More on RAW processors

The LightRoom replacement is not as easy as I hoped it would be. All alternatives are lacking. In fact, so is LightRoom in its own way, but I am used to that so I don’t notice as much. Also It is not easy to predict which shortcomings I can live with, and which will drive me mad.

Seemed like a good alternative, and in many ways it is. But there are also drawback to it.

Good stuff:

  • Excellent DAM when using it in catalog mode (with referenced images)
  • I really like how projects work, and how smart albums are contained within.
  • Smooth interface
  • Good for culling and rating images
  • Nice local adjustments using layers and a fairly good masking tool

Not so good:

  • Shitty Raw processor.
  • Noise reduction is a joke
  • Lots of little snags and hickups (becomes unresponsive now and again)
  • A bit outdated. They don’t develop modern features very fast.
  • Expensive.

DXO Photolab:
This very different to C1. All the features that are good in PL is bad in C1, and visa versa.

Good stuff:

  • The best Raw processor
  • The best noise reduction
  • The best lens correction
  • Some very nice modern processing features for exposure and dehaze
  • Ok local adjustments. No AI masking, but for what they are, the masking tools work pretty well.
  • Pricing and licensing

Not so good:

  • DAM and organizing is terrible.
  • It uses a sort of database, but it is rather brittle.
  • You can’t see pictures in sub folders when browsing.
  • Undo doesn’t work very good.


So, is there a conclusion to all this. Not yet. I still have 22 days left on the trial versions. For many reasons, not all of the technical, I tend to prefer DXO, but I need to sort out a few workflow issues first. Mainly related to organizing the images. I don’t think I can trust the database, which also holds the collections. It would be a real drag if I have to dump and rebuild the index. I may want to use keywords to embed all this information in the sidecar files. In that way, it will be more future proof as I can reconstruct even if I change the software in the future.