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

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.


What is wrong with using the sidebar for local adjustment?
Personally I would prefer that to the local adjustment menu that is in my way more often than not…


I prefer sidebar for global adjustments and floating local adjustment control bars. It would be very nice to have a very fast way to make the control bars appear and disappear. Perhaps there’s a keyboard shortcut which I don’t know about (although at one point I did compile a list of keyboard shortcuts).


I have never said that I don’t like the structure of Photolab. I only ask, and I’m not the only one, that it allows me to compare images as practically all programmes do. That doesn’t distort the “spirit” of the software. Or do you think it does?

Comparing images is more the province of DAM/triage tools. As DxO rather ambitiously would like position PhotoLab as a DAM, yes compare should be there.

The half-baked DAM which runs contrary to the functionality of a RAW editor will continue to create no end of trouble for DxO. Travelling on roads with a heavy truck where one needs a four-wheel drive vehicle only ends up in a very bad ride for the passengers and broken axles.

I’m not against a DAM but it should be made to pull its own weight as an add-on like ViewPoint or FilmPack and should be fully developed and high performance piece of software not the half-baked clumsy tool it is now, which shames DxO’s reputation as the developer of a first rate RAW development tool which is unequivocally the best high ISO RAW development tool in the world.


In LR just select two images and press the C key to compare, in C1 select the ones you want and press the G key. I don’t see how it would affect the workflow, it’s just a matter of discarding images that look similar to each other. We don’t need to use the RAW files for this, just the embedded JPGs.
But maybe I’m wrong…


Culling and comparing has to be fundamental functions for a prof Raw Developer in my opinion


That’s where the arguments start. PhotoLab users are accustomed to getting rendered RAW and that’s what they want. Any time you give PhotoLab users pre-rendered previews and remove the ability to edit, trouble starts.

The PhotoLab render engine is not particularly fast. Certainly not fast enough for a DAM. A whole new infrastructure based on saved jpeg previews is required for DAM/triage. Comparing images is really more a process for triage (FastRawViewer which is $20 and is mostly cross-compatible with PhotoLab 5: ratings yes, exposure adjustments no) does allow image comparison.

If you are talking about image comparison of finished images, DeepPRIME which is essential for any images over 1600 ISO does not show up at all in previews. An artist or serious photographer who wants to see the final results before approving PhotoLab edits, exports his/her finished edits for preview. Once the images are exported for preview you can compare with the tool of your choice. FastStone is very good on Windows. There isn’t a great choice on macOS for comparing similar images. The best viewer LilyView only showcases singles. LilyView flips so quickly between images and keeps them perfectly aligned so it’s quite possible to compare versions just with the arrows.

If I really need side to side comparison, I usually end up opening both images in Preview if I need side to side. Side-by-side in PhotoLab would be fine if it’s simple (none of this rotating between a set of eight geek nonsense for software engineers). Still side-by-side in PhotoLab is almost useless for finished images as the processing can only be fully previewed in rendered masters.

I’m obviously not a computer engineer, you know much better its inner working, but PL has two tabs, PhotoLibrary and Customize, and I’m not sure that in the first one I’m looking at a raw and not a jpg, otherwise it seems a waste of resources…

Unless you explicitly export an image, you will only ever see the RAW image, rendered according to any presets you have applied.