Articles, Blog

DxO PhotoLab 3 New Feature Review

November 2, 2019

hello I’m Robin Whalley
welcome to Lenscraft I was fortunate to be invited recently to a pre-launch
conference by DxO to view the new photo op 3 software they also provided access
to a pre-launch trial of the software so I could make this video if you’re
wondering has this influenced my review I can assure you it hasn’t
I’m an existing photo lab to user and I will be purchasing photo lab 3 upgrade
with my own money but back to this review and how its structured I’m
starting by explaining why I personally use photo lab and what for this is
important because I can’t use it for everything I’d like to and it may not be
right for you if you’re not already a photo lab user and really recommend
watching this section of the video first after this I’m going to demonstrate four
new features in this release after that I’ll be looking at the pricing
information as I know it now be aware I’m doing this video before the release
has gone out so things could change to help you find the relevant sections in
the video I’ll include timings in the video information below as I mentioned in the introduction I am
an existing DXL photolab user and before that dxo opticspro I’d love to use the
software for more than I do but unfortunately I can’t you see photo lab
doesn’t support the Fuji x-trans sensor and I shoot predominantly with the Fuji
xt3 and before that the xt2 despite this I’ll still be buying the upgrade for the
software because the Fuji isn’t my only camera I also have an old sony rx10 that
I use together with lots of raw files from other cameras that the software
does support it’s the way the software processes these RAW files that’s so
impressive let me demonstrate this to you with a raw file from the sony rx10 this is an image that
should handheld at iso 200 and an aperture of f 3.2 it’s a long exposure
to hand hold and the settings are less than optimal for the rx10 there was also
a problem with this camera lens being soft down the left side and having a
mold growth now this wasn’t something I knew at the time and I only discovered
it later and had to get the camera repaired
despite these problems though photo ops made an excellent job of
producing a very sharp and detailed image if i zoom into one-to-one
magnification you can see the center of the image is really sharp and crisp if I
move to the right hand side the brickwork is really well defined and
lots of detail it’s only if I get down to the bottom left corner where you can
see that the brickworks gone a little bit soft because of the problems that I
had with this camera now let’s compare this to the best result that I could
achieve processing this raw file using Lightroom you can see the Lightroom versions much
softer it’s got also a faint haze across the image which you’re not seeing in the
photo lab version if I look at the brickwork where it was nice and sharp in
the top right now it’s just not as well defined if I switch back to the raw file
you can see this quite obviously know what’s great about photolab is that
most of the improvements in quality are automatic if I click the compare button
you can see the starting Rafah without any adjustments notice that it’s not as clear and it has
long lots of lens Distortion which brings me
on to my main reason for liking photo op so much using this software
it’s like upgrading your camera and lenses but a fraction at the price
you’re also able to apply this to all raw files that you’ve already shot so
you can improve their quality as well I’ve experienced it time and time again
where I’ve processed an old image in photo lab only to see enormous
improvements in the quality in fact I realize I’ve sold cameras and lenses in
the past that I thought weren’t very good and have only come to find later
that the images are excellent when I’ve processed them in photo lab if you want
to know more about this I previously released a youtube video demonstrating
less if you want to watch it I’ll put the details in the video information
below it’s no time to look at some of the new
features in photo op 3 the first of these I want to talk about is key
wording previously if you wanted to find an image in photo lab you’d need to
browse through the thumbnails of all the images in your various folders it was
down to you to come up with a folder structure and naming that help you find
your images this has all changed with the introduction of key wording it’s no
possible to add keywords to your images making it easy to search for them and
find them again for example in this folder I have three images I shot in
Bolivia because I’ve applied keywords to two of these I can quickly find these
two images with a search here you can see the search results for
Bolivia has found a folder containing the word Bolivia and over 5,000 images
it’s also found two images with the keywords Bolivia assigned to them when I
select this you see only the two images with the keywords
if I know got back to my folder where I have my images I can see a third image
