DxO Labs Releases DxO PhotoLab 4 With Revolutionary AI-Driven DeepPRIME Demosaicing & Denoising, Improved Workspaces, Batching, History, Launch Discount & More

DxO PhotoLab 4 may well be the most radical update to DxO’s flagship image processing application since I purchased my first licence to any DxO product some years ago. 

The camera that accidentally changed everything. Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM kit zoom lens. Image courtesy of Canon.

DxO PhotoLab, formerly DxO OpticsPro, became my number one raw image processing application since taking up digital photography with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II quickly followed by the Fujifilm FinePix 100.

I was in the middle of processing two archival sets of documentary photographs when news of the DxO PhotoLab update arrived.

Details about DxO PhotoLab 4’s new DeepPRIME AI-driven demosaicing and denoising feature allied with the time-limited launch discount for the upgrade licence was enough to halt processing to make my purchase and resume work with version 4.

As it happened, both projects were shot with my Fujifilm X100 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

See the list of links below to view images from these projects as web resolution JPEG files, though the TIFFs output at the same look incredible by comparison.

Reprocessing both projects  was a great opportunity to re-evaluate my original selects and rejects choices in the light of the strides DxO has made in the years since first processing them in DxO OpticsPro Elite.

Fujifilm FinePix X100, the camera that got me hooked on digital photography.

One project was shot with the X100 only while the other was photographed largely on the X100 supported by the 5D Mark II when I needed more focal lengths than the X100 provides with its 23mm fixed prime lens, equivalent to 34.5mm in 35mm sensor cameras.

Each camera has distinctly different colour science and a big variation in sensor size and megapixels with 12.4 megapixels in the X100 and 21.1 megapixels in the 5D Mark II.

Both cameras have Bayer sensors, the only sensor type supported by DxO PhotoLab and its DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint companions, and none of them directly support the X-Trans sensors used by Fujifilm in most of its X-Series cameras though not in several of its more entry-level and GFX-Series cameras.

Here are all the Fujifilm cameras currently supported by DxO PhotoLab and its plug-ins:

  • GFX100
  • GFX50S
  • GFX50R
  • X-T200
  • X-T100
  • X-A7
  • X-A5
  • X100

Despite the big difference in sensors, one would be hard-pressed to tell which photograph was made with which camera when processed in DxO PhotoLab 4, something that is not the case with images from both processed in several other raw editing products that I use.

As a result I am now actively resisting the urge to run other documentary projects from my Photo Galleries pages through PhotoLab version 4 but will certainly use it for others that I have yet to dredge out of my archives, provided they have been made with the X100, 5D Mark II and other cameras with Bayer sensors.

A dive into DeepPRIME

I did a quick and dirty comparison between images shot with both cameras when choosing amongst the three noise removal options – HQ, PRIME and DeepPRIME.

In previous versions featuring PRIME, I always chose it over HQ but now DeepPRIME will always be choice number one given how remarkably it not only removes noise but more crucially how it reveals every little detail that the camera has recorded.

Hence it being difficult to tell the difference between 5D Mark II and X100 images when exported as TIFF files at the same dimensions.

DxO PhotoLab 4’s incredible processing capability has now persuaded me to get the X100 out of storage potentially to carry it most days when needing a small camera and to loan it to family members.

I am also looking forward to trying PhotoLab 4 out with raw files from my Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds cameras, which I often mix and match with images shot on other cameras due to the different types of lenses I have for each system and their various pros and cons.

All is not lost, though, if needing to mix and match Bayer and X-Trans images made in the same project.

DxO’s FilmPack, ViewPoint and Nik Collection work as plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Apple Photos and with other plug-in supporting applications while they can also act as standalone software.

All three can process TIFF, JPEG and some though not all raw files, the exceptions being those from X-Trans and Foveon sensors.

The workaround I use for those is to process them first in Adobe Camera Raw, export as TIFFs then open them in Adobe Photoshop and apply FilmPack, ViewPoint and Nik Collection’s components, especially my favourite, Viveza, there.

I cannot recommend DxO’s software highly enough, especially for documentary photographs made under challenging lighting when PhotoLab’s DxO Smart Lighting excels for drawing out information otherwise lost in the shadows.

