|Optics Pro 8 features a more streamlined user interface for PC users (shown here) and a more efficient tool palette arrangement on both Windows and Mac platforms.|
DxO Optics Pro 8 is the newest version of DxO Labs' raw editing software. Optics Pro combines image organization and management with a wealth of editing and optical correction tools and the ability to batch process your camera's native raw files into TIFF, JPEG and DNG file formats. While Optics Pro 8 isn't a dramatic upgrade from version 7, it does introduce a new automated tonal recovery tool and print capability along with a revised user interface and image editing enhancements. In this very brief overview I'll highlight the most significant changes for current users. In an upcoming article we'll be taking a much more detailed look at image quality, workflow and output options as we compare Optics Pro 8 against Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 and Phase One's Capture One Pro 7.
Among the changes users will find in version 8 are a reorganized palette layout that puts the most commonly used editing tools in close proximity, a new highlight and shadow recovery tool, sliders for localized tonal adjustments and a 'smart' saturation option, which treats colors differently depending on their vibrancy. Version 8 also introduces a basic print module with support for single and multi-image layouts along with automated output sharpening tuned for the specified print size.
The modular approach
Although this overview is aimed primarily at current Optics Pro users, it's worth taking a moment to highlight DxO's modular approach to automated optical corrections. DxO Optics Pro's central appeal to raw shooting enthusiasts revolves around the use of lens-specific modules (see below) that provide detailed information about the optical performance of any supported camera/lens combination. This means the software can perform automated corrections for lens distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration and corner softness based on data that DxO has obtained from testing their sample of the given body/lens combination.
|Achieving the benefits of Optics Pro's automated lens corrections requires the installation of 'optics modules' which contain data about specific camera/lens combinations.|
Optics modules are available for download within the application (see above). And once installed, any images from a camera/lens combination for which an optics module exists will have corrections applied automatically. The downside to such a lens-specific approach is that if you have a lens which is not supported in combination with your camera body, you'll have to apply these optical corrections manually, offering little practical benefit over using competing raw converters. For a complete list of currently supported camera/lens combinations, please visit the supported equipment page of DxO's site.
In Optics Pro 8, DxO has sought to address issues related both to productivity and of course image quality. In this overview we'll take a brief look at the following features and enhancements: