DXO launches PhotoLab 6 with next-level noise reduction and AI technology

20Dave

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Jan 19, 2013
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For astro and wildlife photos I regularly shoot high ISOs.
It's exclusively targeted at astrophotography, but https://www.rc-astro.com/resources/NoiseXTerminator/index.php is an awesome tool for that. He also provides a tool called StarXterminator that extracts separate star and background images so that you can process them separately and then combine them afterwards. I use the PixInsight plugins but he also offers Photoshop plugins. Cost is $60US for one, $100 for both.
There are also StarShrink and GradientXterminator plugins for Photoshop by the same author.
 
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HMC11

Travel
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I started with PL4 and later upgraded to PL5 as the then new line tool in Local Adjustment was what I needed to make editing much easier. Did it during the Black Friday sale, so it was not too bad price-wise. I don't really need to do denoising often, and I am satisfied with the exisiting colour tools in PL5, so I am not sure if I would go for the upgrade this round and wait for PL7 instead. Besides, I have already set up a decent file management process that I am happy with, and would hate to have to re-do countless photos to align to the PL6 system. Had they included focus-stacking in PL6, however, I would most likely upgrade.
 
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The upgrade price seems pretty steep - I would want to know that the improvement to the Deepprime functionality is VERY good indeed ...
My initial testing with it isn't showing all that much improvement between DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD; certainly nothing like the difference between LR vs PRIME or PRIME vs DeepPRIME. The images maybe look a bit sharper, but it's got that kind of artificial detail look to it.
 
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mpb001

EOS 90D
Sep 10, 2016
151
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I dumped Photoshop a few years ago when they went subscription only. Tried a few other imaging software and finally settled on PhotoLab 5. Not sure I will upgrade. Need to look into it more. I also use Affinity if I need to work with layers but that isn’t too often because PhotoLab offers so many ways to tweak a photo, using layers is largely unnecessary for me but I do recognize that some types of photography where layers are needed.
 
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Johnw

EOS R6
Oct 10, 2020
108
111
I dumped Photoshop a few years ago when they went subscription only.

I don’t really see what the difference is assuming you’re talking about legit use and not just downloading a copy lol. In the old model you payed Adobe around $300-$500 every 3-5 years for a new version of the program. With the current model you pay around $100 per year for the photo package, you were still paying around the same $100 per year with the old model.
 
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HMC11

Travel
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I don’t really see what the difference is assuming you’re talking about legit use and not just downloading a copy lol. In the old model you payed Adobe around $300-$500 every 3-5 years for a new version of the program. With the current model you pay around $100 per year for the photo package, you were still paying around the same $100 per year with the old model.
The Maths is correct, but psychologically, one 'owns' the software in one case, and 'rents' it in the other. The sense of being in control of the cost, rather than being at the mercy of the company might be important. Also, unless the regular updates/upgrades that come with a subscription are significant, it is probably cheaper to own a version that can last 3-5 years before needing to purchase the latest version. This is particularly so for enthusiasts who don't really edit that much, but would like to have the option to do so when needed.
 
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David - Sydney

EOS 5D Mark IV
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Dec 7, 2014
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The Maths is correct, but psychologically, one 'owns' the software in one case, and 'rents' it in the other. The sense of being in control of the cost, rather than being at the mercy of the company might be important. Also, unless the regular updates/upgrades that come with a subscription are significant, it is probably cheaper to own a version that can last 3-5 years before needing to purchase the latest version. This is particularly so for enthusiasts who don't really edit that much, but would like to have the option to do so when needed.
To be specific, you are not granted "ownership" to SW so even psychological speaking a perpetual license is a fallacy.

The copyright resides with the author and you would be legally granted a perpetual right-to-use the license within specific parameters depending on the SW. The EULA (end user license agreement) that everyone clicks to accept will define the boundaries of that license. For instance, you would only have access to the executable and not any source code. You also would not be allowed to makes modifications to it or be allowed to resell it to a 3rd party (only distributors/resellers have that right).

I get the concept you are presenting but I have multiple old LR perpetual licenses that will never be used again. If you stop subscribing to LR then you can still use it but not the develop module. It is pretty generous by Adobe in that respect. They certainly could have made it much harder and could potentially do it in the future but not without serious backlash and migration to other alternatives.

At the end of the day, most companies have moved to purchasing subscription usage within their business as they have forecastable annual costs, don't have to worry about tracking older licenses which end up being used/lost. They use it until they don't need it any longer. xxx-As-A-Service (generally from the cloud) is a more efficient usage model (capex, management, incremental spend, scalability, redundancy, etc). Cloud isn't perfect by any means but generally much better than on-premise options.
 
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EOS 4 Life

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Sep 20, 2020
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The copyright resides with the author
Correct, but you do own your copy.
Not being able to copy does not negate ownership.
We own plenty of patented items that we are not legally allowed to copy.
We only make an issue of media content and downloaded content because it is so easy to make copies,
 
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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jul 21, 2010
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My initial testing with it isn't showing all that much improvement between DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD; certainly nothing like the difference between LR vs PRIME or PRIME vs DeepPRIME. The images maybe look a bit sharper, but it's got that kind of artificial detail look to it.
I have found improvements with DeepPrime XD it to be image-dependent, but generally there is reasonable additional detail recovered compared to DeepPrime. I've always felt that DeepPrime sacrifices some detail to achieve better NR (not necessarily a bad tradeoff), and that the XD processing recovers that lost detail, giving the detail of Prime with the improved NR of DeepPrime.

