Multi-shot feature for HDR merge / Focus stacking / Panorama stitching (merged subject)

(please read the note below)

Could you please implement a multi-shot feature to handle:

  • HDR merge (aka exposure bracketing merge)
  • Focus stacking
  • Panorama stitching

These 3 features rely on the same concept, merging together multiple shots and it therefore makes sens to handle this request as a whole instead of separate subjects imho.

Note: this thread was created for clarity purpose only. It merges (pun intended) several requests from different threads that dealt with the same subject on their own (90 votes combined at time of writing this).

Focus stacking

Panorama stitching

HDR merge

As a Fuji photographer, I have now returned to DxO and PhotoLab 5 after 8 years!

For me the mentioned features like panoramas, focus stacking and HDR would also be very interesting. Since these are now available in other products like ON1, Caputre One (22) …

Also fine would be a solution as Filmpack and ViewPoint which integrates seamlessly into PhotoLab as a separate DxO product. Which in turn would offer the possibility of choice for many users.

Thanks DxO for the support of the X-Trans - Bernd

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Both FilmPack and ViewPoint are already integrated into PL and have been for several versions

I think Bernd suggest an optional piece of software, similar to FP & VP, to deal with panoramas, focus stacking and HDR.

The idea sounds good if the new tools are also usable as a stand alone software, else I would prefer it to be integrated only in PL Elite.


Full integration into PL would be the best thing.
Personally panorama would be the most importand feature for me, followed by HDR.

I am not aware of any raw converter, that is one that doesn’t incorporate pixel editing like ON1, ACDSee etc, providing focus stacking. This would suggest DXO prioritises Pano and HDR as these will tax resources without going into new areas.Output would be the same as LR and C1, a linear dng and DXO can claim an end to end raw workflow as the others do.

Although I prefer to use dedicated applications for these tasks, I would agree with you that DXO will have to do this simply because of market demands.The fact that Capture One has conceded to market demands after always refusing such moves underlines the reality. Or they cooperate with Affinity photo to make the interaction between the two software packages seamless. This is my preferred option that would also benefit Affinity Photo in providing superb raw conversion without generating any issues with there highly integraded application system.

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Because I do macro work, focus stacking would be wonderful. At the moment, I use Affinity Photo and I must say, it is brilliant.

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I really believe that DXO will have to increase its possibilities, all its competitors offer more completes solutions.
His advance on optical corrections or noise management may no longer suffice.


I guess it is the reason why it is now called PhotoLab and no more Optics Pro … it will take some time to have « all » the features others have… but taking time and increasing quality is a good deal for me :smiley:

This would be the only way to keep good performance (a 180° pano with D850, I usualy finish with a photograph around 200 or 250 Mpix). All in PL, can’t do a fast workflow.

Dxo could sold Panorama & HDR & stacking solutions as standalone for both PL users and others… Economically more interesting to develop.

Yes, I support the inclusion of these features.

Personally I think DxO should stick to what they are good at and leave all these other functions to dedicated software. I do a lot of panorama stitching and use PL to export to my panorama software using dng with optical corrections only which works very well.


I am interested in stacking and stitching but there is a but.
1 the wider the options are to choose from the better the navigation and layout or the UI needs to be.(you don’t want to be lost in the the woods searching for a tree…:wink:)
2 the more the application needs to load the slower it gets, or you need a beast of a pc.
So segmented loading would be for this kind of work better. (as in a internal exportation of tiff’s to a seperate application, (like nik) so the workload is shifted. (indeed a autoreturn to PL of the result.)
3 this implements a third “sergant” application as like ViewPoint and Filmpack.
I am not implicating that dxo needs to be lauching a new program and charging a leg for this but more it must be not realtime stitching/stacking from raw file IF this implements a slow preformens overall of PL.
Ideal would be a bidirectional connection which allows you to change one of the images wile in stacking stitching mode by going back to PL’s rawfile to change for instance WB or point of view, export again to stack which replaces the old one.
This requires “temp files” which are 16bit tiffs, these needs to be able to clear out once a wile to safe harddisk space.

I am not often in a use of stacking or stitching.
Now i use Silkypix v10pro which has only stacking,(it’s a cheapcprogram if you use the panasonic only version, which don’t swallow DNG’s but tiffs are great.)

Before that i used ICE of windows and then i used the good old stacking app combineZP.( made for “starshooters” in the old day’s) was better then ICE back then.

