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DxO PureRAW 2 Review – Tested and Compared

DXO PureRaw 2

This DxO PureRAW 2 Review looks at the latest version of DxO’s sublime raw processing and noise reduction application. Make no mistake, DxO PureRaw 2 is hugely impressive and one of the best noise reduction software applications you can buy.

But like all applications, DxO PureRaw 2 has its limitations. Furthermore, PureRaw 2 must contend with Topaz Photo AI, Denoise AI, and ON1 NoNoise AI. So, is DxO PureRAW worth your hard-earned coin? Let’s find out. Jump to Conclusion.

Note: DxO PureRaw 3 is out now! Read DxO PureRaw 3 Review.

Table of Contents

What is DxO PureRAW 2

DxO PureRAW 2 is a standalone raw conversion and noise reduction application for PC and Mac OS. And being a standalone application, DxO PureRaw works independently of your favorite photo editor or, if you prefer, as a plugin for Adobe Lightroom.

DxO PureRAW 2 Before and After

But you should not confuse DxO PureRaw 2 with typical photo editing software. For instance, you cannot use DxO PureRaw 2 to boost exposure, tune white balance, or adjust color. Instead, DxO PureRaw exists to prepare and polish your raw file before editing. And in this regard, DxO PureRaw 2 shines brightly.

DxO Pure Raw 2 Catalogue Screen

What does DxO PureRaw 2 do?

DxO PureRAW 2 enhances your raw files, preparing them for editing. Specifically, DxO PureRaw denoises and sharpens your image, correct optical distortions, and removes chromatic aberration and vignetting.

But what makes DxO PureRaw 2 special is two-fold. First, PureRaw 2 uses individual Optics Models to suit different camera/lens combinations. For example, load up an image, and DxO PureRaw 2 will automatically download a profile designed to correct and sharpen photos taken with a Nikon D750 with an AF-S 50mm F1.8G lens.

DxO PureRAW 2 Before and After

Secondly, DxO PureRaw 2’s noise reduction is on par with the best. But unlike other photo denoisers, DxO PureRAW 2’s DeepPrime technology is entirely automated and reliable. In other words, PureRaw produces impressive results each time without you so much as nudging a slider.

You can save your processed image as a JPEG or DNG Raw. Choosing JPEG will result in smaller files ready to be printed and shared. Alternatively, you can save your processed image as a large DNG Raw file for greater editing flexibility.

How much does DxO PureRaw cost?

US$129. Buy

DxO PureRaw Trial

You can download and use DxO PureRaw 2 free for 30 days. Download.

DxO PureRaw 2 System Requirements

System RequirementWindows PCMac
CPUIntel Core 2 MinimumIntel Core i5, Apple Mx
RAM4GB (8GB Recommended)8GB (16GB Recommended)
Storage4GB of hard disk space4GB of hard disk space
GPUMinimum Nvidia GTX1060 or AMD RX5500
OSWindows 10 64-Bit, Windows 11 64-BitMac OS Catalina 10.15.17, 11, 12
See more PureRaw 2 System Requirements at DxO

DxO PureRaw Tutorial

With no sliders or brushes, DxO PureRaw 2 is entirely automated. Load your raw file, click process, and you’re done.

#1 Loading your file

Adding Photos to your Processing Queue

To begin, click on the Add Photos to Process button at the top left of the screen. You can add one or many images.

#2 Choose which images to process

Selecting which photos you would like to process

Your selected photos will appear in DxO PureRAW 2 catalog view grouped by date. Click on each photo you wish to process. Doing so will place a next to each of your selected images. Click on the photo again to remove the and cancel your selection. Once you have chosen your photos, click Process Photos

#3 Install DxO Optics Modules

Installing a new DxO Optics module to suit the camera and lens used to take the photo.

When you first begin using DxO PureRaw 2, it will frequently prompt you to download DxO Optics Modules. In the case above, DxO PureRaw 2 is downloading a module optimized for the Olympus M1ii and Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 combination. It’s a one-off, takes a few seconds, and the results are worth it.

