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Archive 2013 · HDR software recommendation
  
 
kinetix
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p.1 #1 · HDR software recommendation


I'm looking for a software recommendation to start to dabble in HDR processing. I would prefer a low or no cost alternative for now. I have a client that is wanting some conservative HDR processing on real estate photography. Open to ideas.

thanks



Jan 14, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Trevorma
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p.1 #2 · HDR software recommendation


With a bunch of different product options Photomattix is probably the best one out there:

http://www.hdrsoft.com/index.html



Jan 14, 2013 at 07:33 PM
redcrown
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p.1 #3 · HDR software recommendation


A respectful disagreement on the Photomatix recomendations. Photomatix was the first kid on the block and earned a lot of press and loyal followers. But others have come along with better products. Oloneo PhotoEngine is a strong competitor, but is a bit pricey. SNS-HDR is a very good candidate, and cheap in the "Home" version at about $40. DynamicPhoto HDR is also good competitor.

But the latest new kid on the block is Photoshop CS6 or Lightroom 4. If you have either of those you have a very good "free" HDR processor. HDR processing was added in prior versions of Photoshop, but it really sucked. The old "HDR toning" feature is still in CS6 and it still sucks. However, the CS6/LR4 versions added the ability for ACR to do the tonemapping instead of that old HDR toning tool. Using ACR to tonemap the results of Photoshop's "Merge to HDR Pro" can give you very good HDR results.

Here are two links that explain the process. The video in the first link is the best.


https://plus.google.com/101396087935203987162/posts/13sUxDXphkw

http://www.outbackphoto.net/news/2012/6/4/hdr-tone-mapping-in-lightroom-41.html



Jan 14, 2013 at 08:12 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #4 · HDR software recommendation


I've only tried it once and it was with a single RAW file that I bumped up the exposure, then bumped down the exposure, then fed all 3 into the HDR program...







But since the price is right, I'll mention it:

"Luminance HDR"
http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/






Jan 15, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #5 · HDR software recommendation


I like that what DxO and C1p offer as "HDR" adjustment tools.
Photoshop and ACR too BTW...

Photomatrix is very quirky - I hate it. For gaudy ridiculous tone mappings (aka "HDR effects") Photomatrix is probably the worst - consuming way too much of my time and not producing any better results in the end from any of the other "HDR" tools I've used. And Photomatrix is not well suited for remapping tone cures in a subtile realistic way. It's actually better at/for creating real 32bit HDR files than it is at/for tone mapping.



EDIT:
There's only 2 Ts in Photomatrix guys...





Edited on Jan 18, 2013 at 04:39 AM · View previous versions


Jan 18, 2013 at 02:57 AM
DanBrown
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p.1 #6 · HDR software recommendation


I used and preferred Photomattix until Nik software released HDR Efex Pro. I find it easier and more straightforward than Photomattix.


Jan 18, 2013 at 03:42 AM
gse53
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p.1 #7 · HDR software recommendation


There's only 2 Ts in Photomatrix guys...

But there is no "r"

Photomatix



Jan 18, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #8 · HDR software recommendation


Well I'll be...
Photo Matix...
That doesn't even make sense.



Jan 18, 2013 at 02:20 PM
 

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gse53
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p.1 #9 · HDR software recommendation


I have tried the LR4.1 method, redcrown mentioned, and it works well. I mostly use Nik HDRefex. What I did not know is that hdrsoft offers a merging program for $29 that will create the 32 bit file for tonemapping in LR4.
Another lowcost option for those without Photoshop, just LR

hdrsoft



Jan 18, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #10 · HDR software recommendation


I preferred HDR Efex Pro to Photomatix when I first was looking for an HDR program (didn't like Adobe's implementation at all). Photomatix results were often too noisy for me, and I didn't really like the renderings, but you can tweak that stuff.

However, HDR Efex Pro 2 is MUCH better than the first version, and so I prefer it even more now. I find I'm able to get much more realistic looking HDRs with HDR Efex 2 than with the earlier version or other HDR programs (though you can still go over the top and surreal if you wish). They also made big strides with their ghost correction. This was a handheld HDR I took in 2011, and I spent hours on ghost correction when originally processing it, and the final result was good, but not very natural looking. With HDR Efex 2, I didn't have to do hardly any ghost correction at all, and a more natural (though still a little surreal) version was much easier:








Jan 18, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #11 · HDR software recommendation


I revisited Photomatix yesterday, doing 5-shot RAW images with a 1Ds3. Awful, awful, awful! Very odd and gaudy, and that seems to parallel the experience here. And as Bif said, Photomatix is sooooo slow.

I have simple needs: I just want to increase DR a stop or two to make believable looking high contrast scenes with some extra shadow and highlight details. Typically, I shoot glancing light on landscape and architecture. Most of my needs are handled in regular LR using the highlight, shadow, and clarity sliders.

The tools I have available are the Photomatix, LR4, and PS Elements 10, all of which seem to have some capability to extend DR. I have DPP, but I don't think there is anything there to address blending or composited exposures.



Feb 15, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Sal Baker
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p.1 #12 · HDR software recommendation


I didn't like HDR Efex Pro, but LOVE HDR Efex Pro 2. It's a pleasure to use and gives complete control over the HDR look from real to total cartoon. The ghost reduction is fantastic and allows easy creation of HDR images with moving objects (people) through the selection of ghost strength and which image should be the front "ghost." The many presets are great for helping a new user get started.

Try the free trial version.

Sal



Feb 15, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #13 · HDR software recommendation


Sal -- Thanks for the info.


Feb 15, 2013 at 08:44 PM
328iGuy
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p.1 #14 · HDR software recommendation


redcrown wrote:
But the latest new kid on the block is Photoshop CS6 or Lightroom 4. If you have either of those you have a very good "free" HDR processor. HDR processing was added in prior versions of Photoshop, but it really sucked. The old "HDR toning" feature is still in CS6 and it still sucks. However, the CS6/LR4 versions added the ability for ACR to do the tonemapping instead of that old HDR toning tool. Using ACR to tonemap the results of Photoshop's "Merge to HDR Pro" can give you very good HDR results.
l


I would definitely disagree as these have very limited options in comparison to the third party tools.

I own CS6 as well as Photomatixand NIK HDR EFEX Pro and have to say, I love NIK software!



Feb 19, 2013 at 03:53 AM
TMGraphics
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p.1 #15 · HDR software recommendation


DanBrown wrote:
I used and preferred Photomattix until Nik software released HDR Efex Pro. I find it easier and more straightforward than Photomattix.


I'll second this comment! Simple to use interface. Here is an example using 5 images ranging from -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 exposures.




2013




Mar 09, 2013 at 04:04 AM





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