Touched for the very first time…
DxO ViewPoint 4 review + First Impression
Today I’m doing my initial review of DXOs ViewPoint.
Suppose you’re unfamiliar with the format of these initial video reviews I’m touching for the first time. In that case, I recommend checking out this video first.
It’s a two-minute video that will give you more information about the format of these DXO reviews.
Otherwise, you might need clarification about what’s happening if you don’t watch it.
So the first thing I need to do because I’ve never used or touched DXO ViewPoint, is install it.
And just like any other software, we’ll double-click on the app here or the file I downloaded. And then I’m just going to follow these instructions.
Now that I have ViewPoint installed, I need to activate it. I don’t have my activation code.
I’m going to try out the demo here. We’re going to take a couple of images and see how easy it is to use ViewPoint and whether or not it does what it says it will do, which is, let’s take a look here.
It’s still asking for information.
All right, update—new update. Remind me later. I don’t want to do that right now.
All right, we have some sample images.
This reminds me of the Adobe Bridge app, which comes with Photoshop.
So we have access to all of these folders here. Before we get into that, let’s take a quick look at what ViewPoint does or what DXO says it can do.
All right, so ViewPoint gives you complete control over lines, angles, and shapes, adjusts perspectives and fixed distortions, “warp” specific areas, and corrects wide-angle stretching for perfect images.
All right, we have a tool in Adobe Lightroom that allows us to do these types of geometric adjustments, and it’s called Transform.
And if we take a look at this image here, let’s go ahead and go inside.
And there it is; Transform. And you can see I’ve applied some edits here.
Let’s take a look at the before and after this way.
So you can see this image on the right. We have some distortion here.
The columns are leaning to the left, and that’s due to the wide-angle lens that I used.
This was a 20mm lens, and this is the Bra Brant Straight Pier in Burlington, Ontario.
And then, with Transform, I could straighten out those columns, but it affected the composition.
We have a gap up here versus where I initially started the pier in the top left corner.
I did that purposefully because I wanted to start from that corner so that it flows into the image this way, but now I have a gap.
Is that something that ViewPoint will be able to avoid creating this gap here?
Or is it going to gimme the same results?
And how easy is it to use?
Is it going to be more accessible, or is it more complex?
Because if we look at their website here, we have a screenshot of their ViewPoint app, and there are a lot more sliders and things to do, which means there is a more significant learning curve for using ViewPoint.
Is it going to be harder to use?
So we’re going to figure that out together because I’ve never used ViewPoint before, so we’re going to check it out for the first time together.
All right, so continuing on to get the perfect angle.
Every time can be used as a standalone app or with Photoshop or Lightroom.
We have this tool in Lightroom, so we’ll see if we get similar or better results.
You can also reshape your images with a warping tool.
So that’s like the mesh tool, I think, in Photoshop.
So if you need to expand the curves of an architectural setting like this, then we have different grid options.
Now, I’m going over this because I’ve never watched any video tutorials on how to use ViewPoint or read any blog posts.
So I’m not sure exactly what we’ll get or be able to do on ViewPoint. We’re going to take a quick look at other options. So defeat distortions in an instant.
So ViewPoint makes them better.
So this will fix, or it says Cheap optics can look pro once processed with our award-winning optical correction tools.
All right, we have some warping going on from the wide-angle lens.
So you can see the horizon is curved or warped there. It looks like it’s able to fix that.
So it says it can fix barrel, pin cushion, and fisheye distortion.
Now we could do that in PureRAW with the other review I did previously. So it’s kind of redundant.
I’m not sure if we want to do both of these at, you know, in both software, you should be able to do one or the other, or probably PhotoLab will give you a better option to use all of these at the same time, versus doing one and one app and then doing something else and another app depending on what you need to do.
So that’s something that we’ll have to explore in the future. So get the right balance.
So when balance is vital, you can achieve perfect poise with DXO ViewPoints.
Powerful perspective tools.
Choose from four methods to get the desired results, regardless of the subject; Auto, 9 points, vertical, or rectangle.
All right, so here’s the before and the after.
So if you can’t get the image in the field, your client wants something like this after.
You could use this. Still, I would prefer to get the shot in camera so I don’t have to fix it in software regardless of the software.
But for this particular image, because we have a reflection here on this window, you can’t stand in front of the window.
You could, but you’ll have much retouching to do.
So that’s cool that you can do something like this if you can’t get the shot this way because of the reflection.
All right, next, we have all the drama, none of the distortion.
All right, so wide-angle lenses are vital for tight spaces.
I’ve been through that with weddings that I’ve done. I’ve shot over 500 weddings, and there’s always one small room at every wedding. You have to use a wide-angle lens and end up with these types of distortions here, where objects appear further than they are.
So now, with ViewPoint, you can fix this type of distortion.
So this was probably shot with a wide-angle lens, and now with the correction, it looks like it was shot with, let’s say, a standard lens of 50, maybe 70, 80 Zoom or something like that.
So we can fix a lot of different things. In ViewPoint, you can rotate your images.
That’s a standard feature in other photo editing apps. So is cropping. So it’s not something that I typically use in ViewPoint.
I won’t crop or adjust my composition or rotate it in ViewPoint. I’m more interested in it. This looks interesting; we get an option to create a miniature effect.
So this is similar to what you would achieve with a tilt-shift lens.
So if you don’t have one of those lenses and want to create this miniature effect because of this shallow depth of field here and up here, it creates that miniature-type effect.
But for me, the one feature I’m most interested in is the correction here of perspective issues or distortion.
Let’s check out DXO ViewPoint with one of my images to see how easy it is.
Now with PureRAW, I can drag and drop images into the app.
