a21 November 2013

Photomatix Pro 5 is released - what's new?

Hala GÄ…sienicowa in Tatra Mountains
One of the many photos I processed with Contrast Optimizer - new tone-mapper available in Photomatix Pro 5.
You might have heard the news already. Photomatix Pro 5, was officially released yesterday!

I'm super happy and excited to work for HDRsoft. Reading first positive reviews on Photomatix Pro 5, make me feel really awesome and proud. You know, I'm software developer after all. I create software. As weird as it might sound creating code is my passion, something I do for more than 16 years (I started at the age of 10 :) ) and I don't feel bored with it. Not bored at all.

Ok, without further ado, to download Photomatix Pro 5, simply go here:
Also note that if you bought version 4.x (4.0 or 4.2 for instance) the upgrade is free for you. Here's a quote from HDRsoft website:

The upgrade to Photomatix Pro version 5 will be free of charge for customers who purchased a license of Photomatix Pro version 4.0 or higher through our website or authorised resellers (Photomatix Pro 4.0 was released on October 2010).

If you bought earlier version (3.2 for instance), upgrade to version 5.0 will cost you just 29 USD.

BTW make sure to read my updated HDR tutorial which is now updated for Photomatix Pro 5.

Finally the list of main changes in Photomatix Pro 5:
  • 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 (on Windows it's limited to 64-bit version only) - 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 :)

Where was this photo taken:

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