Friday, February 8, 2013

My View Point on DxO ViewPoint

Early January this year I was attracted by a special offer at DxO for their ViewPoint software, instead of the regular $79.00 US; I only have to pay $49.00 (NZ 60.00) ! It is a no brainer! I bought a copy!

What is this DxO ViewPoint?

In short, these are what it can do...

Fix key-stoning. Recreate the original shapes of buildings. Converging vertical and horizontal lines once again become parallel.

Restore the natural proportions of the people on the edges of your ultra wide photos in just one click.

That is basically, it! What? Only TWO features for $49 US? It is the way it does the correction that is worth every penny... of course it can also straighten the horizon,  modify the angle of your shot; Automatically crop your photos and it is the ideal complement to your wide-angle lens.

Hundreds of thousands "hits" has been written about this marvelous app so I am not going to repeat any here, I just wanna show you if my $49 US investment work for my shots or not ;)

This was shot with my Nikon D300 and 12-24 f4 lens @ 12mm, notice the pillars on the left are severely tilted. A classical feature of ultra-wide!

 After opening the photo in Photoshop I launch the ViewPoint, by clicking the "keystoning" tab on the right; you can see TWO blue coloured guides with anchor points.

For this photo I hold and adjust the anchor points, thus moving the guides, to a pillar on the left and to the wall of the building; on the right. You are able to fine tune the positions of your anchors by viewing in the "Loupe" on the bottom right of the app window. You can then click "Apply" to look at the effect, then click "Save" if you are satisfied.

This is the result! I think ViewPoint did a great job! Granted, you can do the same in Photoshop but it is not as fast and intuitive as this!

Same building, different angle; notice you loose small part of your original picture after correction. It pay to shoot "looser" when you realised you will have to correct for key-stoning.

It is important where you place the anchor guides in key-stoning correction, notice I only placed the two guides on the left building? If I try to correct the left and right buildings with one guide each, sometime you will get a really weird result!

Same picture (top one the original) THREE different view point :)

The best feature of DxO ViewPoint however, is it's one click correction of cylindrical anamorphosis distortion of an ultra-wide lens!

What then is this ultra-wide distortion?

As zoom lenses on digital camera get wider and wider, things at the left and right edges of the image get heavily distorted.

When you shoot a group of people, the guys on the end will have their heads reshaped in grotesque ways. Ouch!!

You can try to correct these geometric distortions in Photoshop with Perspective control but it's notoriously difficult to correct them.

Even if you are lucky to get it right, it usually looks unnatural!

ViewPoint to the rescure!

Shot with the ultra-wide Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 7-14 mm F4.0 ASPH on my OM-D, demonstrating the classic anamorphosis distortion of this ultra-wide lens.  I don't think my friends are impressed with what this expensive lens done to the shape of their heads!

This is what happen after just one click on the ANAMORPHOSIS button in ViewPoint, I was also able to adjust the intensity of the correction! There are two options to correct a horizontal stretch or a diagonal stretch.

Just for this feature alone, I reckon ViewPoint is worth every dollar I spent!

You can of course, have a side by side view of the before and after effect in the ViewPoint window.

What you waiting for?  Go and get a copy :)

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