that I shot in Bolivia on which needs the keyword adding I can do this in the customize tab with my image selected I can now assign
the keyword Bolivia using this panel over on the left of the screen
when I start to type any keywords in the database that match my typing are then
displayed I can either continue typing or I can select and add the keyword
that’s being displayed if I want to enter a new keyword that’s
not in the database you can just type it and press Enter the new keywords then added to the image
and the subject of the keyword database for future use with other images if I
want to edit the keyword that I’ve added I can do this using the edit option I can also delete the keyword using the
delete option now the keywording feature in photo op 3
is quite basic I’ve seen quite a lot more advanced features in other
platforms but it delivers what most users really need using this you’re able
to easily and quickly our key words to your images you can then search for
these and display the images that match those key words across your entire
catalogue and not everyone needs the features of hierarchical key wording
with associated synonyms it’s sometimes much better to have something that’s
simple and that just works the next new feature I want to talk
about is the repair tool the repair tool itself isn’t a new feature but it’s been
improved in photolab 3 the previous version of photolab has a reasonably
effective repair brush but it can be frustrating to use whilst it often makes
good repairs sometimes the repair is obvious and
that’s because the area sampled by the software just doesn’t work if this
happened there was nothing you could do about it you just had to try again in
this new version we have much greater flexibility which I’ll demonstrate using
this image of God else car in the Yorkshire Dales once the image shows the huge scale of
the scar a few distractions have crept in to the lower right hand corner of the
frame if we zoom in to 100% we can move to that area and see the problems here we’ve got a couple of heads and we
also have a small child climbing of the rocks incidentally I think this is a
good image to show the performance of the software in processing the sony rx10
RAW files this image is razor sharp and absolutely packed with detail you can
select the repair tool from the toolbar at the top of the screen with the repair
tool active you now see several options to control this brush rather than just
the size of the brush you can also now select between a repair brush which will
try to blend the repair you make into the image or a clone tool which just
copies different areas you can also use the controls to size the brush
as well as control the feathering around the edge of the brush when the repairs
made and the opacity of the repair itself I’m going to start by trying to
repair brush to paint over the areas that I want to fix you in this example the software’s made a
very good job of the repair and it’s very difficult to detect it if however
this wasn’t the case we now have options to manually improve
it if we click this option to show the masks we can now see where the repair is
as well as seeing where it’s being sampled from all I have to do is click
one of the repairs it’s then possible to reposition this
repair area to a different part of the image so that that’s sampled and it
improves the performance this gives you a much great
all over the quality of your repairs as well as fixing problems that may creep
in it’s a lot less frustrating than the previous version the next feature that I want to discuss
is one of my favorite areas of photo lab and that’s local adjustments if you’re
not familiar with how local adjustments working photo lab it’s quite simple but
extremely powerful all you need to do is click the local adjustments button and
you can then select an area to work on photolab has a range of tools you can
use for making selections you can choose these by right clicking on the image
with your mouse this displays a tools palette with the different available
tools to choose from for example I can select a graduated filter to make a
selection at the skyway when you’ve made your selection you can
then apply the individual adjustments to the area that’s selected here I might
want to reduce the exposure of the sky and increase the contrast to bring it
into balance with the rest of the image you I can also target individual terminal
areas for example I might want to reduce the mid-tones in this image I also find the clear view adjustment is
a great way to intensify the sky in many photos if you want to see the area you’ve
selected again to check it you can use the shown mask option in this example I’ve made a selection of
some of the areas that I don’t really want to adjust so you can see the rim of
the volcano for example has been selected and he’s been affected by my
adjustments even though it’s only feathered I still want to remove that
area I can use the eraser brush tool to make this clean up
all I have to do is right click and then select the eraser now I can clean up
these edges to reduce the feather slightly so I’m
