6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2011 1:21 AM by pdrcourious
pdrcourious Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
For RAW I use DXO Optical Pro to my utmost satisfaction. Now that I got AP3 for a birthday present, I intend to use it for replacing iPhoto 11 in most cases. Also blessed with a brand new iMac (Intel Core i5) with still 954,67 GB on the internal HDD, I presume AP3 is best used in the 'Managed files' way, right?

About an eventual choice for the "Referenced" option, I am in doubt which have to be those files: the ones I got in the DxO library, or these in the iPhoto. Until now I imported DxO processed images into iPhoto, which then accepted those as 'originals' on which I made some supplementary adjustments (creating 'modified' images as you know).

I cannot stick always to RAW only, because JPEG's still remain important to design photo books by some.

Is there some particular workflow I have to respect concerning Aperture, since the proper working of DxO's 'optical modules' system and optical corrections on my Nikon D80 (Nikkor zoom 18-200 mm) needs to make use of DxO first, then Aperture?

iMac (Intel Core i5), Mac OS X (10.6.6), 2,8 GHz, intern memory 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
  • Jade Leary Level 3 Level 3 (665 points)
    Hi, there are a few questions in your post so let me try and answer them:
    I presume AP3 is best used in the 'Managed files' way, right?

    Not necessarily. It makes backing up easier but it's also less flexible than a referenced library. Both are perfectly good choices and depend on your situation. Look up referenced vs managed in this forum for a slew of great answers.
    the ones I got in the DxO library, or these in the iPhoto.

    If you sent JPEGs to iPhoto and then modified those, I'd tend to go back to the DXO versions and treat those as masters (you don't want second or third generation lossy originals). If on the other hand you sent TIFFs to iPhoto then you could import that library into Aperture - you'll get both originals and modified versions in the import.
    I cannot stick always to RAW only, because JPEG's still remain important to design photo books by some

    RAW can never be used for anything other than processing and will always need to be exported or rendered to another "distribution" format. So Aperture doesn't change anything to this other than the ability to create certain things natively (books, slideshows) without first having to export those files.

    Is there some particular workflow I have to respect concerning Aperture, since the proper working of DxO's 'optical modules' system and optical corrections on my Nikon D80 (Nikkor zoom 18-200 mm) needs to make use of DxO first, then Aperture?

    To be honest, using another RAW decoder is going to complicate your life immensely. I really think you should try Aperture 3's RAW decoding and see if it works for you. Check out the decoding options, see if the default works. If it doesn't try tweaking the settings. If you find a setup that works you can save it as a preset and apply it automatically on import.
    The advantages to only working in Aperture are immense. It means you can keep your entire workflow RAW and/or non-destructive most of the times (unless you use plugins or external editors) and it simplifies organization.

    If you absolutely want to stick with DXO - and since Aperture can't use an external RAW decoder (no other DAM does either for that matter) - you'll have to:
    1. Import your pics in DXO.
    2. Decode and apply adjustments.
    3. Export to a folder on your hard drive.
    4. Import those processed pics into Aperture.

    This means you'll be duplicating all your pictures. And ideally you'll be exporting TIFFs, which means much larger files than your original RAWs.

    Frankly I'm not sure I see the point of working like this unless there is a magnitude of difference in RAW rendering and image processing with DXO. It's a recipe for a huge headache and a lot of time wasted IMHO.

    But only you can be the ultimate judge of that….
  • pdrcourious Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My presumption on the 'Managed' option was based indeed on the most instructive forum talk about "referenced vs Managed". If I'm right, 'referenced' is mostly advocated/preferred by those who need/prefer more space on their internal (laptop) HD. As I still have plenty (more than 950 MB) on the iMac, it was my impression that a space argument is of no actual or important concern to me.
    On the other hand 'Managed' seems to have the decisive upper-hand in managing everything 'in one hand': organizing, updating, etc.