Here it looks like I will have to find it on my operating system. Here somewhere in here, is my image.
I don’t know where it’s at. So file open, recent file, open file.
I will have to locate this file here through Lightroom first because I didn’t plan this beforehand.
So show and finder. I will grab both of these, and let’s do a new folder, ViewPoint.
I will also put the XMP file in there because I want to see if it can read the edits that I applied, not necessarily the transformation, but the White Balance, Tonal Values, etc.
I want to see if it can pick that up. So let’s go back into DXO and “Command or Control plus O” to open up the finder window here, and let’s go ahead and open up the file.
So I can’t do it from here, so I can open a RAW file. I can only work with JPEG.
That is a disadvantage to me not being able to use a RAW file.
That will mess up my workflow if I’m using ViewPoint versus Lightroom.
So I’m already disappointed that I can’t use my RAW file.
That seems odd to me. Let’s put this over here, and I can’t open that.
No image file found and the current directory.
Let’s export this as a JPEG, and then we’ll try that.
So now I need to return to this image where the distortion still needs to be applied.
Let’s export it to that folder.
And we’re going to do JPEG. Let’s do a hundred for the quality, and I won’t resize it.
All right, this shows up in the window now. All right, there it is.
Let’s get this into the app to use it.
So I just double-clicked on it to open the ViewPoint window and would like to control this computer using accessibility features.
We’re already at a disadvantage versus Lightroom because we have to work with JPEG files, not RAW files. So not too thrilled about that.
All right, distortion, let’s start with Auto and see what it does. Automagically needs to open the original file.
Why do I need that?
Okay, so it’s asking me for the original RAW file to get the metadata information to fix it.
Okay, I have to download their profile for this particular lens.
All right, now it’s processing and doesn’t look any different than before. Is there a before and after?
All right, so before and after, it looks exactly the same. It didn’t do anything.
So this is a user error. I need to learn how to use the software. I’ve never used it before.
Like I mentioned a few times, just for those of you who need clarification as to why I’m reviewing something I’ve never used, I want to know how easy it is to use. This software so far, is challenging to use.
It doesn’t use RAW files. I have to use JPEG, but then it has to go and find the original RAW file.
Then to find that metadata, it needs to correct the distortion created by that particular lens.
And then, when you apply Auto, it doesn’t do anything.
There’s, there’s no difference between the before and after.
So yes, this is a user error. I don’t know how to use the software.
I don’t know the limitations. Maybe you can use RAW files.
I don’t know. That’s something that I’m going to have to spend time learning.
And if you’re doing this for the first time, you will have to learn this too.
You’re going to have to watch YouTube videos, and you’re going to have to do this, you’re going to have to do that.
Whereas with PureRAW, I could go in and use that software like I already knew it because it was easier to use this one, a little bit more of a learning curve.
So let’s see if I can manually adjust the perspective on this.
So I’m going to click on these here, and I’m going to target this column here.
So I’m just clicking and dragging to see if this is similar to what we do in Lightroom. So again, I’m not sure if this is how you do this.
I’m just taking a stab at this. It’d probably be easier if I watched a YouTube video.
Let’s go ahead and apply. So no, that’s not it either.
So I will undo that with Commander Control plus the letter Z.
I’m going to reset, and I’m just going to place these lines here and let’s try that.
All right, so that didn’t fix it either.
Okay, so this was distortion. Gotcha. Okay, let’s go ahead and reset that.
So distortion was the vignetting and the stretching of the image in the corner and the sides. I didn’t see that.
Such a distortion. Now, it won’t fix that because this is a JPEG file.
Even though it read the profile for it, it still didn’t seem to fix it because I had already fixed it when I originally edited the image. It was already baked into the JPEG file when I exported it.
So that’s why I’m not seeing any difference.
So let’s click on Auto for perspective and see if it fixes it.
All right, so same exact result as I got with Lightroom.
Let’s take a look at these side by side here.
Now, I will say this was quicker and easier to fix to perspective and ViewPoint versus Lightroom because, remember, in Lightroom, I had to adjust these sliders manually.
Now, before I did that, I applied. Let’s go ahead and reset these. I always start off with Auto to see. Now it’s got that crop automatically in there.
So I’m going to go back to this other version here. This is my virtual copy.
All right, so everything is reset here.
So when I’m editing in Lightroom, 9 times out of 10, I start with Auto to see what Lightroom can do to fix it.
And you can see with the auto adjustment here, it Auto matters.
It automagically adjusted the perspective but didn’t fix it properly, so I had to go in and change it manually.
I will turn this off, adjust the vertical to minus 100, and offset the Y to around. I think it was plus 12.
And that’s part of why that perspective or that issue with the composition has that gap in it because I’ve offset the Y access, and if we put this back to zero, I constrain the crop.
You can see how I’m cropping off the bottom portion.
But once I lift this, I can get those columns back in.
So all that being said, it took me a lot longer to do that in Lightroom versus ViewPoint.
My problem is I’m working with a JPEG versus a RAW file in Lightroom.
It’s not going to work with my particular workflow.
If you shoot a lot of architecture, I can say that ViewPoint will probably be faster for you, mainly if your workflow includes shooting and working with JPEG files.
So that might be an option for you.
At this point, I can’t say that I like ViewPoint, and I’m not sure I can recommend it because I don’t think I will use it.
I’m going to have to do more research and learn more about it to see if I can use RAW files and how I can incorporate them into my workflow.
So I will do another in-depth review of ViewPoint to see how to use it with my images.
Until then, I have additional initial reviews of all of DXOs apps and photo editing apps, and again, I’ve never touched any of them.
Check out this playlist to see those initial reviews.