DxO Optics Pro, FilmPack updated; Olympus E-M1 and Sony A7R among new cameras supported
posted Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM EDT
If your digital darkroom setup includes software from French company DxO Labs, it's probably time to upgrade, because the company has just released updates for two of its core apps. The updates for image processor DxO Optics Pro and film simulation app DxO FilmPack go hand-in-hand with each other.
DxO Optics Pro 9.1 builds on the new PRIME engine that was introduced in Optics Pro 9. PRIME greatly improves noise reduction by simply giving algorithms free rein to work on images in the background while you're performing other tasks, rather than limiting processor availability to render images more quickly. In Optics Pro 9.1, PRIME now offers better sharpness. It also improves support for the FinePix S3 Pro and S5 Pro DSLRs, both of which use Fujifilm's proprietary Super CCD SR image sensors.
Since it takes longer to process images, DxO's PRIME technology offers a loupe with which to preview noise reduction on just a small portion of the image, which can be rendered more quickly than can a whole image. This loupe now has an animated loading icon, so that you know something's happening while the preview is rendered.
Another improvement aimed at making Optics Pro 9.1 feel more responsive is that it now shows the preview image embedded inside most raw files while the raw data itself is parsed and rendered. That does mean that the initial preview reflects what the camera itself made of the scene, rather than what DxO's algorithms (and the greater processing power of your computer) will manage, so the rendering may change somewhat once Optics Pro has parsed the raw image. Still, seeing an approximation of the image straight away is infinitely preferable to having to wait around for the image to appear, so it's definitely a good change. Placeholders also now appear for images that haven't yet been processed in the image browser.
As well as these improvements to performance and operation, DxO Optics Pro 9.1 supports eight new camera models from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony. Of these, two -- the Olympus E-M1 and Sony A7R -- are supported only in the Elite version of Optics Pro. Newly-supported cameras include:
- Canon PowerShot S120
- Canon PowerShot G16
- Nikon D5300
- Olympus OM-D E-M1 (Elite edition only)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
- Pentax K-500
- Sony Alpha A7R (Elite edition only)
- Sony Alpha NEX-5T
And that's not all for the changes in Optics Pro 9.1. There's also a new Export to Facebook function, which will be welcomed by the social media crowd. (And these days, that's most of us.) DxO Labs has also fixed a number of bugs, including an error when opening iPhone 5s photos if you had the iPhone 5 module installed, and the Advanced Settings section of the Export to Disk pane losing its display state.
In addition, DxO Optics Pro 9.1 now supports the new features of DxO FilmPack 4.5. For those not familiar with the app, DxO FilmPack allows simulation of various real-world and not-so-real-world film types. Think of it as Instagram on steroids (and your pictures don't have to be square, either).
DxO FilmPack 4.5 has two new film types on offer: Agfa Scala 200x and Kodak Ektar 100. There are also six new designer presets, although four of these are available only in FilmPack Expert version. There are quite a few other new features only available in Expert version, including variable frame sizes (including the ability to play frames outside of the image), variable light leaks, and the ability to apply toning to frames, textures, and light leaks. Hand-in-hand with this, your frames, textures, and light leaks can now be accessed and previewed separately from the toolbar in FilmPack Expert. Finally, the Expert edition also a new tone curve tool, and can optionally, automatically protect saturated colors to prevent clipping. Both standard and Expert editions also bring various bug fixes and stability improvements, although these aren't specified.
Available immediately, DxO Optics Pro 9.1 is priced at US$170 for the Standard edition, or US$300 for the Elite edition. Special holiday pricing of US$100 for Optics Pro 9 Standard or US$200 for Optics Pro Elite is available through December 25, 2013.
Customers who've purchased Optics Pro 8 since September 1st, 2013 are eligible for a free upgrade. Those who purchased before that date will find upgrade pricing detailed in the DxO Labs customer center. A one-month time-limited trial is also available.