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Personal short review of DPL 6

  
 
Ayoul
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Personal short review of DPL 6


Hi guys. Last year I wrote my personal review of DPL5. You can find the review here

As a big fan of the software (despite a love/hate relationship with it), I bought the new DPL 6, and here is what I can say about it, in case anyone is interested. I posted this at the end of my DPL5 review, but as jwpstl pointed out, it would be better in a new thread.

I will focus of course only on the new things. Most of what I wrote a few months ago is still true, but a few things changed. So let's just see the changes listed in the release :

Deep Prime XD :

Ok, that's the new star of the show. It's supposed to be even better than Deep Prime. The main novelty compared to Deep Prime is that Deep Prime XD tries to guess, on a larger scale, where are the areas of details that have to be sharpened a little bit more, and what are on the opposite the area of low details, uniform colors or bokeh that can benefit from being smoothed a little bit more. Most of the time, it will be spot on. The wildlife photographer will probably like it a lot. It will smooth the background a little bit more effectively than Deep Prime and sharpen the fur or the feathers a little bit more.

But what about more complex subjects, where areas of details and areas that can benefit from being smoothed a little bit more are not that obvious, not that well separated from each other ? What about faces in low light ?

Well, Deep Prime XD creates sometimes a few unwanted artifacts while Deep Prime doesn't.

First sample :

This is a shot from my portfolio. I took it at an insane 64K iso, but I like it, so I kept it. On screen size, it's still ok for my taste.



Let's zoom in on the bride :

Deep Prime, 40 luminance :


Deep Prime XD, 40 luminance :


Ok, sure, she was not totally sharp right from the beginning. But there is a strange artifact on her mouth, slightly present with Deep Prime but way more visible with Deep Prime XD with default settings. Changing the "Noise model" slider to Ė 100 mitigate the effect, but not entirely :

Deep Prime XD Noise Model -100, 40 luminance :


Another face :
Deep Prime, 40 luminance :


Deep Prime XD, 40 luminance :


Nothing is right. Some areas of his face are strangely sharpened, not to mention the other people on the picture. Deep Prime XD even tries to recover some non really existent details on the roof on the top right of the face. I much prefer the Deep Prime version here. There is undoubtly no more details on it, but sometimes it's better to let noise in areas than trying to guess what is details and what is not. You can play with the sharpness sliders to mitigate the effects of Deep Prime XD, but the harm is done.

Deep Prime XD Noise Model -100, 40 luminance :


The artifacts are gone, but the smoothing is too severe everywhere in the picture. It's not a solution for me.

In my opinion, Deep Prime XD is a step in the Topaz Denoise territory, where I can often see this kind of artifact. What is noise, what is details ? The software guesses for you. Undoubtly, Deep Prime allows more noise in the final picture than Deep Prime XD. But I trust Deep Prime more. Its intervention stays near the pixel level. With Deep Prime XD, I have the strange feeling that a little guy inside my computer is looking at my picture, and while he drinks a few beers, says : "hmmm this is noise, let's remove it" "Hohooo, this is some details that I don't want to lost, let's enhance it!".

Imho, It's not meant to replace Deep Prime but to complement it. As a wedding photographer, I won't use it. All my pictures benefit from Deep Prime, I know that. All my pictures are converted to DNG using Deep Prime, and I finish the job in C1. I just can't use Deep Prime XD with the same regularity, because it will harm some parts of the picture.



Edited on Nov 28, 2022 at 07:45 PM · View previous versions



Nov 04, 2022 at 11:34 AM
Ayoul
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Personal short review of DPL 6


The new colorspace :
There is a new colorspace in DPL6. With DPL5, we were stuck with AdobeRGB only as a working profile. Now, there is the new DXO Wide Gamut, which could be close to Rec 2020 if believe this thread on the DXO Forum

It's probably a good news for the rendition of some colors, but my screen is sRGB, so I didn't investigate this.

Consequence of the new colorspace on the color rendering panel :

Funny thing, if you chose this new color space, you lose a lot of color profiles in the generic rendering color panel. You have what is now called the Dxo camera profile, and a single "Neutral Color" profile, which looks close to the neutral color, neutral tonality v2 of the old color space :



All the camera body rendering, positive film, negative film, etc, are still there. It may indicate that their lut/profiles were build on top of that profile after all.

If you still use the "Classic (Legacy)" Working Color Space, all the old rendering of this panel are still there. But the neutral color, realistic tonality (the very flat one) from DPL 5 has been renamed... Neutral Color. But he's way flatter than the "Neutral Color" displayed when using the new colorspace. Go figure why they have the same name...



