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PureRaw 4 by DXO review

When I first used PureRaw I was a little sceptical. It promises so much, and I couldn’t believe that was possible with just software. In this review I’ll tell you more about my experience with PureRaw and what it can do for you.

PureRAW 4 review

For this review I’ve installed PureRaw 4 on my Mac Studio 2022 with M1 Max processor and 32GB of memory running the latest version of macOS Sonoma. Of course PureRaw is also available for Windows PC’s and works the same as on a Mac.

Using PureRaw

Using PureRaw is quite easy and straight forward. It is installed as a separate piece of software that can be used stand alone. But it also integrates with Lightroom, so you can use it without leaving your favourite editing software and still benefit from all the perks it has to offer. In Lightroom you can select the images you want to export to PureRaw. The other option is to use it as a stand-alone program. Once opened you can add images to your ‘lightbox’ and choose which ones you want to edit.

After selecting one or more images you can choose to change the settings with or without a preview. There you can adjust the desired settings. If you have chosen the preview option you can see the result you can expect in real time.

PureRAW 4 review
The PureRAW menu is clean and easy to use – in this case with live preview with comparison slider


You can select the settings for denoising in PureRAW, with the best options being DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME XD. The first offers a very good denoising with a good balance between result and processing time. DeepPRIME XD costs more time but promises an even better result. On my Mac Studio processing an image with normal DeepPRIME takes about 5-10 seconds. Using DeepPRIME XD takes a few seconds more. I do have to add that in PureRaw 3 on my older iMac with M1 processor the difference was quite a lot bigger (20-30 seconds for regular DeepPRIME and up to one or minute for DeepPRIME XD). I have a feeling that PureRAW 4 is a little faster than the previous version, but it is mainly my faster processor that is speeding up the process.

PureRAW 4 review

Processing a lot of images at once takes some time, even if you have a new or fast PC. But the good thing is that it can do it all by itself after you’ve set the desired parameters. So it is a process of: set, forget and let PureRAW work its magic.

PureRaw optimisations

Besides the denoising you can also select which optical corrections you want PureRAW to apply to the image. This uses the very good DXO optical modules to get the best results. If you leave them all turned on PureRAW will optimize (lens-)softness, vignetting, chromatic aberrations and even distortion.

DXO has a very big library of lenses, camera’s and combinations of lenses on a specific camera. Because of that big library they know exactly how a lens will perform on a specific camera. This is how they can optimise every photo for the best possible result. In some cases the effect is small but noticeable, but in other cases the effect can be quite dramatic. If your base image contains quite some noise, or your lens suffers from heavy distortion the results will make your jaw drop. Also the touch of lens-dependent sharpening is very effective. Just like putting on your prescription glasses, it makes everything pop.

PureRAW 4 review

It’s good to note PureRaw doesn’t ‘edit’ your images. It improves them but keeps the original style and colours. It purely gives you an improved starting point for your editing.


Aren’t there any downsides? Of course there are. Some people might like even more control over the denoising. Just like you would get in normal editing software. But the thing is I didn’t ever think the denoising was to heavy handed in PureRAW. It seems to find a great balance between removing noise and going full ‘oil painting’. And when you choose to use the realtime preview in PureRAW you can adjust the settings to your liking.

The other thing to keep in mind is that PureRAW uses the EXIF information in your RAW file to identify the lens and camera you’ve used. So if you use a lens without contacts (like the many Laowa lenses I use), the software can’t detect which lens is used and can’t perform the automatic corrections for you. You still get the top notch denoising, but the other corrections can’t be applied.

PureRaw results

The following images are a few examples of what PureRaw does. On the left you will see the base RAW image and on the right the ‘straight out of PureRaw’ effect. Of course this is just a glimpse of what the software can do for your images. And because of the compression used on my website to keep up the speed you can’t really experience the real results PureRAW gives you.

But to try it for yourself I’d suggest you install the demo-version you can find HERE. As always with DXO software you will get a fully functional demo that will work for 30 days so you can try everything for yourself and see if you are as impressed as I am.

PureRAW 4 review
PureRAW 4 review
Original on the left, PureRAW on the right – denoising to the max without blurring details
PureRAW 4 review
PureRAW 4 review
Original on the left, PureRAW on the right – note the distortion correction doing its magic
PureRAW 4 review
Original on the left, PureRAW on the right – noise vs. no more noise and sharper details
Subtle improvements make all the difference. Image from Sony ZV-1 compact camera – 100% crop.


So, in stead of buying a new camera just get new software? Well, in a way: yes! The results speak for them selves, PureRAW can upgrade your images to make it look like you’ve got a new camera. I LOVE it and use it for all my images. Just having a clean, corrected and improved RAW file gives me so much more editing room. And it doesn’t cost me anything, but a little time to load the images in PureRAW and to let my computer do all the heavy lifting.

Can’t you get the same results any other way? Yes, you could use DXO PhotoLab 7. This also offers you DeepPRIME denoising and some of the PureRAW optical modules. But it’s the convenience and ability to let PureRAW integrate with Lightroom or just use it stand alone and use the output as a base for any editing software that makes PureRAW PureMAGIC.

3 thoughts on “PureRaw 4 by DXO review”

  1. Hi Rick

    What about the large number of DNG files that pureRAW generates? You may say that storage is no longer a problem. Are you batch processing or being selective?



    1. Hi Martin, it depends: if I have less than about a 100 files I just process them all. But after a long day of shooting with hundredths of files I tend to be more selective. I normally use Photo Lab to sort through the files and only export the good ones to PureRaw.


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