Documentary photography is the craft of artfully designed information and any software and hardware that aids in doing that well is welcome.


Fujifilm X-Photographer Kevin Mullins Shares His Fujifilm JPEG Settings 2020

The photojournalism-style photography of British Fujifilm X-Photographer Kevin Mullins was partly responsible for my buying into the interchangeable camera and lens side of Fujifilm’s X-Series APS-C/Super 35  digital photography system, not least for his reliance on and sharing of his custom film simulation JPEG settings.

At the moment I have reverted my Fujifilm cameras’ JPEG settings back to factory settings but will be installing new film simulations soon, especially now that Mr Mullins recently shared his latest ones and that other photographers have been working on their own versions of a range of classic film stocks, many of which have been shared online by David Triregno.

Pity there are only seven custom settings slots in current Fujifilm X-Series cameras!

Mr Mullins’ 2020 film simulation settings are aimed at the latest generation of Fujifilm cameras with their Colour Chrome, Clarity and Monochrome Colour options but, as I have found with some quick and dirty tests, they are perfectly serviceable on older cameras that do not offer these options.

Accurate film simulations are one of the strengths of Fujifilm X and GFX cameras and are particularly useful if one needs to bypass running all one’s photographs through raw processing software for each project and even more so when one must share photographs without delay.

I will be adding Kevin Mullins’ Padilla, Meyerowitz, Parr and probably Kodak Style simulations to my Fujifilm cameras soon, and will study his other styles as well as those shared on David Triregno’s spreadsheet.


FastRawViewer: Can you Evaluate Exposure Using the In-camera Histogram? (Part 1 of 3)


“They say that “a histogram is a graphical representation of the pixels exposed in your image” or “when judging exposure, the primary areas of the histogram to be concerned with are the right and left edges”,…

… Please keep in mind that the histograms your camera displays are from JPEGs, even when you are shooting RAW….

… It doesn’t look like examining the shadows of the histogram tells a whole lot to a RAW shooter….

… On the same note, a histogram is also not very useful for evaluating the highlights in RAW…”


David Thorpe: A Review Of The Panasonic GH5 Micro Four Thirds Camera

“This is a review of the Panasonic’s flagship GH5 as a stills camera. The GH5 is often seen as primarily a video camera. It isn’t. Regarded purely as a stills camera it stands with the very best that the Micro Four Thirds system has to offer. What is unique is that you can say that about its video too. Hybrid usually entails compromise. Not so the GH5’s case.”

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ON1: ON1 Short Clip – New Lens Correction

The New Lens Correction pane in version 2017.5 automatically detects your lens and reduces distortion, chromatic aberration and peripheral fall-off. It automatically applies the correction when you browse to a photo. Further manual adjustments can also be made in Develop. If there isn’t a built-in profile for your lens you can manually adjust it as well.

We are close to releasing the next free update to ON1 Photo RAW 2017. Version 2017.5 will bring essential features, performance upgrades, and bug fixes to speed up and improve your workflow. These new videos give you a sneak peek of what we’re working on.

Fujifilm Interviewed On Being Serious About Video, Possible GFX-Series Rangefinder, User Feedback and More

Good in-depth interviews with camera company decision-makers, product designers and engineers are all too rare and very welcome when they appear, especially when from those companies with histories of listening to professional customers expressing their needs. Fujifilm has a reputation for being one such good listener. 

The Fujifilm GFX 50S sensor. Might Fujifilm consider a GFX 50R housing this same sensor in a rangefinder-style camera body? Intriguing thought as Fujifilm has a long, impressive history of producing excellent analog medium format rangefinder cameras.

Three senior Fujifilm camera division figures such as Yuji Igarashi, GM of the Electronic Imaging Division, Makoto Oishi, Manager of Sales and Marketing Group and Billy Luong, Manager for Technical Marketing and Product Specialist Group were  interviewed on new directions and past achievements by Amazon.com publication DPReview shortly before Fujifilm’s recent announcement of its latest cameras and lenses, most notably the Fujifilm GFX 50S, X100F, X-T20 and the XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR.

The interview was also a reminder that there are Fujfilm cameras I currently don’t have hands-on experience with and that are worth further thought and investigation, the X-En series and the X-Tn0 series, n standing for product version number thus the recently announced X-T20, successor to the X-T10.

