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How to get better RAW files

A little less than a year after version 1, the French company DxO, launched on March 16, 2022, ther version 2 of PureRaw. An almost magical software for perfect RAW files, but not only. Version 2 makes it possible, in particular, to continue working with its workflow and to add processing for perfect RAWs.

The solution for perfect raw files

A year ago DxO presented software that broke completely with everything that exists for processing RAW files. DxO PureRaw is a dematricing solution that corrects optical defects and reduces digital noise. PureRaw transforms RAW files into better RAW files (in this case DNGs) to have a better working basis for the editing process.

NB: If you are not shooting RAW you are clearly missing out on the flexibility and power of digital photography. Shooting in JPG is a bit like doing analog photography by systematically throwing away your negatives and keeping only the prints… In short…

On the interface side, version 1 of Dxo PureRaw is a neat and efficient standalone application that allows you to open RAW files and have them processed by the powerful DeepPrime technology; a neural network engine driven by camera and lens characterization datas that DxO has been conducting for around twenty years.

Two other technologies are available, HQ and Prime, but less powerful than DeepPrime.

The results are breathtaking, regardless of the ISO setting, whether in focus or out of focus.

DxO PureRaw 2 : better integration

On account of the improvements in version 2 of PureRaw, I was seduced by the two new workflows offered:

  • The access to RAW processing by simply right-clicking from Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac;
  • Integration into Lightroom classic as a plugin.

DxO PureRaw 2 : faster

File processing by version 2 has been optimized and is faster, especially on Macs running M1 processors.

DxO PureRaw 2 : stunning results

But all these improvements would be nothing without the incredible quality of the processing carried out by the software. To test the software, I unearthed old files made in 2012 during two reports, one with UNASS during a rescue station in Lille and the other with firefighters in the Doux.

The first step when importing images is to download the profiles of the Camera / Lens combinations that DxO has characterized in its laboratory to apply relevant and specialized treatments.

French interface of Optics modules (DxO PureRaw is also available in english)

Once the optical modules have been downloaded, all you have to do is launch the optimization of the files. As input, we put RAW files and as output DxO PureRaw produces optimized RAW files in DNG format. The result is almost magical:

  • Noise is wiped out (both in sharp and out of focus areas)
  • The blur is silky smooth
  • Chromatic aberrations are corrected
  • The lens defects are corrected

Here are some examples of views compared between the original RAW and the optimized RAW.

An almost magical software for perfect RAW files.

DxO PureRaw 2 : After

Once the RAW file has been optimized by DxO PureRaw, nothing changes, just open it in your editing and processing software to transform it into the final image. On the other hand, there is no longer any need to worry about digital noise or chromatic aberrations, the file is rid of them.

To download and try DxO PureRaw 2, it’s here, on the site of the French company DxO.

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Nicolas Beaumont is a photojournalist, director and writer specializing in social and humanitarian photography. Among our clients are the French Red Cross, Emmaüs, Handicap International, Secours Mag, Dimatex, Actusoins. We make films, photographs and articles around the world on current topics: migration, war, displaced, natural disaster, flood etc...

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