a1 October 2013

Photomatix Pro 5 beta released

Example of using Fusion/Real-Estate
I'm not real estate photograher but Fusion/Realistic is really great. Note how well highlights outside the window were preserved.
UPDATE: Photomatix Pro 5 was officially released. Go here for more details, or here to download it.

Recently I was very busy (I had very little time to take and process my photos as you could notice)... today I can finally reveal why :) At HDRsoft Ltd. we've just released public beta of Photomatix Pro 5!

BTW one of the huge benefits of working as a developer in a company creating photo editing applications is that you can try new features much earlier than anyone else. That's great when you're a photographer at the same time ;)

The list of changes is very long so here are only the main updates and additions:
  • 2 completely new processing methods which will be especially welcomed by fans of very natural looking HDR/Fused images:
    • Contrast Optimizer - it is a local tone-mapper. However, it is virtually halo free and also produces very natural looking images (although you can go grungy if you wish). Output from this method is also very clean, has nice clarity and the method is very easy to use. Are you familiar with tone-mapper from Lightroom? If so you will love Contrast Optimizer because in my opinion it often produces even better results (slightly cleaner and more crisp).
    • Fusion/Real-Estate - it's a new fusion method. Although it was present in version 4.2 it was very slow and for that reason it was available only in Batch Bracketed mode (under the name of Fusion/Realistic). Now it's much faster (about 10 times!) and is available in Preview mode as well. It's also greatly improved. I often use this feature instead of manual blending as it gives me the results I would like to get with manual blending. If you're familiar with Fusion/Natural you know that it can sometimes blow out highlights. It's not a problem with Fusion/Real-Estate which preserves them perfectly. Although this method is targeted mainly to real-estate photographers, other photographers will benefit from it as well as I'm definitely not real-estate photographer yet I find it very useful.
  • Improved automatic ghost removal - you can now specify which source photo to use for automatic deghosting as well as strength of deghosting.
  • Improved images alignment - images that didn't align previously when match by features option was used, should do now.
  • Sliders are now real-time - if your CPU is fast enough you can check an option in Preferences to make sliders respond in real-time. That is image will change as you drag the slider.
  • Multiple presets in Batch mode - not only GUI of Batch processing has been redesigned to make it more intuitive to use, but Photomatix 5 also introduces ability to process photos using multiple presets. Up to now it was only possible to use different processing methods at the same time (eg. both Details Enhancer and Fusion/Natural) - now it's possible to process same photos using multiple settings for a given processing method. So now you can even run a batch with all your presets :)
  • Improved transfer of EXIF data.
  • Bug fixes - plenty of them :)

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