Nov 04, 2022 at 11:35 AM
Ayoul
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Personal short review of DPL 6


A new soft proofing mode :
I don't print a lot, so I won't be a great help here. I know that a lot of people asked for it. It's there...

The new retouching tool :
A lot of communication from DXO about this tool. You can either clone the source area or just repair the area, like you can in LR. The fancy thing is that you can also modify the source area, make it bigger than the area that you try to repair (which of course stay of the same size, that's the clever thing). You can even rotate or flip horizontally or vertically the source area. It may be useful. But of course, all of this is done in a tiny window on the bottom left that you can't move...

An example with a bigger (and flipped) source area, and the annoying window :



Projects :
A reminder : projects are like the collections in LR or C1. You can now make project groups (I think that it's self explanatory). That's better. Previously, you could just make projects, include files inside them, and that's all. I can now make a "2022 weddings galleries" project group, and group all my 2022 weddings galleries inside.

I didn't write it in my DPL5 review, but adding a picture to a group is very cumbersome . You have to select one or several pictures, right click on them, choose add your selection to a project, choose your group (if your project is inside a group), then finally select your project... As far as I know, there is no way to make a project your current project, destination project or whatever, and just use a one click solution (LR) or keyboard shortcut (C1) to include the picture inside your group. Once again, the implementation is way off...

Crop tool "improvement" :

All right. Decades after the other softwares, the guys at DXO decided that a crop and rotate tool is useful. Even on my new computer, the rotation is very slow, it's not smooth at all, but it's there. You can with the same tool rotate and crop your picture. Yipee.

Like in DPL5, if you click on Crop : anto based on keystoning / horizon, you can automatically avoid black parts of your rotated picture to be included in your final image. But as soon as you crop manually, in their logic, this item goes back to "manual" and if you don't pay attention, you can include black parts of the pictures. I repeat what I said in my review: ideally, somewhere there should be a on/off button to choose to allow or forbid the inclusion of black parts in your final picture. But no, right now, you can (finally) rotate manually by draging with your mouse and not worry about black parts, but you can't crop manally and avoid black parts automatically.

A small step in the right direction, but still the worse tool of the three main raw convertors.

Perspective correction tools :
They finally realized that it was not revolutionnary anymore, so now the perspective tool is natively inside DPL6.

But as far as I know, the volume deformation that I like a lot is still a part of DXO Viewpoint. They released a V4 version, which includes a "reshape tool" which allows to warp some areas of the picture. I didn't buy it, I have Photoshop for this kind of thing, so I will stay with ViewPoint V3.

General performance improvements

Nothing to do with DPL6 specifically, but it's nevertheless very important and recent. If you use a Nvidia GPU, I strongly advise you to install the new studio drivers, as I did when I discovered this. It can dramatically reduce your export time with Deep Prime or Deep Prime XD. Some users claims a 35% speed improvements, I think that it's almost 50% faster for me.

Others:
They apparently improved color labels, exif, IPTC, etc, but I never used DPL6 for that, so I don't really care about that

That's all for now. I don't think that this was a major update. The new DeepPrime XD is not a reason to upgrade this software, like Deep Prime was before. You shouldn't expect a huge gap in denoising, like the release of Deep Prime was compared to Prime. With complex subjects, it can hurt your picture and should be avoided. The new crop and rotate tool is a small step in the right direction, such as the inclusion of the perspective correction tool inside DPL6. There is still no change on the shadows/highlights sliders...

Edited on Nov 08, 2022 at 12:08 PM · View previous versions



Nov 04, 2022 at 11:38 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Personal short review of DPL 6


Thanks for the info. I'm not planning to upgrade until having a camera that is not supported.

EBH



Nov 05, 2022 at 12:27 AM
BokehBeauty
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Personal short review of DPL 6


Ayoul, whatís your opinion on the new DxO wide gamut. This would be to me the reason to upgrade.


Nov 05, 2022 at 11:19 AM
Ayoul
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Personal short review of DPL 6


BokehBeauty wrote:
Ayoul, whatís your opinion on the new DxO wide gamut. This would be to me the reason to upgrade.


I don't really have an opinion about it. As I said, my display is sRGB, so I can't really comment about the change. Theoretically, it should probably do better with highly saturated colors. I can see of course a few color changes when I switch from the old gamut to the new one, but by definition my sRGB display is not the best one to have an opinion about this changes.

But the thread at DXO is probably very interesting.



