Photographers have plenty of choice when it comes to editing and keeping track of their photos. DxO is best known for its extensive lens and camera tests found at dxomark.com, though it also has a range of software that aims to get the most out of photos without needing an in-depth knowledge of post-processing techniques.
Design and features
Open up DxO Optics Pro 9 as a standalone app and you will be presented with a simple interface that's easy to jump into without too much instruction. From the top bar there are only two main options to choose from: organise or customise. It's a simpler selection than a comparable editing suite such as Lightroom, which comes with extra modules such as slideshow, print and web.
From the organise tab within DxO, you can view the directory structure of where your photos are stored or create projects from the tab beneath that column. By default, at the bottom of the screen, a timeline of imported images stays in place regardless of what editing mode you are in.
For those who want to let the software do all the work, DxO applies automatic adjustments when a photo is imported. From removing lens distortions to fixing chromatic aberrations, images can look their best without too much work. These adjustments are based around the camera and lens profiles, as well as exposure information. DxO can even work on images taken on an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone.
Depending on the original source image, the adjustments many not always be spot on. Fortunately, DxO has a sophisticated set of tools to help you tweak images even further.
Within the customise tab is where things start to get interesting. The column on the right hand side is where all your fine-tuning takes place. All the regular options you may be familiar with are included in this column: exposure compensation, white balance, selective toning, and sharpening, just to name a few.
A quick way to see the before-and-after effect of edits is to click the Compare button, which flicks between the unaltered version and the version you are working on with edits.
Film emulation presets have become a popular addition to photo editing suites over the past few years. Blame it on Instagram if you like, but you can't deny the fun nature of applying different effects to images. DxO comes with 30 visual presets that are not quite film-like, but do offer the option of black-and-white, HDR and sepia-toned images. For closer film emulation, there is the DxO Filmpack.