It's very rare that I am stunned by the brilliance of a piece of software. So often you think an app sounds fabulous, that it's somehow been able to do some clever magic and solve some intractable problem that has frustrated us for years….and then you try it and you realise its praise has been overblown and the app is rather flawed. But I'm amazed and delighted by the magic—well, scientific magic—that is DxOs PureRAW. In a nutshell, you give it RAW images from your camera and it spits out genuinely noise-free, shockingly sharp, tone and colour renovated pictures that look far more akin to the scene you saw live than you are used to. I'm agog. It really is that good. It's as if my 20MP camera is now a 26MP camera…and the output has a realistic richness in colour and tone that is deeply engaging and attractive in a natural way. The cleanness and richness also give the pictures a more professional look. This is not hyperbole. Some photographers are calling it a game changer. It was seeing people's before and after photos on YouTube that prompted my to try it out. Some of the improvements to nighttime shots were stunning and absent of the downsides that noise reduction usually brings.

Another really nice thing about it is that it's almost automatic. The app needs minimal input, though you might want to do some little tweaks in your usual photo editor afterwards. It's intended to be a pre-editing routine rather than an editor replacement. Photo editing applications can be so tiresome. It's nice to have the frustratingly hard but important picture improvements done for you. The app is selling for half price until the 29th so I'll be converting my free trial into ownership. DxO's editing suite PhotoLab seems to have the same DeepPRIME denoising feature as PureRAW but for the life of me I can't get anywhere near as good results, and even if I could it's not as automated; it's still a faff to operate so I'll choose PureRaw. The world of photography has been waiting for this kind of step change and now it's here. It would be a bigger step if it could be done in camera instantly with every shot but it can't because it takes minutes to process each photo—on my Macbook—but one day it'll happen. I won't upload any samples because other people have already shown it off very well and you can trial it yourself.

No, it doesn't work with JPEGs.