In a world overflowing with image-editing software, DxO Optics Pro is a shining star. The DxO online database allows users to select from any number of manufacturers' camera bodies and lenses, and then use the optical characteristics of said cameras and lenses to fine-tune their images and correct for the particular shortcomings on Camera X or Lens Y. That's definitely not something you see every day.
The program features a very intuitive workflow. Select, Prepare, Process, and Review modules separate the tasks most photographers will use to process their images, but the Process module is where DxO Optics Pro really shines. Here users are presented with two panels: the photo presented on the left, and a scrolling list of tools along the right. The standard raw editing features are all here, but Optics Pro also provides sophisticated distortion correction controls that allow the shooter not only to correct for a particular chosen vantage point, but also factor in the unique camera and lens combination used for the photograph. The nostalgic photographer will enjoy the included film simulators, which mimic the properties of many popular film types. The Review module gives users a summary of their session's work, as well as the option to export directly to Flickr. Optics Pro's Help file is actually a comprehensive user manual, and an included visual guide acts as the quick-start guide for users who want to jump right in.
DxO Optics Pro has a 31-day trial period. It installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program to intermediate and advanced users.