Photoshop 5.0 software for the D850

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
dave gaines
OP dave gaines Veteran Member • Posts: 9,424
Affinity Photo 90 day trial and 50% off offer & NX-D

jaymc wrote:

Affinity Photo again now on sale! See here for details.

Thanks Jay,

I can use this to check out Affinity Photo. I think what they are offering is a free 90 day trial for all three aps; Photo, Publisher and Designer, and then an offer to buy any one or all three of them for 50% off, or $25 each. The three of them would cost a total of $75 after the free 90 day trial. Is that right?

Here on dpreview there is a new article I just read outlining the differences between Adobe Camera RAW and Nikon Capture NX-D and Nikon View NX-i. NX-i is a simpler program, according to this article.

Take a look and tell me what you think. Thanks.

Adobe Camera Raw vs. Nikon ViewNX-i and Capture NX-D: Which should you be using?: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

I still want to look at Affinity Photo software and Capture One. I think one of the expenses in using any program is not just the purchase price or ongoing subscription price, but also the time it takes to learn it and then to use it every day in practice. Time is valuable too.

I'm not interested in paying an ongoing fee for Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. That adds up over time.

-- hide signature --

Dave - Be safe. Stay Healthy.

 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +16 more
FrankG Senior Member • Posts: 2,194
DXO Photolab
2

dave gaines wrote:

What Post Processing software are you using for the D850 RAW files (NEF)?

I've been using Photoshop 5.0 with my D800E RAW files for a few years now, since the camera was released. I can't tell whether it accepts RAW files from the D850. I own the software and I'd rather keep using it instead of signing up for Adobe Cloud based photoshop and pay monthly fees forever.

Does anyone else process D850 files in Photoshop 5.0? Is Adobe Cloud the only way I can continue to use Photoshop? What other programs are people using for D850 RAW files with similar creative control to Photoshop?

DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing.  Apart from anything else (and there is a lot else) has probably the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble.  Free 30 day trial can be downloaded.  Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files.

You can export the results as TIFF or DNG to whatever external app you want, such as Photoshop 5, for further processing if needed.

Frank

 FrankG's gear list:FrankG's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z50
dave gaines
OP dave gaines Veteran Member • Posts: 9,424
DXO Photolab link to website

FrankG wrote:

... DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing. ... the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble. Free 30 day trial can be downloaded. Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files. ...

Frank

Thanks Frank,

I would prefer to work with one program for all of my editing.

Here's a link to DxO Photolab4:

DxO PhotoLab 4 - New Features

-- hide signature --

Dave - Be safe. Stay Healthy.

 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +16 more
Antal I Kozma
Antal I Kozma Veteran Member • Posts: 3,423
Re: DXO Photolab link to website

dave gaines wrote:

FrankG wrote:

... DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing. ... the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble. Free 30 day trial can be downloaded. Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files. ...

Frank

Thanks Frank,

I would prefer to work with one program for all of my editing.

Here's a link to DxO Photolab4:

DxO PhotoLab 4 - New Features

Hi to all, thanks for the link. I downloaded the trial version, always curious to try out new software. Although I am fairly much set and satisfied with my workflow consisting of PhotoNinja for RAW conversion and CS6 combined with ON1 PhotoRAW for final processing of the TIFFs.

Well, I found DXO Photolab 4 not to my liking. I used it to convert about a couple of dozen images of recently photographed winter scenes. The program felt a bit over complicated, some things overly amateurish some things just over complicated and alien. I didn't feel that it was a refined program working in smooth increments. The RAW to TIFF conversions turned out fine but I concluded that I can work a cleaner and more efficient way with PhotoNinja to have my RAW files converted to TIFFs.

AI or not AI, it seems like the current buzz word to recruit new buyers, the program felt too clumsy to me. Yes I know, people can get used to a certain program and operate it naturally after a while. However, to me the end result was no magic, files were not any better than TIFFs from PhotoNinja with which I am intimately familiar with. So I stay with my present workflow. Others might like DxO more suitable for them, I agree with that.

