I would like to share some findings using DxO Optics Pro (DOP) with dng output. This would be useful if you like DOP optical corrections (distortion, lens softness, etc.) and prefer LR/ACR edits, especially for color (or you don´t have the new version of LR/ACR with optical corrections).
This is not intended to compare optical corrections between DOP and LR/ACR
I have seen a few comments here and in other on-line forums about color issues with DOP, which could be summarized as:
- Output Tiff or Jpeg: Color spaces can be either sRGB or AdobeRGB1998. Even if you manually select another (like ProPhoto RGB) it will actually convert Adobe RGB to ProPhoto at the end, so you don´t gain anything. It is like opening the file in PS with AdobeRGB and converting to ProPhoto. This can be shown using gamut plots, but it is not the purpose of this post.
- Input other than Raw: If your input file is jpeg or tiff, DOP works only with sRGB. If you open a file in AdobeRGB it will "assign" (not "convert to") sRGB. This I consider as a big issue, especially if you planned of using DOP as an external editor to LR. Don´t use it that way.
The case with DNG output:
Are there advantages of using DNG output? for some time it has been argued the utility of such output over tiff, that it is not a raw file, etc.
After several test, I would say they are worthed if you plan to continue your processing in LR/ACR.
- Yes, they are not Raw, but demosaiced and interpolated files (linear dng)
- However, those files have not been color space encoded. When you open them in LR/ACR, you could still select a camera profile and white balance as in a Raw file
- A nice finding: The ColorChecker Passport software will accept a DOP dng, so you could generate a dng profile from it
- Since it has not been color space encoded, you could use the ProPhotoRGB space from LR/ACR
It is important to note that if you perform exposure adjustment or white balance correction in DOP, it will affect the dng file. This really matters if your raw file has any blown out area and plan to use recovery in LR/ACR. I´ll expand more about this later
Here are examples of the test:
The first image is a raw file (.NEF) processed in LR 2 with a dng profile created from the same image.
The second image is a raw file (.NEF) processed in DOP 6.5 only for optical corrections, output as dng. This dng has been used to create a dng profile with the X-Rite application and then the dng was processed in LR 2 using the dng profile previously generated.
Note: these first two images have been converted to sRGB for web viewing
The third image shows the areas that are outside AdobeRGB1998 (LR -> Tiff in ProphotoRGB -> PS gamut warning)
The fourth image shows the gamut plots. The one on the right side is the file that went through DXO. Both are compared to the AdobeRGB1998 colorspace (wire frame) to show an area outside of it in the yellow region. (These gamut plots have been generated with the tools in Argyll CMS and the Cortona 3D viewer)