working more precisely now I can just paint over these areas to make the clean you I’ve done that rather quickly and it
would take more care normally so I’ve just hide this though and you can see
now I’ve made the adjustment no I want to display the new local adjustments
panel in photo lab 3 I can do this using the menu option here and picking local
adjustments I’ve added it just below my histogram because that’s where I like to
see it you can also add it in this essential tools area or any of the other
panel areas that you’ve got in photo lab here you can see the graduated filter
I’ve just applied and you have the ability to turn that filter off and on
to see the effect if you’ve made it too strong you can
actually go and adjust that it controls I’m now going to add a new mask layer
using the button at the bottom of the screen and on that mask I’m going to
make a selection of this area at the bottom of the screen because I’m finding
it just a little bit too dark to do this I’m going to use a control point so I
can right click with my mouse select the control point and make my first
selection now a control point is just another type
of selection tool and you’ll find it in the Nik collection as well I’m going to
use this to position over the dark areas of the rock if you want to see the area
you’re selecting you can use the mask option here again
that shows me the selection in white that I’m making
I can now make my adjustments and I’m going to increase the micro contrast
because I just want to make these rocks pop a little bit more and I also want to
open up the exposure a little bit in those areas
I’ll also pick the shadows from the tonal range and lighten those so you can
see that’s now working quite well in that area but it seems to have reduced
the contrast so I’ll just boost that up as well Cleve you also can help improve
areas like they saw just try that so overall that actually looks quite good
now once I’m happy with my selection I can now apply additional control points
each control point that I add will make a selection and we’ll apply the same
adjustments to that area now I can resize individual control points as I’ve
done there to make them select the rocks more accurately now it’s quite possible
that some of that adjustment is spilling over into these other areas I can check
it using the show masks and it is what I can do now is use a negative control
point and just add that on to these areas to deselect them and that just keeps my adjustment
refined into this area now because all the control points are
on the same area they all share this same adjustment apart from obviously the
negative control points which just remove the adjustment from that area if
I make further adjustments using this you can see that they’re applied to this
area if I now go back to my local adjustments
panel I can see the new control point a masks layer that I’ve added I can then
turn this off and on to check the adjustments I’ve just applied next I’m going to target the more
colorful areas of the volcanic crater by adding a new mask layer as before I’ll start with a control
point selection you then I’ll make my adjustments you when I’m happy with my adjustments I
then apply further control point selections in the local adjustments panel
that I’m happy with the overall effect of that layer if I think I’ve made it too strong I can
adjust the opacity slider on that layer to adjust the intensity rather than
going back and trying to fine-tune all the adjustments I’ve made the opacity slider works on individual
mask layers rather than on all the layers together so this gives you a lot
more control comparing the starting raw file with the
adjustments we’ve made we can see a substantial improvement that also
appears quite natural now all the individual adjustments that
I’ve just demonstrated were in the previous version of photo lab what photo
lab 3 is done though is tie them all together into a coherent system of
layers and giving you control over that with the local adjustments panel I
personally feel this layering of local adjustments is a major improvement in
the software but I still think there are a lot of enhancements they could add to
this for example being able to rename individual layers as well as mix
different types of adjustments on the same mask you could also improve this by
making the Nik collection add new adjustment layers just as you do with
this but of course those are new enhancements that could be added in the
future I really do hope that DXL continues to develop this feature in
future releases a photo lab because I think it’s very very powerful the final new feature of photo op 3 that
I want to talk about is the redesign of the HSL tool if you’re not familiar with
HSL it stands for hue saturation and luminance the tool allows you to adjust
each of these three color components separately in photo lab to the HSL
adjustment will look like this now in photo op 3 it looks like this let’s look
at how this works using this image at the bolivian Salt Flats at sunset I’ve
