[00:00:10] We’re starting off directly in DxO PureRAW 2, and just in case you either haven’t seen this before or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve looked at it, I do want to show you how the app works just on its own. So, to start off, this is the basic interface. There’s not a whole lot going on in here until we add some photos. I can click on the Add Photos to Process button or as you see here, simply drag and drop.
[00:00:31] So, I’ll switch back over to the Finder, select all these photos from a new shoot. This could be photos that I’ve just copied off of a memory card, and drag them into the interface. Now, the first thing that pops up is this DxO Optics Modules download. You’ve probably heard about the DxO Optics Modules before and how this is a critical part of how DxO software works.
[00:00:50] These modules allow us to process the images with the absolute utmost quality, and a module has to be downloaded for each individual camera and lens combination. Now, once they’re downloaded, you never have to do it again and they’re always very small so it’s quick to do but every time you add a new camera and lens combination photo to your collection, you’ll need to go ahead and download the module for that.
[00:01:08] So here you can see these were shot on a Panasonic Lumix S1R which is a very high resolution, almost 50 megapixel camera with the 24-105mm lens, and it says here “To be downloaded” — I click on Download Selection… as you can see there it’s quite small, downloads very quickly, click on Save and that’s it. I’ll never have to see that again for this particular camera and lens combo.
[00:01:27] Now that I’ve got my photos in place, I’m ready to process them. I don’t want to process all of these photos for this demo; I’ll just do one, so I’ll go ahead and select one, let’s say this one here. And then to process it, click on the Process Photos button and this brings up the process dialogue which if you haven’t seen this in a while, you may actually be seeing a couple of new things in here.
[00:01:44] First of all, from the top, you choose your method of RAW processing. Do you want HQ (high quality), PRIME or DeepPRIME? DeepPRIME of course being the best possible quality. We’ll go ahead and leave it there. Underneath that, you’ll see an estimated processing time. Once it’s processed photos from that particular camera, it’ll know roughly how long it takes and it will give you that estimate.
[00:02:03] Underneath that, we have the option to turn off Global Lens Sharpening or the Lens Distortion Correction. So if you wanted either one of these off you can go ahead and toggle that, and this is due to popular request from the users .
[00:02:15] Underneath that you have your format option you can choose to process this as a JPEG or as DNG, and then finally your destination folder; where will the new files go. By default they go into a subfolder called “DxO” in the same folder as the original images, or you can create a custom folder if you want to. I’m just going to leave everything at its default and click on Process. Now this is a pretty fast computer. I’m working on a Mac Pro here which has got a ton of power and so, this processing is actually going to be pretty quick. Maybe a little bit quicker than what you’re used to seeing.
[00:02:44] However, I will point out that on the M1 processor, the speed has improved dramatically over the previous version of Pure Raw. In fact, I ran some tests comparing my baby M1 MacBook Air — the very first M1 processor to this Mac Pro and the Mac Pro is only a little bit faster. That M1 processor is just screaming right now.
[00:03:07] Alright, processing is done. What do you want to do next? We can export it straight to our host app, or I want to go ahead and view the results. I can take a quick look at the results of this so I can see just how good these results are.
[00:03:17] I’m going to go ahead and look at this at a one-to-one zoom. Zoom all the way in there and right away, you can see a huge difference on the left versus the right; how much softer the image is on the left versus the much sharper, much higher contrast image on the right. Just an absolutely dramatic improvement in here.
[00:03:32] Now, this is not a high ISO image and usually, you might think that PureRAW is really just for those really high ISO images to get rid of incredible noise and it does that really well but as you can see here, it does an incredible job just enhancing even low ISO images. But I do want to show you one area where there’s a bit of noise in this photo.
[00:03:51] Now, admittedly, this might be a little bit hard for you to see through the Zoom interface but I’m looking at an Apple XDR screen. So, I’m seeing an absolutely incredible amount of detail. It’s not adding detail that’s not in the photo. I’m seeing stuff that’s in the photo. So, you may not be see this through Zoom but I can see here that down in this foggy area — see down with the mist, there’s a little bit of a color transition as it goes from kind of a palish brownish greenish mist up to the bluish mist. On the left hand side there’s quite a bit of noise or just kind of breaking up of the image in there whereas on the right it is perfectly smooth and clear.
