I've prepared an image shot using a Canon 70-300mm DO USM lens, prepared with and without DXO Optics Pro. Firstly by opening a native RAW CR2 file from my Canon 5Dmk 2 in Lightroom 2.3 and then, with a mild recovery adjustment, exporting a 16Bit TIF to photoshop where I applied Focus Fixer v.2 at an auto deblur of 1.6. The second file has been sent from RAW CR2 in Lightroom and 'edited' in DXO with default settings, then returned to LR as a 16 Bit TIF. No further adjustments were applied and the image was sent to Photoshop for a Focus Fixer auto deblur of 1.6. This is using Scenario 2 in DXO Optic's guide to integrating LR with the program.
Both images were then converted to sRGB from ProPhoto and downsized 16>8bit before exporting to web as JPGs. No other sharpening has been applied to either image.
I use a fully calibrated 23 HD cinema screen with a 2005 Powermac G5 and on my screen the images are night and day, but web JPGs would obviously show less differences.
Processing the image without DXO took about 80 seconds to output (including focus fixer filter time.)
Processing the image via DXO took about 4 minutes to output (also including focus fixer time).
I then have my original CR2 file and an edited TIF in the same folder: the first file at about 25mB and the TIFF at about 120 MB.
So with potentially thousands of files to come in the future my hard drive requirements (including backup) are going to escalate and time management is going to be critical.
Scenario 1 in DXO's guide involves converting native CR2 files to linear DNGs before importing to LR or Photoshop. These are also about 120MB each if 16 Bit.
So far I am really impressed with DXO's unique capabilities, but am dreaming of the prospect of upgrading to a MacPro with say four 1TBdrives and a RAID card but will have to work hard for the funds...
The second image seems to have lost some shadow detail, at least it does on my monitor. This can be seen in the bee's body. As mentioned above, 100% crop would be more telling. BTW, which pic better represents the true color of the flowers? To my eye, it would be somewhere in between the two. I wish you had included the original raw image without edits.
Also, how much bang for the buck does Focus Fixer provide? I've never used it, but are its results any better than pre-sharpening and adding clarity in either LR of CO1?
As to the 4 mins needed for this process: I use CO1 > LR and hate the ingesting process which takes too much time. Guess that's why I hate using two programs. I just took 700 shots at the Santa Barbara Solstice Festival and it took about 4 mins to apply one of my preset recipes to all the files and start exporting them as tifs. Once in LR, I will take 10 or 15 minutes to pick the keepers. After this point I will make crops and use CS4 or any other add-on programs as needed. Time is always the issue.
You are going to run into HD capacity issues with these size files. I use a Mac Pro with 3 tb and several external HDs. Even so, I try not to save anything that isn't necessary. I ingest to a 1 tb photo drive on my Mac and to a 1 tb ext HD.
I just took 700 shots at the Santa Barbara Solstice Festival. After ingesting, it takes a few minutes to apply a preset recipe (CO1) to all 700 images. They after exporting the tifs and importing into LR.