Fujifilm GFX 50S and its successors

fujifilm_gfx_50s_image05_square_1920pxFor whom is the GFX 50S medium format digital camera intended?

‘Fashion, commercial and landscape photographers are the main targets,’ says Oishi. …

‘The tonality and dynamic range also mean it’ll appeal to wedding photographers,’ adds Luong. ‘And architecture,’ says Oishi.

The GFX 50S’ 50MP sensor will also prove useful for fine art and portrait photographers many of whom produce large-format prints for exhibition and for clients. For example, British photographer Brian Griffin shows his fine art portrait medium format photographs as large full-colour prints to great effect.

Architectural photography was traditionally made with 4″x5″ sheet film cameras during the analog era using camera movements for perspective correction.

Tilt/shift lenses for 35mm DSLRs are expensive and similar lenses in medium format would be even more costly, so perspective correction is more often done in software using products like DxO ViewPoint or similar features built into raw processors and image editors.

Fujifilm has taken a different direction by providing adapters so GFX series cameras can be used as sensors attached to the rear of view cameras.

Fujifilm X100F and the X100 Series


What place does Fujfilm have for the X100 series now represented by the X100F?

‘… the X100 is often photographers’ first foray into the Fujifilm system. The size, the weight, the image quality. A good proportion of our customers are saying the X100 brought back their passion for photography. That type of person is very much part of the equation,’ says Luong.

The Fujifilm Finepix X100 was a revolutionary camera bringing a precision digital rangefinder within reach of the masses. It was the digital stills camera I had been waiting for after finding DSLRs just as irritating for their mirror slap, shutter shake and lack of deep space window vision as analog SLRs had been.

I was immediately sold on Fujifilm digital cameras but they lost me temporarily when the X-Pro1 proved to be something of a promising dud, especially for spectacle-wearers and those of use needing high-speed focussing in fast-moving situations.

The X-Pro2 and X-T2 are a welcome return to cameras with traits reminiscent of Fujifilm’s analog glory days under the Fujica brand name, especially its big range of 120 roll film rangefinder masterpieces and the incredible GX680 series of technical studio cameras that combined medium format SLR technology with sheet film cameras’ tilt, swing and shift movements.

Might a medium format rangefinder camera be in the works?

‘It depends on demand and the market. The GFX 50S is one style: the ‘S’ means ‘SLR-style.’ Another way to do it would be a rangefinder style camera. Maybe an ‘R’ could be a rangefinder,’ says Oishi.

Then there is the possibility of a medium format digital rangefinder camera evolving from Fujifilm’s own many fixed lens medium format roll film cameras produced in formats from 6×4.5cm through 6x7cm, 6x8cm and 6x9cm.

‘If mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is too big as a rangefinder style, a fixed lens camera could be smaller, like the GF670.’

Fujfilm X-T20 and the X-Tn0 Series


Fujifilm’s smaller, more affordable spin-off DSLR-style camera series currently represented by the X-T20 is one with which I am entirely unfamiliar yet bears serious consideration as a second or backup camera to the flagship X-Tn series currently represented by the X-T2.

Luong explains: ‘The SLR style targets a wider audience. We find pro and enthusiast photographers gravitate towards the SLR-style camera. Back to the GFX camera, that’s why we went with the SLR style.’

Fujifilm X-E2S and the X-En Series


Like the X-Tn0 series cameras, I have to try out the latest representative of the X-En series, the X-E2S. Now that the X-T20 has gained X-Pro2 and X-T2 traits like the 24.3MP X-Trans sensor and speedier autofocus, I can see why X-En series enthusiasts have been agitating for similarly updated features and functionalities.

Given a choice between the DSLR-style of the X-T20 and the non-OVF rangefinder-style of the X-E2S, I would tend towards the latter. Although I prefer optical viewfinder cameras for certain tasks, electronic viewfinder cameras (EVF) have many virtues and bring a different way of seeing and depicting into play.

Luckily, ‘XE is an important series for us,’ Oishi says: ‘There are so many XE1, 2 and 2S users in the world…. Obviously we can’t confirm anything at this point but we are aware there are many requests for this type of camera.’



Although Fujifilm’s two current flagship cameras have considerably improved video capabilities compared to their predecessors, there is still some way to go with the firmware in both.