Nov 06, 2022 at 08:58 AM
ruthenium
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Personal short review of DPL 6


First, thank you so much for sharing your reviews of the latest releases of DxO Photolab!
There were small things which I missed myself (like the hidden "Noise model" slider).
I am interested in getting a better sense of how well the new DeepPRIME XD performs vs the existing alternatives. Some of the comparisons I have done at ISO 12800 can be found in a different thread:
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1777305/1#16080455
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1777305/1#16080151
Today, I looked at DeepPRIME again, this time I wondered how well the denoising should work on an image which is kind of poorly defined - a painting by Marc Chagall. I was interested in how well the denoising should retain details which might possibly be interpreted as noise by the AI.
The following are
1) A full-size 50 MP image at ISO 100
2) A 9.7 MP crop from the above (the paining - not the original, alas!)
3) and 4) are compiled 1500 x 1125 pixel crops from the painting. The top row is from the image at ISO 12800, denoised with DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD. The bottom two crops are, for comparison, at ISO 12800 (not denoised) and ISO 100 denoised with DeepPRIME.
Overall, it seems that the modern denoising methods preform exceptionally well. In real life, I might be hesitant to shoot at ISO higher than 12800, but at 12800 the image quality loss after denoising is not dramatic. It is noticeable that some colors start deteriorating at ISO 12800, and my concern at the higher ISO's would be about the colors falling apart.




  ILCE-1    FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens    35mm    f/4.0    1/3s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-1    FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens    35mm    f/4.0    1/3s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  














Nov 06, 2022 at 01:15 PM
Ayoul
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Personal short review of DPL 6


ruthenium wrote:
First, thank you so much for sharing your reviews of the latest releases of DxO Photolab!
There were small things which I missed myself (like the hidden "Noise model" slider).


Indeed, I didn't see that slider at first, but it has a huge impact.

Your samples show indeed a good details and color retention at 12800 isos. With my A9, 12800 iso is also my upper limit for a "normal" indoor picture. Let's say that I stay confident that Deep Prime will give my a usable picture in screen size at this value.

The only thing that disappears notably in your sample is the printing pattern that we can see at iso 100 Deep Prime and iso 12800 (with no denoising).

Deep Prime and Deep Prime XD gives very similar results in your sample. It seems that your painting is less discriminating than a real human face in low light (my iso value was way worse however). It's probably more forgiving. Unless you have the original print near you when looking at the result of DP or DPXD, it's probably hard to notice an unwelcome sharpening in an area. On the opposite, we all know what a human face should look like, and any mistake done by Deep Prime XD is obvious.

In your first link, you state this : "There is no need for extensive comments other than it is quite obvious that DeepPRIME XD tries to recover fine detail in addition to a slightly more efficient denoising vs. DeepPRIME. I guess, this can be be useful for wildlife photographers and birders in those relatively common situations when using relatively slow telephoto zooms (e.g. f/6.3) in less then ideal light."

It's exactly what I think and said in my first message, couldn't agree more. Deep Prime XD will please wildlife photographers. Wedding photographers, I'm less sure...



Nov 07, 2022 at 05:43 AM
 


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ruthenium
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Personal short review of DPL 6


Ayoul wrote:
The only thing that disappears notably in your sample is the printing pattern that we can see at iso 100 Deep Prime and iso 12800 (with no denoising).

...


You have a trained attention to detail! The disappearing printing pattern intrigued me as well. I looked at this again today. First, I thought that perhaps the loss of the pattern could be moderated/avoided by moving the "Noise Model" slider, but the idea turned out to be wrong. The pattern is lost regardless of the value of the Noise Model, from -100 to +100. In fact, the pattern is lost when using either DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME XD; thus, this is not a new problem in DxO PL 6.
What I discovered is that the pattern is retained at ISO 12800 when using the older PRIME denoising. Furthermore, and I must say unexpectedly, it is also clear upon a close comparison of the results (see below) that the older PRIME model is more faithful to the image (as the image is seen at ISO 100) than DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME XD. The latter two create an illusion of greater detail at the pixel level, especially DeepPRIME XD. However, look at the smoothing of the image in the selected areas (grey rectangles), and it is clear that even if the PRIME model is loosing some image information at the pixel level, it is more faithful to the image as a whole.
At the end, my feeling is that DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD are more aggressive denoising methods when compared to the older PRIME. However, they compensate (masquerade?) the overall smoothing of the image by increasing what to me looks like micro contrast in DeepPRIME and possibly added sharpening in DeepPRIME XD. The latter also makes an attempt at guessing the details at the pixel level with the help of an AI algorithm. I am not sure if you should agree, but I am of an opinion that sharpness is often, for the most part, an illusion. One can make an image look sharp, and it seems that this is what might be happening "behind the curtain" in DeepPRIME and especially in DeepPRIME XD. It goes without saying that the same happens in Topaz DeNoise as well
I don't want my comments to be understood as critical, not at all. The tools which make images pleasing to the eye are useful, even if the effect is an illusion. What is important to know is which tool is less, or more, invasive, for those situations when the objective is to be as faithful to the original as possible. When this is not necessary or important, then DeepPRIME and the XD version are valid tools and should work to produce apparent high image quality at high ISO.







