I've just finished looking in more detail at DxO Optics pro on the Mac:
DxO Optics pro V6.2 review
Hope it's of interest.
It runs very well on my Mac Pro and my general thoughts are that it feels a lot tidier in design. I've always tended to use it for individual images in the past, so I've not looked in detail at the workflow aspects (such as integration with LR)
The conversion quality is improved, particularly in noise handling at high ISO.
I know it's not to everyone's taste (or pocket) but I look forward to using it for certain types of work until I get a 1Ds4 and then have to wait for my camera and lenses to be supported :-)
I really enjoyed your review! And totally agree.
I've been using various versions of this software for about 1.5 years and really like it. I find it as fast and easy as you want (especially for batch conversions), or you can fiddle to you heart's content. I love the workflow, and I do not import into Lightroom.
The quality of the output is outstanding and I much prefer it to ACR - which I also use for some cameras that I own - ones DXO does not yet support (and there is my biggest gripe!).
They need to be faster with their modules and more thorough. In my case, they still don't have an 85 1.2 module for the 5D MKII. Very frustrating (worse it tries downloading the Canon 85 1.8 module, and if you let it it will give you an error).
Also I have a GF1 for fun - still no support. This is a great little camera who's output would benefit greatly from DXO (but alas nothing yet), so I use ACR.
For some reason I always feel this software is not taken quite as seriously as Phase One (which I've also owned and used) or ACR.
My sense is that when you finally do get a lens module for your body, it is far better than the "home made" ACR modules - I think your examples bare that out.
If I were DXO I would start making deals to have it be the RAW conversion tool bundled with as many prosumer cameras as possible - once people try this software, I'm sure they will like it.
While it's not perfect, the quality of output and ease of use make it a winner in my mind - when time is of the essence and you want to be productive, this is the way to go.
Thanks again for your review!