Please remove the Nix Collection button 'advert' from PhotoLab

I don’t think I’m mocking anyone, and I’m not an apologizer for DXO. If you read all my posts you will see that over time I have written a number of them that are highly critical of DXO. I just try to do it without getting angry or nasty as some people do.

As far as the Nik button is concerned they definitely should have implemented it differently. It definitely doesn’t belong where it is and it should greyed out or hidden when the Nik Collection is not owned by the user. But I do have some confusion over the amount of anger and hostility some have displayed because of this errant button which seems extreme… While that button doesn’t belong where they put it, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.


Greyed out is not nearly good enough. Greyed out is a distraction and an eye sore.

Some of us are more design-centric and design sensitive than others. How anyone can work in Lightroom astonishes me. Every minute spent staring at that program is an excruciating episode of teargas level aesthetic pain.

Those of us who chose PhotoLab for its strict aesthetic and elegant minimalism are not here to subsidise its bastardisation at the hands of people with very limited commercial sense. The Nik v2 update couldn’t have been handled more poorly: overpriced while forcing PhotoLab users to acquire a second license (my thoughts have been clearly expressed elsewhere for new users the offer is fine, for those who owned only Nik v1 the offer is great).

What is clear to me at this point – even though I do occasionally use Nik – if there’s not a simple preference to remove the Nik buttons (as there are options to remove Facebook, Flickr and the rest of the social media noise from export), I will be hard refunding my Nik v2 upgrade along with the PhotoLab Elite upgrade I purchased at the same time for my second copy of PhotoLab Elite. I say hard-refunding as apparently DxO support tries to pretend that its 30 day money back guarantee doesn’t cover activated software. Another bottom-feeder strategy with which I couldn’t disagree more.

I’ll also start planning an exit strategy as I want nothing to do with a company who will push in-application advertisements on paid users and who is willing to compromise their paid users workflow for their own (minimal) commercial advantage.

We all should do what we feel is best. I understand your frustration and anger but do not share it. I will continue to use DXO products until I feel they no longer add enough value and I have a viable alternative.


You are very easily distracted, Alec, and have too fragile eyes…

Alec (@uncoy),
I have enjoyed your numerous posts and contributors to this forum and I believe that you have come to value PhotoLab as your raw developer.

I urge you to reconsider you current position on this issue and allow DxO time to implement a solution which you will find satisfactory.

1 Like

Since DXO is now including PhotoLab Essential as part of the Nik Collection, and they want to make using the Nik Collection as straightforward as possible, I doubt they will be willing to change the display of the button anytime soon. The location of the feature rightly belongs in the Export To drop down menu rather than a separate visible button. However based on something he said earlier I believe Alex would also object to its presence in Export To if Nik is not installed,


FP and VP are completely integrated into DPL with their own palettes/buttons. There is no need for an extra button. Unless I have missunderstood your question

Regardless of your apologetics Mark, DxO either add a preference to remove the Nik button or they lose my business including an immediate refund of €100.

I’m finding PhotoLab 2.3.0 Build 38 horrifically slow (this time not with my large Canon 5DS R files but with Nikon Z6 24 MB files). Sony A7 III files seem considerably more responsive. There are endless spinning rainbows trying to switch images or flag images in the file browser. Looks like the slowness may be caused by having .on1 sidecars in the folder. Not sure why unrelated sidecars would paralyse PhotoLab but it appears they do. It appears mixing in jpeg with RAW also makes PhotoLab very slow and uncertain when switching images. Very finicky software.

My last post was not an apology to anyone for anything, and was in response to someone else’s post. I have said from the very beginning, in various threads, that the Nik export rightly belongs in the Export To drop down menu. DXO obviously decided to put the button where they did because they are selling PhotoLab and the Nik Collection together as a bundle. I’ve also suggested that it should be hidden, or at a minimum greyed out, when the Nik Collection is not installed. I have always felt that it was inappropriate for the button to be visible and active if the Nik Collection was not present. The major difference on this issue between us is that I find their approach inappropriate and you find it intolerable. Any argument we’ve had on this thread is related to the effort to roll out a change to the button’s behavior which is a different issue that I do not want to rehash once again.

I have also argued several times in other threads that DXO telling the public that the Nik collection now works with raw files is misleading at best and could easily be construed as deceptive advertising for not making it clear that any raw processing is only as a result of the inclusion of PhotoLab Essential, and that the original Nik apps still require tiff or jpeg files as input. I have had to explain this to a numerous people on other sites who were under the misapprehension that they could now use the Nik Collection to edit native raw files as a plugin to Lightroom, etc.

