HDR / Tonemapping Software - Purchasing


TPF Noob!
Sep 26, 2006
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I have used photomatix trial a few times and gives some pretty cool results but I am looking into purchasing a full hdr / tonemapping software.

Main Requirements:

* Mac Computer
* Ability to create realistic images
* Good alignment for hand held photos

I am weighing up whether to buy photomatix or an alternative program. I have read a bit on the internet about people preferring other programs because they provide better and more realistic results. (unfortunately I have looked and looked but can not find the specific sites I looked at before)

I am interested to know others thoughts on this, taking into consideration my main requirements.

Is photomatix fine for this or should I be looking elsewhere?

Photomatix Pro is a bit pricey - is it really necessary or is light version adequate?

(I know photoshop and the likes are an alternative - but I do not want to use this method.)

Thanks Heaps.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Nik is coming out this month with a very good program, but it is more than photomatrix

there is HDR expose

fdrtools is another

dynamic range hdr

these sites should help sort out your decision
I've been using Photomatix Pro. I like it, it's easy to use, but the results can be a bit over the top for me. Also, it doesn't seem to handl the ghosting clouds very well.

I just purchased HDR Expose. I used the trial for a month and loved it. Seems to have a little more control, and it gives a more realistic HDR image. It is more expensive, but I found a coupon code which got me the software for $120.

I downloaded the trial of Nik's new HDR program and tried it. I didn't love it, but maybe I just didn't give it enough time. It has a lot more control than the other two, but it almost seemed to be too much for me. I don't think you'll go wrong with getting it.

I tired a few others along the way, HDR darkroom and fdr tools, but these three I mentioned are the best, in my opinion.

FYI, I use a MAC.

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