November 29, 2011
DxO Film Pack 3.1 is now available as a free upgrade to version 3.0. Here's why you should buy Version 3.0 and upgrade!
DxO Film pack is produced by the very well-respected DxO Labs, maker of DxO Optics Pro. Their web sites, www.dxo.com and dxomark.com, are valuable resources for digital camera sensor evaluations through their DxOMark database.
DxO Film Pack version 3.1 is just out, and is a free upgrade if you own version 3 which, if you don't already own it, can be ordered now through Adorama. It is available as a standalone or as a plugin for DxO Optics Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture. DxO Film Pack 3.0 comes in two editions:
The DxO Film Pack Version 3.0 Expert Edition ($129) has 36 authentic color film types (both positive and negative) and 26 for B/W. It has 18 color filters, 6 toning options and 25 creative presets. It also has two presets for cross-processed films and a tab for user-saved custom presets.
The DxO Film Pack Essential Edition ($79) has 20 color film types (both positive and negative) and 13 for B/W. It has 8 color filters, 6 toning options and the two cross-processed film types. There are no creative or custom presets.
Discount pricing of $99 and $49 is being offered until December 24.
What’s new in 3.1? In the Expert Edition you can now exchange custom presets with other users, and DxO will provide new ones from time to time, “for special events.” In both editions Undo and Redo functions have been added and there are several improvements to the graphics interface, including a full screen mode and a resizable preset panel.
On Mac and Windows XP there is only a 32 bit mode, meaning you will need to start the host program (DxO Optics Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture) in 32 bit mode whenever you want to use it. Film Pack will run in 32 or 64 bits in Windows 7 and Vista. It is accessed in Photoshop in the Filter menu and in Lightroom from File > Plug-in Extras.
There is a filmstrip at bottom of the screen with tabs for different films and creative presets. Click one to see a preview in main image. In the upper left are icons to let you do a split screen or side-by-side before and after to compare to the original. I was struck by how much color and tonal difference there is between different color films.
On the right of the screen there is a histogram and controls to let you alter or fine-tune the color and tonalities, remove noise, alter the grain and add vignettes to create your own custom look. The Black and White and Color tabs are shown here.
DxO Film Pack will have a special appeal to those who are nostalgic about film, as its processing is subtly restrained and controlled. Version 3.0 users can go here to download the upgrade to version 3.1.