Best to all, AIK

 Antal I Kozma's gear list:Antal I Kozma's gear list
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Phase One Capture One Pro Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +20 more
FrankG Senior Member • Posts: 2,194
Re: DXO Photolab link to website
1

Antal I Kozma wrote:

dave gaines wrote:

FrankG wrote:

... DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing. ... the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble. Free 30 day trial can be downloaded. Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files. ...

Frank

Thanks Frank,

I would prefer to work with one program for all of my editing.

Here's a link to DxO Photolab4:

DxO PhotoLab 4 - New Features

Hi to all, thanks for the link. I downloaded the trial version, always curious to try out new software. Although I am fairly much set and satisfied with my workflow consisting of PhotoNinja for RAW conversion and CS6 combined with ON1 PhotoRAW for final processing of the TIFFs.

Well, I found DXO Photolab 4 not to my liking. I used it to convert about a couple of dozen images of recently photographed winter scenes. The program felt a bit over complicated, some things overly amateurish some things just over complicated and alien.

Sounds like you didn't really get into using it and exploring it's features much, if at all.  Which is a pity.

I didn't feel that it was a refined program working in smooth increments.

Really?  How so?

The RAW to TIFF conversions turned out fine but I concluded that I can work a cleaner and more efficient way with PhotoNinja to have my RAW files converted to TIFFs.

I used to use PhotoNinja a lot.  Got rather fed up waiting for them to release updates.  Had some quite nice features and the virtue of being very quick.  I find it very inferior to DXO for refinement of processing, especially detail retention with NR for High ISO files.

AI or not AI, it seems like the current buzz word to recruit new buyers, the program felt too clumsy to me. Yes I know, people can get used to a certain program and operate it naturally after a while.

I find it very easy to use.  I think when encountering any "new" software that is unfamiliar there is always going to be a learning curve at first.  A little perseverence will bring rewards.

However, to me the end result was no magic, files were not any better than TIFFs from PhotoNinja with which I am intimately familiar with.

Probably depends on the type of files worked with.  If you don't need the benefits of the best NR available for High ISO files then perhaps you won't notice the improvements offered by DXO quite so much.  However I think many will appreciate this software much more after working with it for a while and gradually discovering what they can do with it.  It's really quite powerful.

Frank

 FrankG's gear list:FrankG's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z50
twamers Senior Member • Posts: 1,764
Re: DXO Photolab link to website

FrankG wrote:

Antal I Kozma wrote:

dave gaines wrote:

FrankG wrote:

... DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing. ... the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble. Free 30 day trial can be downloaded. Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files. ...

Frank

Thanks Frank,

I would prefer to work with one program for all of my editing.

Here's a link to DxO Photolab4:

DxO PhotoLab 4 - New Features

Hi to all, thanks for the link. I downloaded the trial version, always curious to try out new software. Although I am fairly much set and satisfied with my workflow consisting of PhotoNinja for RAW conversion and CS6 combined with ON1 PhotoRAW for final processing of the TIFFs.

Well, I found DXO Photolab 4 not to my liking. I used it to convert about a couple of dozen images of recently photographed winter scenes. The program felt a bit over complicated, some things overly amateurish some things just over complicated and alien.

Sounds like you didn't really get into using it and exploring it's features much, if at all. Which is a pity.

I didn't feel that it was a refined program working in smooth increments.

Really? How so?

The RAW to TIFF conversions turned out fine but I concluded that I can work a cleaner and more efficient way with PhotoNinja to have my RAW files converted to TIFFs.

I used to use PhotoNinja a lot. Got rather fed up waiting for them to release updates. Had some quite nice features and the virtue of being very quick. I find it very inferior to DXO for refinement of processing, especially detail retention with NR for High ISO files.

AI or not AI, it seems like the current buzz word to recruit new buyers, the program felt too clumsy to me. Yes I know, people can get used to a certain program and operate it naturally after a while.

I find it very easy to use. I think when encountering any "new" software that is unfamiliar there is always going to be a learning curve at first. A little perseverence will bring rewards.

However, to me the end result was no magic, files were not any better than TIFFs from PhotoNinja with which I am intimately familiar with.

Probably depends on the type of files worked with. If you don't need the benefits of the best NR available for High ISO files then perhaps you won't notice the improvements offered by DXO quite so much. However I think many will appreciate this software much more after working with it for a while and gradually discovering what they can do with it. It's really quite powerful.

