DxO PL5 is missing simple, VERY important features and it's very frustrating

To develop photo editing software to meet endless expectations of users cannot be simple. Take it easy on the developers.

I support many of this user’s requests. For what it’s worth, I’m going to bold the ones I most strongly agree with.

  • Grid Overlay → cycle through different grid overlays, not just an arbitrary grid
  • The ability to compare 2 images
  • 1-click auto-mask foreground/background, AI? Even free mobile apps today have this, come on.
  • Ability to move Local Adjustments tools!!! Oh dear god, it’s always in the way!
  • Ability to paint, do more with local adjustments. Local mask for colour.
  • Ability to use ALL global adjustments in JPEGs too, not just RAWs.
  • Ability to use ALL local adjustments in JPEGs too, not just RAWs.
  • Proper Black & White editing mode.
  • True Colour Mixing / IR processing.
  • Allow rotate while cropping!!! Wow… This one is very, very, very important to me.
  • Ability to customise keyboard shortcuts, ANY and ALL functions.
  • Ability to flip horizontally or vertically an image I can’t believe one has to request this feature in a professional software that costs hundreds of dollars. Extremely simple feature, requested years ago in forums, devs responded, they don’t care.

I would also add making a short cut key for the horizon tool, or better, make it like LR and allow horizon within the cropping module.

I’d love it if Photolab just emulated much of LR’s shortcuts and editing modules.

To those saying “just get LR”: PL5 renders my Fuji RAF files so much better than LR.


Not a moan, yes a complaint. DxO advertises their software as “The best photo editing software… it’s that simple.” while boasting about being “up a notch” in “power and control”. It’s not the best if it’s lacking such basic features as a flip or the ability to customise a hotkey.
And exactly like @mwsilvers says, there’s a reason many of us are migrating to DxO, and it certainly isn’t the abundance of features as my post states! =P

I know the pricing of Lr+Ps, I just don’t agree to having my software tied to their online service. If their system crashes [and it has happened] I can’t open a program I bought ? Well, technically I didn’t even buy the program, I bought a subscription. So I don’t like that part, however that’s not the point of this thread. The point is that there are basic features [yes, present in Lr, but present in other professional or otherwise photo- related programs], like flipping an image vertically or horizontally, and the developers should add that super basic feature, rather than expect me to buy Lr AND PL so I can flip an image. I’m glad you’re another user, not a developer who answered this way, if it was a dev that would just show they are not trying to appeal to their base.


Dear @TomDX
Thanks for this feedback. As always, this helps us to confirm or update our roadmap which is (we confirm :wink:) based on different sources, our users feedbacks being one of the most important.
All the features described in your list have been identified.
All of them have been, are being or will be part of developments at DxO. Some of them will come very soon, some other next year and the rest in upcoming versions for sure.
So, keep posting your feedback and tell us more about your needs and workflows, this help us the most.
And of course…stay tuned!
Best regards


Hi Mushashi !
The forum already contains all you need to make PL better and adjusted to our needs. I understood that there are 2 approaches from the members, those who want a simple raw converter and those who want a LightRoom’s like software because they want to quit Adobe’s subscription system.

Personally, I’m between both :slight_smile: I need the basics but in a coherent workflow process from culling hundred of photos after a reportage (with the missing side by side tool), indexing them with metadatas (IPTC/XMP sidecar and not proprietary .DOP) and finally processing raw files. No need to print or making a book from Dxo PL. And one important thing, I want to stay inside DXO ! Don’t suggest me a photomechanic just for ingest/culling, or to add basic metadatas. It’s also the role of a Raw software in 2022 to assume it.
As a professional photographer, the less software I use during my workflow process the happier I am.

I would suggest to open a bug tracker tool, opened to the members to be able to add, vote, comment each features. Forum is nice to give feedbacks but features are lost or duplicate and finally lost if they do not have been integrated in aTodo list. Maybe it already exists in the DXO internal Information System but open it to us would enhanced the matching process between our needs and your roadmap/tasklist


Dear @Deneice ,

we have discussed the content of your last paragraph here Feature Request …how to handle - DxO PhotoLab / Which feature do you need? - DxO Forums
but the crowd wasn’t amused :blush:

best regards


Nice proposal @Guenterm !
Let’s wait and see the thoughts of the DxO Team.