Nov 07, 2022 at 09:17 PM
Ayoul
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Personal short review of DPL 6


Every noise reduction is indeed a guess to some point.

It's very interesting to see that the old Prime retains the pattern and Deep Prime (XD or not) doesn't. And the pattern is not a very high frequency detail, it's of several dozens pixels of circumference ! It shows well that at every iteration of Prime (from the supposed worse to the supposed better), more and more guesses are done by the software on lower and lower frequency details... for the best or worse... Deep Prime is for my use the best balance.

Prime was good but Deep Prime was better without sacrifying what was important in my pictures. Deep Prime XD goes to far for my taste with its sharpening.

At default values, nothing is smoothed too much on my pictures for my taste (contrary to your sample), but a lot of unwanted areas are sharpened. I made a few other attemps with my wedding from last saturday and even at lower isos than my sample (3200 or 6400) it affects negatively some faces.



Nov 08, 2022 at 05:53 AM
ruthenium
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Personal short review of DPL 6


BokehBeauty wrote:
Ayoul, whatís your opinion on the new DxO wide gamut. This would be to me the reason to upgrade.


I am also interested in this. The following might not be the best way to assess the differences, but it was the easiest approach.
I ran DxO PL 6 and 5 side by side, opened the same raw file and applied the same basic corrections (DxO Standard), manually corrected WB and set the same values in both program. Color rendering was the generic rendering for Sony A1 in both programs. Then, I took a screenshot of the images displayed side by side: PL 6 is on the left and PL 5 is on the right. My wide-gamut monitor is a BenQ SW271C, recently calibrated with ColorChecker Display Pro.
Yes, there are differences between the two images. They are probably most apparent when looking at the red areas (e.g. the leg). These are more vivid in PL 6 and are more flat, less red - a bit more orangy in PL 5. Less apparent, also blue is more flat in PL 5.
When PP is done on a wide-gamut monitor, it looks like there is a strong case to upgrade PL to the latest version.








Nov 08, 2022 at 06:12 PM
ruthenium
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Personal short review of DPL 6


The greens are also different as can be seen in the screenshot of PL 6 (left) side by side with PL 5







Nov 08, 2022 at 08:42 PM
BokehBeauty
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Personal short review of DPL 6


ruthenium wrote:
The greens are also different as can be seen in the screenshot of PL 6 (left) side by side with PL 5

These are more vivid in PL 6 and are more flat, less red - a bit more orangy in PL 5.


Thank you for these trials! Even on my iPad Pro I can see that the Reds and Greens are purer, less Yellow in them. With Red itís more pronounced. I will need some spare time to try it on my iMac whether it has the gamut required to benefit. Could you share your example images?



Nov 09, 2022 at 12:34 AM
ruthenium
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Personal short review of DPL 6


BokehBeauty wrote:
Thank you for these trials! Even on my iPad Pro I can see that the Reds and Greens are purer, less Yellow in them. With Red itís more pronounced. I will need some spare time to try it on my iMac whether it has the gamut required to benefit. Could you share your example images?


Yes, and here is a new example, and this is the link to the raw file
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l7ftcqwbvxs8jgw/_A1_2034.ARW?dl=0
The following uploads are
image 1) A screenshot of the color checker chart in PL6 (left) and PL5, arranged side by side on the screen. Note that although this comparison demonstrates that the colors are different between the two programs, overall, the screenshot does not accurately represents the colors as seen on the monitor.
The colors are also different in the sRGB JPGs produced by the two programs (the same minimal corrections were applied in both, there is no difference in PP):
image 2) JPG from DxO PL6
image 3) JPG from DxO PL5
To examine the JPGs, it is better to download the files and look at them in FastStone image viewer.
The colors of DxO PL6 are obviously better, whereas the colors in the JPG from PL5 seem to be washed out, most noticeably in the red, orange, purple, and blue squares.










from DxO PL 6

  ILCE-1    FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens    35mm    f/5.6    1/20s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  







from DxO PL 5

  ILCE-1    FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens    35mm    f/5.6    1/20s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 09, 2022 at 07:09 PM
Sashi
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Personal short review of DPL 6


Thank you @ruthenium and @Ayoul for your thorough, helpful review/analyses. Much appreciated


Nov 10, 2022 at 03:30 PM







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