Reviewing Photomatix

Reviewing PhotomatixHDR (High Dynamic Range) photography has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. When we first discover HDR we often remember noticing a certain style of photograph that had an intense amount of detail. HDR photography when done well can bring out the best or worst in a photo. This surreal look of some images is not always loved but does have a rather large following.

For the first few years of knowing about HDR I occasionally experimented with various free HDR software. Although this software varies in quality and ease of use none of it even comes close to results that come from Photomatix. None of the free software is even as good as the Light version of Photomatix. I have not tried any of the other premium HDR software but according to users on popular photography forums and file sharing sites none of it is as good as Photomatix. There is always the very occasional person who prefers software other than Photomatix but this is definitely the exception. Photomatix is always praised as superior by its users. Just do an internet search on Photomatix and you will see millions of results.

The tone-mapping function is what makes Photomatix superior. Tone mapping makes the image viewable by reducing the tonal information in an HDR image. Many programs, including Photoshop, have the ability to merge photos into an HDR image. Unfortunately an HDR image without tone-mapping is very ugly. Some people prefer the Photomatix Photoshop Plug-in. To use this program you simply use the "Merge To HDR" option in Photoshop and then use the Plug-In from the filters menu. The results are almost identical to what the standalone version of Photomatix Pro achieve.
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November 6, 2010 at 8:34 AM ×

Yes the tone mapping feature is where it all happens. I have found the new Photoshop version to be quite comparable now to Photomatix in processing HDR photos.

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