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Software Discuss Olympus Master, Studio and Viewer software applications as well as third party programs like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and others.

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Old 4th February 2009
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HDR software options?

Since seeing Nick Temple-Fry's demo of what can be done with HDR software on one of my images I have been having a closer look.

First I downloaded a trial of Photomatix Pro and found this easy to use with default settings and that it did work on my images without looking too unnatural. To get the best out of it I will need to go up quite a learning curve though. I was a little concerned about the cost though with the current exchange rates so I started to look for a cheaper solution.

Although Photomatix seems to be the most popular at the moment, there seem to be alternatives out there that are cheaper or free and some of which seem to be more powerful (More confusing?).

Of these so far I have tried Qtpfsgui which is open source and free. This I found pretty confusing and very slow if working on full size images. I didn't get on with it.

I also tried Artizen HDR which is less than half the price of Photomatix. It also seems to be much more powerful (maybe confusing) but has a pretty good interface and also offers some photo editing features. On speed, I thought it was quite close to Photomatix and very much quicker than Qtpfsgui. I did find it tricky to get the result I wanted though without the necessary learning curve. I seemed to have a halo problem even without trying to push the images away from natural. This is probably fixable with practice.

If all other HDR packages had problems I would be prepared to go for Photomatix but I don't want to miss a possible alternative that could be better (and cheaper).

Does anyone have experience of any alternatives to Photomatix and feel able to compare alternatives with it? I would appreciate any views that can be offered.

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