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HDRi comparison…Photomatix Pro vs Picturenaut…a first look — 8 Comments

  1. Pros & Cons of HDR multiple exposures vs differential RAW opening of same image and subsequent layer masking?

  2. Hi Mike
    Blend of multiple exposures give much more richness of detail throughout the image and does away with the need to mask areas off – notably the difficulty in masking off trees against sky, which is a nightmare! The problem with multiple exposures is subject movement between the exposures, e.g. wind on grass. Also, if you go too far, the result looks very unnatural (but you might like that!)

    Try them both and see which you prefer!

  3. I’ve given my very first shot at HDR today. I started out with three shots at -2,0,+2 (AEB at 5fps mode with Canon 30D). I haven’t used a tripod and so there was a minute shake. I found that Picturenaut didnt handle the image alignment as well as Photomatix Pro. I havent tried with shots taken on a tripod. I bet without the shake both would’ve given me similar results. I hope Picturenaut gets better with its image alignment in the next releases.

  4. Hi Suman
    I have had the same experience with hand held shots. In fact I have found that the best way to align hand held HDR shots is via the Photoshop “align layers” feature. Once the shots are aligned, they can be cropped and output to files again. After some time with both Photomatix and Picturenaut, my preference is for Photmatix, but Picturenaut still does a decent job and it’s free! I have been told that the latest PhotoShop version does a much better job at tone mapping than previously, but I have no experience of it as yet.

  5. I create artificial exposures in camera raw and use the place command of the different versions of the same photo to create HDR
    with life subjects. The results are very encouraging.

  6. Hi Charles
    Yes, it is certainly possible to get the most out of a RAW image by doing that, but it is not to be confused with HDR. This is because you only use the original low dynamic range output from the sensor, meaning you are using LDR methods. So that method won’t work when the dynamic range of the subject is outside the dynamic range of the sensor (i.e. beyond the range of recovery of highlight and shadow detail from a single exposure). HDR comes into its own in those circumstances. But you are right in saying that the method you are using creates some very satisfactrory results.
    Meryy Christmas!!! Chris

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