Category Archives: Software Review

8 HDR Software Program Shootout

8 HDR Software Program Shootout

Comparing 8 HDR ProgramsIn this article we will compare 8 of the most popular HDR Processing Software currently available including:

  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
  • Adobe Photoshop HDR Pro
  • Aurora HDR Pro 2018 by Skylum
  • Easy HDR
  • Enfuse HDR
  • HDRsoft PhotoMatix Pro 6
  • HDRSoft Merge to 32 Bit HDR
  • ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5

*Note: You can skip reading this next part if you just want to get on with the review.

I have long avoided doing a head to head comparison like this. For a couple of reasons. Mostly because it is a conflict of interest, in two ways. In the first way, I represent.as an affiliate, some of  the companies reviewed here. So if I say something is good, how do you know it’s not just me pushing something I possibly could make money on? Secondly, It’s a conflict of interest to myself since photography and this website are my only means of making a living. So if I don’t promote things, I also don’t eat. This is why I most times would just review one piece of software at a time, do the FTC announcement to let you know that I may or may not have a financial connection to the company and then give you my honest opinion of that piece of software. That last part I ALWAYS do. But the truth of the matter is, affiliate deals are not what they were at one time and I make far more of my living selling Prints now. And I thought a good way to do this was to do the head to head, Give some opinions on how they performed but in the end NOT TELL YOU, “This one is the best!” or even give you a “Top 3” I’ll give you the info and the results. YOU make that choice, and it WILL be different for different people since HDR styles are very spread apart from Mild to Wild and not all, do all. So here you have it: 8 HDR Software Roundup.

Continue reading »

Why not give ON1 Photo Raw a spin for free

So I’ve written a couple posts about the new (ish) ON1 Photo RAW 2017. Really a great set of Photo Editing software that can be everyting you want it to be.

But why just trust me and my opinion? Try it for yourself!

ON1 Offers an Month long full Function Copy for free. So download it for yourself, try it on YOUR photos. See how easy it is to organize and get to the final image YOU want quickly and completely

Just Click  thru HERE

 

 

 

 

And guess what.

They have MORE free stuff?

Want some Free Lightroom Plug-ins?

You can Get them HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND, Want a Free Full Version of their popular ON1 Photo Effects 10

That’s right HERE

 

 

 

 

That’s a LOT of good free stuff for your After 4th Fun!

 

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 Review – Part 1 – Why do I want this over LR-PS

Red Trees 250x250

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 Review

Part one: The Why

Full disclose per FTC. I am an affilate for ON1 Software

If you would like to see a quick video showing an overview of ON1 Photo RAW 2017 before proceeding, click this great video by ON1’s Dan Harlacher

I want to start this review of ON1 Photo RAW talking about… Adobe

?

Continue reading »

Luminar – New Photo Editor from Macphun – Release and Review

Luminar – The new Photo Editor from Macphun (Mac OS ONLY)

Today, Macphun software introduced Luminar their new all in one photo editor. (sorry Mac OS only)

The key features are the ability to design the Workspace to how you work, Adding or subtracting Modules (filters) to show only the ones you find necessary and work with often but always having those other modules  available. The other key feature, if you want to call it that, is simply…price. At $69 normal price (there are some savings I will talk about at the end of the piece) That’s pretty darn inexpensive in the world of editing software especially when you consider how much power and versatility is built into Luminar. Now I’m a big Adobe fan and have been a user of Photoshop since Photoshop 2. so that’s quite a long time. And currently a membership to Photoshop CC/Lightroom is $9.99 a month. Now for a professional like me that’s a small expense relative to the other expenses of running a business. Not everyone is a professional but what if you could get software that offers Pro level performance at a price that’s greatly affordable to people that don’t do this to earn money. That’s where Luminar comes in and very strongly. Even a Pro may find the feature set to be everything they need. Continue reading »

Aurora HDR Pro 2017 Performance Review

Macphun Software last week released the newest version of Aurora – Aurora HDR Pro 2017 a MUCH improved version of their Mac Only HDR Software