already made some adjustments to the image to correct overexposure and a
couple of other things the image is now more as I remember however the pink at
the time appeared much more vivid and intense than it does here I can use the
HSL adjustment to target and correct this along the top of the control you’ll
see that there are a number of different color ranges you can select notice these aren’t all
sighs and have been carefully selected by d-x up to give you a good starting
point for editing however you can also adjust the default color ranges if you
want to it’s possible to click and drag a control to reposition it on the color
wheel in order to target different colors
if I increase the saturation to the maximum level it’ll make it easier to
see the targeted area on the image I can also make the color range wider by
clicking-and-dragging one of the inner points notice that we also have a notary
justement area to the selection this controls the blending or the
transition zone of the adjustment so here I’m widening the transition range
to improve blending where I’m happy I can return my
saturation to a more sensible level but the real beauty of this control
comes when we want to change the color I can easily move the selected colors
towards a different color you it’s also possible to pick an adjust
multiple colors separately you but what I really like about the HSL
tool can only be seen when you zoom in to a closed one-to-one magnification notice how the adjustment is very
precise and there isn’t any bleep to adjacent colors to better appreciate
this let’s look at a different image I haven’t made any adjustments to this
image so for simplicity I’m just going to use the clay view plus adjustment at
the default intensity no I’ll select the orange in yellow at
the grass and turn it red you let’s know zoom in and examine some of
the areas where we have the snow and also the sky meeting the grass if you look carefully there’s absolutely
no color bleed between areas where the colors have been changed as we continue
to change the color of the grass there’s still no bleed you this is a powerful tool and it could
save you a lot of time where you want to adjust colors in your image with great
precision it’s also a great improvement on the old HSL tool in felt all up to
but if anyone from DxO is watching I have a request could you please add a
tonal range selector onto the HSL panel as well it would be nice to be able to
target the adjustments onto shadows mid-tones and highlights separately that
would make for an extremely powerful and flexible tool but I am very impressed by
the control of the new HSL tool it really is an excellent improvement now we’ve reviewed the changes in photo
op 3 let’s talk about something very important and that’s the price unlike
some software companies DxO has resisted the temptation to move to a subscription
model which should appeal to a lot of people this does mean there’s a large
initial investment but you can continue to use the software without additional
expense it’s only when you come to upgrade if you want to that you’ll find
there’s an additional cost for the upgrade you also need to understand that
the photo lab software comes in two versions which are the essential and
delete in photo lab 2 the difference between the two was that the elite
version has additional tools and allows for the activation on 3 rather than two
computers if you’re considering photo op 3 as a new user do check the different
versions on the DxO website in order to find the best one for you before
purchasing in terms of cost the full bull version of photo lab 3 is a hundred
and sixty nine pounds which is the same as for photo lab 2 but if you’re
purchasing the software before the 24th of November 2019 you can benefit from a
special launch price this reduces the cost for the elite version down to 120
$9.99 if you want the full essential version of photo op 3 the launch deal
reduces the price from 112 pounds down to 86 99 if you’re an existing user and
considering an upgrade as I am then you can take advantage of a special launch
price as well I even understand there’s a special launch price for users of
photo up two essentials who want to upgrade to photo up 3 elite if you have
the photo lab 2 essentials as a result of binding it collection to this may be
of interest to you which brings up the question of what happens with the Nik
collection 2 currently this comes with total up to essentials Edition it’s my
understanding that this will continue but irrespective of the pricing and the
features I’ve talked about there’s one step I recommend for everyone
just because I’m impressed we fought all up 3 and the image quality
doesn’t mean the software’s going to be right for you download the trial version
from the DXL website before buying and try it out for yourself you need to try
it for a few days or even a few weeks before you can make a reasonable
decision that way you know if it meets your needs or not I hope you’ve enjoyed
my review I’m Robin Whalley you’ve been watching
Lenscraft I’ll see you next week for another video