[00:04:26] And again it might be a little hard to see through Zoom but I just want to point out to you that when looking at this on an incredibly high quality screen I do see some of these that are might be otherwise missed and it looks incredible here.
[00:04:39] Alright, we’re going to go ahead and leave it at that. We’ll close this out. At this point, if I process the rest of them and I was ready to send them off to my host app, I would go up here to the Export to button, choose the app that I want to send it to and off we go. So, that’s basically the old way of doing it with a few enhancements along the way.
[00:04:55] Alright, now let’s take a look at one of the new ways of doing this. I’m going to go ahead and quit PureRAW. Yes, that’s right. I’m quitting PureRAW to continue the demo with PureRAW. You’ll see why in a moment here.
[00:05:06] Let’s go back to this new shoot folder. These are all the photos that I had dragged into PureRAW a moment ago. You’ll notice here there’s that new DxO folder containing that new DeepPRIME processed image. So, let’s say once again, we’ve just come back from a shoot, I’ve copy all of my photos from the memory card to my computer and I want to process all of them with PureRAW. Instead of going through the interface and selecting each one and so-on, I can actually do it directly from the Finder or from Windows Explorer, like this.
[00:05:32] All I have to do is select the image that I want to process — I’ll just go ahead and grab a couple of them here, right click on them and then there’s a new option here called “DxO PureRAW 2: Process with last used settings, Process to DNG or Process to JPEG”.
[00:05:46] If I want to convert this all to DNG using DeepPRIME, that’s all I have to do. The app will launch in the background and effectively run in a headless mode where we don’t see the interface, we don’t have to see anything other than a progress bar so we can just sit back and let it do all of the work. It is of course going to be processing this into a DxO folder up here just as it did before and once that’s done, we’ll see those new images processed there and ready to go.
[00:06:10] This can be quite a nice time saver. If you just want to get your images processed and get them ready to go into the app, you don’t want to mess around with it. Just copy ’em over, select all, right-click, and there you go.
[00:06:20] Okay, once those are done, they’re done and now I can do whatever I would normally do with them. Now, let’s look at another way of processing these. I’m going to switch over to Lightroom Classic. As you saw on the slides, a huge percentage of PureRAW users are using Lightroom Classic and so, we wanted to really ensure that we enhance the workflow for Lightroom Classic users. So, let’s see how this works.
[00:06:39] I’m going to start by choosing a photo here that is frankly not very good. If I zoom in to this, you’ll see it’s not that sharp. It’s very, very grainy. It’s just — it’s not a good photo but you know, my kid loves hedgehogs so, I gotta make the best out of this picture. Alright, well, let’s see what I can do with it.
[00:06:56] I’m going to go over to the develop module and let’s scroll over to the Noise Reduction and let’s see what I can do. Noise Reduction is currently a zero so I’ll go ahead and bring that up and you know, it — it gets better, right? As I drag this up, it does definitely get noticeably better. It’s still a bit noisy in here but look at how soft and flat this has gotten. It’s, you know, it really is not great.
[00:07:19] I could try to add some more detail and maybe add a little contrast to it but at the end of the day, we’re not going to get great results out of this. So, let’s see what happens if we send it to PureRAW. Now, the easiest way to do that from within Lightroom Classic is to simply right click, choose Export, and then “Process with DxO PureRAW 2”.
[00:07:35] This is going to automatically round trip the photo over to PureRAW. Now, you’ll notice here that the DxO optics module download is going to pop up again. This tells me that I haven’t yet downloaded the specific camera and lens combination optics module needed for this photo. So, even though I’m not running PureRAW with its main interface, this prompt will still come up and allow me to download the modules as needed.
[00:07:57] I’ll go ahead and click on Download Selection. And then save that. This brings up the same interface that we saw inside of PureRAW itself. I can make all the same choices here that I could in the main app but I’ll go ahead and leave everything as it is and click on Process.
