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.
- Photomatix Pro by HDR Soft
- HDR Efex Pro by Nik Software
- HDR Engine by Oloneo
- HDR Pro by Everimaging
- HDR Express by Unified Color
- HDR Expose 2 by Unified Color
- Adjust by Topaz Labs
- Photoshop CS5 by Adobe
- Fusion 2.1.2 by NS Point
- HDR V3 by fhotoRoom
- Essential HDR by Imaging Luminary
- Dynamic Photo HDR by Media Chance
- Luminance by The Open Source Project
- 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
- Interface design