  • Reply Kemer Thomson October 23, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks, and very useful! The DxO community has been waiting for news on Version 3. I’ve been using it as essentially is as the Raw processor for Lightroom, but I’ve found local adjustments in Lightroom have worked better,. These new features might move me even more toward DxO as a standalone tool.

  • Reply Kenneth Sacks October 23, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    It also doesn't support Leica CL/TL2 protocols either, despite several requests by me and others. This means I'm unlikely to buy the new version or any subsequent DxO software.

  • Reply Steve Hallam October 23, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks Robin for a very useful summary of the changes in the new version. I will upgrade. The best raw processor I have found for Olympus files.

  • Reply AscendtionArc October 23, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Thank you for the review, it's really useful to see what's changing, outside of the black-box.
    Do you know if the HSL tool can produce masks for other adjustments?
    I really like the software and appreciated the prior business practices of the former owners, which was why I purchased Lab-2, to support them; however, the whole issue with Nik being made free, but existing customers being charged for it, really feels tightfisted and leaves a bad taste in my mouth; it seems wholly unreasonable that people paying less than I did should get the collection for free, but if I want it, I'll have to pay almost as much as I did during the lab's initial launch.
    If an upgrade still doesn't include the collection, I will be quite disappointed.

  • Reply David Lobos October 23, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Wow, You are the first review for Photolab 3, I have been using the trial version of Photolab 2 and I was almost to close to buying a couple days ago but now that I found your review and went to DXO website I noticed that it has come out and because of you I would buy the "Photolab 3 Suite" for my raw photos, thank you once again for taking the time to do this video and I will go checkout your photography books on amazon for sure. With Love from Miami!

  • Reply Edward Philip María Nafzger October 23, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for showing I am using since DxO Photo Pro 10 some things I asked are in now missing Panoramic stitching but for the rest a great upgrade and yes I will upgrade to this one soon prob beginning of November this year

  • Reply fotonut October 23, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you. I hope DXO listen to your suggestions.

  • Reply Ian Seward October 23, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    If you adjust the opacity slider of the local adjustment tab to 70% before you start to make your local adjustments it means that you can adjust the sliders and then increase and decrease the impact of the adjustment, rather than just decrease. I find this a faster way to optimise the local adjustment.

  • Reply Sergei Anatolyvich October 23, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    An excellent review, I am a longtime user of DXO and will be upgrading.
    My wish list would include control points being able to change shape to ovals, would make it a lot simpler than adding many extra points.

  • Reply bobfromhull October 23, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks Robin, Great help.

  • Reply fernando mmm October 24, 2019 at 2:04 am

    it work on win7 64 bit ?

  • Reply david thomas October 24, 2019 at 3:17 am

    Excellent tutorial Robin thank you, one question though I do not have the keywording box in my metadata panel is it only available on the mac?

  • Reply Dan Tong October 24, 2019 at 7:14 am

    I enjoyed this thorough, detailed, objective review of the new Photolab 3.
    Thanks very much !

  • Reply The Vegan Eagle October 24, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I am indebted to you for your detailed coverage of Pro Lab 3. I am trying to escape from Photoshop after 25 years. Old habits die hard. I’ve tried a few other editing suites, including the trial of Pro Lab 2. I love the Nik Collection and have been increasingly attracted to PL whilst still moving to other editors for specific purposes. I truly mean it when I say that your tutorials are second to none. I’ve just bought Pro Lab 3. Thanks again.

  • Reply Paul van den Broek October 24, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Thanx for this video, a clear insight in what's new in PL3, and how to apply these new features. I've upgraded…;-)

  • Reply Martti Suomivuori October 24, 2019 at 10:05 am

    No. I pass. DxO is brilliant with the foliage (the green things that hang off trees and bushes). Merci mais non, merci.
    This review has more excuses than substance. How about trying to formulate an argument about why an LR user would adapt DxO as his only SW and keep smiling?

  • Reply Chris Epler October 24, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Are keywords broken in Windows? DxO site indicates hiearchial support is Mac only, but it appears keywords are entirely only Mac and not Windows? I have no Keywords spindown in my metadata window…

  • Reply Jasper Goodall October 24, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    I just upgraded only because of the excellent new HSL tool. It’s still so annoying that control points can’t be oval 🙄 and that they automatically apply luminosity range. This ought to be adjustable as in LR. Also for grad and brush filters – 90 percent of the time your mountain tops can be zoned out with the range slider in a matter of seconds instead of arsing about with an eraser. I’m baffled that they haven’t employed this obvious functionality given that their control points do it automatically. Also miffed that they have taken clear view plus away from DXO essentials 🤨 now only available in prime. That’s nasty.
    I agree that the images pop more, but in the end I kind of know I’ll end up processing most on my images in good old camera raw in conjunction with Bridge it is somehow smoother than LR, less twitchy and has 99 percent the same functionality. One last thing… can DXO stitch panos? Still waiting for the perfect editor!!

  • Reply Juhani Jaakola October 24, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    For some reason i don't have that show masks feature when i use local adjustments (PhotoLab 3 Elite WIN10)

  • Reply John Burlinson October 25, 2019 at 12:24 am

    Great review — especially being done so quick. Just want to clarify one point — I believe you said that the NIK collection is available only as a plugin to PhotoLab Essential 2. Is that right? You can't get NIK with Elite 2 or 3 or Essential 3?

