This week, DxO released DxO PureRAW 2, the latest version of its RAW processing app and plugin. If you’re not familiar with PureRAW, it takes the same great DxO DeepPRIME RAW demosaicing and noise reduction technology as DxO’s all-in-one editor, PhotoLab, and lets you use it without changing your existing workflow. For example, if you use Adobe Lightroom, you can use DxO PureRAW 2 inside Lightroom to get the most quality out of your RAW files while still using Lightroom to perform all your edits. You can also use PureRAW 2 as a standalone app to prepare files before importing them into your photo software of choice. With PureRAW 2, it’s now possible to process RAW files within the macOS Finder or the Windows File Explorer.
At the heart of DxO PureRAW 2 is DeepPRIME. The technology relies upon artificial intelligence trained using billions of input and output samples. DxO writes, ‘Thanks to billions of carefully selected input and output samples, the artificial intelligence ‘learned’ the two fundamental operations of any RAW photo editing process: demosaicing and denoising.’ Traditionally, RAW editors perform demosaicing and denoising across separate steps, resulting in softer images with more noise. ‘By contrast, DxO DeepPRIME adopts a holistic approach and combines the two steps into one, giving exceptional performance. The results are spectacular: DxO DeepPRIME removes noise and recovers information without losing detail in the image’s colors, creating more even and natural transitions. Compared to DxO PRIME, the DxO algorithm which previously set the standard for denoising in the photo industry, DxO DeepPRIME delivers an improvement of around two ISO stops.’ DxO PureRAW 2 features massive speed improvements with DeepPRIME. On Apple Silicon, results are about 4x faster. On Windows machines, you can expect gains up to 1.5x.
Whereas apps like DxO PhotoLab 5, Adobe Lightroom and Capture One offer RAW processing and editing all in one app, DxO PureRAW 2 is more like a ‘pre-processor.’ You use the software to process your RAW image files before you edit them in a different application. DxO promises ‘superior image quality at the beginning of the editing process.’
Where DxO PureRAW 2 offers perhaps its biggest improvements is how the software fits into existing, highly varied workflows. PureRAW 2 can be used as a plugin or as a standalone app. PureRAW 2 incorporates two new integrations to smooth out existing workflows. In Lightroom Classic, users can right-click on a selection of RAW files and have PureRAW 2 process them as enhanced linear DNG files before putting them back into the existing root folder. Similar functionality is available in the macOS Finder and the Windows File Explorer. Simply right-click your file(s) and choose how you want to process the files from the context menu. Like within Lightroom or the standalone PureRAW 2, there are three quality options, HQ, Prime and DeepPRIME. If you aren’t on a time crunch, DeepPRIME is the way to go.
|DxO PureRAW 2 promises sharper images with less visible noise, such as this photo by Neil Villard. Click to enlarge.|
DxO PureRAW 2 also supports Fujifilm X-Trans cameras. This was first seen in DxO PhotoLab 5, but this is the first time PureRAW has offered X-Trans support. Supported Fujifilm X Series cameras include, but are not limited to, the Fujifilm X100, X-E, X-H, X-Pro and X-T series of cameras, including the popular X-T4. PureRAW 2 also includes support for many recent Bayer sensor cameras, like the Nikon Z9 and Sony A7 IV. PureRAW 2 supports more than 70,000 combinations of cameras and lenses.
Lenses are important to consider. Part of DxO’s RAW processing technology is sophisticated, lab-derived optical corrections. PureRAW 2 corrects for distortion, vignette, aberrations and diffraction using DxO’s renowned Optics Modules.
|Image credit: Philip Thurston|
DxO PureRAW 2 is available now for $129 for new users and $79 for upgrades. You can download a free 30-day trial by visiting DxO. Check out our review if you’d like to learn more about the original DxO PureRAW release.