A flexible solution for processing raw image files, PhotoLab Essential Edition from DxO lets you manage, edit, and export imagery with control at all stages. Now incorporating Nik Software's capabilities, Local Adjustments are possible using the intuitive U-Point technology for selectively adjusting portions of an image without affecting the global appearance. An Automatic Repair Tool can also be used to quickly and efficiently remove small problem areas from an image and replace them with similar tones and colors from a targeted area. For refining the look of photos, Smart Lighting is an intelligent function that helps to recover details from raw files in order to increase the effective dynamic range in under- and overexposed scenes. Similarly, a Spot Weighted mode can be used to simulate the control of spot metering while shooting, and allows you to prioritize brightness values on specific areas of an image. Denoising technology also works to preserve detail in exposures made in dark and low-light conditions where excess image noise can be distracting.
Beyond the range of tools dedicated to enhancing clarity and detail, PhotoLab also makes use of the vast amount of research DxO has put into testing cameras and lenses, and provides more than 40,000 optics modules to improve image quality specifically in regard to certain camera and lens combinations. These modules work to correct various aberrations and distortions, and a Lens Sharpness tool also helps to improve overall sharpness.
Also helping to produce well-balanced brightness and contrast values in imagery, a Spot Weighted mode has been added that serves to mimic spot metering precision in camera with the ability to fine-tune results during post-production. This mode uses raw image data and can prioritize brightness values on smaller regions of an image while maintaining a natural appearance about the rest of the image. Smart Lighting, similarly, uses face detection technology to apply an intelligent tone map across the entire photo to balance exposure and contrast while prioritizing brightness on recognized faces.
- U-Point Technology, from Nik Software, is fully integrated within DxO PhotoLab and allows you to use Selection Control Points to adjust both raw and JPEG images by placing a point in the area you want to adjust. The software then automatically detects and replaces neighboring colors for a smoother, more accurate appearance.
- A brush selection tool lets you paint the areas of the image you wish to adjust, and the selection can be adjusted or fine-tuned before applying a correction. Similarly, an Auto Mask tool creates intelligent selections by automatically detecting regions with similar colors.
- Using the Gradient tool, you can simulate the look of graduated neutral density filters to adjust the exposure, contrast, and vibrancy of a bright region of an image, such as a sky. You can also draw attention directly to a subject in the frame by darkening edges or adding selective lens blur effects.
- Helping to preserve detail when minimizing the appearance of digital noise in both JPEGs and raw files, denoising technology works to maintain faithful color saturation in shadow and regions of an image.
- Smart Assistance Settings, including optical defect corrections, luminosity and contrast adjustments, denoising, and color corrections, are automatically turned on by default, however each of these automatic processes can be disabled and applied manually if desired.
- Image settings can be copy/pasted from one image to another, and, when applied to a new image, intelligent algorithms will be adapted to the content of each image.
- Images can be exported to multiple formats with a single click, and images can be posted directly to social media sites including Facebook and Flickr.
- Files do not need to be imported into DxO for use; browsing is supported on any folder from any device or drive.
- Via a dedicated plug-in, DxO PhotoLab can be integrated with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for a seamless workflow that enables the use of both editing applications.
- The workspace can be fully customized to suit your individual workflow, including the ability to configure the interface to suit dual monitor setups.
- A red-eye correction feature has been added that makes use of both face- and eye-detection capabilities, and automatically identifies red-eye and corrects it in a batch process.
- Benefitting from DxO's equipment calibration and profiling, consistent color rendering is possible regardless if you choose to maintain the same color profile as recorded by your camera or choose to use an alternate color rendering profile to match other series of photos.
- Saturated colors can be maintained during adjustments to brightness and contrast in order to draw out greater detail and protect color fidelity.
- One-click dust spotting can be used to eliminate specks or marks in imagery caused by dust on your lens or sensor. This tool can also be used in batch-processing to eliminate dust on groups of imagery.
- Images can be sorted using various criteria, such as camera type, ISO value, processing status, and virtual copy number.
- Printing is possible from PhotoLab, with the ability to produce both large-scale prints as well as contact sheets with full control over printing layout, color profiles, rendering, sharpness, the inclusion of metadata, and more.
- When working with Mac OS X operating systems and compatible hardware, full support of Retina displays is afforded for high resolution viewing.
- This license permits installing and activating this software on up to two different computers.