Best HDR Software?

Rockets95

EOS T7i
Mar 1, 2012
69
0
Perrysburg OH USA
Josh.Leff said:
Just wondering which HDR Software you like to use the most? For me its Photomatix 4!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/josh_leff/8025373317/#in/set-72157631600291446/
If you're interested in HDR, Canon's DPP software that comes with their cameras now includes an HDR feature. They added this feature 8 to 10 months ago, so you may need to update the software from Canon's website. The benefit to the HDR feature in DPP is it's free. They also added a compositing feature too for blending images.

I've dabbled with DPP, Photomatix, and Nik HDR, and I don't have a clear favorite at this point.
 

rmt3rd

I'm New Here
Oct 3, 2012
12
0
www.rthigpenphoto.com
I use Photomatix Pro 4. I don't use it to make unrealistic photos. I really like the B&W presets it has, then fine tune back in Lightroom.

IMO, the photo used above isn't a good HDR candidate to compare processes. In Lightroom, you could probably use the Highlight and Shadow slider to get the same end result as the photos shown. If you took a photo will a dimly lit room, lit by lampshades, that may have been a better candidate to work with.
 

wickidwombat

EOS 5D SR
Oct 27, 2011
4,543
0
yep my biggest problem with photomatix is its wierd colour shifts which would take forever to try and fix in PS
even its fusion module (which is what you used there?) has colour shifts, enfuse doesnt wierd out the colours non by the look of things the 32bit HDR method
 

jonathan7007

EOS RP
Jan 20, 2012
263
0
Add a vote for LR-Enfuse, (Enfuse integrated into Lightroom as a menu item) especially for a quick workflow through a shoot full of interiors. I also find that there are few if any color shifts. You can vary the exposure spread to better represent one or another part of the range. Good tripod and shutter release care necessary to preserve alignment. For these setups I use my old aluminum 5-section many-pound Gitzo tele-Studex that must weigh 20+ pounds! I too use this with a 17TSE-often showing lots of windows like the shots above. Love it. Will look for an example to post.

I always wonder about how to get and use the command-line version of Enfuse code. Just curious. Sounds like it would slow down editing a shoot, though.

I tried Photomatix and Nik EfexPro. Liked Efex better, as it has localized control available and there were other ways tones and edges seemed better. I hope the sale of Nik will not stop development.

I loved the suggestion early in this thread to move the HDR file into Lightroom after combination. Will try.

jonathan7007
 

Rienzphotoz

Peace unto all ye Canon, Nikon & Sony shooters
Aug 22, 2012
3,303
0
wickidwombat said:
photomatix is mostly crap IMO or possibly too often abused causing heavily over cooked images

LR enfuse is an awesome awesome plugin for inside lightroom
there are some standalone enfuse programs

enfuse is and open source program and is more like an advanced exposure blending algorythm rather than the pure "HDR" that creates a radiance file and then applies false tone mapping to the image

No god awefull halos and cartoon like colour shifts, and it produces much more natural images.

although having said that photomatix can work quite well with night scenes if done right

I've been meaning to try a hybrid combination between an LR enfuse with a photomatix processed image blended into certain areas I think this could work out quite nicely

i've attached an enfuse sample
AWSOME pic ... will have to give LR enfuse a try ... thanks for sharing
 
The_Arsonist said:
wickidwombat said:
photomatix is mostly crap IMO or possibly too often abused causing heavily over cooked images

LR enfuse is an awesome awesome plugin for inside lightroom
there are some standalone enfuse programs

enfuse is and open source program and is more like an advanced exposure blending algorythm rather than the pure "HDR" that creates a radiance file and then applies false tone mapping to the image

No god awefull halos and cartoon like colour shifts, and it produces much more natural images.

although having said that photomatix can work quite well with night scenes if done right

I've been meaning to try a hybrid combination between an LR enfuse with a photomatix processed image blended into certain areas I think this could work out quite nicely

i've attached an enfuse sample
Thanks for the tip. Enfuse works great when I just want to quickly combine exposures to bring out the shadows and bring down the highlights
There are a lots of programs out there now made for doing HDR. None of them are CRAP in my opinion... what matters most is what you are trying to accomplish with that program for YOUR photographs and getting the output you so desire... Some are better for different reasons and will process data differently. One of the things that it comes down to is garbage in garbage out...
 
