DxO PureRAW 3

DxO PureRAW 3 Review

A lot of people are asking this question about DxO PureRAW 3 – “Do I need Pure Raw as well as DxO PhotoLab?” In this article I’ll explain the difference between them, what the use case is for each software and confirm once and for all, that you do not need to buy both.

What is DxO PureRAW?

DxO Pure Raw 3 is a standalone software that bundles the camera/lens correction capability of DxO PhotoLab with the industry leading DeepPrime Noise reduction capability. Think of it as a subset of PhotoLab that you can use as part of a Lightroom/Photoshop workflow.

What is DxO Photolab?

DxO PhotoLab is the most advanced RAW Processing software in the industry, with catalog organisation, metadata etc. It is a direct competitor to Adobe Lightroom, using DxO’s Point technology where Lightroom uses Layers to achieve pretty much the same coverage of editing capabilities. See my review of DxO PhotoLab 6.

Is DxO PureRAW 3 bundled with DxO PhotoLab?

Yes and No. All of the functionality of Pure RAW 3 is available in PhotoLab 6, so profile correction and noise reduction. It simply manifests in different places as Profile corrections and Noise Reduction. There is no PureRAW buttton.

What Direction are DxO Pursuing with PureRAW 3?

This is conjecture, but the state of the industry has Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom as the runaway leader in terms of photo processing software. ON1 and Affinity have capable programs but struggle with updates and are nowhere close to the market penetration of Adobe.

DxO have produced PureRAW to attack Adobe where they are weakest – the actual RAW processor. PureRAW is not a competitor, it makes Adobe better by ensuring that the image you are editing is in the best possible shape to begin with.

When Should I use DxO PureRAW 3?

Use Pure RAW as a part of a Lightroom based workflow. That its what it is designed for. You can seamlessly have your images pre-processed in Pure RAW and open them up in Lightroom for editing and organisation.

Is PureRAW Better than Lightroom?

Pure RAW is better at RAW processing than Adobe Camera RAW. You will find there is a visible difference with more definition in the colours and far less noise in potentially troubled images.

How Good is PureRAW?

Very good indeed. I have compared it to Lightroom noise reduction and there really is no competition.

The photo at the top of this article was processed with PureRAW. It is a sunrise, taken around 6am at 1600 ISO and there is a fair amount of noise evident in the RAW, as displayed in Lightroom.

Here is a comparison – A shot of Brighton promenade taken at night in a snowstorm, The image on the left has a huge amount of very visible noise. The image on the right has applied noise reduction (Deep Prime XD) and lens corrections. Both corrections applied with one click.

Brighton Snow RAW

PureRAW 3 is more than just noise reduction. What should be evident on a decent quality screen is the increase in detail made available by the pre-processing in PureRAW.

Here is the final version of the photograph. Taking the same picture after PureRAW corrections and demonstrating not just the removal of noise but also how that improved RAW file responds to some quick, basic editing in Lightroom.

After PureRAW After Basic Edit

It is clear that there is a place for PureRAW at the beginning of an editing workflow. The good news is that it is very well integrated with Lightroom, so typically I’ll import the RAW files into the Lightroom library, run them through PureRAW and then edit.


You don’t need to buy both DxO PureRAW 3 and PhotoLab 6. If you don’t already possess PhotoLab, then PureRAW will help you produce better images in Lightroom (or any other image processing software. The bottom line is you will get cleaner, sharper files to work with whatever programme you choose to work with. Plus, You can export images from PureRAW in linear dng, 8 0r 16 bit tiff or even jpeg.

Check out the free trial at the top of this post.


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