As I said at the beginning I was keen to compare this with Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. Quality software is not cheap and one has to be sure that you are using your hard earned cash wisely. From a workflow point of view I have used Lightroom since it was released, and it seemed pointless getting to know a new program if it didnít do something better, or indeed did something different to what I was used to.
Lightroom, of course, is a totally different beast to DxO, its Slideshow, Web and Print modules offer things that DxO does not. Version 2 now has the adjustment brush and gradient tool, which are lacking in DxO. It also is a powerful cataloguing and library tool.
However, if you donít need many of the above, and many donít. If itís a powerful raw conversion tool you need, that corrects automatically all the faults of your optics with laboratory precision. If you need to regularly correct the geometry of your photos, or if you use high ISO camera settings, which create a need for top-notch, noise reduction, not to mention sharpening and dust removal. Then DxO has to be worth trying, and you are going to be impressed, as Iím only scratching the surface of its capabilities.
Maybe it's because DxO is doing more to each individual file than an average conversion in Lightroom and ACR, but the one downside to this program seemed to me to be the time it took to process files. I tested processing the same raw file in both programs, in Lightroom it took five secs, but in DxO it took 30 secs. I tried it again with a batch of six and it took around 2 mins 45 secs. Turning off most of the key adjustments, the processing time is drastically reduced. The extra functions afforded by DxO definitely create a time trade off then, though I suppose it you were to use ACR then Photoshop to finish adjustments, the differential could well swing the other way in favour of DxO.
DxO comes in two versions, Standard and Elite. The difference seems to be in the number of camera and lens modules they work with. The Standard version supports selected amateur and expert -amateur DSLRs and lenses. Whilst the Elite version is all the above plus selected high end Pro bodies and lenses. However, it must be said that notable by their absence are any modules for the Olympus range of DSLRs, which of course would understandably mean 4/3rds users would be unlikely to buy.