Frank

This discussion l think really highlights the need to find something that works well for you the individual. In usability, results and cost. As I've previously said there are very many good software packages to choose from. I've tried a number of them.

I now use DXOPhotolab 4 Elite for my Nikon RAW files. I find that it gives the best results by far that I've ever had from any software I've tried. I find it very easy to use and in cost terms l find it acceptable. Printed photos that l do every so often have never been better.

But as l say there are many packages to choose from and we are all different and we'll each find our own preferences in software and workflow in the same sort of way that we choose cameras to shoot with.  And rather like cameras no software package is perfect either but l am certainly happy with my choice.

Good luck to everyone in finding the right software for them!

Antal I Kozma
Antal I Kozma Veteran Member • Posts: 3,423
Re: DXO Photolab link to website
2

FrankG wrote:

Antal I Kozma wrote:

dave gaines wrote:

FrankG wrote:

... DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing. ... the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble. Free 30 day trial can be downloaded. Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files. ...

Frank

Thanks Frank,

I would prefer to work with one program for all of my editing.

Here's a link to DxO Photolab4:

DxO PhotoLab 4 - New Features

Hi to all, thanks for the link. I downloaded the trial version, always curious to try out new software. Although I am fairly much set and satisfied with my workflow consisting of PhotoNinja for RAW conversion and CS6 combined with ON1 PhotoRAW for final processing of the TIFFs.

Well, I found DXO Photolab 4 not to my liking. I used it to convert about a couple of dozen images of recently photographed winter scenes. The program felt a bit over complicated, some things overly amateurish some things just over complicated and alien.

Sounds like you didn't really get into using it and exploring it's features much, if at all. Which is a pity.

I didn't feel that it was a refined program working in smooth increments.

Really? How so?

The RAW to TIFF conversions turned out fine but I concluded that I can work a cleaner and more efficient way with PhotoNinja to have my RAW files converted to TIFFs.

I used to use PhotoNinja a lot. Got rather fed up waiting for them to release updates. Had some quite nice features and the virtue of being very quick. I find it very inferior to DXO for refinement of processing, especially detail retention with NR for High ISO files.

AI or not AI, it seems like the current buzz word to recruit new buyers, the program felt too clumsy to me. Yes I know, people can get used to a certain program and operate it naturally after a while.

I find it very easy to use. I think when encountering any "new" software that is unfamiliar there is always going to be a learning curve at first. A little perseverence will bring rewards.

However, to me the end result was no magic, files were not any better than TIFFs from PhotoNinja with which I am intimately familiar with.

Probably depends on the type of files worked with. If you don't need the benefits of the best NR available for High ISO files then perhaps you won't notice the improvements offered by DXO quite so much. However I think many will appreciate this software much more after working with it for a while and gradually discovering what they can do with it. It's really quite powerful.

Frank

Hi Frank,

As I said, others may find DxO the solution for their RAW processing. I do not like it and it is just as personal as others liking it. I am not putting the software down for the sake of putting it down. It just doesn't feel right and good for me, that is all.

As of best noise reduction? Well, a couple of notes related to this. First is our way of photographing. Under what circumstances and how much noise our files contain? Shooting experience may play into the "noise behaviour" of the files we deal with.

Second, you may recall that PhotoNinja is evolved from NoiseNinja, the "best noise reduction software" of its kind at the time. I've put the best into quotation marks to indicate that "being the best" is always contested. However, PhotoNinja has a very good noise reduction capability built on its long time experience with the subject.

Third, DxO is not the only one claiming to be the best in AI noise reduction. Topaz Lab's DeNoise AI also claims the title. I do use it as a plug in within PS6 as a secondary noise reduction tool. Just to check how much noise Topaz can find in the TIFFs that PhotoNinja churned out. In most cases it doesn't find any noise. When it does it is minimal and I put that down to a different approach as opposed to a failure by PhotoNinja. I might not be right on this latter......  

