DxO FilmPack 3 Review

September 19, 2011 | Matt Grayson | Software Reviews | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


As photographers, we're a fickle bunch. While allowing film to drop out of the limelight almost entirely, we still want our clinically clean digital images to retain the warmth and richness of film. Essentially we want the best of both worlds and that's what DxO aims to provide with their Filmpack 3 software. In this review, we're testing version 3 which offers an expanded number of film looks, an upgraded user interface, better integration with the workflow and new colour and black & white conversion controls. Priced at £99, if you love the look of film but don't want the expense or rigmarole that comes with it, our DxO Filmpack 3 review will decide whether it's worth the outlay.

Nik DfineEssential vs Expert

Nik DfineActivation

Nik DfinePhotoshop Plugin

We were downloading multiple programs at the same time as the DxO Filmpack 3 but it's relatively small so still only took a few minutes. Once downloading has finished, it has to be installed which takes around the same amount of time. You'll need your licence key at this stage or you can try it out on a trial basis for 31 days and either the Essential or Expert version can be chosen. The program works as a standalone option and a new feature is that Filmpack 3 works as a plug-in with DxO Optics Pro, Apple Aperture, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Using it as a standalone is simple enough, just click on the desktop icon to launch, load a file and start editing. In Photoshop open a picture, go to filters, DxO Labs and choose Filmpack 3 from the list. Whether you load from the desktop or Photoshop, the same window will open for processing your pictures but we found it's faster from the desktop.

Nik DfineMain Screen

One of the new changes to DxO Filmpack can be seen as soon as the program is started up. DxO have darkened he background so it's easier to see your pictures. The main window is a simple affair with only 3 tabs which don't have that much going on in them and this is all part of the simple workflow that DxO have worked on. Below the tabs you can choose how you'd like to have the preview screen. The options are just the finished product showing; a single image with the before & after processing shown split down the middle or two separate pictures of before and after. There's a sliding scale to zoom in or you can choose from the preset magnifying options from 25% to 200%. Alongside the zoom options, there's a quick 1:1 scale button which pushes it out to 100% while the four arrows brings it back to a fit to screen size. A new navigator has been added for moving around the main picture easier when you've zoomed in.

If you want to add an effect to your picture to simulate film, there's a list of options at the bottom of the screen, each of which has a thumbnail to demonstrate what it can do. There are 25 Colour Print film effects which are:

  • Agfa Precisa 100*
  • Fuji Astia 100F
  • Fuji FP 100C
  • Fuji Provia 100F
  • Fuji Provia 400F
  • Fuji Provia 400X
  • Fuji Sensia 100*
  • Fuji Velvia 50
  • Generic Fuji Astia 100
  • Generic Fuji Provia 100
  • Generic Fuji Velvia 100
  • Generic Kodak Ektachrome 100VS
  • Generic Kodak Ektachrome 64
  • Kodak E-100 Ektachrome 100
  • Kodak Ektachrome 100VS
  • Kodak Elite Chrome 200
  • Kodak Elite Chrome 400
  • Kodak Elite ExtraColor 100
  • Kodak Kodachrome 200
  • Kodak Kodachrome 25
  • Kodak Kodachrome 64
  • Lomography X-Pro Slide 200*
  • Polaroid Polachrome
  • Polaroid 669
  • Polaroid 690

There are 11 Colour Negative film effects which are:

  • Agfa Ultra Color 100
  • Agfa Vista 200
  • Fuji Superia HG 1600
  • Fuji Superia Reala 100
  • Fuji Superia X-Tra 800
  • Fuji Superia 200
  • Kodak Elite Color 200
  • Kodak Elite Color 400
  • Kodak Portra 160NC
  • Kodak Portra 160VC
  • Lomography Redscale 100*

There are 25 Black & White film effects which are:

  • Agfa APX 100*
  • Agfa APX 25
  • Fuji Neopan 1600
  • FujiNeopan Acros 100
  • Ilford Delta 100*
  • Ilford Delta 3200
  • Ilford Delta 400
  • Ilford FP4 Plus 125
  • Ilford HP5 Plus 400
  • Ilford HPS 800
  • Ilford Pan F Plus 50
  • Ilford XP2
  • Kodak BW 400 CN
  • Kodak HIE (High Speed Infrared)
  • KodakHIE filtered (High Speed Infrared)
  • Kodak T-Max 3200
  • Kodak T-Max 400
  • Kodak Tri-X 400
  • Polaroid 664
  • Polaroid 667
  • Polaroid 672
  • Rollei IR 400
  • Rollei Ortho 25*
  • Rollei Retro 100 Tonal*
  • Rollei Retro 80s*

There are just 2 Cross Processed film effects which are:
Cross processed – Fuji Superia 200
Cross processed – Kodak Elite 100

*Indicates new films added to Filmpack 3.

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