DxO Optics Pro is a combined RAW conversion and lens correction tool. It uses lab-developed profiles for specific camera and lens combinations to automatically correct lens distortion, corner shading (vignetting), edge softness and chromatic aberration (colour fringing) and can transform the quality of pictures from even basic D-SLRs and lenses.

DxO Optics Pro 9

Version 9 brings improvements to the RAW conversions, where DxO Optics Pro was already particularly strong. You can find more information in the DxO Optics Pro 9 press release. I plan to look at the improvements closely in future posts, but for now here are the highlights:

DxO Optics Pro 11 review

PRIME processing engine

This stands for Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement, and it’s a new process for analysing high-ISO images to distinguish noise from detail. It analyses up to 1000 surrounding pixels and it can take several minutes to process a single image. If that’s too long, you can use a ‘classic’ noise reduction process that’s much quicker, if less effective.

DxO Smart Lighting improvement

The DxO Smart Lighting feature brings out shadow detail in the image without affecting the overall exposure. DxO says this is new and improved and that DxO Optics Pro 9 is now even better at recovering highlight detail from RAW files. This is one of the chief advantages of shooting RAW, so any improvements will be exciting to see.

Visual presets

You no longer have to click on a preset from a list to see what your image will look like when processed. DxO Optics Pro 9 now previews preset ‘live’ as you browse them.

Export changes

DxO Optics Pro 9 changes the way you export images. Previously, this was the third tab in a three-step workflow. Now, though, the export options are claimed to be better and more productive. You now can export images straight to another application or straight to Flickr.

I’ve already downloaded the new version and I’m in the middle of planning some posts to show off the new features.