So, who is right? Who is "the best", apart from marketing claims? I have no doubt that all three, DxO, Topaz and Ninja are good for a skilled photographer to create decent end products. "The best"????? I thing none of these are magically outstanding over the other two. They all do the job.

So from here on it is a personal choice, getting used to, liking the program for various reasons, etc........ After the two dozen files I converted with DxO I didn't feel the "vibe" that it was superior in a way that would make me to adopt it. Yes, I could;d make myself to get used to it. However, why would I when it didn't jump out at me with its interface and the way it is structured.

As of "less refinement" I felt that its sliders were not as smooth and gradational as the one from PhotoNinja, Topaz or ON1 PhotoRaw. I felt it was too coarse, a bit on the amateurish side. I felt the interface was a mix between catering to beginners and more advanced shooters. However, I must point it out that these are my own feelings. Others might feel 180º differently and I do not question them on that.

Anyhow, be assured that I am not here to put down DxO, I believe I expressed it well that these are my personal thoughts and feelings. I am not an authority on evaluating these programs on a scientifically sound level. I simply talk as a photographer of many decades and one who is into digital file processing since Photoshop 1.5, that was quite some time ago.... 

All the best, AIK

 Antal I Kozma's gear list:Antal I Kozma's gear list
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Phase One Capture One Pro Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +20 more
rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,613
Re: Use Adobe DNG converter, free, for D850,D500 ...NEF
1

dave gaines wrote:

[...]

I've heard about the DNG file format. I heard it creates a lot of large files, maybe double the number, that fills up your remote HD.

Not sure where you heard that, it is incorrect. DNG files are about 25% smaller than equivalent NEF files. Also, your editing programs can write directly into them so no more sidecar files as when you use NEFs.  One image, one file.

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/adobe-dng-converter.html will get you to DNG from NEF, no data or quality loss.  It does batches and so is reasonably okay to put into your workflow.  And it is free of charge.

-- hide signature --

"THINK" - Watson

FrankG Senior Member • Posts: 2,194
Re: DXO Photolab link to website
1

Antal I Kozma wrote:

FrankG wrote:

Antal I Kozma wrote:

dave gaines wrote:

FrankG wrote:

... DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing. ... the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble. Free 30 day trial can be downloaded. Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files. ...

Frank

Thanks Frank,

I would prefer to work with one program for all of my editing.

Here's a link to DxO Photolab4:

DxO PhotoLab 4 - New Features

Hi to all, thanks for the link. I downloaded the trial version, always curious to try out new software. Although I am fairly much set and satisfied with my workflow consisting of PhotoNinja for RAW conversion and CS6 combined with ON1 PhotoRAW for final processing of the TIFFs.

Well, I found DXO Photolab 4 not to my liking. I used it to convert about a couple of dozen images of recently photographed winter scenes. The program felt a bit over complicated, some things overly amateurish some things just over complicated and alien.

Sounds like you didn't really get into using it and exploring it's features much, if at all. Which is a pity.

I didn't feel that it was a refined program working in smooth increments.

Really? How so?

The RAW to TIFF conversions turned out fine but I concluded that I can work a cleaner and more efficient way with PhotoNinja to have my RAW files converted to TIFFs.

I used to use PhotoNinja a lot. Got rather fed up waiting for them to release updates. Had some quite nice features and the virtue of being very quick. I find it very inferior to DXO for refinement of processing, especially detail retention with NR for High ISO files.

AI or not AI, it seems like the current buzz word to recruit new buyers, the program felt too clumsy to me. Yes I know, people can get used to a certain program and operate it naturally after a while.

I find it very easy to use. I think when encountering any "new" software that is unfamiliar there is always going to be a learning curve at first. A little perseverence will bring rewards.

However, to me the end result was no magic, files were not any better than TIFFs from PhotoNinja with which I am intimately familiar with.

Probably depends on the type of files worked with. If you don't need the benefits of the best NR available for High ISO files then perhaps you won't notice the improvements offered by DXO quite so much. However I think many will appreciate this software much more after working with it for a while and gradually discovering what they can do with it. It's really quite powerful.

Frank

Hi Frank,

As I said, others may find DxO the solution for their RAW processing. I do not like it and it is just as personal as others liking it. I am not putting the software down for the sake of putting it down. It just doesn't feel right and good for me, that is all.

