HDR Software Review

Top 10 Best HDR Software for Mac and Windows Review in 2019


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Even if you get a HDR camera, you still need to HDR software to merge photos with different exposures to a stunning HDR photograph. Just imagine when you are inside Vatican Cathedral, you can take advantage of the HDR software to enhances color range, brightness, sharpness, and shadow of a standard photo and adds more dynamic ranges.

When you take a series of images with different exposures, you also need to use HDR software to merge awesome HDR photographs. What should be the best HDR software for Mac and Widows platform? The article explains 10 best HDR software reviews in 2018 and illuminates the assets and liabilities of each HDR program. Just learn more details from the article now and choose the right HDR software for yourself accordingly.


1. Best HDR Software – WidsMob HDR

WidsMob HDR is the HDR software for Mac. The HDR program is able to merges a bracketed set of image to gorgeous HDR image. You can include 3 images and align them into HDR by tone mapping. The automatic HDR sequences to align photos with awesome result.

Download for Mac Version
  • There are some presets of HDR filters that you can apply stunning HDR files.
  • Adjust the tone length and tone saturation parameters to create high dynamic range images.
  • Ghost suppression to ensure a final result of HDR merging with moving staff and device.
  • Color management of the HDR photos by adjusting the brightness, saturation and contrast.
  • Compare the original images with HDR result photos by the user interface.
  • Save or Print HDR effect images and share to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and other social media account.

The free HDR software can create HDR images from JPEG, JPG, DNG, CRW, CR2, MOS, RAF, 3FR, DCR, KDC, K25, PXN, MEF, MRW, NEF, ORF, RAW, PEF, X3F, SRF, SR2, and other popular RAW formats. And then you can export HDR photographs as JPEG, PNG and TIFF.

Merge Free HDR Photo


2. Best HDR Software - Picturenaut

Picturenaut is another free HDR software that creates HDRIs from multiple exposures. It is released as donationware. If you are satisfied with the HDR software or use it in a commercial project, you should support the development with a donation.

  • Picturenaut is originally a plugin for HDRShop integrate with Absolute HDR Calibration.
  • Add weight to an image with standard or mid emphasis to the desired result of HDR.
  • Grayscale or RGB-color mode can be chosen and color density can be changed to 8 Bit, 16 Bit, or 32 Bit per channel.
  • The HDR software is able to reuse the camera curve for the Gamma adjustment of a tone mapped LDR result.
  • You can carry out exposure correction, ghost removal, automatic image alignment, and color balancing on a set of images to merge.

And the free HDR program is able to get stunning HDR result from DNG, CRW, CR2, 3FR, DCR, KDC, K25, PXN, MEF, MOS, RAF, MRW, NEF, ORF, RAW, PEF, X3F, SRF, SR2, ARW, TGA, VDA, ICB, VST, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and PPM files. And save to TIFF, EXR, HDR, PIC, or PFM formats.

But the major problem should be the hard to make any further edit, especially the problems with alignment of handhold images, it is impossible to de-ghost the semi-transparent HDR photograph. Another issue should be impossible to enhance the filter of the HDR photo after the combination. As for the case, you have to further edit photo after try the HDR software free.

Picturenaut HDR Software


3. Best HDR Software - Luminance HDR

Luminance HDR is an open source HDR software developed by Source Forge. The program is able to add multiple images of same frame to merge and then change different properties. The program lets you make HDR images using HDR Creation Wizard. Just learn more detail about features about the free HDR software.

  • Adjust a bunch of image properties to use tone map, such as white balance, contrast factor, saturation factor and other parameters.
  • The Anti-ghosting feature can use HDR merge with handhold or tripod with profession results.
  • Once you get the HDR photograph, you can use the program to rotate, resize and crop them into desired results.
  • The HDR software with extensive features also lets you batch process HDR images, copy EXIF data, perform batch tone mapping, and import FITS files.

The HDR freeware is able to handle the following formats for HDR photographs. JPEG, TIFF, KDC, DCR, PEF, NEF, DNG, VDN, MRW, OFF, CLF, ANV, RAF, REFV, PTX, RAW, SR2, RW2, SRW, TKV, CR2, 3FR, MEF, MEFV, MCR, MCS, EIF, NRVV, etc. And then process to EXR, HDR, PIC, TIFF, or PFS.

It is a little difficult and slow to use auto align the HDR images with Luminance. The initial controls are a little awkward but should be easy enough after getting used to. Just download the free HDR software to create one desired file.

Luminance HDR Software


4. Best HDR Software - Machinery HDR

When you need to make HDR images out of a single image file, Machinery HDR is a right HDR software to handle the HDR filters. The program adds HDR effects by varying the range of saturation, RGB color, color scheme, etc. It also lets you batch edit HDR images.