#4 Choose Processing Settings

Choosing the processing method, file format, and file location

Here, you can adjust the raw processing method and select which optical corrections you wish to apply. Honestly, I get the best results leaving DxO PureRaw 2 set to its DeepPRIME default with all optical corrections turned on.

You also get to choose the format and location of the processed copy of your image. Saving your processed image as a JPEG result in much smaller files and global compatibility. In other words, you could load the file straight onto Facebook.

Alternatively, you can save your image as a DNG raw file. Doing so results in massive files that are more malleable for editing. Thus, if you plan on editing your processed image, save it as a DNG, do your edit, and then export your final edit as a JPEG.

#5 Review your Processed Image

Processing finished

After processing your image, DxO PureRaw 2 will ask you whether you want to preview your image, export it to an Adobe Photo Editor, or open the file’s location in File Explorer. In this DxO PureRaw tutorial, we’ll click on View Results.

#6 Review Image

Comparing the original and processed images.

Now you get to compare the original with the processed image, and I’ll have no doubt you’ll be impressed as I was. Once you’ve finished your comparison, right-click to revisit the previous options. Alternatively, you can click on the X at the top-right of the image and return to the catalog page to begin again.

DxO PureRaw 2 Test

In this part of my DxO PureRaw 2 review, we’ll find out how good PureRaw 2 is. Slide left to right to compare the original raw file with the DxO PureRaw 2 version. Due to DxO PureRaw 2’s optical distortion correction, you might notice a slight difference in size between the before and after images.

DxO PureRAW Test 1

A noisy photo of a bird

This photo was taken with an Olympus M1ii with a fast light-starved shutter speed and a high ISO. In other words, it’s a very noisy photo. Nevertheless, DxO PureRaw 2 has denoised it to perfection. If you shoot Micro Four Thirds, I recommend you try DxO PureRaw.

Original Raw
DxO PureRaw 2

DxO PureRAW Test 2

DxO PureRaw 2 is excellent for Portraits.

Human faces represent the ultimate noise reduction test, as there is no room for excessive or clumsy processing. And DxO PureRAW 2 does an outstanding job.

Original Raw
DxO PureRaw 2

DxO PureRaw Test 3

9 out of 10 New Zealand Fantails prefer DxO PureRaw 2

Photographing fast birds in poor light is difficult, even with a full-frame camera. However, DxO PureRaw 2 does an outstanding job cleaning up the noise while enhancing detail.

Original Raw
DxO PureRaw 2

DxO PureRaw Limitations

In isolation, DxO PureRaw 2 is nearly perfect. But having used more noise reduction applications than I care to admit, DxO PureRaw suffers limitations its competitors do not.

Sadly, and as the name suggests, DxO PureRaw 2 only works with Raw images. This may not matter to you, but other noise reduction applications can process and denoise Raw and JPEG. Furthermore, DxO’s decision to make PureRaw fully automated means you lack the freedom to adjust the appearance of the result.

That said, I think DxO PureRaw’s automated effort produces outstanding results, and I never felt like I was missing out.

Is DxO PureRaw 2 worth it?

DxO PureRaw 2 is fast, responsive, and a breeze to use. Furthermore, DxO PureRaw 2’s hands-off automated mode is consistently reliable, producing excellent results every time. DxO PureRaw 2 is an outstanding Raw conversion tool and one of the best noise reduction software applications you can buy.

DxO PureRaw 2 Compared

DxO PureRaw 2 vs DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite

Unlike DxO PhotoRaw 2, DxO PhotoLab 6 is a full-blown photo editing application that happens to have PureRaw 2’s DeepPrime noise reduction built-in. As you might expect, DxO PhotoLab 6 costs much. But if you buy PhotoLab 6 Elite, you don’t need DxO PureRaw 2. Read DxO PhotoLab Review.

