Should PhotoLab do everything that other tools do?

I often see messages asking why PhotoLab doesn’t do this or doesn’t do that “like Xxxx does”

It would be interesting to see who thinks that PL should either be a “jack of all trades” or “master of one”


I agree PhotoLab (and Nik) should continue to be this master one.
Lr proposes the must database catalog function for free if your licence expired.


A photoflowchart has three major key features.

  • DAM, photo library tool. Front (jpegs)and back( raw) management.
  • Development of raw to jpeg. Making the rawfile suitable for the endproduct. Screen, paper, wallpaper, fabric, and such.
  • Creative magic toolset. To create everything what’s not in the rawdata but you want to have.

DxOpl is the second and has some “bleeding” in the first and third.
And this shoul be the main and core objective. “be the best developing application”

The bleeding is for those who needs minor rudimentair DAM and creativity magic.
And we have more then enough aldoh it’s not fully structional developed jet.
Xmp iptc writing from librarytab for instance.
Creative is be creative your self use tools for creativty wile they maybe designed for technical correction but it’s raw based so nondestructive. :grinning:


Should PhotoLab do everything that other tools do?

YES, and do it better too!

Think big, start smart. If DxO were to be the best all-in photo manager and -developer, the way to go would be to first model/outline how functions can be grouped, be it by workflow or any other thing that might come to mind.

All-In means that a lot of things are bundled and usability can only be maintained by carefully grouping these things or letting the users build their own workplace. DPL does parts of these things, but to me, the composite looks like brainstorming rather than intentional.

I’m looking forward to future DPL releases.


Yes and no.

Yes it should, for the usual work. For example adding text to an image, flipping an image, geometric transformations such as four-point warping, fixing dust and scratches. If a user has to leave Photolab as part of their regular usage scenarios, it is a sign of a missing feature in Photolab.

No for rarely used, exotic features.

Some nice to have features : panorama stitching, focus stacking. However external applications exist, and they can be invoked from PL.

Alternate ways of working in PL are fine. PL does not need to be like any other tool. How the user gets results does not have to be the same. What matters is the end result quality and the ease and efficiency of getting there.


Personally I don’t want a tool that does everything. If you look at those tools, they are far to complex to learn and to use effectively. And you ask 6 people how to achieve a particular thing and you get 10 different answers.

For me, the genius of the DXO suite is that it’s comparatively easy to use, does most of what I want 99% of the time, and produces excellent results.

For me post processing is about rendering photos well; it’s not about jiggery pokery to create images which bear little resemblance to what was seen, by combining bits and bobs from multiple images.

(I must admit I do sometimes use the clone / repair tool to tidy things up a bit and get rid of distractions)


Not everyone need improvement but some would be very welcome.
-Improvement of the color wheel, like many other software have implemented already like the 3 wheels also use for color grading, also waiting for color picker for it.
-I know you can use the selective tool to change things around but you end up with so many point in your screen when doing so, but “mask” option beside your adjustment would be great.
-Circular/oval gradient added to the linear gradient.
-luminosity for highlight / midtone / shadow in the selection tool with ability to mask and invert to be brush in.

Focus stacking / hdr / focus merge are done in other software, for those who like this… PL is only a starting point.

I forgot, please add more colors in the selective color panel, I think its been requested like since PL1.
red/orange/yellow/green/aqua/blue/purple/magenta are sort of in every software and offer more maneuverability when editing color.

It seem the team have spent more time fixing/updating Nik than PL.

What about more and better than others ? :grin:

What is important for me is that DxO do not rush things but make them perfectly because there is nothing worst than having a poor, slow and buggy software.

In my opinion the priorities should be:

  1. stability: bug fixes as soon as possible, as often as necessary.
  2. performances: make it fast, make it a bliss to use. Most of us have computers with much power that is not fully used.
  3. new functionalities: without borders, just add, but do it thinking of a whole and respecting point 1 and 2. I guess this is what is going on since the name changed from DxO Optics to PhotoLab.
    Of course, the main business of PL: Raw Development and picture quality should always be at the core and emphasized.

I also like the fact that we users can participate and influence the tools we will use tomorrow.


There are different teams who work on PhotoLab and Nik Collection products.



It comes tomorrow with DxO PhotoLab 4!



I understand the wish of new things and i am also keen on new tools which DxOPL does not have jet.
Some things are easy to cover by extra applications. like Bridge and FRV. both are part of my pre PL workflow.
other things as watermark are for me not very high in the wishlist but i have a freeware application for the moments i like to use it.
High on the wishlist is a propper xmp updating/writing which supports IPTC. I find the library search function great. But i don’t use the entry function in the now DataBase only storage. i need/use Bridge for that.
These have nothing to do with excelent jpegs producing which i find with my M43 rawfiles amazing, but it does effect my workflow due the fact i need to start an application next to DPL when i want to change something in the exif/keyword/tags/iptc of a rawfile.

