OpticsPro 11 PRIME Test

As many readers know I’ve been using DxO OpticsPro as the first step in my post processing approach for a few years now. I’ve recently had a few readers ask me about the performance of OpticsPro 11 PRIME noise reduction.

I spent some time today working with some files I captured at Bird Kingdom in May. To keep things on a level playing field I used my OpticsPro custom preset that I typically use for my bird images,  and applied it to all of the photographs you’ll see in this article. I then applied the exact same adjustments to all of the files using CS6 and Nik. I used a stopwatch to assess the time that it took OpticsPro 11 and OpticsPro 10 to process a RAW file as a DNG and open it up in CS6. You’ll find the results in the EXIF data under each image.

The original photographs as well as 100% crops are shown for each image.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:21
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:54

Now let’s look at 100% crops of the two processed images above.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:21
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:54

Now let’s look at a selection of 3 different bird images.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:15
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:58
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:58

Here are 100% crops from each version of the image above.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:15
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:15
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:58
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 129mm, efov 349mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:58

Here’s our second high-ISO bird image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:17
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:17
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:57
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:57

And now, 100% crops of each version.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:17
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:17
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:57
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, efov 618mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:57

Finally, here is our third high-ISO bird image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:17
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:18
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:51
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:51

As with the other photographs, here are 100% crops of each image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:18
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:18
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:51
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:51

Our last photograph is one of a turtle at Bird Kingdom.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:22
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:22
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:49
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:49

And, here is our last pair of 100% crops.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:22
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 10, processing time 1:22
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processing using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:49
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-6400, processed using OpticsPro 11, processing time 0:49

It should be noted that I never do any batch processing of my
RAW files. I did this test exactly the way that I would typically process individual RAW files. I’m not a pixel peeper, nor do I spend a lot of time post processing individual RAW files. Three minutes is about the longest that I would typically spend on an image.

Is the PRIME noise reduction function in OpticsPro 11 faster than in OpticsPro 10? Absolutely…in my little test it was between 23% and 40% faster depending on the file.

Is PRIME in OpticsPro 11 ‘more powerful’ as DxO claims? I think it is a tiny bit better and this is most noticeable in some of the backgrounds where the ‘blockiness’ that OpticsPro PRIME used to exhibit is toned down a little bit. The transitions between colour shades seems a tiny bit smoother as well. Does the PRIME noise reduction in OpticsPro 11 represent a performance ‘breakthrough’? Not to my eye, but you may have a different visual experience.

I did notice that OpticsPro 11 added a touch more micro-contrast to my custom preset. The impact of that small change was barely noticeable. Current OpticsPro users who do not typically use micro-contrast with their images will likely notice more of a difference than I did.

All of the images in this article were shot with a Nikon 1 J5 and the 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens, at ISO-6400. Given the size of the CX sensor this is likely a fairly aggressive test.

I use many of the other adjustments available in OpticsPro on an infrequent basis. Some I almost never use, so I may not be representative of a typical user.

Should you buy DxO OpticsPro 11? That will be for you to decide. I would suggest downloading a trial version and trying out the software before making any purchase decision. Once you use the activation purchase code there’s no turning back and DxO will not consider any kind of a credit, so its best to make sure you like the software by using a trial version.

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7 thoughts on “OpticsPro 11 PRIME Test”

  1. Hi Thomas
    After reading your article, I decided to download the version 11. I already own version 10. I never use it regularly being a very knowledgeable user of lightroom for years. Its true that we have all a normal tendency to use much more the tools we master. I was stunned by the results I could get even with my APS-C cameras, with little effort (color saturation, textures & image quality; noise reduction). The problem I always had with DXo is that I never took the time to learn how to create Presets that save so much time when similar files have to be corrected. After a few minutes I found the way to create them. I have created new Presets folders for each of my cameras,and with all the presets created in them I apply this setting in the DxO FilmPack for the ”Color Rendering” , ”Color Rendering” “Rendering” ” choosing the camera I am making the preset for”. I also did a Preset for only applying ”Prime” noise reduction without any of the Dxo customize options.
    After this I realized the final result is definitely easier and better than what I can get in lightroom. The saturated colors are much better than what I can get in LR . Is DXO can replace LR in image the answer is a big “NO” because there are many image manipulations that are not available, such as using an Adjustment brush; graduated filter; radial filter; file management (very important for photographers) ; Watermarking in printing . Both softs can work together very nicely. The negative side is its rather slow compared to lightroom in processing files, particularly in batch. I just forgot to mention that used with “FastRawViewer” (ETTR) it gives even better results with the highest DR.
    Thanks again, it is changing my workflow for the best quality results…………..
    regards

    1. Hi Luc,
      Thanks for sharing your recent experience with DxO OpticsPro 11 and discussing the custom presets that you have created. I agree that for many people OpticsPro 11 does not give them all of the functionality that they may need and programs like Lightroom and PhotoShop are necessary for their workflow. Other folks who only make ‘global’ changes may find a single software solution meets their needs…regardless of what that single solution may be.
      Tom

  2. I use Dxo as well. I started with 8 then 10 and have just finished the trial of 11. It is faster and it’s nice to see benchmarks. Image size makes a difference I have noted as well. It seems with my larger Sony a6000 images it’s closer always to the 40% side. I have compared it to the noise in capture one and topaz Denoise 6 and prime does as good of a job on my V1 images as Denoise but with much less effort. The tools in Dxo like micro contrast and such do as good of a job as topaz labs clarity as well ; again much less effort.

    1. Hi Bob,
      Thanks for sharing your experiences using OpticsPro and your comparisons with other photographic software. It is always great to have additional perspectives!
      Tom

  3. As additional info: In tests that I ran between V10 and V11, if you are cropping files (and in sports shooting I typically crop files by 50%, and sometime even more), V11 is much faster. I believe that V10 works on the entire file, then crops it, while V11 first crops, then works only on the cropped portion of the file. I don’t know this as a fact (I have not asked DxO personnel), just basing my comment upon results (time to process).

    I would therefore say that if you work on files that you know you will crop (especially aggressively), then V11 is worth the investment, due to the time savings.

    WEJ

    1. Hi William,
      Thanks for adding your experience to the discussion – always appreciated! I found that even when working with un-cropped files that version 11 of OpticsPro was 23% to 40% faster depending on the individual file.
      Tom

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