DxO PureRaw vs Topaz Photo AI

DxO PureRaw 2 and Topaz Photo AI will work wonders with your images. However, DxO PureRaw 2 corrects distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting, whereas Topaz Photo AI does not.

But Topaz Photo AI gets a few tricks of its own. For instance, Topaz Photo AI’s ability to correct poor focus and restore motion-blurred images is game-changing and well beyond DxO PureRaw 2’s feature set. Furthermore, Topaz Photo AI’s inbuilt AI-powered image upscaler can enlarge your photos by up to 600% while enhancing detail. Finally, Topaz Photo AI can denoise JPEGs and Raw, while DxO PureRaw 2 is limited to raw files.

However, DxO PureRaw 2 is at least as effective as Topaz Photo AI in noise reduction. Plus, PureRaw runs much faster and costs a lot less. And at the end of the day, PureRaw 2 produces beautiful-looking images.

Therefore, try Topaz Photo AI if you’re looking to denoise JPEGs and correct motion blur. If you work exclusively with unblurred raw files, save some money and choose DxO PureRaw 2. Read Topaz Photo AI Review for more information.

DxO PureRaw 2 vs Topaz Denoise AI

Unlike DxO PureRaw 2, Topaz Denoise AI serves the sole purpose of noise reduction. Therefore, it isn’t easy to compare both, as DxO PureRaw 2 is doing more than just denoising your photo.

But if we ignore the overall result and focus exclusively on noise reduction, both Topaz Denoise AI and DxO PureRaw 2 are equally effective. However, Topaz Denoise AI does have some advantages. First of all, Denoise AI is cheaper. Secondly, Topaz Denoise AI will denoise JPEG and Raw.

Topaz Denoise AI
DxO PureRaw 2

Unfortunately, Topaz Denoise AI runs much slower than DxO PureRaw 2. And while Topaz Denoise AI does have an automatic mode, it’s far less reliable, and to get the best results, I’m often compelled to make manual adjustments.

In contrast, you can trust DxO PureRAW’s automated mode to produce optimum results, making it a much better option for processing large batches of photos.

In summary, Topaz Denoise AI is a world-class noise reduction tool. But thanks to its blazing speed, great results, and hands-off automated modes, I’d be happy to pay more and go with DxO PureRaw 2. Read Topaz Denoise AI Review for more information.

DxO PureRaw 2 vs ON1 NoNoise AI 2023

ON1 NoNoise AI is a world-class noise reduction application similar to Topaz Denoise AI. Furthermore, like DxO PureRaw 2, ON1 NoNoise AI is fast and can correct lens distortion.

I still prefer DxO PureRaw 2’s automation and the overall aesthetic of the images it produces. But if I only wanted a fast noise reduction application, I would try ON1 NoNoise AI first. Read ON1 NoNoise AI Review for more information.

ON1 NoNoise AI 2023
DxO PureRaw 2

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Conclusion – Is DxO PureRaw worth it?

DxO PureRaw 2 is a spectacular product. In terms of noise reduction, DxO PureRaw 2 delivers results on par with today’s photo denoisers yet stands out from the crowd thanks to its blazing speed and reliable automation. For this reason, DxO PureRaw 2 is the best noise-reduction application for processing large batches of photos.

DxO PureRAW 2

Of course, DxO PureRAW isn’t just a noise-reduction application. As a raw processor, DxO PureRaw 2 applies multiple adjustments and corrections to create, subjectively speaking, beautiful images.

But if you only care about noise reduction, Topaz Denoise AI and ON1 NoNoise AI can match DxO PureRaw 2’s best effort for considerably less money. And unlike DxO PureRaw 2, these cheaper alternatives can process JPEG and Raw files.

Nevertheless, DxO PureRaw 2 is a stand-out for me. While cheaper products may match PureRaw 2’s impressive noise reduction, none make it quite so effortless. Then factor in DxO PureRaw 2’s superb raw conversation and correction, and you end up with a product unmatched at this price point. Strongly recommended.

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