  • Reply Tony Blackwell October 25, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Will the new version have a color picker for the HSL adjustment? Just curious. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Robert Garnett October 25, 2019 at 9:22 am

    First class review and extremely timely. Thanks to upgrading to the Nik Collection 2 earlier this year I have been using PL2 and find it offers superior raw processing to either Luminar (which I have ceased to use because of its DAM) or On1, which is resource hungry. I have now upgraded to PL3 Elite because of these small but important improvements. One small frustration is using it with the Nik Collection. I can't seem to move through ColorFX to SilverFX without creating an additional TIFF. But at least I can compare the two. One feature you didn't mention in the Local Adjustments is the ability to invert a mask. That could be useful to increase adjustments in one area and decrease in another. e.g. increase contrast and vibrance on the subject then add blur and reduce saturation on another. Many thanks Robin

  • Reply Andy Kerr October 25, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Great video Robin. A shame that there is no colour picker tool in the HSL section so that, for example, you could position an eye dropper on someones face to pinpoint the colours involved, and use the uniformity slider on the skin tone (or have I missed it?!)

  • Reply Randy Reid October 25, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Will not install or run on WIN7

  • Reply R0dan October 25, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Love DxO software…been using it for years. Their RAW processing is top notch and produces awesome results. Finally able to use keywords something I have sorely missed.

  • Reply Bill Stace October 25, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Many thanks for your review, and indeed all your reviews and lessons. I always review and learn from them. I have PhotoLab 2 mainly because I wanted to carry on using the included wonderful Nik software which I have used since before it was bought by Google but was beginning to look and perform in a very dated manner. I was not too sure about PhotoLab2 that came with the package but after carrying out a lot of experiments I agree it is a great raw converter, far better than others (Lightroom, Camera Raw and Nikon Capture NX-D. ) and well worthwhile continuing with as my prime raw converter. The colours, the tones and even the sharpness it produces are not as much "in your face" as the others. I use it with camera raw and photoshop as my secondary editors ( I just don't have the patience with that blankety-blank filing/catalogue system in Lightroom). I'm not sure yet whether PhotoLab 3 will add sufficient value to Photolab 2 so I will give it a while before I decide whether or not to buy. In my Photoshop Elements days of 10 years ago or more I just replaced my copies after two updates and am wondering whether to do this with PhotoLab especially it is a piece of software that has so much potential for the future and I anticipate a lot of updates in a relatively short period of time.

  • Reply John Smitherman October 25, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Excellent video robin, I am using the trial version at the moment after using photo shop for the last 20 years, I have been unable to find how to resize an image using this software, is this something I can do using this software


  • Reply eigrp October 25, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    One of the best PhotoLab videos, period. I wish DxO would hire you.

  • Reply Steve Bastiman October 25, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Robin – I've been a DxO user for many years and I agree it's very good but I WON'T be upgrading to PhotoLab 3 – why – because so much was promised as 'dot' releases to PhotoLab 2 but wasn't delivered – this 'vapourware' seems to be the case for much photo software at the moment, Skylum and their latest Luminar version being another case in point. As a consequence of DxO's cavalier approach I'll continue to use PhotoLab2 purely as a RAW converter, but I'll also be look at other options, ON1 RAW 2020 seems a vast improvement on the 2019 version, so I'll give it a couple of 'dot' releases and then look to see if it's a really viable alternative.

  • Reply Cam 68 October 25, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing…excellent presentation!

  • Reply Rico Reyes October 26, 2019 at 12:24 am

    For Windows 10 only, wont work for Windows 7…lame.

  • Reply Richard Chamberlain October 26, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Excellent overview, thank you. Clearly explained without so much of the verbage that some reviewers find necessay! I've used DxO for years and find it suits me well. Your explanation of how the new HSL tool works was great and will enable me to "hit the ground running" with it.
    I've enjoyed, and found useful, your other videos using Nik filters too. Thanks again.

  • Reply Chris Klug October 26, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Great video and review. Are these edits stored in some kind of XMP file or are they editing the actual image file?

  • Reply Mad George October 26, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    I'm a big fan of some of the things Photolab does, but Capture One is still light-years ahead of it in terms of all features discussed here (and more).

