DxO has announced DxO PureRAW, their new software to… Well, I suppose “pre-process” is the best term to describe it. It pre-processes your raw files before you load them into Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, Capture One or whatever raw software you happen to use. Its goal is to help improve your starting point with increased sharpness and reduced noise.
DxO PureRAW is not a plugin. It’s a standalone application through which you run your raw files before your usual editing workflow. It claims to remove noise, chromatic aberration, vignetting, distortion and to improve sharpness and clarity using DxO’s DeepPRIME AI tech after which it exports out a set of new DNG raw files for editing.
According to DxO, the processes of denoising and sharpening both introduce artifacts when the two operations are performed separately and each process negatively affects the quality of the other. DxO’s approach is to do them both at the same time, with the assistance of a little AI for a cleaner result.
DxO DeepPRIME technology is an artificial intelligence designed for developing RAW photo files. Trained through deep learning using millions of images analyzed by DxO’s laboratories, it delivers a revolutionary improvement to digital noise reduction while also demosaicing photos more effectively.
Using a traditional approach, these two operations are performed separately, with each one introducing defects that degrade the quality of the other. With deep learning, DeepPRIME adopts a holistic approach that combines these two steps into one. The information in the photo is rendered beautifully, especially in low light, noise is visibly reduced, color details are better preserved, and transitions are more even and natural.
Amongst the benefits that DxO says it offers, is breathing new life into your old photos, shot with equipment where you may have been limited by ISO or other technical factors. They say that it also cleans up noise in out of focus areas and solid colour areas to help create smoother gradients and transitions.
Their goal isn’t to have it replace anything in your existing workflow. It’s certainly not a competitor to Lightroom or Photoshop. But they do hope that it can slot into the workflow of photographers right at the beginning before doing what they usually do.
It’s a great concept, although it does come at the cost of storage space, depending on whether or not you keep all your original raw files or the pre-processed raw files. But storage these days is getting bigger and cheaper all the time. So that’s not going to be the hassle for most of us that it used to be. I could definitely see this fitting into my workflow for certain shoots.