There are reason why most people use Photomatix Pro, and that reason is because it’s good. It’s actually better then good, everything works just how you’d expect. It looks like something from the era of Windows 98 so for us Apple users it’s a bit of a shock to the system, but if that’s all I can fault it on then thats a pretty good wrap.
You may or may not know this but all HDR software use a different algorithm. Some are good and transitions etc… are not noticeable and some well they have a long way to go. Some offer lots of customisation sliders and some offer less. Photomatix is kind of the bench mark, their algorithm is great, it offers all the sliders you could possible want and it handles large files well.
Large files?? Yeah i’m not talking about your 24mb RAW file from your Nikon or Canon, I used to think that was a large file until I started taking panoramas. So I would have 1 stitch panorama in 3 exposures with files sizes of 100mb+ and Photomatix can handle it quite easily. How it does it is by extracting a preview of the large files, so I can only assume that it makes temporary files which are smaller, that you work on and then it applies those same changes to the large image on exporting, smart thinking (Aperture 3 developers are you paying attention???)
The shot above is a total of 60 images. That’s 10 shots for the top and 10 for the bottom with three exposures (-2, 0, +2) and I can say it was a breeze to work on within Photomatix Pro.
There are two versions of Photomatix, Pro and Light. Depending on how serious about your HDR you can decide which version is the right one for you. Heres the link to the features comparison page to help you out. I’ve seen some amazing photo’s from people using the Light version so quality is still high, you just miss out on a few features.
For those interested yes it does have Apeture, Lightroom and Photoshop plugins to allow a seamless workflow. Also if your new to HDR it comes with a set of presets which you can use as a base to start customising your image from. One tip I can give you is whenever you open your image sent it back to default. Photomatix stores your settings from the last image you edited.
One of the features I like the most about Photomatix Pro is the selective ghosting tool. If you don’t know, ghosting is where there is a bit of movement in the scene usually due to the time between the 3 or more exposures. Most HDR software try’s automatically detect and remove the ghosting. With Photomatix Pro you can choose the manual selection and select these areas. You are probably thinking, why would I want to do that? Well sometimes you only want to remove some of the ghosting leaving the effect of movement. Anyway it’s just a neat feature to have.
Not into HDR thats fine Photomatix can also do the newer more natural Exposure Fusion technique. Again with the same high quality and customisation sliders allowing you to produce the image you are looking for.
So what are you waiting for head over to HDRsoft and grab yourself a copy Photomatix.