So to conclude, it has to be flexible, non slowing down main app in iddle mode, above average in quality.
Not an easy task.

I can see one particular problem with DxO trying to include HDR merge/ stacking/panorama stitching…

Taking Affinity Photo as an example, once you import a stack of images into AP for merging, you are presented with a list of layers, that you can choose from, and that can be used to paste parts of one layer onto another in case of incorrect merging.

All this has to happen at the pixel level, not the RAW image level, thus forcing PL to become much more of a pixel and layer editor. It is my feeling that, as nice as these things are to have, implementing pixel layers and editing is a massive investment that could distract from maintaining and improving the RAW side of things for which PL is so well known and loved.


I like the idea of exporting great DNG files from PL and importing them into a good pixel editor (like Affinity Photo) to finish the job.

But of course if DxO has infinite ressources and also squeeze all the performance juice out of our computers I am okay with having an all integrated solution… one day.

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Unfortunately, although I agree with you in principal, and use dedicated software for Pano and HDR if DXO wants to continue to be successful in the raw converter product space adding these functions is important.

DXO was behind the curve with local editing and is playing catch up, and making huge progress. This development cycle was focused largely on improving the dam and providing Fuji support. The improvements to U-Point technology were excellent and have been well received.

The majority of this development cycle was in fringe areas dam and Fuji. Fuji support was definitely necessary and dam improvement worthwhile but did, I am guessing, soak up a lot of development time, that in the short term will not pay back the ROI. DAM has the potential to continue to be a bottomless pit in support time, but I hope I am wrong on this.

The development push for V6 needs to focus entirely on image editing, DXO’s main purpose, building on the layer based UI for local adjustments, mask editing, copying between layers/images, masking from colour and overall editing including pano and hdr. No one is currently doing focus stacking in a raw converter.

Lightroom already has this functionality and Capture One will add this in the next couple of months. C1 is a similar size to DXO so it shows that such functionality is possible.

My point about pano and hdr functionality being needed by the market is reflected in this Jim Nix video. DXO has to stay competitive in relation to the competition. I used to have a PowerPoint slide covering the need for continual improvement with the caption, “survival is not compulsory”. A company has to keep up, or preferably exceed the market increase in performance.

From what I can see, there are a few apps that can stitch/merge/stack from RAW files but you always end up with a bitmap, which might then need “tidying up”, which then means bitmap manipulation, which is something DxO haven’t yet done and, I’m guessing, would have some catching up to do.

There is still quite a list of refinements that need attending to in the RAW editing arena and I, for one, wouldn’t want to see DxO divert any more attention away from what they do best.

Yes and after a year of effort, the DAM is nowhere near as competent as its competitors and several people are finding that it doesn’t yet play nicely with other DAMs. Universal compatibility is a big ask and the majority of discussion on this area sees to be devolving down to “only use one DAM” and “I’ve already got a DAM”.

I’m sorry but I thought Jim’s video did PL5 no favours at all. He skimmed over Control Lines, which, apart from Fuji support, has to be the most powerful, fully working, part of this version. And I didn’t really get anything like what you are saying about pano and HDR.

If there was one thing I am screaming for, more than panos, etc, it’s the simple ability to flip images. I’ve done programming for rotation/flipping and it really isn’t rocket science. If you can rotate, you can flip.

I believe that merge/stack/stitch is done AFTER demosaicing and cannot be done on raw files. A lot of people think Lightroom does this on raw files but this is not the case as the resulting dng is not raw but a tif file in a dng wrapper.

I see this as being no different to doing lens correction and maybe denoising in PL and then sending the files to another program like Affinty Photo to do the merge/stack/stitch.

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I don’t want PL to be a jack of all trades and master of none. I use it for RAW conversion and doing that well is what I most care about.

IMO PL could be more helpful when processing multi-shot images for stacks etc. I would like to see a way to define a set of images which need similar processing (because they are a stack or panorama etc) and have PL mostly show and treat the set as if it were a single image. Export to disk to automatically created per set folders would be an important feature. Once I have identified say a set of 5 images as an exposure bracket PL should help me not need to identify that set again.

I think this would be good value for development effort. I don’t see DxO implementing any of the requests in this thread except maybe exposure merge/average because they already have in it Nik, but, why would they want to bake it into PL rather than leave it in Nik?

I definitely concur with this I’ve never had the opportunity to use software that had disability or should I say these abilities