It additionally sounds like some of your frustration with DXO and PhotoLab is a result of continuing poor performance with your large raw files. My raw files from my 7D Mark II are much smaller, and average between 22 and 28mb. As a result I have no issues with performance, but I understand how annoying it must be for you. I also have lots of ON1 sidecars myself but they don’t seem to be having any obvious impact on PhotoLab’s performance. I presume that you are not running ON1 and PhotoLab at the same time and additionally are refraining from running other programs as much as possible when you are using PhotoLab.


1 Like

Correct. I very rarely use On1 (it was just a peek at On1 to see if performance is any better). I found the orientation towards gaudy canned effects/recipes/looks awful. If PhotoLab does get replaced as my main RAW development tool, it definitely won’t be by On1. C1 performance continues to leave PhotoLab in the dust though, even on 24 MB files. Nik is slow technology as well, which is why I don’t use it much (I do like the results one can achieve). Time that DxO wakes up to the performance issues. Poor performance is probably why so few pros use PhotoLab.

I agree about ON1 and further find that it is dismally slow on my machine while PhotoLab is not. I have also had trial downloads of Capture One twice, for versions 11 and 12. I found the performance between Capture One and PhotoLab similar on my machine, but remember my raw files are probably around half the size of yours.


I don’t want to hijack this thread away from Nik but since you mentioned DXO performance I thought I would try a 5Ds raw file myself and see how it affected my performance. I was able to download a 67mb 5Ds raw file of a motorcycle and opened it in PhotoLab Elite. I am running PhotoLab on an approximately four year old Windows 10 machine with an I7-6700 processor at 3.40Ghz, and a long in the tooth nVidia GTX 745 card. Photolab is running from on an SSD drive but the raw files are on a standard hard drive, and I have 24gb of ram.

Based on your earlier experiences editing 5Ds raw files, discussed at length in other threads, I was very surprised to find that the performance editing a 5Ds 67mb raw image was very good and almost identical to editing my less than half the size 7D Mark II raw files. I noted occasionally at most a second or two difference. Where I noted a greater difference was in the exports to disk and Color Efex Pro.

Exporting the 5Ds raw file to a jpeg at 100% quality and 300ppi with no NR took 13 seconds, a little less than double the time for my 7D Mark II files. Exporting using the same parameters with PRIME noise reduction applied took 53 seconds, again, a bit less than double the time it takes for my 7D Mark II files.

Finally, after applying extensive edits I exported the 5Ds file, without PRIME, as a 16bit TIFF file to Color Efex Pro. It took exactly 27 seconds from the time I pushed the button until the file was ready to edit in Color Efex. Once editing it there I noticed a small but still very acceptable decrease in performance. I ended up with a 287mb TIFF file.

I thought you might be interested in my experience with this 5Ds file. The raw file was obtained from


I use a 5Ds and editing in windows isn’t too bad over my Sony a6000 or 7D2. With all you get used to the twirling disk, all process are a bit slow but not greatly more so for the 5DS. Using Prime is a bit of a killer, but you do something else.
Background processes do really need a boost, but the Mac program looks to be much worse than Windows. I was with Lightroom when they redid the program, much improved, Norton was forced to do the same some years ago (though creeping back again). Program publishers add new stuff over time, adding to rather than replaceing the internal code. Leads to slowdowns until they bite the bullet, as FoCal has just done and re wright the most of the program to get it back to working well/fast. PL is probably in need of this and probably due to the changes over time with the mac operating system that’s in even more need from the comments here on how slow it is.

Mark, I’m not at all interested in Export Times. I could care less. I care about responsive sliders. The sliders are not responsive, the big hitters like Lens Sharpness and Noise Reduction have to be turned off to work at all. You are on Windows and I’m on a Mac. I’ve explained that I work on three different Macs, two of which are high end editing stations. I’ve even gone to the trouble of posting specific high ISO pictures from my Canon 5DS R and given full lists of exact SSD, memory and graphic cards. Repeatedly you’ve insinuated that my computers are misconfigured.

Well I have three of them and all of them run Capture One at a lightning clip and two of them run both FCPX and Davince Resolve well (I don’t expect the MBP 17" to run video editors particularly well, despite its i7 quad core; FCPX does run okay albeit an older version). The only software which drags its feet on my six and twelve core Mac Pros with high end video cards is DxO PhotoLab.

Alas, DxO PhotoLab is truly a slowpoke working with Canon 5DS R files. The only files on which PhotoLab has given me somewhat adequate performance are Sony A7 III files. I haven’t managed to hit stride with either Nikon Z6 (permanent) or D750 (visitor) files either.

