DxO PureRAW 2 Can Work From Within Lightroom, Increases Speed, and Adds New Cameras and Lenses

DxO PureRAW 2 Can Work From Within Lightroom, Increases Speed, and Adds New Cameras and Lenses

DxO PureRAW is a permanent part of my photographic workflow. Before anything else, I take my raw files from my mirrorless camera and my drone through PureRAW first. It checks my camera and lens data and outputs a raw file with corrections that eliminate lens distortions, vignetting, noise, and a host of other issues specific to my hardware. Here's my review of what was a must-have the last time around. 

Today, DxO is releasing a second generation of the DxO software, DxO PureRAW 2. According to DxO, PureRAW 2 offers two new integrations to make the workflow even smoother. In Lightroom Classic, users can right-click on several raw files and have DxO PureRAW 2 process the images, creating newly enhanced Linear DNG files back in the same folder without having to step outside of the application. Similar functionality is now integrated into Windows File Explorer and the macOS Finder: simply right-click files and choose from the context menu to start the process.

In addition, DxO PureRAW 2 now supports raw files from X-Trans sensors, bringing the benefits of DeepPRIME corrections to Fujifilm X Series photographers. Users can expect clean images, free of noise and artifacts, with deep, vibrant colors, even at high ISO levels.

DxO DeepPRIME claims a significant upgrade in speed. Not only is it more responsive, but processing and export times have also been improved — up to four times faster on Apple Silicon machines and up to 1.5 times faster on the latest Windows computers. HiDPI displays are now supported, offering a useful feature to photographers on Windows machines.

Finally, there are updates to DxO’s Optics Modules, bringing the total number of supported camera and lens combinations to more than 70,000. Camera updates include Sony, Fuji, Nikon, Sigma, Canon, and the new DJI Mavic 3 drone.

Working With PureRAW 2

I've taken this latest version out for a spin and found it a notable improvement on both my Intel-based iMac and especially on my MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip. 

I also appreciated that DxO has added more camera and lens combinations, in particular for me, the new Sony a7 IV. Since PureRAW offers a split-screen before and after view, it's easy to see the improvements in sharpness, noise reduction, color correction, lens artifacts, geometry corrections, and vignetting. I also use PureRAW with images from my DJI Air 2S drone, and those images are also visibly improved. (You won't see many improvements in this compressed JPEG, but in the full-size raw file, they stand out.)

The only thing I don't get out of PureRAW 2 is getting rid of motion artifacts. I use Topaz Sharpen AI, which is a miracle worker with any image that is blurry, and it especially helps with drone photos in low light. For those images, I start with PureRAW, then open the DxO-improved raw image in Camera Raw, then use the Topaz Sharpen AI plugin from within Photoshop. I did test the Lightroom Classic integration of PureRAW 2, and it worked as advertised, so Lightroom users will be pleased. 

For a complete list of cameras and lenses added to PureRAW 2, check the DxO site

What I Liked

  • DxO PureRAW 2 is fast and reliable. I've yet to find a raw file that is not improved with PureRAW 2, as was the case with the original version.
  • The tight integration with Lightroom, and with macOS and Windows OS is a plus, especially nice for running multiple images at once.
  • The GUI for PureRAW is simple and does not have a manual to figure out. Open your raw files, let PureRAW do its thing, and you can preset what application you want that raw file to get exported to.
  • The price is reasonable as either a first-time or upgrade: $129 for new users, $79 for an upgrade from version 1.0.

Complaints

  • None. DxO PureRAW does what it advertises and improves every image it sees. 
  • It doesn't reduce motion blur, but that's not part of its design. Topaz Sharpen AI does that very well.
  • It's not M1 native on a Mac, but DxO has worked with Apple and PureRAW runs demonstrably faster on Mac silicon. It certainly did on my tests. I'd be happier still when PureRAW goes native.

One thing I do that is very enjoyable was to take really old raw files from my archive and let PureRAW have a crack at them. I'm amazed at the improvement in my older, now long-gone cameras and lenses. I've reprocessed these images, and they have never looked better.

So, there you have it. DxO PureRAW is a revolutionary product, worth making slight adjustments to your workflow for the improvements it offers. It outputs a raw file, so the rest of your workflow is undisturbed. DxO PureRAW 2 gets my highest recommendation. 
 

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16 Comments
Stephen Brown's picture

Expensive update. At launch, PureRAW 1.x was about $90. Now this update comes out less then a year since I purchased v1 and its priced at $80....

Greg Edwards's picture

I’ve not used pureraw, but I understand it creates tiff based dng files that are substantially larger than the original raw files, sometimes as much as 3 times as big.

Has this been improved or optimised in the new version?

toni 2's picture

"creating newly enhanced Linear DNG files" So it creates new DNG files from camera RAW files.

