DxO PHOTOLAB 4 is Available!

I hadn’t even heard of HEIC until I saw this. I see that right now the interest seems Apple-driven. Since I stay away from Apple products, it’s not surprising I haven’t heard a lot about it.

As a JPG replacement/alternative, it sound great. Anything that decreases files sizes and retains more image quality has to be a good thing—once everything gets updated to handle it. And most image-handling programs are already well set up to read dozens of file formats; one more shouldn’t be a problem.

But it’s not a RAW replacement at all. PL needs the RAW sensor data in order to do some of its magic. For instance, I believe that PRIME, DeepPRIME, and Lens Sharpening are all applied before or together with demosaicing.

PL handles JPGs and TIFFs with some feature reduction. I’m sure they’ll support HEIC if it becomes prevalent, but not before. And it should be a low-priority item. Right now, they don’t even support Canon’s sRAW and mRAW files, which are also not RAW files but are produced by cameras DxO supports.


Yes, both files need to be renamed if you don’t want to lose your changes.

File Explorer doesn’t automatically rename the pair, but one can manually rename both the RAW and DOP files using File Explorer. The renaming doesn’t have be “instantaneous”. Take as long as you like as long as PL isn’t running.

Renaming while PL is running might create some problems. If you haven’t modified the file you are renaming, you’re OK (there’s no DOP file). I did a little testing and sometimes PL gets a little confused and creates a second DOP file, but it does seem to retain all changes. It’s clearly relying on the database. I’m not sure what algorithm they are using, but it seems like this is a bug.

Congrats team DXO :slight_smile:

HEIC is better than JPEG like AAC is better than MP3 and h.264 is better than [whatever it replaced]. While Apple Music/iTunes has been AAC for years, the vast majority of consumer audio is MP3 because… habits.

In the video world h.264 and now h.265 are taking over. Video size is a much bigger problem than image or audio size, so it moves ahead.

The problem with File Explorer, when renaming multiple pairs of {image+sidecar} pairs, is that it does not necessarily rename them in the order you’re expecting … that is, not necessarily {image#1+sidecar#1}, then {image#2+sidecar#2}, etc … Instead, it may be renaming files in the order that they physically appear on the storage medium (unsorted), or whatever … the order cannot be guaranteed.

So, if PL is running when a rename is underway via File Explorer then there may be sufficient delay, between rename of image#1 and related sidecar#1, such that PL has time to detect a “new” image file that does not appear to have a related sidecar file … so, PL creates a new sidecar file to match it.

Your utility is obviously avoiding these pitfalls - - but I’m laying out these details for the benefit of others.

John M

Agreed. And although mentioned at various times in threads such as this, it seems that nobody has actually created a proposal to optionally turn off the database. Now there is one.

You can vote here: Provide the option to use PhotoLab without a database.


My utility program is not avoiding anything. Normally, in the rare case that I rename things while PL is running, it is usually after I’ve uploaded files, in which case I have no DOPs. When I do rename DOPs, I’m usually not running PL.

Your posts got me interested in checking to see what happens. Here’s my first test and what I found:

  • I selected an image and customized it. A matching DOP file was created.
  • I renamed the DOP file, then made a second change. A new DOP was created with all the changes. I found I had to wait a bit for this to happen, so it’s clear the changes go only into the database for a while and the DPO file update lags a bit. I’ll get back to this.
  • I then renamed the image file. On my Windows system, PL picked up this change immediately. It also immediately found the matching DPO file and updated it.

I then had a left-over DPO file with the old name and a RAW/DPO file pair with the new name and the latest data. At that point, the left-over DPO could be deleted. An attempt to rename it would yield a message about a name conflict.

What if I had managed to rename the image before PL realized the DPO was missing? I don’t know. PL seems to pick up image name changes immediately, so I think it would then overwrite the renamed DPO with the same exact data. The only difference, then, would be the lack of a left-over DPO file.

