I have just discovered a great new tool for digital photographers. It is called DxO Optics and it is available from www.dxo.com.
As we all know, no camera or lens is perfect. Some combinations are better than others. What DxO does is to investigate the weaknesses of each camara/lens combo and then tries to correct them. It is extremely easy to use and works well as long as you shoot in RAW mode and use DxO before doing any other processing. Here are some examples:
This shot was taken with a Nikon D70 with the 18-70 kit lens:
After using DxO
This shot was taken with a Nikon D70 with a Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM DG lens
After using DxO
Note the extra detail on the tail fin.
DxO fixes sharpness, exposure, colour, etc... There are no settings, it simply fixes what it considers to be a weakness with the lens and camera combination. You choose the pictures you want to 'fix' and hit the go button. It takes a while with RAW images, so have a cup of coffee while you wait.
A downside is the cost. The standard version is $159. The Elite version which is for 'pro' cameras and lenses, costs $249. In each case you are paying for only one camera and one lens. Extra lenses are between $39 and $79 each!!!! So for me with a Nikon D70, Nikon 18-70 and a Sigma 70-200 2.8 the cost will be $159 + $39 = $198. There is no support for my Sigma 50-500 as yet.
This looks like a lot of money, but if you consider how long it can take do sort out a couple of 1gb compact flash cards manually using Photoshop, DxO seems worth it.
What do you think?