Over on Facebook someone asked to show the differences between Nik HDR Efex Pro and the New Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 in a side by side comparison image.
Which is a reasonable request but there are some problems with this if you don’t look at it with a few things in mind. HEP2 not only has a new HDR Algorithm, it also has some big changes in controls. So how do you separate out what is due to the algorithm and what is because of the controls? Then on top of that even if the controls were exactly the same the images would not look similar because the beginning default image is of a lighter luminance value with the new algorithm than the old
But, for the sake of argument I will show you a few examples that not only show the difference in look of the images but also of the default images and most impressively the much better performance of the alignment in HEP 2
The image is from a 8 exposure 1EV step Merge, the image was shot on a steady tripod using good tripod practices. The images are straight out of HDR Efex Pro/Pro 2 with no tweaking in post. The images were taken into Photoshop to change Mode, Color profile to sRGB, labeling and resizing for the web. The first images are the default image in each program. I caution you here. The HDR Efex pro 2 image is indeed lighter, most people see more contrast as being a better image so understand that as you examine the two images
Next are The two images after Tone-mapping with their respective controls. I did not try to match the images nor try to have one out do the other. I simply went though my normal process and worked until I though the image looked good to my eye.
And finally here are two 100 % crops of each image to show the alignment of each version of HDR Efex Pro/Pro2
I won’t comment on any of the images, let your eyes judge. But here is the bottom line. Read what I have to say, look at what I have to show and take it into consideration. But at the end of the day, you don’t shoot like me, you don’t see like me, you don’t have the same artistic vision and you don’t process like me. So download the software, you can use it for 30 days free and do your own test and make your own judgments.
To download the free trial of Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 as part of the Nik Collection by Google or to purchase, please click on the link below