PS. Why on earth would I be interested in someone else’s Canon 5DS files when I have hundreds of my own 5DS R files to process (slowly) every month in PhotoLab.

To be perfectly clear here – what’s making me think of giving up on PhotoLab is that:

  1. it’s getting slower not faster. Bloatware has a tendency to get worse not better over time.
  2. the very poor upgrade manners of DxO, forcing existing PhotoLab Elite owners to acquire a second license of PhotoLab, instead of offering a reduced price upgrade to owners of both Nik v1 (which was basically a passing the hat donation request to which many of us responded at the time, thinking that if we treated DxO well, they’d treat us well) and PhotoLab.
  3. PhotoLab insisting on in-app advertising within PhotoLab. These kinds of design and commercial compromises, like performance issues, tend to get much worse in time if they go unchecked.

My goal is to send a strong and clear signal to DxO that if they continue to compromise performance, treat their users as a cash cow to be milked without any serious improvement to the software or between upgrade charges, and compromise the design integrity of PhotoLab, a dark future awaits them.

I’ve been clear in the past, I’ll be clearer now. Without substantial performance improvements DxO PhotoLab will cease to acquire new users and will slowly bleed out its existing userbase.

If Windows performance is as rosy as you say Mark (after your contortions above about how adding a single checkbox is many weeks of development work above no longer confident in your input), perhaps DxO has a brighter future on Windows. Mac users should know that too. Apple users won’t stick around as second class citizens with third class coach seats on the slow overnight milk run train.


First, I don’t think I have ever purposely insinuated anything about your computers or setup.

I was aware that you had issues on your Macs with the 5Ds files which led me to become interested in how they might affect the performance on my machine if I decided to upgrade my camera. For that reason I downloaded a file and tested it. I did that for my own purposes, but then thought that sharing my resuIts might be useful to you. Clearly they were not wanted and I certainly did not expect your reaction to my post. I’m sorry if I have inadvertently annoyed you. I will not make the mistake of sharing any unsolicited, and therefore potentially unwanted, information with you again.


Its clearer customers and programs have been suffering from the disastrous mistakes made some years ago with the DXO ONE. Something many of us warned about at the time. The same sort of management has been carried on into the current firm setup, but one that now has the financial problems resulting from the past effecting it.
the lurch into DAM has ground to a halt, regrettably with everything else. Much was hinted at after the lack of actual updates, but little actually has ever been produced. The Nik version 2 has just been a continuation of the pattern established after the launch of version one of PL, into the even bigger marketing rip of (for many of us) with version 2.
We keep getting told of improvements, layers etc but what happen to the past improvidents also hinted/promised? I agree the core should be producing camera/lens profiles, the endless stream of customers asking about where these are, popping up month after month either getting no response or just told they are going to be done but usually with no time table…
The next big area is dealing with the sluggishness of the actual program, esp the Mac version. There have been hints of improvement coming but hints don’t ever appearer to lead into actual practice. All we get is a limited number of camera/lenses some unspecified bug fixes and another piss every one off marketing mess (Nik being the latest one).
I can understand Alex and the frustrations he feels, Alex provides more support hear than anyone for DXO and he is right, file sizes are GETTING bigger, if PL struggles now its not going away its going to get worse. PL is getting more bloated adding to the problem (DAM) and camera files are getting bigger. DXO has to deal with it not just do another marketing shoot themselves in the foot again. If Alex is so angry how many have just gone with out fighting for improvements to save the program we all respect and want to use despite the history of the last few years.



I pretty much agree with everything you’re saying. I think the problem is that after their bankruptcy they are struggling and simply don’t have the money, or resources to meet expectations. I think the melding of Photolab Essential with Nik Collection is a desperate attempt to grow the overall business with these very popular add-ins despite the missteps, and misleading rhetoric regarding the Nik Collection and raw editing. Strangely, many, if not most, of the supposedly independent third-party reviews have given Nik collection 2 with PhotoLab high marks and seem to be glossing over the raw integration issue.

I’m guessing that DXO’s owners at this point are probably also their primary, and maybe only developers.


There is no issue with adding Nik functionality to PhotoLab as an option. Forcing DxO’s most loyal customers to buy a duplicated license (those of who already owned both DxO Nik v1 and PhotoLab Suite Elite) is an own goal, shooting yourself in the foot or whatever other idiom there is damaging one’s own interests.

Forcing non-Nik users to stare at even a greyed out button is a bridge too far for me. The button is ugly. It’s the only ugly button I see in PhotoLab. It’s also inappropriately huge. The colours of PhotoLab are dark grey, mid-blue (a dark royal blue) and white. The Nik orange and gold with a huge “Nik Collection” label is a hideous eye sore. If I and other paying customers want it out of there, it behooves DxO to listen and listen fast.