  • Reply Andy October 27, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Excellent overview Robin. I've dabbled with DxO Optics Pro and PhotoLab, but never really had it at the centre of my workflow. I tend to upgrade every 2-3 years as I feel DxO don't make enough changes in their full number updates compared to some other companies to justify the cost every year. I'm currently on PhotoLab 1, so I think this version has enough improvements to warrant a purchase.

  • Reply MrTobamory October 27, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Great review I use most apps but DXO speeds up my workflow as the first stop then if I need extensive stuff I then drop into LR or capture great product and responsibly priced too

  • Reply Paul Timlett October 27, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks Robin. Really useful. I've been experimenting with the free PL2 that I got when I upgraded Nik. Been using it on some of my Nikon NEF files. I too also have a Fuji camera so it's frustrating that PhotoLab can't be used with RAF files. As a result I wasn't going to bother upgrading to PL3 but having watched your video I may be tempted to upgrade to Elite. £84 is a lot to find for me at the moment but it's a great opportunity.

    Do you know of any in-depth tutorials for using PhotoLab? I've just dived into it from having used Lightroom for years. I'm struggling a bit as to how to use it properly and how to incorporate it into a workflow that includes Lightroom and Photoshop. I use the LR filing system and I print from LR. I use PS to access Nik and also for Luminosity masking (I have Lumenzia). I'm concerned that by using PL I'm just over-complicating things and will end up with too many large files as I switch between the different tools.

  • Reply Carsten Hjort October 27, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    You make really wonderful videos Robin. I hope you will continue for a very long time.
    Greetings from Norway

  • Reply R Garlin October 28, 2019 at 3:55 am

    Thanks a gazillion for this Robin, I ever appreciate your insights. I was going to upgrade to Elite 3, and this exposé convinced me I was right to do so.

  • Reply mortenthorpe October 28, 2019 at 6:13 am

    Try Capture One Pro – you won’t regret it! It has first class support for Fuji RAW on top of everything else working really well…

  • Reply Shyam Kawshal October 28, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Thank you for a fantastic review of the Photolab. I am a version 2 user and find it a beautiful software. What version of the RX10 you are using? I am planing to get one for photo and video and like to know the reason you found it a good investment. Would really like to see a review of it specially from you 🙂

  • Reply Wayne Smith October 28, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Share your frustration about the Fuji sensors. Would love to use the product with my X100F

  • Reply Ern Reeders October 28, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks for this. It's very helpful.
    High quality tutorials and support materials are what this program really needs.

  • Reply Hugh Wolfe October 28, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Robin I just downloaded the trial version… We'll give it a whirl and see if its a good alternative to Adobes Lightroom with its monthly cost used or not.

  • Reply Vic Balderson October 29, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks Robin. Watched your great Vid and updated from 2 to 3 today. Question if I may. The metadata pallette does not show the 'Keyword' field, unless I have already added one in LR. Ideas?

  • Reply WhosPhoto October 31, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Shame no Fujifilm . RAF support!

  • Reply 2johnstons November 1, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Trialling PL 3 over the last few days and your video has been a great help. Thankyou! One thing you haven't demoed is the Local Adjustment Brush which is great for precise masking – a bit like your use of the eraser tool to better define the rugged horizon after applying a graduated mask. I have tried Brush, and with care it can almost exactly follow the edge of a feature like the horizon, or an object. What I can't seem to be able to do is then duplicate that mask, so that i can invert it and apply different adjustments to the other regions of the image. Am I missing something – or is it just not possible to duplicate a local adjustment mask in PL 3?

  • Reply Andrew Atkins November 2, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    A well-paced and genuinely informative review. I've been using PhotoLab since it's launch and have already upgraded to 3 Elite. Like you, I really value the way that this software concentrates on image control and photographic excellence, rather than overdone manipulation. Thanks for the practical insight into the improvements, Robin.

  • Reply EduardoArg November 2, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Nice review. I like the software but I'm trying this new version and it's tremendously slow on my Windows computer. It wasn't like that with PL 2, which was much faster for me. Any tips on how to improve the software's performance?

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