NR.jpg
 
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bbasiaga

Canon Shooter
Nov 15, 2011
585
742
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I don't think so. Any photo I take that is really worth the effort of processing is handled fine with even the most basic noise reduction software. If it is so bad that it needs something adobe can't handle then it is a throw away photo regardless of what I use because the light was just poor. And no amount of noise reduction can make a poorly lit image well lit.
These denoise software just change what is defined as 'well lit'. There are plenty of times when you can get a good exposure, just at ISO 25600 or even 51200. I run in to this a lot in nature, or youth field sports. The lights arent pro quality, or there may be no lights on the field, so high iso is required. The image doesn't require 5 stops of shadow pushing or anything, it's just noisy. But noisy no more, with Deep Prime or one of the other 'next gen' noise reducers.


It's really amazing. A tool you don't need all the time, but amazing when you do. It's really worth it, IMO. It's a tool, not a crutch.
For all the "I hate the subscription model", how does the upgrade perpetual license pricing stack up vs LR/PS subscription? ie how often would you do it? I would upgrade LR every second year so the pricing was about the same except PS is bundled as well making it very worthwhile. I don't use PS often but need it when I do some stitching, complex masking/subject removal, multiple image stacking/blending.
I am intrigued about companies throwing around "AI"... does the request go back to the cloud for processing or is there local AI engines to process the request? ML is different of course.
Really depends on the software. DXO is about $200 to get started and if you buy every upgrade its $60-100/yr. I started with PL4, for about $159 IIRC, then bought a $79 upgrade to PL5, and If I buy this update I'll be in for another $99. That's.$340 for 3+ years of use. I think Adobe photo package is $20/month (i could be wrong), so that's $240/yr. Or about $520 for the same length of time. Granted, PL5/6 can't do everything PS can do.

But the big thing is you don't HAVE to upgrade. I got PL5 because I got a new camera that wasn't supported in the older versions. I don't HAVE to upgrade to PL6 either. So I could stop now and have full access and full functionality for new photos with my current gear forever, without spending another dime. And that's where you'd see a real cost savings. Also nice if you fall on harder times and have to stop your subscription. You can still do stuff with the software if you aren't on a subscription model.

-Brian
 
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Johnw

EOS R6
Oct 10, 2020
108
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Tried a few other imaging software and finally settled on PhotoLab 5. Not sure I will upgrade. Need to look into it more. I also use Affinity if I need to work with layers but that isn’t too often because PhotoLab offers so many ways to tweak a photo, using layers is largely unnecessary for me but I do recognize that some types of photography where layers are needed.

DXO is about $200 to get started and if you buy every upgrade its $60-100/yr.

So, let me get this straight. The Photoshop alternative being proposed (DXO PhotoLab) costs roughly the same amount per year as Photoshop and it cannot even do layers? Am I understanding that correctly?
 
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bbasiaga

Canon Shooter
Nov 15, 2011
585
742
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So, let me get this straight. The Photoshop alternative being proposed (DXO PhotoLab) costs roughly the same amount per year as Photoshop and it cannot even do layers? Am I understanding that correctly?
Not really correct, no. DXO PL a lightroom alternative, not a PS alternative. Though it has better new camera and new lens support (sooner, better correction profiles), and much better noise handling. It does do masks, presets cloning, repair tool, and other color manipulation. I still just use PS CS6 since i only really have the need for it a couple of times a year. PL5 is fine for everything else. Heavy editors will disagree. It also is a one time cost, so you don't HAVE to upgrade each year. There is no subscription cost. And they can't lock you out if you miss a payment, since you own the usage rights to the copy you bought.

Another thing I like about DXO, is that it just uses your native file structure. No importing/exporting from a library, but full functional keyword and metadata searching all the same. Still maintains the non-destructive raw editing as well.



-Brian
 
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Johnw

EOS R6
Oct 10, 2020
108
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Not really correct, no. DXO PL a lightroom alternative, not a PS alternative. Though it has better new camera and new lens support (sooner, better correction profiles), and much better noise handling. It does do masks, presets cloning, repair tool, and other color manipulation.

Got it, so yeah not really a Photoshop replacement in any sense, but a Lightroom alternative at least.

I still just use PS CS6

Glad we got that cleared up.

And they can't lock you out if you miss a payment, since you own the usage rights to the copy you bought.

I suppose that is one advantage over Photoshop/Lightroom. But since I don't really plan to switch to something else it wouldn't be a downside for me.
 
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RayValdez360

Soon to be the greatest.
Jun 6, 2012
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I guess it depends how one feels about using AI to enhance photos. These AI algorithms are trained on a large dataset of photos so that they can reduce noise on yours. By doing so, other people's photos become incorporated in your photo, albeit very subtly so. In short, the magic doesn't come from your photo, but it comes from photos taken by others in more favorable conditions. Personally I am not okay with using AI in this manner but it seems that most people are. YMMV.
It should preserve detail. I dont see how it is is a problem unless it makes up its own details like a healing brush. I am sure the tech will get much better as time goes on.
 
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