DxO FilmPack 6.3 Released

by Jul 11, 2022Photography Blog

Robin Whalley Landscape Photographer

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DxO FilmPack 6.3 Released

The other day, I realised that I hadn’t looked at FilmPack 6 since I purchased it last year. Now that FilmPack 6.3 has now been released, I decided it was time to fire up the software to take a closer look.

FilmPack 6 was originally a joint release with DxO PhotoLab 5. Unfortunately, this coincided with me being away, so I only had time to review PhotoLab. I intended to do a FilmPack 6 review when I returned, but workloads got the better of me and it never happened.

Whilst this article isn’t a review, I do want to mention what’s new in version 6.3 before sharing my thoughts on the FilmPack software.

DxO FilmPack 6.3 Changes

The list of changes in FilmPack 6.3 isn’t long but I’m sure a few FilmPack owners have been waiting eagerly for these:

  • The option to manage RAW and JPEG files together or separately for the same image. This is something that I’m happy to see. I don’t like seeing both the RAW and JPEG file in the browser grid. It’s too easy to find that you are working on a JPEG image when you thought that it was a RAW file.
  • To cancel the automatic downloading of optics modules by the software.
  • The FilmPack 6.3 application now runs natively on the Apple M1 chip.
  • There are a few newly supported cameras including the Olympus OM1 and Panasonic GH6.
  • Various bug fixes.

If you are an existing FilmPack 6 owner, this is a free update.

Now let’s look at some of the features that I like in the FilmPack software.

DxO FilmPack Features I Like

I would love to be able to compare FilmPack 6 with the previous version of the software, but I can’t. In fact, having only spent a short time using version 6.3, I can’t remember the previous interface.

What I can tell about the current interface though is that I really like it. It feels clean, modern, and logically organised as you can see in this screenshot.

DxO FilmPack 6.3 stand alone application interface

Along the top of the interface are icons providing access to regularly used features like preview zoom and comparison modes. Then over to the right we have a simple switch to change between colour and black & white film renderings. Below this, we have a series of adjustments we can apply to the image including a dropdown to select the film simulation.

If you don’t like choosing a film simulation from a list, there is an option in the toolbar (along the top of the interface) to change to a preset view. You then see the different simulations presented as a grid, showing their effect on the image.

Something else that I like about DxO FilmPack 6 is that you can use it as a stand-alone editor as above, or a Photoshop/Lightroom plugin as shown below.

DxO FilmPack 6.3 Plugin interface

Here you can see the interface design is shared between the plugin and stand-alone application. In this screenshot of the plugin, you can see the preset browser allowing you to browse the available film simulations.

But what I like most about DxO FilmPack is the quality of the results and the flexibility to adjust these.

FilmPack Flexibility

Whilst DxO is rightly proud of its ability to produce accurate film simulations, that’s often not enough for the digital photographer. With many digital images when you apply a film simulation, they don’t immediately look great. You often find yourself needing to tweak them further or apply additional effects. Let’s run through a simple example.

Below, you can see FilmPack 6.3 open in the browser grid view. I can then click the image to select it before switching to the editor.

FilmPack 6 Browser grid

What’s easy to overlook is that this grid is displaying RAW files from my Fuji XT3. Previously FilmPack couldn’t support the Fuji XTrans RAW format, so it’s nice to see that support has been inherited from PhotoLab 5 Elite.

To open the selected image in the editor, I can double click the thumbnail. Alternatively, I can right click on the thumbnail with my mouse and choose the “Open” option.

When the image opens, I can see that the “Fuji Provia/Standard (Camera matching)” profile was been applied. This is the same profile that I have set in my Fuji XT3 which is detected by the software. The change is subtle, but it improves the image. Not only that but FilmPack has automatically applied a lens correction module to the image to remove any distortion.

Applying a Film Simulation

Here’s a side-by-side comparison with the original image on the left. Then on the right we have the image with default FilmPack corrections.

original image on the left and with default adjustments on the right

Now I can refine the adjustment to meet my needs. For example, I can use the Intensity slider to reduce the strength of the simulation if I feel it’s too strong. But I can also increase the strength of the effect to 200% for more impact.

Adding Film Grain

Whilst I like this film simulation, I don’t think that it’s quite strong enough, so I’ll increase the intensity to 125%. The other thing that I don’t like is that there isn’t any film grain with the preset. I’ll therefore use the Grain controls to add some.

Adding a film grain in FilmPack 6.3

I think this image will suit quite a strong grain, so I’ve chosen “Agfa Color Implosion” from the list of grains. You don’t need to match the film grain to simulation used.

It’s also possible, as with this image to adjust the film grain. I’ve chosen to reduce the Intensity of the grain to 75% and set the scale to match 35mm film.

Finishing Effects

To finish the image, I’ve added a Creative Vignette, Blur Vignette and Film Edge.

Finished image with several FilmPack effects applied

There are many more effects that you can apply in FilmPack. Also, if you have the Nik Collection you could also add further effects using Analog Efex Pro as in this example.

There is so much that you can achieve in DxO FilmPack, and the results look great. If you have never tried this software before, I recommend downloading a trial from the DxO website.

If you decide to purchaser the software, please check which version suits your needs between Essential and Elite. I used the FilmPack 6.3 Elite version for this article.

before and after comparison showing an image converted to black and white using FilmPack 6

Highly recommended, especially when used alongside the Nik Collection 5.

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