April 18, 2014, 01:47:55 PM

Author Topic: Best PC product for HDR  (Read 1567 times)

Steve Todd

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Canon SLR/DSLR user since 1976
    • View Profile
Best PC product for HDR
« on: May 29, 2012, 10:05:28 AM »
Having only used Canon DPP and Image Browser to post process my images, I would like to try some HDR photography and need the proper software.  However, there seems to be no shortage of possible products to choose from and all claim to be the best at HDR?  Any help/experience would be greatly appreciated.  I don't plan to use it a lot, but would like to have the ability.
EOS-1D X, 1D4, 5D2, 5D, EOS-1V, 1n, and a bunch of lenses.

canon rumors FORUM

Best PC product for HDR
« on: May 29, 2012, 10:05:28 AM »

K-amps

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1478
  • Whatever looks great !
    • View Profile
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 10:43:19 AM »
www.hdrsoft.com

Download a free trial of Photomatix.

It is one of the most adjustable apps out there, and thus easy to overdo with. I have tried CS5/Nik, but they seem a bit too flat to me. Photomatic can do both flat and surreal versions well.
EOS-5D Mk.iii 
Sigma 24-105mm F4 ART; EF 70-200 F/2.8L Mk.II; EF 100mm L F/2.8 IS Macro, 50mm F/1.8ii;  TC's 2x Mk.iii; 1.4x Mk.iii

dtameling

  • Guest
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 11:11:00 AM »
I use Oloneo PhotoEngine and like it a lot. It's pretty affordable and can do some interesting things that other products can't.

They've more recently released HDRengine which is a stripped down HDR only version and is more affordable.

http://www.oloneo.com/

IWLP

  • Canon AE-1
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 11:12:47 AM »
www.hdrsoft.com

Download a free trial of Photomatix.

It is one of the most adjustable apps out there, and thus easy to overdo with. I have tried CS5/Nik, but they seem a bit too flat to me. Photomatic can do both flat and surreal versions well.


Photomatix would be my first choice. I, too, have used CS5 (without the Nik software, however), and I find it difficult to get exactly what I want. With Photomatix, it's easy to dial in the "Graduated ND filter on steroids" look that I like. Plus, as K said, you can do a lot more with it.

Personally, I really enjoy how quick it is to work with.

$.02
I'm *this* close to switching to Nikon! I swear - I'll do it! Maybe next month, or in a week, or when they release the D ... oh, look a shiny thing!

darrellrhodesmiller

  • Canon AE-1
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 11:26:33 AM »
i've tried all the major ones.. and always come back to photomatix pro. Nik's HDR Pro is good.. but i cant seem to get the results i want out of it.

i typically use photomatix pro then move it into photoshop for a little more editing.

DavidRiesenberg

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 332
    • View Profile
    • David Riesenberg
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 12:00:23 PM »
I second Oloneo. It's a terrific program and the only one I found it easy to do subtle HDRs with. Most other programs lean too much towards the exaggerated side of HDRs or do not provide easy fine tuning.

TrumpetPower!

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 12:24:11 PM »
I always come back to doing the job by hand, masking in and out the parts of each frame I'm looking for. Generally, a gradient fill a big brush does the job. Anything else starts to look unnatural.

Here's a first draft of the eclipse from last week. The sky and especially the Sun still need a bit of work, and I still need to do a bit with local contrast in the foreground and the massive cliff on the left. But I don't think it looks too much like an HDR image, even though it includes detail in both the deep shadow of the Grand Canyon and the ring of the eclipsed Sun.

I very much doubt that any sort of automated HDR software would be able to do the job.

Cheers,

b&

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 12:24:11 PM »

dilbert

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 2369
    • View Profile
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 12:24:46 PM »
Using Lightroom 4 and the highlights/shadows sliders you can go a long way and almost not need HDR software or plugins.

bchernicoff

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
    • View Profile
    • My Photos
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 01:11:25 PM »
I haven't personally compared the alternatives, but am very happy with what I get out of Niks.
6D, Fuji X-E1
Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 400mm f/2.8L II, 100mm L IS Macro, Sigma 85mm, & 35mm f/1.4's, Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, Canon 2x Extender II, Kenko 1.4x, 430 EX II, Elinchroms

dtameling

  • Guest
Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2012, 01:34:13 PM »
Using Lightroom 4 and the highlights/shadows sliders you can go a long way and almost not need HDR software or plugins.

I've been very impressed by that technique too though it has it's limitations compared to proper HDR.

One thing I do which is surprisingly easy because Oloneo PhotoEngine integrates with Lightroom is single RAW file HDRs. I make two virtual copies of the original and adjust two of them to where the darks and the highlights are exposed optimally (regardless of how many +/-EV it is) then send them off to PhotoEngine to be HDR'd. It doesn't work with as big a range of course but I'm often surprised at how much detail can be pulled out of the seemingly blown highlights from my 7D. With complicated images that have irregular pockets of over and under exposure in an image, you can't get the same results with a gradient and it's way faster than using a brush as you don't have to do any brushing!

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Best PC product for HDR
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2012, 01:34:13 PM »