I also tried reversing the rename order:

  • I selected an image and customized it. A matching DOP file was created.
  • I renamed the image file. I waited around for a while. No DOP file was created.
  • Option 1: I changed the image. A new DOP file was created with all the changes (and the new name). The original DOP was again left over and can be deleted.
  • Option 2: I renamed the DOP file to match before making any further changes. Further changes to the image went into the renamed DOP.

So, other than sometimes getting a left-over DOP, manual renames don’t seem to be a big problem, even while PL is running.

This is interesting. Does File Explorer have a batch rename facility I don’t know about?

This made me think of a third case: I rename a file that I am not currently working on. I tried it with one file and, again, the name change was detected immediately. A matching DOP was immediately created, so that was different. The original DOP became an instant left-over. However, if I then deleted the new one and renamed the original, it would make no difference. Both have the same data.

So far, I haven’t found a path that does anything worse than leave an extra deletable file lying around. I didn’t find any cases that lost data. Have you?

Yes, I have. That’s why I’ve learned to be cautious. But I’m not here for a long discussion - I’m just wanting others to understand the issues - as they don’t have the benefit of your rename utility.


You remain under the illusion that my rename utility magically makes me immune from renaming problems—I have no idea why.

You want others to “understand the issues”, yet I don’t see you providing any understanding—just a generic warning that I can’t confirm as being a problem, whether renaming by hand or by software,

If you’ve covered the problem in detail elsewhere, a link is fine. Or you could start a new post with the detailed explanation. I’m sure it would be useful to others and I agree that this is not the best place for this discussion.

OK, you’ve sucked me back in :grin:

The reason I say that your utility is working well for you is that it’s obviously working optimally in the task of renaming {image+sidecar} files whilst PL is running … and I say “obviously” because if it was not then you would have experienced some issues by now.

I’m also guessing/assuming it works much like mine, in that it renames images in pairs of {image+sidecar} files (or, perhaps yours handles renaming of only one pair at at time? - which would further explain why you have not experienced any renaming problems whilst PL is running) - and it renames the sidecar/.dop file first, before its related image file. Following these “rules” will avoid renaming issues.

If you want to pursue this any further, send me a PM and I’ll be happy to discuss.

John M

I was so looking forward to using this version after beta testing it, but it appears I was deemed “not involved” even though I raised a couple of queries/issues and tested every release.

Ah well, back to what I know then. But congrats on getting it out to market.

I read all your posts and I suspect it was because none of your posts addressed any of the new features being tested for this release. In any case this public thread is not the appropriate location for this conversation.


Smartphone photos are the obvious application - PL doesn’t support raw files except from iPhones, so the next best is HEIC files.

I’m going to presume that was aimed at me? In which case, please suggest a better spot? I

There are a number of reasons why that could be and OTOH one such is that I didn’t find any issues and I’m certain I read somewhere you didn’t want to get bogged down with “works here” or “no problems here” type messages. Clearly that’s not the case and so be it …

As I said - congrats on getting it to market.

You are asking me suggest a better spot? Post to one of the appropriate Early Access threads. If you were involved at all you should be aware of that…



And that sort of attitude is a prime reason why I intend to have as little as possible to do with DxO going forward.

@stubbyd, please be extra-aware that you’re talking with fellow customers here, not DxO employees. My best wishes to you for addressing your concerns with DxO.

I apologize if you feel that I insulted you.
Perhaps I could have worded my response a little differently. However you did not seem to understand that we should not be discussing your concerns in this thread and asking me for a better location was very surprising to me. I was attempting to give you an idea where you could post. If you want specifics, please send me a private message and I will be happy to go into more detail.


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No insult was taken, but did I feel that I was being ‘put in my place’ sure… but apology accepted and as @Egregius has pointed out, I had presumed you were a DxO employee. My apologies for that mistake, but then I hadn’t expected a fellow use to get ‘concerned’ about my concerns.


You can tell whether someone is a DXO Labs staff member by the DXO in the bottom right of their avatar. Feel free to send me a private message if you want to discuss this further.