Even for those who choose to keep Nik visible, the button should just be the Nik logo alone with a tooltip (“Send to Nik”). Or since the Nik colours don’t match, just the word “Nik”.

DxO has no right to impose its financial problems on its existing users. By angering it’s existing users, there will be no one to go out and do unpaid evangelising for PhotoLab. Given the very poor performance of PhotoLab 2.3.0 and the recent pattern of customer exploitation, I wouldn’t recommend PhotoLab to anyone except a Canon user with a 5D Mark III who has to shoot in low light. Prime Noise reduction solves a big enough image quality problem for those guys to merit putting up with the rest of the issues. Apparently there’s lots of MFT shooters who get considerable mileage out of PhotoLab as well (maximum file size 20 MB, hideous noise from 1600 ISO).

More money for slower and uglier software, forced buys of additional licenses (instead of just giving us a fair price on the upgrade of Nik v2 alone) builds neither attachment nor loyalty.

Do you gentlemen realise that DxO believes it has the right to forbid us to sell or transfer our licenses to anyone else? They stick it in their contracts, despite such clauses being illegal in most jurisdictions. At the same time DxO won’t get off their backends to fight people selling pirated not-for-sale licenses on eBay which are not upgradeable. Again, the easy target are their paying users. I start to wonder if there’s not someone inside DxO profiting from the eBay Optics Pro scams.

None of this are the actions of an ethical company trying to look out for the best interests of its users, despite the heroic efforts of Svetlana and some of the developers who come on this forum to both investigate and solve issues PhotoLab users face.

To right these wrongs, DxO could do the following:

  1. offer existing DxO Nik v1 and PhotoLab owners a refund of €20 of the €50 upgrade fee (i.e. €30 upgrade fee for existing owners) if they wish to return their second PhotoLab (Essentials) license. That would be fair and would show respect for those of us who have backed DxO in the face of adversity.
  2. Add a preference checkbox to
  3. Fix the Mac (and perhaps Windows, I don’t run that platform and don’t have an opinion) performance issues once and for all before adding more features (the mythical DAM which even as a filebrowser and a database is slowing PhotoLab down horribly). The DAM really should be a module like ViewPoint and users who choose to run PhotoLab just as a RAW developer should be free to get on with it.

Beyond the file browser and database, I’d be willing to give up local adjustments (even though I use them all the time) including the Repair button (N-key for nettoyer, to clean in French: useful keyboard shortcut for all those who’ve taken the time to read this far) if it would mean I could enjoy a very fast PhotoLab experience. I can always take layers into Affinity Photo or Photoshop CS6 and work with them in a dedicated and fast environment for local adjustments.

Any “improvements” which compromise speed should be postponed until they won’t compromise speed. The job of a RAW converter is to help photographers efficiently process their images, big or small. DxO seems to have forgotten what the original mission of Optics Pro was: to make photographers lives better.

The mission is not to create a bloated, slow Lightroom clone.

Returning to the subject of this thread, PhotoLab urgently needs a preference to hide the Nik Collection button for those who have considered using Nik, rejected the idea and don’t want to stare at that button or ugly logo for the rest of their PhotoLab lives.


I should and will start a new performance thread @mwsilvers but I have important news. I’ve just had the chance to try PhotoLab 2.3.0 build 38 on my six core Mac Pro with an Nividia GTX 980 instead of a Radeon RX580, running 10.11.6 instead of 10.14.5. I only run such a recent version of the OS on the 12 core in order to have access to the latest FCPX and only on one machine. Normally I prefer to be at least two major versions behind latest as it gives application developers time to make sure their programs run really well on the latest OS.

In any case, on the slower and less capable machine with the less exciting 4GB VRAM card (instead of 8GB) and 32 GB of RAM instead of 128 GB of RAM, PhotoLab runs much better and faster without the spinning rainbow wheels with NEF files. PhotoLab is no speed demon of course but 2.3.0 is just as fast as any of my 2.1.x and 2.2.x versions I’ve had installed in the last four months. When I talk about speed, I’m talking about switching images, moving sliders, correction preview updates. Export works as usual on both machines.

On both machines recent software installs have included Raw Right Now (if you’re a Mac user, run don’t walk to get good quicklook and exif access to your RAW in the Finder). On the 12 core, On1 has been installed relatively recently but doesn’t run at the same time as PhotoLab. On1 required an installer with a permissions grant. I’ll do some more troubleshooting there to get rid of any launchd background tasks from either of those.