Greg Edwards's picture

Hmmm, I'm still at a loss, even after reading this...

https://www.dxo.com/tech-news/linear-dng/

toni 2's picture

Luckily you can try it, there is a free trial.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Not an issue for me. Here's my event workflow:

1 - Select in Lightroom Classic.
2 - Rename and send selections to PhotoLab.
3 - Adjust and send processed DNGs back to Lightroom.
4 - Export web- and print-rez JPEGs from the DNGs.
5 - Deliver.
6 - Upon receipt of payment, delete the DNGs.

As I save the .dop sidecar files in the same folder with the RAW files, I can easily generate DNGs or TIFs from PhotoLab again at a later date if needed.

Regarding Step 3, I do this rather than exporting JPEGs directly from PhotoLab to take advantage of Lightroom's excellent output sharpening, which particularly helps the web-rez files look crisp online.

Benjamin Forbes's picture

Reviews for those that can get it to work are excellent. Dxo has treated me horribly, my common camera and lense combo is not supported and the will not refund.

Guillaume Lebrasseur's picture

Hi, just to know, What is your camera model ?

toni 2's picture

There is a free trial before to buy.

Jacques Cornell's picture

DxO has a list of supported cameras and lenses that you can consult before you buy. You might send them a request for support of your particular combo. They're constantly adding new profiles.

Jacques Cornell's picture

"DxO DeepPRIME claims a significant upgrade in speed. Not only is it more responsive, but processing and export times have also been improved — up to four times faster on Apple Silicon machines and up to 1.5 times faster on the latest Windows computers."

This is new to PureRAW, but was already seen with DxO PhotoLab 5 Elite. It is, indeed, 4x faster, cutting my M1 Mac mini's processing time for my 42MP RAWs from 40 seconds to 10. This was already 2x faster than PhotoLab 4 on my cylinder Mac Pro. If you're a high-volume high-ISO shooter like me (I shoot corporate events), this is game-changing.

As for the price, if you're a working pro, think of what you'd pay to get for hardware to get two stops less noise. The price of PureRAW or PhotoLab is a pittance by comparison. Best money I ever spent on photo tools.

J. W.'s picture

Thanks for the info. I was hoping it’s was something new and that it did shrink the file size. I already have Photolab 5 Elite, and I’ve been using it with LR already by creating temp DNGs that I use to edit in LR. Once the job is done, I keep the raw files and delete the DNG’s.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Yeah, that's what I do. Send DNGs to LRC, export web- and print-rez JPEGs for delivery to my event clients, then go back after receipt of payment and delete the DNGs and move the project from my external SSD to my spinning-platter archive. I could just export the JPEGs directly from PL5, but LRC's smart output sharpening makes my web-rez images look crisper online.

EDWIN GENAUX's picture

Dxo and RAW 2 are great. The key difference between Topaz Denoise AI and Dxo Raw 2 is once an image processed in Dxo or Dxo RAW 2 is that if brought into PS/Lr or any other program it will see the lens used vs the TIFF from Topaz Denoise AI if brought into PS/LR you have no LC selection like you would have it just first in Lr. You can fully edit in Dxo also like you would in Lr. There are times you may want to edit in ON1 Photo RAW that may may not have your lens but Dxo may have it so you can do Dxo RAW then import Going from Lr to Dxo or ON1 PhotoRAW and back is nice. Lr as LC on even unchipped lenses you can select like the old Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 or say the Voigtlander 12mm 5.6 aspherical ultra wide heliar vm mount. Lens Correction is off subject but it is something needed in the beginning of PP'ing as well noise reduction that is why RAW 2 has that function.
Noise Correction and Lens Corrections have come a long way from C1 and using a white plastic square in front of a lens to get a LC but even NC was hard to come by.
All in All using Lr first to get a lens correction and some edits with the new masking then sending to Topaz Denoise and back and forth to Gigapixel and Sharpen is fast and easy.
The two images using Topaz Denoise over and over I was able to brighten the foreground vs very dark the first no flash was used the second the Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 a 30s shot was very dark foreground. These were done some years ago when Topaze AI's came out. but you see you can have options. The last is why you also want LC is a 2015 image with the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, not chipped, and no LC for a couple years had bad mustache distortion on the horizon, correction and noise redone this year.

Daniel Grossman's picture

Can someone tell me why, when I process an image with Pure Raw 2, I don't get a processed image but a blackout, just like a black screen. DxO support is not being very helpful.

Sterling Steves's picture

I also thought the upgrade pricing was out of line. I also purchased it originally for $80 or $90 and the difficulty in using it in my workflow was not what I expected. This new version is what the first version should have been. Integraion into LR is still not perfect. I export to PureRAW and it reimports the file for some reason after about 20 seconds after its done into a separate collection file where I have to drag it into the original collection I triggered it from.
This should have been a free upgrade or low cost one for early adopters of 1.0. They should also have a referral program link where I could get credit for making referrals to others with the product. I honestly haven't been openly talking about it much as I consider it a valuable tool in giving me an edge in my work. It performs almost miraculously at times in what it does.