My friends at DxO unleashed the new version (7th) of Optics pro. No revolution in this update, but a lot of improvements here and there like user interface changes, some image optimization tools innovations and a lot of new camera/lenses supported.
First, what seems to be the most interesting new feature of DxO Optics pro V7, well at least to me, are the new image enhancement tools :
– Bokeh preservation : adding sharpness to an image is great but in some cases, it adds artifacts and a grainy texture to previously nicely smooth and blur backgrounds. This new tool will make a difference between areas which need to be sharpened and others which should remain smooth as a baby skin.
– Non linear sharpening enhancement : sharpness mask will now be applied to your images in a non linear way. I mean that the center of the image, which is generally pretty tack sharp, will get a minor amount of sharpening when the accentuation will increase as you get further from the center of the image, where the sharpness usually tends to smoothen. DxO Optics pro 7 new sharpness tool promises to get more homogeneous images. As far as sharpness in concerned.
– Saturated color preservation : here is an other smart tool that will prevent to burn highly saturated areas of your images and that should retrieve details from these saturated areas. I spent quite some time taking macro shits of flowers in Deshaies botanical garden in Guadeloupe, FWI, in the Caribbeans. I was working on the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro lens review along with the EOS 5D Mark II camera body (what a bundle !) and found that at least 50% of my JPEGS had burnt red, magenta or purple areas because mother nature is greater than the digital imaging sensor signal transmission to the camera’s DPS…. but thanks to RAW shooting, I could work the images in Lightroom and get these saturated channels’ details back. Well, now, DxO Optics pro V7 should do that for us.
Apart from that, DxO product manager Olivier told me that the development team did rewrite 50% of the software’s code, and some in Open CL for most demanding algorythms, resulting in a processing time cut by 4 when using a computer with a graphic processor (to which Open CL gives calculating tasks).
DxO Optics pro got rid of the project only workflow. You may now navigate through your computer to reach your RAW files and process them. You may also rename the files, change directories etc….
Now, the zoom tool will point to the location where your mouse cursor is, just like the feature I love in Aperture and really miss in Lightroom ! That is neat. Not a big improvement, but nice and useful. This sums the new version up : it gathers a ton of small improvements here and there. No revolution, but a nice evolution of DxO Optics Pro V6 which noise reduction technique is just centuries ahead of competition. (and in our digital photography world, a century is about 2-4 years…).
DxO Optics Pro version 7 will be available on November 30th, both for Windows and Mac OS, including Lion. Talking of Lion, DxO Optics pro gets a new full screen display.
How to choose between the Pro and the Elite version of DxO Optics Pro V7 ?
That is very easy and good / bad news is you don’t have to choose : if you have an amateur camera like a Nikon D5100, a Canon EOS 600D of a Sony NEX-3, you can get the the “pro” version, 50% cheaper than the Elite version which is requested if you want to process RAW files from a Canon EOS 5D Mark II or a Nikon D700, D3s body….