Hope springs eternal

DxO makes a program for Lightroom users. It’s called PureRAW. I’m really glad that Photolab is quite unlike Lightroom. Rotating the image and then cropping is not difficult to do.

For the keyboard shortcuts, you can have them if you are on Mac. Keyboard Maestro will let you rewrite all the keyboard shortcuts for any app.

Flipping the image and the rest of it sounds a bit more like a job for a bitmap editor where one is creating digital art and not processing photos. The line has become blurred lately between RAW tools and bitmap tools like Affinity Photos or Photoshop, I’ll admit. But once we start down this path, there’s no satisfying the complainers. Until all of Photoshop is inside every RAW editor, the griping will go on.

Soon all of these RAW editors will become clumsy, top-heavy and unusable as too much functionality will have been shoved in.

I would be on board for better colour tools. What one can do with colour manipulation in CaptureOne is extraordinary. Not that I will defect soon to CaptureOne. I’ve spent years improving my skills in Photolab and not using CaptureOne at all. I can achieve much better results with colour in Photolab as it’s a tool that I know well.

I’d advise the ex-Lightroom crowd to take a similar approach. Photolab is not Lightroom nor it should be. Learn to use the tools and workflow Photolab offers properly, and less time carping about how Photolab is not Lightroom. It’s possible to achieve very good results in all three programs (Photolab, Lightroom, C1), what’s most important is knowing one’s tool


100% Agree, I was a longtime Lightroom (v1 to v6) user until I defected from Adobe when they went to a subscription model. I found PhotoLab 1.0 and never looked back. I like how PL works and I can produce the results I want very easily without the need to maintain a database catalog. Yes, there are some features missing that I could use but I can easily get by.


While flipping is not a common need, it’s handy.

I volunteer photo restoration work for a local historical society. The files I work with are scanned from the originals by other volunteers who, unfortunately, frequently scan films backwards. I open these files in Picasa, flip them, save and reopen in PL. It’s a minor workflow issue, but it would be easier if the flip could be in PL.


The proper way to scan film is by looking at the emulsion side, not the film side.

This, however, produces a “mirror” image that needs to be flipped. This is a basic tool that PL should have.


Hi Musashi,

Thank you for replying and reassuring me and everyone here that you guys are listening to us, DxO users and customers.

Is there a chance that roadmap could be shared with the public?

It really is discouraging when one reads posts like this one from 2020 that points out that the flip image feature was requested since 2018 and was marked as closed… So just a quick search tells me it was requested in 2018, in 2019, in 2020, and my post 2022, and that incredibly simple feature that I swear I can google and get you open source code to flip an image hasn’t been implemented in, according to DxO’s website, “The best photo editing software… it’s that simple.”

And I’ve found similar threads about image comparison.

This is why it would make a lot of sense for us, the customers, to know when will these requested and identified features be implemented, allowing us to feel listened to, and not outright ignored for years.

Could that feature roadmap, then, be published somewhere?

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I don’t understand this passivity either, but I’ve had enough of polemics on this forum. Even less so the conformism of answers like: PhotoLab is different, relax! Or that if it is full of functions it will become heavy and unmanageable, I don’t think that’s what happens to LR or C1. Or argue that it is a RAW developer and not a bitmap program.
Because it is a RAW developer and therefore non-destructive, it should include as many functions as possible to force us to go to programs like Photoshop only for very sophisticated final retouching.

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I am a bit caught between two stools, and I am aware that not everything we want can be implemented. Either because it is too unimportant for DXO, other improvements take up more resources, something is too cost-intensive to implement, etc…
At the same time, however, I ask myself why we are given options such as FRs, which are requested with many votes over long periods of time, but then nothing happens. I am only talking about the comparison mode of several images, better readable user interfaces, uniform user interfaces via the programme modules like FP, VP, NIK Tools etc…
For me, this has not been a coherent picture lately.
Now the only question is whether it makes sense to continue to participate so intensively here, or simply wait for the new versions.
I’m not quite sure about that myself.



