DxO PhotoLab vs Lightroom vs CaptureOne

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bsas
bsas Contributing Member • Posts: 551
DxO PhotoLab vs Lightroom vs CaptureOne
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Hi all,

I am a Lightroom user since forever but I was never fully satisfied with sharpening and noise reduction on it. Since I am a CC monthly subscriber, I always fall back to Photoshop to do those and that always slows my workflow so I just do that with very few images.

But recently I decided to test other RAW converters. I downloaded the trial of CaptureOne, DxO, Affinity, Nik Collection (to use just the denoise and sharpening plugins inside LR), ON1, Rawtherapee and Darktable.

- Affinity I discarted right away because it failed to open one of my sample G9 High Res RAW files.

- RawTherapee, Darktable and ON1 all looked very dull and soft on a straight conversion. I tried to tweak them but they never got super sharp. They probably can improve, but then, it is too much work and I just prefer to stay on LR/PS that I am used to.

- I was expecting better results from the Nik Collection (specially the denoise tool) but it look very artificial too me.

- CaptureOne has almost the same level of detail of DxO (but not the same), better denoise than LR (but not better than DxO) but the best colors.

- For me DxO gave the best results (specially pulling details out of the RAW, sharpening and noise reduction). But, they are so much better that I kind of doubt it. It looks like that they are doing something weird, some strong sharpening filter or something, that is tricking my eyes. Here is a simple example (for me the difference on this 1-1 on the details of the trees and the green gazebo behind the statue are crazy):

Left is DxO, right is LR

So, right now I am between three options:

1) Keep Adobe CC and learn to fix Lightroom limitations on Photoshop. Basically disable denoise and sharpening on LR and try to do both on PS better than DxO or C1 can do;

2) Move to DxO and blindly believe on their magical code;

3) Learn to tweak C1 to get the same results from DxO and keep its amazing colors.

My biggest doubt on DxO is the companies reliablity (patches, support, future camera support, etc) since the price is quite steep: It is the same as paying Adobe CC for 2 and 1/2 years since I need the Photo Suite to have the perspective correction from ViewPoint to replace LR "Transform" that I use a lot and FilmPack just to be able to create a vignette.

So, does anyone already tested all those and have some feedback to help me choose?

Thanks!

 bsas's gear list:bsas's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Sony a7R III Sony a7 III Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm f/2.8 Macro +9 more
Adobe Photoshop CS6 Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 DxO FilmPack 4 Expert Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Phase One Capture One Pro
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