    As said, I use DxO to take full advantage of its optical corrections in the module adapted to my own camera/ lens profile (as also LR3 offers). AP3 lacks that tool that works VERY efficiently for my particular need, as does also DxO's 'keystone/horizon' tool.
    What follows is an excerpt of my conversation with DxO's support team on this point. Is it relevant in the light of your own reaction? :

    Question:
    Hello Jeff,

    For my birthday I was offered AP3 of which I am learning the very basics now. Is there any annoying
    (conflicting?) effect - concerning workflow - in starting with AP3 for import and some adjustments first,
    then exporting to DxO to take full advantage of its Optics Modules system to perform the optics
    corrections, and to use its other fine-tuning corrections as the wonderful efficient keystoning/horizon tool
    (instead of the other way round: from DxO to AP3, or to iPhoto as I do now), and then export DxO's
    results to AP3 (and/or iPhoto eventually) again?

    I ask this, because I learned from the 'User Manual' - and experienced it to my complete satisfaction -
    that DxO Optics Pro processes best on RAW photos. So AP3 would have to export pictures to DxO in RAW,
    and not mere as JPEG.

    regards,
    Peter

    Answer
    Hello Peter,

    Interesting question. One which I have experimented with on my Macs with Optics Pro and Aperture 3.

    It is always best, if you want the best operation of Optics Pro on your image files, to use the original files
    from your camera in Optics Pro first, and then use the processed files in another program, i.e. AP3.

    If you import your files into AP3 first, the only way you will get the best out of Optics Pro is if you export
    the master file out of AP3 to a folder on your hard drive and then use that file in Optics Pro. The master
    file is the original file that was stored in Aperture. If you try to use Optics Pro with a file that was
    processed and produced by Aperture, you will find that Optics Pro either does not work with that file, or
    does not work well with that file.

    Exporting the master file (if it was originally a RAW file) is the way to export RAW files to Optics Pro for
    processing. You never want to process the image file in Aperture from RAW to JPG first and then try to use
    that file in Optics Pro.

    I hope that made some sense.

    regards,
    Jeff
    DxO Support Team
    DxO Labs
  • Mr Endo Level 4 Level 4 (1,005 points)
    Peter,

    As I still have plenty (more than 950 MB) on the iMac, it was my impression that a space argument is of no actual or important concern to me.


    Whoa, you *do not* have plenty of space. 950 MB is so little space that I'm surprised Mac OS has not been warning you of impending doom on a regular basis!

    nathan
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (25,715 points)
    So what file format comes out of DxO? Is DxO a one shot usage, that is once the raw file is processed by DxO do you ever need to put the file through it again?
  • CorkyO2 Level 4 Level 4 (1,290 points)
    Frank Caggiano wrote:
    So what file format comes out of DxO? Is DxO a one shot usage, that is once the raw file is processed by DxO do you ever need to put the file through it again?


    Frank,

    DxO Pro offers JPEG, TIFF (16-bit), TIFF (8bit) and DNG output. The user has control of compression levels on JPEG (and an optional compression for the TIFF 8-bit).

    I use it when I shoot my D80 with a 18-135mm lens which has distortion and CA issues that require correction.

    If the user has a camera / lens combination which DxO labs has made a module for, then correction for exposure, lighting, noise, distortion, CA and lens softness are automatically processed. Each one can be deselected prior to processing as needed.

    When it works well for a given combination, you end up with an accurate, clean image that needs very little attention after processing (other than artistic adjustments).




    To the OP:

    When I use DxO, I backup my out of camera images > copy images to a folder on desktop > run DxO in a batch > import the end (JPEG) files into a new project in Aperture 3 > delete the folder on desktop when done.

    I have been very happy when using this method and always have the originals (before processing in DxO) backed up in case I want to do something else with the RAW's.
  • pdrcourious Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Sorry, I meant - evidently - 950 GB. Excellent and well deserved laugh, though, your "Whoa". !-)