An other thing is selective tone and contrast toolset, sounds strange but i use alot of workarounds , combinations of different tools to get something done and i am in the impression there is some finetuning possible. Still it’s all about finetuning small steps to keep the application free of cluttered toolset with tools and possibilities which has almost nothing to do with improving an image. Every new item needs to make it as a hole better not just more.

We see what V4 will bring in this matter… :thinking: it wil be soon in the open :upside_down_face:

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You guys are overloaded :upside_down_face:

I think DPL is just right as it is. Does a superb job of RAW developing and then if you want some creativity you can purchase NIK. I use Viewpoint but not NIK.

I do think that .dop files should be replaced with .xmp in the same way other tools use .xmp (Lightroom etc.)

DAM functionality should be improved to support IPTC but not to replace specialist DAM programs. Also, the database should be optional, i.e. use only .xmp files instead of database of required.

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Great questions Joanna.

Keith, I’m with you on moving metadata to XMP but there’s no good reason for DxO’s own proprietary development information to be cluttering up XMP and some good reason for it not to be there (other programs may either scramble or erase it, as it’s not a known standard).

Personally I’d like to see DxO thrown their hat in the DAM arena and I’d even be willing to pay them to do so. But only as a separate application which has to stand on its own merits. Photolab should remain a standalone RAW developer which plays well with photo management tools like FastRawViewer, ApolloOne, Photomechanic Plus, iMatch, Photo Supreme and even Lightroom and Bridge.

I’m somewhat ticked off that 1. a database is obligatory (I don’t want it) 2. metadata is not written into XMP sidecars but proprietary .dop files. Anything which moves Photolab to playing worse with others could push me to look for alternative, more open tools. If DxO have sufficient resources.

Right now, there’s some kind of severe performance issue in my copy of Photolab 3 (3.3.3) on Mojave 10.14.6 when the open folder has more than a few dozen images. Hence my first priorities are like very similar to @m-photo Marc’s: stability and performance.

For big enhancements like those @pierre5018 suggests, I’d like to see them developed as extra tools:

Some nice to have features : panorama stitching, focus stacking. However external applications exist, and they can be invoked from PL.

Panorama stitching could either be its own module or part of a big ViewPoint upgrade. Focus-stacking also seems like a separate add-on like ViewPoint (but doesn’t belong there). What would be good about keeping these extras outside of the main program it would mean they would have to pay their way. If not enough people are willing to pay for a focus stacking tool, then those resources should be spent elsewhere on tools like an advanced panorama and stitching tool.

DAM is the “extra” project which worries me the most. There are two reasons for that:

  1. DxO’s announced tendency is to try to shoehorn it into the existing Photolab application.
  2. DAM is an infinite blackhole. DAM involves two-way file syncing (the toughest task in IT) and an incredible mess of conflicting standards.

Photomechanic have been building photo triage and metadata tools for twenty years. It took them five years to bring their DAM add-on (Photomechanic Plus) to public beta. It’s good but it has problems. Some of the other DAM builders are capable coding teams: some of them have been at it for more than ten years and I have to say the results are not attractive (I test drove Photo Supreme on someone’s recommendation this year and found it clumsy and ugly at least on Mac OS X: java or Linux interfaces – the otherwise solid open-source Digikam – usually look lousy on OS X).

There’s so much other urgent work to be done on Photolab starting with performance while DAM will take up all the resources and more, threefold, and still not be competitive for three years.


You make a valid point about other software possibly destroying dop data if included in xmp files! I will adjust my suggestions to: keep PL specific data in dop files and put ALL xmp data (ratings etc) into xmp files for interoperability with other software.

Keep DAM functionality to a seperate plugin like VP for those who really want it. VP integrates beautifully into PL when you purchase it so the same could be done with a DAM module.


I’d say the DxO suite is the best photo editing software for me. :grin: It keeps getting better, too. Meanwhile, several other dedicated tools I’ve used for years for tasks like panorama stitching, stacking, and HDR have not been improving. They are just about good enough - cumbersome and faulty to some extent. I don’t expect DxO to implement these functions any time soon - at least, not to the degree needed for me to replace these tools. And pairing DxO’s software with these tools is working well for me right now.

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i don`t think that PhotoLab should do everything that other tools do.
It should be able to do RAW relevant things.
So please, no sky replacent and similar s*** (<- stuff) :scream:

With tomorrow you mean today? :hugs:



On Wednesday :slight_smile:



Hello @gregor,

Could you please tell us what tools you find missing in PhotoLab that forces you to switch to Photoshop somewhere in the middle of your workflow?