DxO Launches PureRAW 2

by Mar 16, 2022Photography Blog

Robin Whalley Landscape Photographer

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DxO Launches PureRAW 2

DxO PureRAW and DxO PhotoLab produce image quality that’s miles ahead of Adobe Lightroom. At least, that’s my opinion.

Unfortunately, Lightroom is miles ahead of most other software when it comes to managing your photo library. It’s also very difficult to switch away from Lightroom as a library manager when you have years invested in keywording images using it. If you later find you have made a bad decision and want to switch back, you may find you can’t.

So, you stick with Lightroom and suffer the inferior image quality. But DxO PureRAW presents a viable way to improve image quality without leaving Lightroom.

DxO PureRAW Image Quality

When DxO first launched PureRAW, it was a potential solution to the problem of improving Lightroom image quality. You would open PureRAW and load any RAW files that you wanted to edit in Lightroom. You would then process these into DNG files which could be imported to Lightroom for editing. In the process of converting the RAW file, PureRAW applied the necessary optical sharpening, noise reduction and lens correction to produce better image quality.

It is by the way possible to achieve a similar result by integrating DxO PhotoLab using a Lightroom Plugin. You can learn how to do this in my article “Integrating PhotoLab with Lightroom”.

DxO PureRAW 2 Solution

But there was a downside to using DxO PureRAW with Lightroom which was convenience. You needed to open the PureRAW software and then select the RAW file or files to process. It wasn’t possible to do this from inside Lightroom. This is one of the areas DxO has addressed with the new launch of the new PureRAW 2 application.

DxO PureRAW 2 now has two new workflows. The first of these allows you to process any RAW file using PureRAW from your Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder application. When you right-click on a RAW file displays a popup menu where you can select from several PureRAW options.

Newly launched DxO PureRAW 2 options in the Mac Finder

The second new workflow in DxO PureRAW 2 is to process a RAW file from within Lightroom using a PureRAW 2 Lightroom plug. Simply select the RAW file or files to process in the Lightroom Library module. Then click “File > Plug-in Extras > Process with DxO PureRAW 2” in the Lightroom menu.

Selecting DxO PureRAW 2 in the Lightroom menu to process a RAW file

This launches the PureRAW 2 interface, where you can select the processing options to use, before clicking the Process button.

DxO PureRAW 2 processing options dialog

You can of course still use PureRAW 2 by opening and loading RAW files for processing, just as you would in the original version.

DxO PureRAW 2 Speed Improvements

In addition to the two new workflows, PureRAW 2 sees improvements to processing speed for both Windows and Mac users. The largest improvements are to the DeepPRIME noise reduction when running on a Mac with the new Silicon architecture. Typically, this will be a Mac which uses the new M1 chip rather than the older Intel architecture. Despite this, I have seen some improvement when using an Intel based Mac computer as I outline in the video later in this article.

DxO PureRAW Supports Fuji XTrans

The other big news in DxO PureRAW 2 includes support for Fuji XTrans RAW files. This has been missing from DxO RAW processors for a long time but was recently released in PhotoLab 5 Elite. Now Fuji XTrans support has made it’s way into PureRAW 2.

If you are a Fuji X-Series camera user (as I am), you must try out either PureRAW 2 or PhotoLab 5 Elite. The results when processing your RAW files are excellent.

Now Watch the Video

To help you understand the software further, watch my review using an early beta version, which DxO made available to me.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

You can also watch this video on my YouTube channel. I publish a new video every week, often based on subscribers’ requests and feedback. Subscribe to my YouTube channel now and be sure not to miss future videos.

But to really appreciate how simple, elegant, useful, and good DxO PureRAW 2 is, test the trial version of the software for yourself. You can find it on the DxO website (affiliate link). Although I’m a DxO affiliate, I only join schemes where I believe and use the software. In the case of DxO PureRAW 2, I’ve decided that I won’t be buying it myself. That’s because I’ve already purchased DxO PhotoLab 5 and can achieve the same quality results by integrating with Lightroom. Having said that, I am tempted by the convenience of the new Lightroom plugin.

If you don’t have PhotoLab Elite, do try PureRAW 2. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the results if you usually process your RAW files using Lightroom.

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