New Features Reviewed in the Latest DxO PhotoLab 6 Release

by Oct 6, 2022Photography Blog

Robin Whalley Landscape Photographer

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New Features Reviewed in the Latest DxO PhotoLab 6 Release

As I begin to write this review, it’s been almost 19 hours since DxO released PhotoLab 6. I usually try to produce a PhotoLab review ahead of the software going on general release, but this time there wasn’t a beta version available. Instead, I downloaded my copy at the same time as everyone else and spent the first 8 hours testing new features and creating a YouTube video review.

Later in this article, I’ll share that video, but first I want to summarise the new features in DxO PhotoLab 6.

New Features in PhotoLab 6

The list of new features in DxO PhotoLab 6 is quite extensive in development terms. It includes:

  • DeepPRIME XD
  • DxO Wide Gamut colour handling (see my Colour Rendering article for an in depth explanation)
  • Soft Proofing for print (see my Soft Proofing article)
  • ReTouch tool developed
  • EXIF and IPTC fields extended
  • Colour Labels added
  • Project Hierarchies implemented
  • Fully Apple Silicon native

It’s also worth mentioning that not all these enhancements may be available in both versions of PhotoLab 6.

DxO continues to produce separate Essential and Elite versions of the software. The Elite version costs the most, but it also has the greatest range of features. Do check carefully on the DxO website which features are in which version. This a little tricky to do but then I found the information on this DxO shop page. Scroll down the page and then click the “Compare Versions” heading to the right of “System Requirements”.

Standout PhotoLab 6 Enhancements

Despite the growing list of new features in PhotoLab 6, there are two that I want to make special mention of before sharing the video. These are DeepPRIME XD and DxO Wide Gamut.

DeepPRIME XD

DeepPRIME XD is the next evolution of DxO’s excellent DeepPRIME technology. The XD stands for extreme details which sums up the technology well.

If you haven’t already heard about DeepPRIME, you must have been living in seclusion. DxO developed the technology using AI, to extract maximum detail from RAW files whilst removing image noise. The result is superb image quality, even from RAW files captured at high ISO settings. I’ve already pitted it against the excellent On1 NoNoise AI software where it performed brilliantly. What the new XD version seems to do is take this to the next level, with silky smooth images exhibiting more detail.

DeepPRIME XD Samples

Here is one of the comparison images I used in the video.

PhotoLab 6 DeepPRIME XD Noise Sample 01

This shows a RAW file from a Panasonic G9 that was shot at ISO1600 in low light. The RAW file was then processed using DeepPRIME (left image) and DeepPRIME XD (right image). You may need to click the image to view the detail more clearly, but the image processed using DeepPRIME XD is superior. The colour and contrast are better, and it has improved definition. I should also point out that these image sections are magnified to 200% and there was no other processing applied, only DeepPRIME.

Here is another example of a different section from the same image.

PhotoLab 6 DeepPRIME XD Noise Sample 02

Again, the DeepPRIME version is on the left and the DeepPRIME XD on the right. Notice how the definition and colour in the tower is better in the XD image. You can also see the improvement to the tree branches.

And then one final comparison, this time from a different image. This image was also shot on the Panasonic G9 at ISO1600.

PhotoLab 6 DeepPRIME XD Noise Sample 03

As with the other examples, DeepPRIME is on the left and XD on the right. Initially there doesn’t appear to be much difference between the two as DeepPRIME is already processing the image well. But look more closely at the leaves around the tree trunk on the left and you can see the improvement in colour, contrast, and detail.

Now as impressive as these improvements are, I was a little disappointed. I couldn’t use DeepPRIME XD with my Fuji X-Trans files. I really hope that DxO addresses this limitation in a future release of PhotoLab.

DxO Wide Gamut

Note – read my Colour Rendering article to learn what I’ve since discovered about DxO Wide Gamut and colour rendering.

I don’t mind admitting that I was initially sceptical about this enhancement. I couldn’t understand why DxO would go to the trouble of developing a new colour space when the ProPhoto RGB space is so large. In fact, as I mention in the video, when I tested a vivid sunset image, I couldn’t see any improvement against PhotoLab 5.

I then realised that the DxO Wide Gamut space hadn’t been enabled for my image and I was applying the legacy space. When I made the switch, I thought the results were superb. Here’s an example showing the difference the new colour space can make.

Comparing the new DxO Wide Gamut colour space with the legacy space

This is taken from a Fuji XT3 RAW file. The image on the left shows the legacy colour space whilst the image on the right uses the new DxO Wide Gamut space. All other settings are the same.

I tested this setting with a few more images and in all cases I found the new Wide Gamut colour space produced an improvement. This was however more noticeable when the RAW file already had strong colours.

DxO PhotoLab 6 Video Review

With that, I’ll leave you to watch my PhotoLab 6 review which explains more of the new features.

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.

More DxO News

As well as the new release of PhotoLab 6, DxO has been working on other developments.

DxO now offers photographers access to more than 77,000 camera and lens combinations across its software — DxO PhotoLab, PureRAW, ViewPoint, FilmPack, and Nik Collection. Photographers receive corrections that are tailor-made for their specific equipment. Each new Optics Module is created from individual camera and lens combinations — not simply the lens on its own.

The latest update — available now — includes the following lenses:

  • Canon RF 24mm F1.8 Macro IS STM
  • Nikkor Z 28-75mm F2.8
  • HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR
  • HD Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited
  • HD Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
  • HD Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
  • Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | C
  • Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN | C
  • Sony E 11mm F1.8

In my opinion, DxO is showing a real commitment to producing the best image quality for photographers who care.

Also, on the lines of image quality, DxO has launched a new version of their excellent ViewPoint software. This was released at the same time as PhotoLab 6, so I have yet to find time to investigate what’s new. Once I’ve been able to put it through its paces, I will share my thoughts.

Summary of PhotoLab 6

Overall, I’m impressed by what DxO has achieved with the launch of its new PhotoLab 6 software. The improvements in DeepPRIME XD really makes shooting handheld at high ISO a viable alternative to using a tripod.

PhotoLab 6 is an excellent package for photographers who care about image quality, and I recommend you download a trial to test this for yourself.

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