[00:08:11] This is going to process the image into a DNG and then automatically reimport it back into Lightroom. Lightroom not only imports the photo but it also creates a new collection with just the import. Now, in this case, I actually want to see the two images side by side. So, I’m going to go back over to the library, click on that Wildlife folder again and you’ll see in here as well the new DxO sub folder. If I wanted to just see that picture, I could select it here but if I click on the Wildlife folder, I’ll see everything inside of it, which by the way, if you’re not seeing, go up to this menu here and ensure that “Show Photos in Subfolders” is enabled.
[00:08:44] That way, you’ll see everything in the top-level folder as well as the DxO folder underneath it. So, here’s the two images. Let’s go ahead and do a side-by-side comparison here and you can see the DxO processed image on the left and the original one in Lightroom on the right and there is a substantial difference in here.
[00:09:00] Not only is there noticeably less noise, the image is sharper, higher contrast, and it just looks better. Alright, so that’s an easy one to start. Let’s do something a bit more advanced. Let’s say that you are already working on a bunch of images and you’ve done some color correcting work and straightening, whatever you’re doing to it and then you decide “Hm, you know, maybe I should have process this with PureRAW, but I don’t want to have to redo all the work that I did.” Well, the good news is you don’t have to. Let me show you how this workflow works.
[00:09:27] Let’s go ahead over to this photo here and this one is totally unprocessed and you know, it’s a cute photo but it’s a bit on the flat side and — now let’s just see what I can do with it. So, I’ll go into the Develop module and I’m just going to start with a quick little Auto Balance — yeah, looks better already. Maybe I took my black point down a little bit more and if I zoom in close in here, we’re going to see there really is a lot of noise in here. So, maybe I can hide some of it by taking my black point down a little farther.
[00:09:52] By the time I get to the point where the noise is gone, I’ve totally crunched the image, so that’s no good. Let’s get it up a bit, let’s say right about there and what else do I want to do? Maybe I want to straighten this out. I’m personally kind of obsessed with getting really straight lines when I have an image like this one and this box that they’re sitting on is just begging for me to straighten so, let’s do that.
[00:10:12] In Lightroom, I’ll scroll down here to the Transform, go to the Guided Transform and just very quickly in here I’m going to straighten this out. Let’s just drag a couple lines across the vertical lines of this box that they’re sitting on here, one and two, do a horizontal one across the top — there we go, I like that.
[00:10:31] So, now it’s straightened out, so I’ve applied the image adjustments, I’ve applied the straightening in here, now let’s see if I can do anything about this noise. I’ll scroll up to here and go back to my noise reduction and start to dial that in. And just like before with the hedgehog photo, I can get it better but it’s not great. By the time I get this high enough that I’ve really eliminated the noise in here, look at how mushy the rest of the image has gotten.
[00:10:55] We’re seeing color splotches, just this general mushiness to the image, it really is not looking great. So, let me back this off a little bit. Let’s try and not be crazy about it. Maybe add a little bit more sharpening, try and bring up a little bit more detail. Yeah, it’s just — it’s just not doing it.
[00:11:10] Alright. So, I’ve already done all this work. I’ve spent all this time making image look amazing but I just can’t get rid of the noise. Well, let’s see what PureRaw can do.
[00:11:19] I’ll right click on the image, choose Export, “Process with DxO PureRAW 2”. The optics module for this photo’s already been downloaded, so I don’t have to do that. I’ll just click on Process and it’s going to tear through this image and once again, re-import it back in the Lightroom so that I can do it side by side.
[00:11:36] There she is, we’ll jump back over to the Library tab. You can already see how much better it is but let’s go ahead and bring them up in a compare window and take a look at that. Massive, massive difference in there. Look at the sharpness in the fur, look at the detail in the tail — how the noise is just completely gone. It is a dramatically, dramatically improved image.
[00:11:59] But at this point, you might be thinking “Well, hold on a second. Okay, you did the color correction and you did the straightening and all of that is copied over to here, but you also did noise reduction and sharpening onto this. Has that been copied over as well?” Well, the good news is, it hasn’t. Check this out.
[00:12:14] We go back to the main view and into the Develop module and I’ll start with the Lightroom only image and point out once again, under Detail, noise reduction and sharpening have been applied. Now, I’ll select the DNG and check this out, sharpening and noise reduction have been reduced to zero.