Now you may have noticed something, I never did a review of the Original Aurora HDR Pro, which may seem odd for a site dedicated to HDR. The reason was, it simply was not up to my standards and not ready for prime time. This really is not that unusual for 1st releases. The same was true when Nik Software released HDR Efex Pro. It just wasn’t good but when they ramped up to do release  2 and they consulted with the HDR crowd including me, they released a great, for the time, HDR software. So the fact that a first version wasn’t that good is pretty normal. Aurora certainly had the feature set right, but for me the only thing I am interested in is performance and it was there that it lacked.

All that has changed with the release of Aurora HDR Pro 2017. Continue reading »

ON 1 PHOTO 10 Review

ON1 Photo 10 Icon/banner 300x300In Late October, ON 1 Software will release PHOTO 10, thier replacement and upgrade for their Perfect Suite (9,5 latest version)

The new PHOTO 10 offers a number of improvements not only to performance but even the ergonomics of use. Simplifying things into a structure that makes a lot more sense considering how people edit their images.

I’m not going to go in depth into each of the new specs because ON 1 has a treasure trove of videos on their blogs delving in in detail to each of the new features. So I will give you an overview of the features that I find to be the most important and improved. **Please note that I have been working with the Beta versions of the software so the absolute final release may differ slightly and actually should work even more bug free

So lets take a look at some of the changes.

Continue reading »

Photomatix Pro 5.1 is Still King

On September 5th. HDRsoft introduced it latest update to it’s always popular HDR Program: Photomatix Pro. Version 5.1 has a few improvments over v5.0 and they are:

Main updates in version 5.1
  • Added support for recent camera models such as the Nikon D7200 and Canon G7X, EOS M3, and 750D/760D (T6i/T6s).
  • Ability to mark presets as Favorites (by clicking on the ‘star’ icon to the left of each thumbnail) and filter the preset list to only show those favorites.
  • Fusion/Real-Estate renamed into Fusion/Interior and now includes a Brightness setting.
  • Addition of “Architecture” category to filter Presets.
  • By default, the preset name or method name is now appended to the file name of the final image. You can also adjust the suffix in the Preferences panel.
  • On Batch of Bracketed Photos, addition of Base Exposure option for deghosting.
  • The alignment is now done with one alignment method for all cases. The alignment settings (perspective correction option and maximum alignment shift) can be pre-selected via an Alignment Preset pull-down menu.
  • “License Information” panel shows the license status, as well as the license key if a Photomatix Pro copy has already been registered on the computer.

Continue reading »

Noiseless Pro from Macphun now available

 


I had a chance to test the new Noiseless Pro for Macphun Software against a lot of the competition and I can say without hesitation that it is the best Noise Reduction software on the market (Sorry Mac OS only)

The Noise reduction Algorithms used just seemed to best accomplish the goals of Noise Reductions Software:

A: Reduce Noise

B: Retain detail and clarity Continue reading »

Macphun Tonality Pro Black & White Review

Macphun Software’s Tonality Pro Black & White Conversiontonpro_icon92

Though not a household name (Yet) Macphun Software has been making quite a bit of buzz in the Photo Editing software market since their founding in 2008. They started off making mostly photography related iPhone apps and soon moved to full featured Software for Mac, besides their apps for iPhone and iPad™ use. Sorry, Mac only, which is OK since Photographers seem to be the most loyal Apple Fans Continue reading »

HDRsoft’s Merge to 32 Bit. A simple and effective Lightroom HDR workflow

logo_hdrsoftHDRsoft, the makers of Photomatix Pro 5  the top selling HDR software, also make a Plug-in for Lightroom that allows you to select your exposures in Lightroom and then Merge those files into a 32-bit Floating Point Tiff file and automatically re-import back into Lightroom for all your Tone-mapping and finishing needs The plug-in; HDRSoft’s Merge to 32 Bit, makes the whole process easy, effective and pain free. So let’s look at the plug-in and then follow through with some thoughts on a quick and easy yet thorough workflow using Lightroom only. Continue reading »

Photomatix Pro 5 Review

Photomatix 5 review

I’m a little overdue with this review but it’s given me a little more time to play.