In his letter to Fujifilm, published here as How to Make the X-T2 a Credible Filmmaking Camera, A Letter to Fujifilm from Paul Leeming, the Australian director/cinematographer responsible for Leeming LUT One as well as a number of feature films shot on RED Super 35 and Panasonic Lumix GH4 Super 16 cameras lays out a range of firmware and hardware improvements that would help Fujifilm “blow the industry wide open”.

As a GH4 owner myself, I can attest that this and related Lumix cameras like the GX8 and GX80/85 possess a videocentric feature list and ease-of-use that have yet to be beaten by any other current hybrid camera including the Fujifilm X-T2.

‘Video is a big growth area for us,’ acknowledges Luong: ‘Our latest cameras such as the X-Pro2 and X-T2 show there’s a lot we’ve learned.’

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH4 remains the benchmark of usability in 4K Super 16/Micro Four Thirds hybrid cameras. Will Fujifilm match its video feature set with the current or future X-Tn Super 35/APS-C hybrid camera? Moviemaker Brad Latta with GH4 and Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens. 

Excellent news, but as evidenced by Mr Leeming’s letter about the X-T2 and my own asking Fujifilm to improve the X-Pro2’s video firmware features at How to Make the X-Pro2 a Credible Filmmaking Camera, A Request to Fujifilm by Karin Gottschalk, there is more for Fujifilm to learn and put into practice.

Paul Leeming and I both want to see Fujifilm bring its current and future flagship cameras’ video capabilities up to par or surpass those of the GH4 and the soon-to-be-released GH5 is that we will have excellent Super 35 alternatives to Panasonic’s Super 16 cameras.

Then there is the question of more video-capable Fujinon lenses, both primes and zooms.

‘We already have cinema lenses that are Super 35,’ Luong reminds us. ‘We’re continuing to develop video features, so we’ll continue to investigate.’

Listening to Customer Feedback

While there does not appear to be a direct channel into Fujifilm for user feedback, Fujifilm staff members are known to read certain online publications, and articles published here are passed on up the system hopefully to end up in front of Fujifilm staffers like Messers Yuji Igarashi, Makoto Oishi and Billy Luong.

‘Our X Photographers: professionals who use the camera day in, day out, that’s the first line of feedback,’ says Luong: ‘It’s quite a large group. With the GFX we had something like 50 photographers around the world using pre-production cameras.’

That figure of 5o GFX 50S pre-production camera users is impressive. I hope that Fujifilm will seek feedback like Mr Leeming’s from plenty of well-qualified video professionals and improve the firmware in the X-Pro2 and X-T2 as soon as possible while planning major video-centred hardware and firmware improvements in the X-T2’s and X-Pro2’s successors.

Image Credits:

Header aka featured image created for this website in Photoshop by Carmel D. Morris. Product photographs kindly supplied by Fujifilm.

Tech Notes:

Product photographs in the body of this article have been processed in Macphun Luminar using the Majestic Dreams preset from the premium Photo Essentials Pack. Portrait of Brad Latta made as 3-bracket HDR on Fujifilm X-T2 with XF 56mm f/1.2 lens then processed in Macphun Aurora HDR 2017 and Luminar.

Fujifilm Comes Up Aces Yet Again with the X100F, Heiress to the Noble X100 Tradition

Fujifilm kicked off a global digital photography revolution when it released the X100 fixed prime lens rangefinder-style mirrorless camera in 2011 at a time when digital photography was dominated by big DSLRs made by the then two biggest camera manufacturers. 


How things have changed, in some quarters at least. DSLRs still dominate the local newspaper industry but most photojournalists and documentary photographers of my acquaintance here and overseas left the DSLR world for the mirrorless realm some years ago.

Little wonder. Recently I showed a DSLR-dedicated friend one of my mirrorless cameras and he began wondering why he had put up with his DSLRs’ heaviness and old-world features for so long.

Mirrorless cameras are rarely seen here in Sydney during newsworthy events like the Women’s March on Washington, Sydney, starting from Hyde Park going to Martin Place on 21 January. Newspaper and other photographers covering the event did so rigged up with double DSLRs and two or three fast zoom lenses as below. I used an X-Pro2 and a couple of prime lenses.