[00:12:30] Automatically on re-import, the PureRAW 2 workflow has removed those processes. It’s removed those effects that we don’t want but it left everything else behind. Now, to ensure that the effects that you do want to be carried over or are automatically applied, you do want to make sure that in your Catalog Settings — and it is the Catalog Settings not the Preferences — in Catalog Settings, “Automatically Write Changes into XMP” is enabled, and this is going to ensure that the changes that you make to exposure and everything else are automatically immediately written into the XMP file so they can be re-read at the time of reimport.
[00:13:05] Now, if you don’t do that or you don’t want to do that for any reason, you can do this two other ways. You can manually choose to write that XMP data. So, if I go up to the Photo menu, there’s an option here to “Save metadata to file”, so I can do it manually that way, or if you forgotten, you can simply copy and paste. I can just copy the adjustments from one image and paste them onto the other. So, that would work as well.
[00:13:26] Alright, let’s take a look at another couple of examples here. I’m going to go back into the Library and go into this other collection here and here I have three very different photos. We have some kickboxing in Thailand. I’ve got a scenic photo shot in New Zealand and this is frankly a really bad photo. You can see it’s very noisy, it’s not very sharp but you know, maybe it’s the only photo that I have from this trip and kind of want to make the best out of it, and then I have over here a portrait. It’s just a candid shot. I just — I love this photo, it’s a fun picture but it’s surprisingly not that sharp, which honestly is a bit surprising because this is shot with a really good 50mm f/1.2 L lens on a Canon 1Ds Mark III. I mean, this photo should be amazing but it’s just not quite there.
[00:14:07] So, I’m going to go ahead and process all three of these with PureRAW. But before I do, I want to point out (let’s jump into the Develop module) that not only do these already have a series of adjustments already applied, but if I look down under Sharpening and Noise Reduction, you can see that’s applied to but I also already have the profile corrections enabled for each of these photos.
[00:14:26] Remember that in Lightroom Classic, you can apply a lens profile correction to any photo and these are custom correction profiles. They’re just not as good as the DxO ones but these are custom correction profiles that can be applied. The thing is, I’m not going to want that applied to the photo after it comes back from PureRAW. So, in fact, the same thing that we saw with the Noise Reduction and the Sharpening will happen here — any lens profile that’s added will automatically be removed on reimport.
[00:14:52] So, here I have the kickboxing shot. We can see it’s added there. The New Zealand shot and the portrait here. All with the lens profiles enabled. Alright, let’s go and select all three of these and go into “Export Process with PureRAW 2”.
[00:15:04] So, again, as you can see here, we can actually do this all in a batch. Select the group photos and batch process them. Now, this is going to be considerably faster than the original photo that I did which was a 50 megapixel photo. These are quite a bit smaller, so it’s going to take quite a bit less time and you see it process through these pretty quickly here.
[00:15:22] And there we have it. The images are reimporting and once again, Lightroom is going to load up the Collection view but I want to go back to the Library view so I can do a comparison of these side by side.
[00:15:33] Let’s start off with the kickboxing photo. Check out the sharpness and the little beads of sweat popping off of the kickboxers there. Just looks incredible. If we look over here in the shadows, there’s considerably less noise in the image on the left. Overall, it just looks dramatically better.
[00:15:50] Now, let’s take a look at this one. This is a really impressive change. Check out the noise in the sky, the overall sharpness of the image. On the left, it just looks so much better than it does on the right. It’s still not a great photo, but it certainly is a lot better than it was.
[00:16:05] And this portrait, this is the one that really surprises me. Check this out. Look at the whiskers on his chin. Look at how much sharper they are here on the left versus on the right. Overall, this is just such a much better photo. Now, it’s gotten a little bit over saturated. So, let’s go and jump out of this view, go into the Develop module and maybe I want to knock that saturation back just a touch on there just to make it look a little bit more natural. There we go. Love it.
[00:16:30] So, there you have it. DxO PureRAW 2 is a fantastic upgrade. Some great new workflow features integrating Lightroom or just directly from the finder or Windows Explorer making the whole process that much easier. Being able to round trip back into Lightroom Classic and automatically having the corrections that you don’t want applied removed from the image is fantastic.
[00:16:50] Thanks for watching everybody. I hope you enjoy this demo and for more information as well as to sign up for free DxO webinars, head over to PhotoJoseph.com/DxO.