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anthonyd

EOS 80D
Mar 4, 2013
161
0
44
Knoxville, TN

dlleno

EOS 7D MK II
Mar 23, 2012
605
0
mycanonphotos said:
The_Arsonist said:
wickidwombat said:
photomatix is mostly crap IMO or possibly too often abused causing heavily over cooked images

LR enfuse is an awesome awesome plugin for inside lightroom
there are some standalone enfuse programs

enfuse is and open source program and is more like an advanced exposure blending algorythm rather than the pure "HDR" that creates a radiance file and then applies false tone mapping to the image

No god awefull halos and cartoon like colour shifts, and it produces much more natural images.

although having said that photomatix can work quite well with night scenes if done right

I've been meaning to try a hybrid combination between an LR enfuse with a photomatix processed image blended into certain areas I think this could work out quite nicely

i've attached an enfuse sample
Thanks for the tip. Enfuse works great when I just want to quickly combine exposures to bring out the shadows and bring down the highlights
There are a lots of programs out there now made for doing HDR. None of them are CRAP in my opinion... what matters most is what you are trying to accomplish with that program for YOUR photographs and getting the output you so desire... Some are better for different reasons and will process data differently. One of the things that it comes down to is garbage in garbage out...
+1 on this post. what you need to do is try them out and see what you are symatico with. you won't know that until you use it. I happen to like the Nik way (I start with "deep 2" a lot and tweek from there). Great results can come from PHotomatix too; I just found the Nik package fit my workflow and goals better. Aside from Alignment and Ghost reduction, you really need to stress the package with some test shots and look for CA, noise, etc.

I think there is one area in which photomatix is superior, and that is ghost reduction. Nik does a good job too, and its "good enough" for my needs, but I suspect Photomatix has the edge here, for example, if moving people are involved. THat said, Nik has vastly improved in this area, and also in the area of alignment. So much so that one can get by (gasp) in a pinch with a handheld IS lens (and those shutter speeds can get pretty low at +4 EV...)
 

LetTheRightLensIn

EOS 5D SR
Apr 19, 2011
4,761
1
Using Viveza 2 can help keeps things a lot more natural too that plus the CS6 ACR tools and later combined for single shot HDR or the 32bit thing from Adorama if you can't get away with single shot (often with Exmor-like sensors, not as often with Canon) and the scene is amenable to multiple shots. it often helps to start with a rather raised dull looking image in ACR (with some exposure raising, lots of highlight protection, a good chunk of shadow raising on the curves plot lowering the first slider, raising the second a lot, raising the next one often a bit although sometimes not and same for the last one) and then you can go in use viveza to selectively darken up parts and to add more contrast and local tone contrast to them (with the brightness, shadows, contrast and structure tools) and also to add a bit more punch to some bright parts while keeping the ones already near max from getting blown out any more. It's important to leave light source areas and sky looking at least a bit relatively bright compared to other things otherwise you start getting that fake look that you see most of the time.
 

Harry Muff

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 29, 2011
412
0
Toronto
www.flickr.com
xvilamanya said:
Wait for a new Photomatix Pro 5. Better performance and two new presets for real HDR: Balanced & Real State
I've tried at: http://serfotografo.es/fotoshdr/photomatix-pro-5/

Does the result match the preview now? I just couldn't get past that. What's the point of adjusting all those sliders when it's going to export another result to what you saw in the program?


Photoshop gives you what you saw and so does HDR Efex Pro 2.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,562
641
119
What do you mean Harry? I have never had an issue with Photomatix, or any other HDR software with regards the preview not matching the output.
 

Snodge

EOS T7i
Dec 20, 2013
61
0
44
Yate, UK
Obviously "best" is somewhat subjective, and when I looked into it a few years back, Photomatix was the weapon of choice for the majority of folk processing HDR - and me being contrary, I decided to support the underdog that is SNS-HDR.

Here's a -2,0,+2 bracket from my 60D with a Tamron 17-55mm (or is ot 50, I forget, I lent the lens out so I can't check!) with something that doesn't look too over-cooked, yet isn't exactly natural either:



On the odd occasion, I also use Luminance HDR, it has a very nice natural algorithm in there somewhere, and can save as a 32 bit image. The interface is hideously awkward though, so it's often my last resort - here's Cheddar Gorge in the evening light from my 5dmk3 with Tamron 24-70mm, 5 image bracket -4 to +4:



The third option I use is the Enfuse droplet scripts which come with Hugin. Both Hugin and Luminance HDR are free, so their quirky nature I can put up with. Hugin is actually somewhat easier, as I'm not adjusting any parameters; I create 16bit TIF files, and drag them onto a shortcut for the batchfiles which are on my desktop. I use 2, one if it needs alignment from handheld brackets, and the other if I've used a tripod and doesn't need aligning. I get a 16 bit natural looking image that I can then adjust the vibrance and/or saturation.

Here is a 5 image bracket, -4 to +4 of a field of clover near Badminton, taken with my 5dmk3 and the Tamron 24-70, enfused using the Hugin droplet, and then tweaked in Lightroom:



Mostly the reason for using HDR, for me, is to get good detail in an image, such that there is relevant detail in the shadows, and that the highlights aren't clipped out, unless they need to be. What happens after that is less about HDR and more about plain old saturation!

At the end of the day, they're all tools in my processing toolbox, and I just have to decide which tool is the best for the job, as one tool does not always suffice for all situations!
 

dude

EOS M50
Aug 22, 2012
43
0
I know I am late to the game here but I use NIK's plugin for Aperture. Easy, to the point, well done software.