Review: New features in DxO Optics Pro 7

DxO Labs released DxO Optics Pro 7 some weeks ago. It now boasts dramatically improved performance, a couple of new features, and an even bigger database of bodies and lenses than ever before. DxO Optics Pro 7 remains one of the top Camera RAW editors, and much better than Adobe Lightroom in my opinion.

DxO Labs currently has over 5000 optics modules available for DxO Optics Pro. These modules are unique to DxO Optics Pro — no other Camera RAW processor software uses laboratory tested optics data to correct for chromatic aberration, vignetting, etc. Even high-end lenses as the ones used in Hasselblad and Phase One bodies are now part of the list.

Once again, DxO Labs has improved Optics Pro’s interface. That’s probably the third time. It depends on preference whether you believe this time DxO has hit the proverbial nail on the head. I think it’s getting better, but there is still room for improvement.

One of the major reasons why you would want to upgrade a copy of DxO Optics Pro — or buy a fresh copy — is the Lens Softness tool. This is a module that automatically compensates for lens softness, using a new technique for analyzing image content. The lens softness tool succeeds in making images sharper without affecting out-of-focus areas. I tried it on one of my photos, and it works well.

Another reason to upgrade is an improved colour module. Saturation of colours often goes hand in hand with loss of texture, but no more so with DxO Optics Pro 7. Textures are much better preserved, even when an area is saturated to the max.

Finally, version 7 is faster. There seems to be better asset management and you can accelerate processing by checking the GPU Acceleration option in the Preferences. On an iMac there’s a visible speed benefit for doing so.

All in all, DxO Optics Pro 7 is a nice upgrade. It’s not dramatic, but it adds a couple of nice improvements that make it worthwhile considering this new version.

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