhotoLab vs ON1 Photo Raw

Like DxO PhotoLab 6, ON1 Photo Raw is an all-in-one photo management and editing suite which combines 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 ACDSee Ultimate 2023

ACDSee Ultimate might be the most underrated photo editor on the market. Ergonomically, ACDSee Ultimate is excellent. Plus, its interface is straightforward to use, attractive, and responsive.

Furthermore, ACDSee Ultimate has some of the finest photo management on Planet Earth, with features such as Face recognition and Geotagging. Plus, ACDSee Ultimate has two photo editing modes. A DxO Photolab-like development tool and a Photoshop-Esque layer-based photo editor. For this reason, I prefer to edit photos manually in ACDSee Ultimate.

However, ACDSee Ultimate has no answer to DxO PhotoLab 6’s sublime DeepPrime noise reduction. Nor can its optical corrections match DxO’s. Read ACDSee Ultimate Review

DxO PhotoLab 6 vs Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is a photo editor that does all the work for you. For instance, Neo’s Presets are second to none, and 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’s DeepPrime. Read Luminar Neo Review


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Conclusion

DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite is an excellent traditional-style photo editor dressed with modern perks. When editing your photos, DxO Photolab’s attractive, straightforward, and responsive interface gets out of your way, resulting in a smoother, faster 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 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 not for everyone. Specifically, it’s not for those looking for the fastest route to a processed image. But if you like to take your time and own your edit, you’ll appreciate what DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite offers.

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DxO PHOTOLAB 6 ELITE EDITION

World-class Raw Conversion. Even better Noise Reduction.

BUY DXO PHOTOLAB

LIFETIME LICENSE

SUPERIOR NOISE REDUCTION

DxO OPTICAL CORRECTIONS

$219

TRY DXO PHOTOLAB

30-DAY UNLIMITED TRIAL

NO CREDIT CARD IS REQUIRED

FREE TUTORIALS

$0


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