Clean up Your RAW Files and Keep Using Lightroom or Photoshop

Review by Erik Vlietinck

DxO Labs’s AI-based PureRAW removes noise, chromatic aberrations, unwanted vignetting, distortion, and insufficient sharpness. When a company tells the press its new product can turn any RAW image into a perfect linear DNG that can be further processed in any linear DNG-aware image editor, we want to see that in action. 

The test I ran was with four shots from a Sony A700 with a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24–70mm lens at ISO 3200. As I expected, the noise was considerable. I processed this image through Capture One Pro 21, on autopilot. The results were quite good but, much to my surprise, PureRAW did a better job. Its neural-network AI actually restored lost detail, sharpened the image with no artifacts at all, and removed a slight distortion. Processing the four, 12-megapixel test files did take some 15 minutes of processing time from start to finish. After processing with PureRAW, I went back to my file that I originally processed in Capture One Pro and tried to fine-tune it further to compare the files. The final result still couldn’t stand up to the quality I got from DxO’s PureRAW. 

Very important from a productivity point of view is that processing with PureRAW involves one click. That means you can be doing other things while the app goes through your entire batch; whereas cleaning up in any other image editor will take much longer to tweak the image to (almost) the same level of perfection. 

The conclusion is that PureRAW allows you to keep on using whichever image editor you may already have that supports linear DNGs, and enjoy a better starting file to edit. And, as the product manager and press officer said in their presentation, that was exactly what DxO had in mind when it released this new app. ■