In November, HDRsoft released Photomatix Pro 5, which contains one of the most important upgrades since changes to it’s De-Ghosting way back when.

It’s no secret that since the release of Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2, I’ve used that for the majority of my HDR Image Processing. I found it was able to accomplish a more natural look easily and of course that’s the look I prefer. However Nik had some serious side effects, the worst of which, its alignment and Chromatic Aberration control. And while it’s de-ghosting was very good; it just didn’t have the power or the versatility of Photomatix Pro.

I would, on some difficult images, use the superior alignment capabilities of Photomatix to create a 32Bit Radiance file and then open that in HDR Efex Pro 2 to do my tone mapping. But with Nik acquisition by Google, I truly doubt that there will be any further releases or significant Updates to HDR Efex Pro 2 or any of Nik’s other software. Which IS very good but without support, I don’t see much future.

Continue reading »

OnOne Software solves your Adobe woes

250x250

OnOne Software solves your Adobe woes

I don’t think anything has caused a bigger stir in the Photography World, then Adobe’s announcement they were going to a Subscription based Licensing (Creative Cloud) instead of their long standing Perpetual Licensing.

While subscription licensing makes sense for a lot of businesses, it’s not something that either small businesses or Hobbyists are used to nor do they like.

At first the cost was prohibitive, but that’s lessened a bit, but still for a lot of people that want to buy and then hold for a few product cycles it proved to be a thorn in their side.

I’m not here (nor will I) debate that subject. Nor am I here to do a full review of onOne Perfect Suite 8, which was released yesterday. I truly believe, it doesn’t matter much what I have to say about the software, they have a 30 day free trial so you have a whole month to take it for a spin and decide for yourself.

But I am here to tell you that onOne Prefect Photo  Suite 8 IS a replacement for Photoshop/Lightroom if you so desire one and a good one at that.  Continue reading »

Topaz Labs introduces ReStyle

ReStyle_box_clear-125x175Topaz Labs introduces ReStyle 
 
I’m sure most of the readers here are familiar with Tone-Mapping. Where we take a specific tone (lightness) and change it to a different tone (Lighten or darken). But what if we could instead do the same thing but with Color and Hue..In other words; Color-mapping. Taking something of a specific color or hue and changing bit to another.
 
Well, the good folks at Topaz Labs have brought that to you. With “Styling” apps all the rage for your Smart Phone Pics, why not take that idea to a professional level. Whether it’s a cross processed look or a dark and Smokey look to your image. Just about anything is Possible with Topaz Labs Re-Style

Software Review – Topaz Lab’s new -Clarity

Clarity_box_clearTopaz Labs Clarify – Get the Funk out of your HDR

Read to the end for a special Discount Code on Topaz Labs Clarity

Just released today is the new software from our friends at Topaz Labs – Clarity

Some of you may have read the article I wrote on “Why HDRs don’t look real” In it I went on about how what’s missing in a lot of HDRs is Midtone Shadow and Midtone Contrast. Controlling these two things either in the original HDR process or later in post can really do a lot to add photorealistic look to your HDR or actually any image.

Continue reading »

Topaz Labs releases B & W Effects 2.1

bwbox_transparentToday Topaz Labs announced the realease of B & W Effects 2.1

As always the update is fre to anyone that owns B & W Effects

The new updates to B&W Effects 2.1 make it the most powerful and comprehensive black and white conversion software on the market. The two biggest additions are:

The Zone System Viewing Mode lets you see your image broken down into 11 zones that represent the full tonal scale going from 0 as black to 10 as white. Zones are shown in different highlight colors for easy viewing. This viewing mode helps you determine whether or not you have the full tonal range in your image and then make exposure adjustments in our conversion module to correct these tones.

Continue reading »