For users, things always seems to be easy to do.
Sometimes you need to restart from the ground up before doing the actual thing you have to, or you will just regret it later when you want to do something else because you did not work on strong fondation.
I guess, technologically speaking, we are at a point where displays got bigger, more resolution, more bits, the OS evolved too.
So it will take it’s time but I am sure DxO is working on several things at the same time but only revealing a piece of it.

Here’s an overview of PhotoLab’s transformations from version 1 (left) to version 5:

We see all tools of DPL Elite without FilmPack and ViewPoint. While greyed out tools were unavailable in early versions, greyed out can mean inactive or unavailable now. Harder to read, and with a font that looks smaller too. It’s a pity that DxO has gone that way. Other features have evolved in a good way and overall performance has improved.

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Hi Mark,
I agree with the most of your statements and I understand the reasons not changing every request very well.
But I don’t know how often I have posted the almost unreadable palettes on my MBAir M1 in greatest brightness
And that can’t be so difficult for developers to make configurable.
For Image Background and grid color it is possible
All other programs are readable in a good way

grrrrrrrr :exploding_head:


Sometimes it is better to use a culling SW, when you have thousands of photos. In case of FastRawViever you can easily cull your images from memory card, and delete trash. Thus you will significantly reduce number of photos for import to the favourite Raw SW (C1, Lightroom, DXO…). It really saves time.


I disagree. It is never better to use different software packages when working on images, selecting the ones worth to make the transfer to the hard drive or into a catalog. Ratings, colour labels, keywords can easily eat up your time savings when you have to transfer this metadata into the RAW DAM (ok, DxO PL being the exception as it is heavily relying on 2nd and 3rd hand software to handle a workflow others can handle in one package). Also, culling directly on a memory card always increases the risk of losing images by deleting the wrong ones.

And whose time is saved? Are you sitting next to the PC to oversee the transfer process? I’m doing other things while the images are imported and previews are created.

Well, everybody has his/her own workflow, but in my book additional software never improves the result enough to be better than a good one with a workflow worth talking about.


PhotoLab fits into a niche where it’s easier to get a good result and even to put together a systematic workflow (the great preset functionality which for some reason most Lightroom and C1 users can’t be bothered to even try). I would argue that C1 has become too complex for normal use, although apparently the masking and layers have become easier in the last few versions (which I don’t own, as for better or worse I committed to PhotoLab).

So yes, I’d be really annoyed if DxO tried to shoehorn all the functionality of Lightroom, C1 and Photoshop into PhotoLab. Recently DxO more or less ruined the Nik tools by moving local adjustments into the sidebar. Software can become worse. Apple’s Aperture became significantly worse for advanced users from late v2.x to v3 (iPhotoification of Aperture).

Tant pis that you dislike the structure of PhotoLab. There are other approaches to software and applications which cater to your tastes. DxO even offers its crown jewels in a portable format (PureRAW) now for those who prefer other tools to PhotoLab.

To respond indirectly to another dubious recent post, not using a dedicated triage tool is simply dunderheaded. Even Lightroom users use FastRawViewer (which doesn’t require any databases or babysitting, everything is saved into highly compatible XMP files) and is much, much faster for triage than Lightroom. Lightroom FRV users enjoy portable exposure compensation, i.e. any changes made in FRV will carry over to Lightroom/Camera Raw/Bridge via XMP. Lightroom PhotoMechanic users enjoy pre-cropping controls which carry over to Lightroom/Camera Raw/Bridge via XMP.

I’d like to see PhotoLab read that exposure compensation data (FRV) and cropping data (PhotoMechanic) and apply it in PhotoLab. What bothers me, about PhotoLab and the new DxO is their middling lack of concern about interoperability with other programs. There have been all kinds of trouble making recent Nik plugins work in Affinity Photo or in Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop Elements.

For large shoots, a dedicated triage tool is the way to go. I only take four and five star photos into PhotoLab to do the last triage from 100 to 30 photos. There’s no way I’d want to bring 2000 odd photos (sport) into a RAW developer. Most people who shoot editorial/fashion/glamour professionally these days have similar exposure accounts. Perhaps wildlife shooters have smaller exposure counts, although most of them like to set their cameras to the highest exposures per second setting and sit on the shutter button too.

It’s only some art, portrait and landscape photographers who have low enough exposure counts these days not to benefit enormously from a dedicated triage tool.