With Fujifilm’s announcement of the X100 series’ fourth iteration, the longevity of the original X100’s concept is demonstrated yet again.

The original X100 is a camera I use to this very day, especially when needing to be extra discrete, even more invisible than usual.

That original X100 has ably handled demonstrations, protests, festivals, conferences, travel and urban documentary projects.

Its autofocus is slow compared to the current generation of mirrorless cameras but not impossibly so, and its sensor is far from the biggest going, but the old adage holds true, that you only need 6 megapixels for a double-page spread or a single-page portrait.

Exhibition prints and 48-sheet posters are another thing altogether but Fujifilm now has those bases amply covered with its GFX 50S medium format masterpiece.

Moving up a notch

The X100F has moved up a notch to the same sensor as its X-Pro2 and X-T2 sisters, all 24.3 megapixels of it, and that is something of a minor miracle in such an affordable, professional-quality, small-bodied camera.

We are lucky to be living in the digital photography age, one no longer beset by golfball grain and beautiful though ultra-slow films – Kodachrome 25 and Panatomic-X anyone? – if the project demands sharpness and high resolution.

That a camera the size of the X100F can deliver image quality rivalling if not surpassing Fujifilm’s analog era mirrorless or SLR-based GX680 series 120-format cameras, especially when using faster films in them, is no small miracle.

I can see why photojournalism-style wedding photographer Kevin Mullins will be adopting an X100F alongside his two X-Pro2s equipped with XF 23mm f/1.4 and XF 56mm f/1.2 lenses as part of his core wedding photojournalism kit.

It’s all black for me

Mr Mullins’ style is based on almost-straight-out-of-camera (almost-SOOC) JPEGs with his JPEG settings dialled down for a gritty hardness perhaps partially inspired by great British photographer Bill Brandt, but Mr Mullins’ photographs are almost grain-, or in reality digital noise- free.

Like Mr Mullins, I would definitely choose a black X100F over the silver one for its contribution to a photographer’s anonymity and near-invisibility.

Like him also, I consider the X100F as a complement to the X-Pro2, a fixed lens camera with the advantages that fixed lenses can bestow such as leaf shutter, high-speed flash sync, built-in ND filter and small form factor.

X100F and X-Pro2 compared

Photographs are not to scale.

Accessories for the X100F

There are three Fujifilm-brand accessories I consider essentials for the X100F, the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens, the TCL-X100 II Tele Conversion Lens and an L-grip.

I would also add a Peak Design Clutch and Cuff camera strap pair, the latter a wrist-strap and the former a hand-strap, both ensuring good grip and safety if the camera falls out of your hand.

I have yet to see a Fujifilm brand L-grip for the X100F, similar to the FUHGX100T grip for its three predecessors, make its appearance online but surely it is a matter of time. I have used the X100 with and without this hand grip and, given the camera’s tiny built-in grip and slippery surface, consider it a necessity. Otherwise a few third-party alternatives will doubtless be available soon.


As usual, the proof of the pudding is in the trying and I look forward to giving an X100F a good roadtest sometime in the near future. For those who enjoy specs charts, a specifications spreadsheet PDF is available further down this page.

Meanwhile, I wish to hail the Fujifilm X100F as the rightful heiress to the classic that the X100 was in its day, and that may itself be a future classic in the waiting.

My Fujifilm Finepix X100 is a treasured camera in my collection and I use it to this day, most especially when needing to blend in with the crowd and be as close to my subjects as possible. Despite not having an X-Trans sensor, it produces excellent colour and can be processed in a much wider range of raw processors than X-Trans raw files, in this case DxO OpticsPro Elite with DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint as plug-ins.

Recommended Viewing:

Fujifilm’s global YouTube.com channel FUJIFILMGlobal appears not have received the memo about female gender equality in its product videos given that all fifteen of its video feature male photographers with not one woman photographer in sight.

On the other hand, the Fuji Guys Channel run by Fujifilm employees based in several different countries including Australia has featured two female photographers so far, both in the USA.

Let’s hope more videos featuring women appear very soon, with at least one of them being Australian.


Image Credits:

Header aka featured image created for this website in Photoshop by Carmel D. Morris. Product photographs courtesy of Fujifilm.