DxO Labs has announced an HDR plug-in for the upcoming version 6.5 of its Optics Pro raw converter. Designed to combine exposure-bracketed RAW files to give a single high dynamic range image, it offers a number of presets and tools for fine-tuning, shadow/highlight recovery, and removal of ghost images arising from objects that move between exposures. According to the company, the plug-in can also be used to stack multiple images shot at higher ISOs to reduce noise beyond the sensor's capability. It will be available for both Windows and Mac OS from late November alongside DxO Optics Pro v6.5, at a price to be confirmed.

Press Release:

New DxO HDR plug-in for DxO Optics Pro 6.5 brings the power of multi-image processing for high quality HDR images or dramatic noise reduction

DxO HDR plug-in includes automatic alignment to merge images effortlessly and efficient ghost removal technology; leverages unsurpassed DxO Optics Pro RAW conversion and automatic optical faults corrections

October 20, 2010 – DxO Labs today announced that a DxO HDR plug-in for DxO Optics Pro 6.5 will be released in November. The new DxO HDR plug-in will enable photographers to merge several RAW shots effortlessly to either capture a greater dynamic range in the scene or to reduce noise beyond the camera's sensor capability.

High quality HDR to capture a greater dynamic range from multiple RAW shots
Even with high-end digital cameras, the sensor dynamic range limits make the capture of extremely contrasted scenes difficult for photographers who wish to keep both highlight details and opened shadows in their pictures.

With the new DxO HDR plug-in for DxO Optics Pro, photographers can overcome this limitation by merging bracketed RAW images into a single image file capable of handling a wider dynamic range than a regular RAW image. Specially designed multi-shot HDR Presets will let photographers render this new image effortlessly with a broad range of intents from the most natural looking image to extreme creative styles.

DxO Optics Pro's best of breed RAW conversion and optics correction, ensures optimal image quality.
"The DxO HDR plug-in also provides automatic image alignment, needed to compensate for camera motion when shooting hand-held, and ghost removal, needed to account for moving objects within the scene." said Cyrille de La Chesnais, Director Sales & Marketing for DxO Labs' Photography business. "Photographers can even decide which instance of the moving object they want to keep in the final image."

Noise reduction beyond sensor capability, from multiple RAW shots

In situations such as handheld telephoto or low light where low shutter speed is not an option, taking a burst of RAW images at the same exposure and merging them together with the DxO HDR plug-in proves to be an extremely powerful way to reduce noise beyond the sensor's intrinsic capability.

"DxO Optics Pro's best of breed noise removal applied on a merged photo, whose noise has already been significantly reduced by the virtue of merging photos, produces an image of outstanding quality," said La Chesnais.

Availability and pricing
DxO HDR plug-in for DxO Optics Pro 6.5 for Windows and Mac is scheduled for release late November 2010 from DxO Labs' e-store. Final pricing is not available.