'One man's meat' etc!

As of best noise reduction? Well, a couple of notes related to this. First is our way of photographing. Under what circumstances and how much noise our files contain? Shooting experience may play into the "noise behaviour" of the files we deal with.

Second, you may recall that PhotoNinja is evolved from NoiseNinja, the "best noise reduction software" of its kind at the time. I've put the best into quotation marks to indicate that "being the best" is always contested. However, PhotoNinja has a very good noise reduction capability built on its long time experience with the subject.

Yes I know - I used to use it as my preferred software. However since the advent of DSLRs such as the D500 I have found it to be less capable at dealing with noise in High ISO files (mainly above ISO3200) and I do quite often get forced to use High ISO with bird photography on challenging conditions. The Chroma noise reduction is quite good but I find the program's "Luma" noise reduction algorithm tends to destroy detail. Too much for my liking.

I also occasionally use Capture NXD - useful for a number of features (for example can reveal the position of the focus point used). I also have a copy of Affinity - but I don't care too much for it. I also have and occasionally use Topaz deNoise AI.

Third, DxO is not the only one claiming to be the best in AI noise reduction. Topaz Lab's DeNoise AI also claims the title. I do use it as a plug in within PS6 as a secondary noise reduction tool. Just to check how much noise Topaz can find in the TIFFs that PhotoNinja churned out. In most cases it doesn't find any noise. When it does it is minimal and I put that down to a different approach as opposed to a failure by PhotoNinja. I might not be right on this latter......

Yes - Topaz is incredibly efficient at removing Luminance noise non-destructively and can clean up some types of files very well. The problem with it is, at least at the moment (maybe they will fix this) is that it quite often fails to spot all the noise and can leave odd patches of non noise-reduced areas. I'd call that a bug - very weird. I have noticed it happen quite a bit. So I don't trust it although I do make some use of it sometimes. I also hate the sliders in Topaz - very crude and hit or miss.

DXO's NR is excellent, especially DeepPrime and especially noticeably superior on very High ISO files. One thing about this though - you don't get to see the results of the Prime or DeepPrime NR on screen except in the small "Denoising Technologies" preview window. But the exported file of course has the NR applied in full. That throws a lot of people!

So, who is right? Who is "the best", apart from marketing claims? I have no doubt that all three, DxO, Topaz and Ninja are good for a skilled photographer to create decent end products. "The best"????? I thing none of these are magically outstanding over the other two. They all do the job.

So from here on it is a personal choice, getting used to, liking the program for various reasons, etc........ After the two dozen files I converted with DxO I didn't feel the "vibe" that it was superior in a way that would make me to adopt it. Yes, I could;d make myself to get used to it. However, why would I when it didn't jump out at me with its interface and the way it is structured.

There are many reasons to like DXO once you get used to how it is organised and also discover it's rich feature set and abundant ways of making life easier. However, as with many advanced programs, it pays to work with it and explore it's features a bit more deeply. One thing I find incredibly useful is the ability it provides to be able to copy and selectively paste any customised set of "correction settings" from a file worked on to any selected set of other files. So for example one might wish to copy and paste only the "White Balance" and "DXO Denoising Technologies" adustments from one file to another set of files. Or whatever combination of features you wish to paste. Easy and quick to do.

The program has a number of workflow acceleration features such as that - very much appreciated by me.

As of "less refinement" I felt that its sliders were not as smooth and gradational as the one from PhotoNinja, Topaz or ON1 PhotoRaw. I felt it was too coarse, a bit on the amateurish side. I felt the interface was a mix between catering to beginners and more advanced shooters. However, I must point it out that these are my own feelings. Others might feel 180º differently and I do not question them on that.

I tend to use the slider controls in DXO, if at all, for coarse adjustment. For fine and precise adjustment I use the up/down arrow controls at the right-hand side of any slider control. Or even just type a value in the box. Nothing "amateurish" about that method - it's full precision control. Just a different style of interface - I suppose not everyone's cup of tea perhaps but I don't even notice that I'm doing it!

