DxO has a reputation for automating RAW image editing. With DxO ViewPoint 3 you can now also automate the correction of image distortions such as perspective and horizon problems. ViewPoint 3 has one new feature as well: a tilt-shift effect (miniature effect).
I tried DxO ViewPoint 3 with a series of photographs I shot last month when I took some time off to visit the Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady. I photographed a couple of paintings by Rubens and other Flemish masters that are not normally on display. The problems that photographing in the cathedral entails, make for excellent test images for an app like ViewPoint 3. You can’t always position yourself straight in front of a subject and you can’t use a speed light.
With DxO ViewPoint 2 you could easily correct for any perspective and horizon problems, but you needed to do it yourself. With DxO ViewPoint 3 you can still do it yourself and if you decide to go that way, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. There’s a friendlier interface with a flatter, uncluttered look and easier to use correction tools with tooltips to help you position the handles more accurately.
It’s when you’re in a hurry or just not in for trying to get a perfect shot, that you will especially like the upgrade. DxO ViewPoint 3 lets you have fully automatic corrections based on the camera-lens combination data you download from DxO’s servers. The automation also works when using ViewPoint 3 as a plug-in to DxO Optics Pro or one of the other supported image editors.
Trying to trip up DxO ViewPoint 3
I must say I was expecting the app to make a mess of some images that were really badly skewed on more than one axis. But it didn’t. It managed the most difficult corrections spot-on. The only time I wanted to go in and tune is when I thought the perfect correction took away some of the image’s charm. Of course, the automatic correction also takes care of the necessary cropping.
The tilt-shift effect is said to perfectly simulate the depth-of-field reduction that’s identical to the creative look that usually requires you to purchase a costly tilt-shift lens. To replicate the miniature look, DxO ViewPoint 3 shows handles for the location and intensity of two blur gradients which the user can adjust symmetrically or asymmetrically — even at an angle. The application also enables photographers to simulate several types of bokeh.
It really works well and gives you a nice effect, but I can’t tell if it comes even close to the effect you achieve with an actual tilt-shift lens because I don’t have one to compare. As far as I’m concerned this new effect is a nice addition and does create something that resembles photos taken with a tilt-shift lens, but if the effects is the same as with an expensive tilt-shift lens is a different matter.
Until December 4, DxO sells ViewPoint 3 at €49 instead of €79 (SRP, incl. VAT) — ($49 instead of $79). If you purchased a DxO ViewPoint license on or after September 1, 2016, you are entitled to a free upgrade to version 3.