DxO — a software company, that has turned into a camera review company, that now produces its own cameras. DxO is truly a company that has lost its way and should be ignored by any serious photographer going forward.
As a preface, I’ve used all of the versions of DxO Optics Pro starting from late 2005 and up to the latest version (10 at the time of this writing). I’ve also used the Filmpack plugin because it offers many creative renderings during the RAW process. Since 2005, some versions have been buggy and slow, others quicker and more usable. DxO used to stay current and update their software to support the latest and greatest cameras and lenses. They were truly an alternative to Adobe’s RAW processing options.
Years ago, I was a huge fan of DxO. This was back in the days before Lightroom. We’re talking late 2005. Back then the Nikon D70s was all the rage, and the best lens that I owned was a Tamron midrange zoom. I didn’t know the first thing about using a bounce flash, and shooting in manual mode was frightening to me. Photoshop was something only “pros” used.
At that time, DxO Optics Pro was a magical tool. You threw your JPG or RAW files at it, and it worked wonders! It sharpened images, reduced noise, and brightened the image. Pretty much everything you threw at it, came out looking better. There wasn’t too much you could tweak with it, but you really didn’t need to because the images just looked amazing! Since then, something has gone awry.
Nowadays, DxO has determined that certain popular cameras are something they won’t support — ever. Namely Fuji. DxO has their rationale, but to me it sounds like they are too lazy to work on the algorithms necessary to decode Fuji’s X-Trans sensor’s RAW output. Now that’s their right, after all they are a private company, but in my opinion they are missing out on a large amount of users that are looking for an Adobe Lightroom alternative (yes there is PhotoNinja, Iridient, Capture One, etc.). Furthermore, as a Fuji, Canon, and Olympus user, I can’t see investing my time and money in a RAW processing platform that only supports some of my cameras, not all.
DxO has also gone in directions other than software. They have introduced their own “DxO Mark” lens and camera evaluation system. You see DxO metrics and scores posted all over review websites, forum members love to quote them as if the numbers mean something, people argue over the data and justify buying / using certain cameras and brands because of the scores. It’s “measurebating” at it’s finest, but the numbers mean nothing to those of us that actually like to use our cameras to take photos. Wanting to quantify performance of cameras is a noble task, but they even attempt to quantify cameras that they don’t support in their own software. How can this be considered credible?
I have never purchased a camera or any photographic gear based in any part on a DxO score. I use the cameras and lenses which give me the images that I like, and that are fun to use. Speed of autofocus, focus accuracy, image quality and output are all things that I factor in. I do read reviews online — although a majority of them cannot be trusted. I look at sample images, watch videos online, etc. to learn about the various cameras and lenses. Of course until I actually use it, it is just someone else’s opinion and therefore subjective.
DxO has now completely lost any and all credibility by releasing and trumpeting their very own camera — the DxO One. It’s a camera that plugs into your iPhone that’s supposed to offer DSLR quality. Without even looking at the review just yet, and as of the time of this writing, I actually hadn’t until just now. What do you suppose it’s DxO Mark’s score is going to be? Let’s not even look at the specs of this camera yet, just guess what it’s going to be. Would you say low or high? High? You guessed it! What are the odds? How fortunate! http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/DxO-ONE-review-The-Science-Behind-the-Score. Isn’t it amazing that their own camera, that they review themselves, and test themselves, using their own metrics, score well? Sounds legit to me! Don’t even bother looking into the camera specs or image quality. The numbers say it all!
In conclusion, DxO is a company that should be ignored. Their Optics Pro software offers nothing special in comparison to the competition. In fact, you’ll get better camera support and updates with other software — specifically Lightroom or Capture One. Their DxO Mark scores are meaningless and offer photographers nothing useable when deciding which gear to purchase. Furthermore, their own scores are skewed to support their own products. Their software, benchmark scores, and camera are irrelevant. There are better sources of information, better cameras, and better RAW processors available. DxO? No.