Anyhow, be assured that I am not here to put down DxO, I believe I expressed it well that these are my personal thoughts and feelings. I am not an authority on evaluating these programs on a scientifically sound level. I simply talk as a photographer of many decades and one who is into digital file processing since Photoshop 1.5, that was quite some time ago....

All the best, AIK

There is, of course, no accounting for taste but each to their own preferences!

Frank

 FrankG's gear list:FrankG's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z50
dave gaines
OP dave gaines Veteran Member • Posts: 9,424
So many software options for Nikon

There is so much good information here about a variety of different programs for Nikon RAW files. Lots of feedback on how people are using them and what they like and don't like about them. And there's good news about discount offers and free trial offers for several different programs.

This whole thread could be a good resource for Nikon photogs for some time to come.

Thanks to everyone who has responded and offered their insights.

-- hide signature --

Dave - Be safe. Stay Healthy.

 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +16 more
Antal I Kozma
Antal I Kozma Veteran Member • Posts: 3,423
Re: DXO Photolab link to website
1

FrankG wrote:

Antal I Kozma wrote:

FrankG wrote:

Antal I Kozma wrote:

dave gaines wrote:

FrankG wrote:

... DXO Photolab 4 elite for the RAW processing. ... the best and most effective Noise Reduction (with DeepPrime) currently availble. Free 30 day trial can be downloaded. Purchase outright, no subscription involved.

I use nothing else for 99.9% of my D850 NEF files. ...

Frank

Thanks Frank,

I would prefer to work with one program for all of my editing.

Here's a link to DxO Photolab4:

DxO PhotoLab 4 - New Features

Hi to all, thanks for the link. I downloaded the trial version, always curious to try out new software. Although I am fairly much set and satisfied with my workflow consisting of PhotoNinja for RAW conversion and CS6 combined with ON1 PhotoRAW for final processing of the TIFFs.

Well, I found DXO Photolab 4 not to my liking. I used it to convert about a couple of dozen images of recently photographed winter scenes. The program felt a bit over complicated, some things overly amateurish some things just over complicated and alien.

Sounds like you didn't really get into using it and exploring it's features much, if at all. Which is a pity.

I didn't feel that it was a refined program working in smooth increments.

Really? How so?

The RAW to TIFF conversions turned out fine but I concluded that I can work a cleaner and more efficient way with PhotoNinja to have my RAW files converted to TIFFs.

I used to use PhotoNinja a lot. Got rather fed up waiting for them to release updates. Had some quite nice features and the virtue of being very quick. I find it very inferior to DXO for refinement of processing, especially detail retention with NR for High ISO files.

AI or not AI, it seems like the current buzz word to recruit new buyers, the program felt too clumsy to me. Yes I know, people can get used to a certain program and operate it naturally after a while.

I find it very easy to use. I think when encountering any "new" software that is unfamiliar there is always going to be a learning curve at first. A little perseverence will bring rewards.

However, to me the end result was no magic, files were not any better than TIFFs from PhotoNinja with which I am intimately familiar with.

Probably depends on the type of files worked with. If you don't need the benefits of the best NR available for High ISO files then perhaps you won't notice the improvements offered by DXO quite so much. However I think many will appreciate this software much more after working with it for a while and gradually discovering what they can do with it. It's really quite powerful.

Frank

Hi Frank,

As I said, others may find DxO the solution for their RAW processing. I do not like it and it is just as personal as others liking it. I am not putting the software down for the sake of putting it down. It just doesn't feel right and good for me, that is all.

'One man's meat' etc!

As of best noise reduction? Well, a couple of notes related to this. First is our way of photographing. Under what circumstances and how much noise our files contain? Shooting experience may play into the "noise behaviour" of the files we deal with.

Second, you may recall that PhotoNinja is evolved from NoiseNinja, the "best noise reduction software" of its kind at the time. I've put the best into quotation marks to indicate that "being the best" is always contested. However, PhotoNinja has a very good noise reduction capability built on its long time experience with the subject.

Yes I know - I used to use it as my preferred software. However since the advent of DSLRs such as the D500 I have found it to be less capable at dealing with noise in High ISO files (mainly above ISO3200) and I do quite often get forced to use High ISO with bird photography on challenging conditions. The Chroma noise reduction is quite good but I find the program's "Luma" noise reduction algorithm tends to destroy detail. Too much for my liking.

