Thoughts on reviewing HDR solutions

Following my recent play with Photomatix Pro, I decided HDR processing will come in great use for future posts – particularly as tone mapping lends itself so well to architectural images that will form a large part of the content here.

Even though Photomatix seems to be the preferred choice of quite a few of the pro HDR photographers, I began to wonder what other solutions were out there.

With a quick Google search I came across 13 products providing HDR processing capabilities…wow, spoilt for choice – what should a guy/girl buy (or not buy since some are free). I guess my marketing brain kicked in and thought it would be a good idea to do a comparative review of each product.

With at least 13 products to review, it may take some time, so this post is basically a brain dump to list the various HDR software packages that I have come across so far and to share what I consider to be the key features I should look at when producing a competitive matrix.

So first up, the HDR solutions I know about.

  1. Photomatix Pro by HDR Soft
  2. HDR Efex Pro by Nik Software
  3. HDR Engine by Oloneo
  4. HDR Pro by Everimaging
  5. HDR Express by Unified Color
  6. HDR Expose 2 by Unified Color
  7. Adjust by Topaz Labs
  8. Photoshop CS5 by Adobe
  9. Fusion 2.1.2 by NS Point
  10. HDR V3 by fhotoRoom
  11. Essential HDR by Imaging Luminary
  12. Dynamic Photo HDR by Media Chance
  13. Luminance by The Open Source Project
  14. SNS-HDR Pro by Sebastian Nibisz

There are likely some I missed, but enough to be starting with…feel free to give a shout out in the comments below of other HDR processing solutions I missed.

I intend reviewing each solution using each company’s free trial version and processing the following bracketed shots for 3 different situations (night urban, landscape and indoor).

As to what features to look at in comparing each solution, here’s what i’m thinking:

  • Operating system compatibility
  • Standalone/plugin support
  • Single image processing
  • Batch processing
  • Real-time/live processing
  • RAW file support
  • Pre-set options
  • Image alignment
  • Anti-ghosting
  • Interface design
  • Cost
I plan to complete the reviews during January with the first review in a few days.
Would love to hear your own thoughts on your experiences using any of the above HDR solutions.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.
– Martin

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on reviewing HDR solutions

  1. I like to use Luminance (aka Qtpfsgui) – but I’m poor and cheap so open-source solutions appeal to me. I’m interested in areas where for profit programs are superior.

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