DxO made a number of updates to its products.
DxO Optics Pro has been updated to version 10. The primary addition is a feature called ClearView, which eliminates atmospheric haze. PRIME noise reduction has also been improved, and OpticsPro now integrates directly with ViewPoint (see next). For those that use Adobe DNG Converter in their workflow, DxO now supports those files as well as the original raw camera files. Possibly bigger news: the price has dropped to US$129 for the Essential version, US$199 for the full Elite version (updates are significantly less, and price depends a bit on whether you opt for an upgrade to the new ViewPoint at the same time). Note, however, that the Essential version is defined differently than the previous basic version. No longer is the distinction the number of cameras/lenses supported, but rather the feature set that’s supported. You don’t get the PRIME noise reduction with the Essential version, nor ClearView, for example. I didn’t catch this distinction at first, and it changes my recommendation a bit: skip Essentials and only consider Elite.
Aside (sort of): people looking for alternatives to Adobe solutions should really look at DxO a little more carefully. It’s a mature product with impressive capabilities, and it’s tailored pretty directly at the enthusiast market looking for bang for the buck. In some ways, DxO conversions are better than Adobe conversions (though not in all ways). I’ve found that you can get quite impressive conversions out of the product. Of course, DxO is mostly about conversion, so how would someone trying to leave the Adobe clutch deal with cataloging, key wording, and browsing? A reader recently pointed me to Photo Supreme (Macintosh and Windows), a product I hadn’t tried before. Impressively fast and seemingly complete, and yes, it integrates with DxO Optics. Until December 1st, there’s also a 20% discount on the US$100 product, so download the free trial and see if it solves your problems. I guess the point of this aside is that it pays to look at these alternative workflows. Both DxO Optics and Photo Supreme offer free trial versions. You might find a product that is less expensive and does everything you need.
DxO ViewPoint jumps to version 2.5. This program is useful for fixing perspective issues, such as the keystoning you get when you point a wide angle lens upwards on architectural subjects. Completely new UI and improved performance. This is a free update for those that purchased after August 1st, 2013.
DxO also released FilmPack 5, which adds 16 new film renderings to its capabilities. A micro-contrast tool was added, and the UI and blur tool have been updated.
Raw Therapee (Linux, Macintosh, and Windows) is now at version 4.2. This free (source code available) raw converter is well-known for its precision conversions (not fixed point math). Version 4.2 makes quite a few changes over version 4.1, not the least of which is a great deal of speed and memory optimizations. Also added were a color toning tool, curve control and median filters in noise reduction, film simulations using Hald CLUT files, improvements on how dead/hot pixels are handled, support for monochrome cameras, and added camera support (supports D750 and D810, for example).
Meanwhile, onOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite 9 has now shipped. At the moment there’s still a small discount available when purchasing it directly from onOne. As some of you know, I have three suites of plug-ins installed on my machines: Google Nik Collection, Topaz Collection, and the Perfect Photo Suite. While there is a lot of duplication across what these tools do, there are also some unique bits, and often I’ll find one works slightly better on an image I’m working on than the others. The order I just listed them in is the order in which I’d acquire them, by the way.