Many folks have no doubt read industry reports that DxO Labs filed for bankruptcy in France. The question on many photographers’ minds who use OpticsPro, PhotoLab or some of the company’s other software, is what this filing means and what they should do next.
Looking back, I suppose an early warning sign that something may have been awry happened in the fall of 2017 when DxO Mark and DxO Labs split into two separate companies under different owners.
DxO Mark, which was the testing and ranking portion of the original business, is not affected by the bankruptcy filing.
DxO Labs, the software and camera segment (i.e. DxO One camera add-on for smartphones) of the original company is the part affected by the bankruptcy filing in France.
At this point it is unclear what will happen with DxO Labs. It could be allowed to restructure and continue in some kind of revised format when it emerges. It could be bought by another company that may continue to produce its products. Segments of DxO Labs could be split up and sold, or a portion of the company could be allowed to restructure and continue. Worst case, the company cannot find a way to continue and may be liquidated.
No doubt many photographers will be disappointed with this news as they enjoy using OpticsPro, PhotoLab or other DxO Labs software. Some photographers may have been hoping that DxO Labs’ purchase of the Nik Collection from Google last year would have resulted in an updated, and more powerful version of that software program. The bankruptcy filing puts the future of the Nik Collection under a cloud.
It is still too early to know how all of this will play out. For many photographers who are not planning to purchase any new lenses or camera bodies in the near future, there will not be any immediate impact.
People who have relied on DxO Lab photo software to provide automatic lens and camera corrections will need to see if any updates on new camera gear are forthcoming from the company. If those updates continue to be issued, their fears about the future will be lessened to some degree.
I have made it a practice to always buy a back-up CD of any software that I purchase, if such a back-up is available. If the worst happens with DxO Labs and it is liquidated, I do have a back-up CD of the program that cost me an extra $15US when I placed my original software order. That will help get me through in the short to medium term.
The three programs that I use right now (DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection) all still work fine and I enjoy using them. I see no reason to worry about this recent DxO Labs development. If I need to rethink my post processing approach down the road, I’ll cross that bridge when I need to. In the meantime I’ll continue to have fun creating images with my current camera gear and software programs.
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