DxO PhotoLab 3.2 New Features Announced
DxO has just launched PhotoLab 3.2. Regular readers of Lenscraft will know that I’m a fan of PhotoLab for RAW file processing. It has an excellent RAW converter and the lens corrections are brilliant. But PhotoLab can do much more than being just simple RAW conversions. In this release, DxO has introduced some small changes that make a big improvement to the software’s usability.
Easier Local Adjustments
The power of Local Adjustments in DxO has always been a strong point. Their acquisition of the Nik Collection and introduction of Control Points improved this further. Then they raised the bar further with the introduction of layers in PhotoLab 3.0.
Despite this continuous improvement, working with the Local Adjustment controls in PhotoLab wasn’t always easy. As you worked on an image and the number of Local Adjustments increased, it became difficult to keep track of their purpose. Now it’s possible to rename each layer, allowing you to make its purpose obvious.
This may sound like a simple change but it’s significantly enhanced PhotoLab’s usability.
Another new feature in PhotoLab 3.2 is that ability to duplicate a mask or selection. Pick your Local Adjustment in the list and click on the “Duplicate Mask” icon at the bottom of the panel. Alternatively, you can right click on the layer and select “Duplicate Mask” from the popup menu.
Again, it may sound simple, but this can be big timesaver. If you spend a lot of time creating and refining a mask, being able to duplicate this avoids repeating the work. It’s also possible to invert the duplicate mask; something that you often need to do in photo editing.
PhotoLab 3.2 Enhanced Repair Tool
The Repair tool in PhotoLab 3.2 is another area to receive a much needed tweak. Most of the time when you applied a repair the old tool made a decent job. But sometimes it picked the wrong area to use for the repair and created a mess. Worse still, there was no way to change this, unlike with the Adobe Lightroom repair tools.
Now all your repairs are visible as an outline. Better still, you can move these if you think the PhotoLab selection isn’t very good. Again, this may sound like a small enhancement, but it makes the software so better to use. It’s also a good example of DxO listening to the feedback of users on their PhotoLab forum.
DxO has improved keyword support in the DxO PhotoLibrary. In addition to the ability to add, delete, and rename the image keywords, PhotoLab 3.2 allows you to differentiate between keywords tagged to several images. They’ve also added the renaming feature to the Windows version of PhotoLab.
New Camera Support for PhotoLab 3.2
Possibly the greatest strength of the PhotoLab software is its quality conversions of RAW files. In PhotoLab 3.2 they’ve added more than 770 optical modules to the database. Additionally, there’s now support the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, the Nikon D780, and the Olympus E-M1 Mark III. The software is also compatible with the Leica D-Lux 7 and Q2.
The Cost of PhotoLab 3.2
As an existing PhotoLab 3 user I downloaded my upgrade to PhotoLab 3.2 free.
I should also mention that the installation of the upgrade is excellent. After opening PhotoLab a message popped up advising a new version was available. I confirmed that I wanted to update, and the download started. When the download finished PhotoLab restarted and I was on the new version. If felt much cleaner and quicker than a lot of other software packages.
But if you’re not an existing PhotoLab 3 user you will need to upgrade, possibly taking advantage of the latest DxO sale (until 31st March 2020).
- DxO PhotoLab 3.2 ESSENTIAL Edition: £86.99 instead of £112
- DxO PhotoLab 3.2 ELITE Edition: £129.99 instead of £169
You can find out more on the DxO website or by logging in to your DxO Account.
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