I also occasionally use Capture NXD - useful for a number of features (for example can reveal the position of the focus point used). I also have a copy of Affinity - but I don't care too much for it. I also have and occasionally use Topaz deNoise AI.

Third, DxO is not the only one claiming to be the best in AI noise reduction. Topaz Lab's DeNoise AI also claims the title. I do use it as a plug in within PS6 as a secondary noise reduction tool. Just to check how much noise Topaz can find in the TIFFs that PhotoNinja churned out. In most cases it doesn't find any noise. When it does it is minimal and I put that down to a different approach as opposed to a failure by PhotoNinja. I might not be right on this latter......

Yes - Topaz is incredibly efficient at removing Luminance noise non-destructively and can clean up some types of files very well. The problem with it is, at least at the moment (maybe they will fix this) is that it quite often fails to spot all the noise and can leave odd patches of non noise-reduced areas. I'd call that a bug - very weird. I have noticed it happen quite a bit. So I don't trust it although I do make some use of it sometimes. I also hate the sliders in Topaz - very crude and hit or miss.

DXO's NR is excellent, especially DeepPrime and especially noticeably superior on very High ISO files. One thing about this though - you don't get to see the results of the Prime or DeepPrime NR on screen except in the small "Denoising Technologies" preview window. But the exported file of course has the NR applied in full. That throws a lot of people!

So, who is right? Who is "the best", apart from marketing claims? I have no doubt that all three, DxO, Topaz and Ninja are good for a skilled photographer to create decent end products. "The best"????? I thing none of these are magically outstanding over the other two. They all do the job.

So from here on it is a personal choice, getting used to, liking the program for various reasons, etc........ After the two dozen files I converted with DxO I didn't feel the "vibe" that it was superior in a way that would make me to adopt it. Yes, I could;d make myself to get used to it. However, why would I when it didn't jump out at me with its interface and the way it is structured.

There are many reasons to like DXO once you get used to how it is organised and also discover it's rich feature set and abundant ways of making life easier. However, as with many advanced programs, it pays to work with it and explore it's features a bit more deeply. One thing I find incredibly useful is the ability it provides to be able to copy and selectively paste any customised set of "correction settings" from a file worked on to any selected set of other files. So for example one might wish to copy and paste only the "White Balance" and "DXO Denoising Technologies" adustments from one file to another set of files. Or whatever combination of features you wish to paste. Easy and quick to do.

The program has a number of workflow acceleration features such as that - very much appreciated by me.

As of "less refinement" I felt that its sliders were not as smooth and gradational as the one from PhotoNinja, Topaz or ON1 PhotoRaw. I felt it was too coarse, a bit on the amateurish side. I felt the interface was a mix between catering to beginners and more advanced shooters. However, I must point it out that these are my own feelings. Others might feel 180º differently and I do not question them on that.

I tend to use the slider controls in DXO, if at all, for coarse adjustment. For fine and precise adjustment I use the up/down arrow controls at the right-hand side of any slider control. Or even just type a value in the box. Nothing "amateurish" about that method - it's full precision control. Just a different style of interface - I suppose not everyone's cup of tea perhaps but I don't even notice that I'm doing it!

Anyhow, be assured that I am not here to put down DxO, I believe I expressed it well that these are my personal thoughts and feelings. I am not an authority on evaluating these programs on a scientifically sound level. I simply talk as a photographer of many decades and one who is into digital file processing since Photoshop 1.5, that was quite some time ago....

All the best, AIK

There is, of course, no accounting for taste but each to their own preferences!

Frank

Frank, you won......

One thing you missed though. As I said I was talking about my feelings about the software. If something appears to me "amateurish" then that is for me only. Etc.... for the rest of it. "Amateurish" for my taste may be "professional" for others.

Anyway, no point in running back and forth on the "proving ground". There is nothing to prove, my opinion is just that, an opinion, not a verdict. Others have different opinions.

All the best, AIK

 Antal I Kozma's gear list:Antal I Kozma's gear list
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Phase One Capture One Pro Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +20 more
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