DxO is a French company well known to professional photographers and photo editors. While its image processing software Dxo Photolab is its greatest success, the company based in the Paris region offers other useful products to photographers, including View Point and Film Pack.
Thanks to its history of major technological innovations, DxO has been able to make a name for itself among the biggest players in the photography sector by always being one step ahead of its competitors.
Let’s analyze the transformation of the company in two decades of innovation and product development: a look back at the history of DxO.
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DxO in its early days: the union of two passions
DxO has been around for almost 20 years now and its history has been marked by many events that make the French company what it is today. To focus on the history of DxO, you must naturally start with its beginnings.
An invention at the service of another
DxO came into being thanks to an invention that has nothing to do with photography. In 1994, Jérome Ménière, an engineer by training passionate about new technologies, founded Vision IQ. For 7 years, he and his team of researchers designed a computer vision system to detect drowning in swimming pools called Poseidon.
But Jérome Ménière was not just a passionate about new technologies. He was also a big lover of photography. In 2003, the engineer had an idea that would lead to the creation of DxO: adapt Poseidon’s technology to digital photography.
DxOAnalyzer, DxO's first product
The first product offered by DxO was intended primarily for manufacturers of digital cameras. DxOAnalyzer, with its DxOMark rating system, created a website that evaluates the image quality of cameras and lenses.
By creating this platform, DxO also targeted photographers since DxOMark was intended to help them choose the ideal photographic equipment, in line with their needs and expectations.
DxO: fast and continuous innovation
DxO then followed up with a series of innovations, offering a variety of products between 2004 and 2017. All these products shared a single objective: to improve the quality of the photographs.
2004: Optics Pro or optical sciences at the service of photography
DxO launched Optics Pro in 2004, which was the first photo editing software offering optical corrections such as:
- chromatic aberrations;
- lack of sharpness.
DxO was also the first company at that time to have a laboratory entirely specialized in the calibration of photographic equipment.
2006: the first simulation software for film
DxO is known for its technological innovations and, only two years later, had a new product available on the market: DxO FilmPack.
This film simulation software enables each film to be analyzed and calibrated to extract precise color curves. 25 legendary films were then recreated thanks to this new technology.
2012: a solution to correct anamorphosis
DxO launched ViewPoint in 2012 and once again set about revolutionizing the world of photography with its innovative solutions.
Anamorphosis is a recurring defect on the edges of images taken at the wide angle. Here, it is a question of automatically correcting the volume deformation by means of an algorithm developed by DxO. In addition, the French company’s engineers also developed a technology capable of automatically adjusting perspectives.
2013: PRIME at the service of denoising
DxO continued to innovate and evolved rapidly. In 2013, DxO Optics Pro 9 released a revolutionary new technology: PRIME.
PRIME is a technology capable of reducing digital noise. It implements very precise algorithms based on the search for similarities and examines each pixel of an image in order to carry out a denoising operation in two phases. This allows colors and details to be brought out better for the ultimate in image quality.
2017: a turning point in DxO's history
2017 was a pivotal year for DxO. The French company was indeed undergoing some changes and upheavals this year that even necessitated a major internal reorganization.
DxO acquired Nik Collection and founded PhotoLab
Nik Collection is a software suite recognized worldwide for the quality of its renderings and its local editing technology, U Point.
DxO acquired it in 2017 and enriched it with new filters, a non-destructive workflow with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop editing tools.
PhotoLab then saw the light of day using U Point technology implemented in DxO Optics Pro.
DxOLabs and DxOMark become separate entities
2017 was a year full of changes for the French company since, in addition to acquiring Nik Collection and changing the name of its famous software DxO Optics Pro, DxOMark, the first entity created by the company, gained its independence.
DxOMark became DxO Mark Image Labs, an independent company. It still specialized in the assessment of cameras by proposing comparisons for the consumer while being a consulting company for HTC and Google.
The end of DxO One marketing
In 2015, DxO decided to become a manufacturer and not only a publisher. The DxO One was marketed as a smartphone camera.
Presented in the form of a small box to be connected to the smartphone, the DxO One was finally withdrawn from the market in 2017. This even lead to an internal reorganisation of the company, following this decision.
2020: Artificial intelligence at the service of photo quality
DxO continued to revolutionize denoising and RAW conversion with the launch of DeepRAW in 2020. This AI-based technology for developing raw photo files appears in the fourth version of DxO PhotoLab.
In particular, DeepPrime makes it possible to gain two ISO sensitivity values of comparable quality compared to PRIME.
2021: the launch of DxO PureRAW
In order to be able to benefit from all the outstanding innovations of the French company, DxO made a new software available to Adobe Lightroom Classic and Adobe Photoshop users in 2021: DxO PureRAW.
This software includes two technologies that have made the company a success: DeepPRIME and the algorithm for correcting optical defects.
DxO today: a range of products for photo processing
From DxO Analyzer, which analyzed the performance of digital camera manufacturers’ optical systems, to the latest version of DxO PhotoLab, the products offered by DxO have evolved significantly over the years.
The evolution of DxO and its products has expanded the company’s range and eliminated unsuccessful solutions. So, although the company’s camera is no longer available, it is still possible to enjoy:
- PhotoLab, for raw processing, editing and correction of images;
- PureRaw, which improves the quality of raw files;
- ViewPoint, to correct the geometry of photographs;
- Nik Collection and its suite of 8 plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom;
- FilmPack to work with images with a silver effect.
DxO also continues to update the various technologies that have made it a success (ClearView, DeepPrime XD or U Point).
By relying on the various technologies developed by the company and offered in its different software, DxO’s main objective today remains to offer products with a strong added value to help photographers obtain the best possible result.