DxO Labs announced a new version of its raw image editing software Tuesday that sports what the company says is a streamlined, more adaptable interface and an ability to extract a better ultimate image from those that begin with lots of noise.
DxO Optics Pro is designed for the sometimes laborious process of converting raw images that come from higher-end digital cameras into more easily viewed and handled formats such as JPEG. Although it takes work, using raw images can provide more flexibility and quality than using JPEGs straight from the camera--and with the new DxO Optics Pro, lower noise at high ISO settings, the company said.
Specifically, the noise reduction technology in DxO Optics Pro version 6 can reduce noise well enough to effectively give a photographer one more usable F-stop out of a camera than the previous version did, said Cyrille de La Chesnais, director of sales and marketing for photography at the Paris-based company. That means a photographer could shoot at a faster shutter speed or in dimmer conditions.
That can be useful especially with modern SLRs; Canon's 5D Mark II and Nikon's D700 can both shoot at an extreme ISO of 25,600, and Canon's new 1D Mark IV and Nikon's new D3S can shoot at a whopping ISO 102,400. The images are extremely noisy in those cases, but noise reduction can help extract a more useful image. However, raw processing software can be slow even on machines with abundant processing power.
Getting a one F-stop improvement means a photographer could use ISO 25,600 instead of holding the line at 12,800. Alternatively, for a camera such as Canon's G10 high-end compact that tops out at ISO 1,600, photographers can effectively shoot at ISO 3,200 by underexposing the image by a full stop then brightening it later in software. … Read more