  • The HDR software has a built-in app called Machinery Explorer, which lets you find image files to add for HDR processing pretty easily.
  • You are able to adjust parameters for Micro-contrast, Details, and Dynamic contrast for detailed images.
  • It also empowers you to compare the process the image together with the original one with ease.
  • Besides the HDR merge features, it is also an HDR photo editor with some editing features.

Machinery HDR supports various image Formats, like: JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, DNG, CRW, CR2, RAW, NEF, and other RAW formats. If you are satisfied with the result, you can also purchase the full version in order to export HDR with large size.

Machinery HDR Software


5. Best HDR Software - FDRTools Basic

FDRTools Basic is the basic HDR software to create high quality tonemapped images for free. If you are a newbie to HDR photograph, you can use the Basic version first. Of course, you can also upgrade to FDRTools Advanced version to create desired files as well.

  • There are three different HDR creating modes of the HDR program, which enables you to create HDR: Average, Separation, and Creative.
  • For White Balance Reference, an image can be chosen from the set of images. Image Exposure and color options can be changed as well.
  • The HDR software to make HDR images takes each pixel from one source image, and you can use separation sliders to separate pixels by intensity.
  • There are various other HDR parameters that can be changed to achieve desired result.

You can create HDR images from JPEG, TIFF, HDR, RGBE, EXR, and DCRAW (3FR, ARW, CRW, CR2, CS1, DCR, DNG, ERF, IIQ, K25, KDC, MEF, MRW, NEF, NRW, ORF, PEF, RAF, RAW, RW2, RWL, SRF, SR2, SRW) files.

PDRTools HDR Software


6. Best HDR Software - Canon Digital Photo Professional

If you have already purchased Canon cameras, you can use the default HDR camera free. It should be another nice option for the beginner with Canon HDR cameras. You can have another check for the CD bundled with Canon cameras, the free HDR software is available for latest versions.

  • Included with many digital SLR cameras by Cannon and support editing and managing assets of Canon RAW CR2 files
  • Adjust brightness, white balance, picture styles, contrast, saturation and sharpness.
  • With noise reduction tool for photos taken in high ISO and lens aberration tool for correcting imperfections.
  • Auto lighting optimizer can be applied to JPEG images.
  • With Color adjustments for specific color gamuts.

The free HDR program is able to load 3 images with different exposures for creating HDR images. And there is some limited parameter settings for the free HDR program in order to make a stunning result. If you are serious about HDR photographs, you might need another program instead.

Cannon DDP HDR Software


7. Best HDR Software - Fusion

When you need to yield a good result with best HDR software, Fusion might be another solution. You can obtain the HDR photographs by using SUM operator rather than HDR operator. Another splendid feature of the free HDR software should be automatic alignment of photos.

  • The batch processing tool is excellent for bulk manipulation and makes editing much easier.
  • The program allows processing of single photos in RAW, TIFF or JPEG formats.
  • Merging of exposures and processing can be done by one of the operators – HDR or Summation With Priorites.
  • There are two tone mapping options available (paid version), both seem to produce very good results.

Fusion HDR free version is a restricted version, the latest version of free HDR software is produced from Fusion 2.8.8. There is only one processing mode in summation operation, one tone-mapping mode in HDR operator, no processing tool or batch processing operator. And you can only save the result in JPEG in 32-bit with the free HDR program.

Fusion HDR Software


8. Best HDR Software - Photomatix

Photomatix has been the top HDR software for most people as it has four different tone mapping methods. It is easier to use, faster and has more presets for you to choose from. As it includes automatic working modes for those who don’t want to be bothered tweaking a dozen different values and also manual modes for picky photographers who prefer controlling every single detail.

  • It will take several photographs with different exposures and merge the photos to HDR.
  • There are designated tone mapping tools available.
  • It can create ultra realistic images easily.
  • Support batch processing which is great for HDR timelapse.

As there are two versions for Photomatix: Pro and Essentials, you may need to learn its differences according to their features. Photomatix Essentials focuses on simplicity and ease of use, While Photomatix Pro offers more options and includes advanced features such as batch processing and selective deghosting. Besides, Photomatix Pro includes a Plugin for Lightroom. And Photomatix Essentials includes a Plugin for Photoshop Elements.

Photomatix HDR Software


9. Best HDR Software – Aurora HDR 2018

Aurora 2018 is the newest HDR software which is full of options with many different features to make it easy to produce good looking HDR images. It is supposed to be all-in-one software and it’s pretty close. There are many changes in the 2018 version that bring significant improvements. The program has been rewritten from the ground up to focus on things like speed improvements, better RAW image handling and a more user-friendly interface.

  • HDR Tone Mapping is one of the most powerful tools available in the software.
  • There are number of options to add custom textures, bracketing the HDR mode as well as adding back some of the original image into the frame.
  • With Aurora HDR, you can import the RAW files directly into the software or export them through Lightroom with or without changes you have made quite easily.
  • Aurora HDR 2018 supports JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, RAW (NEF, CR2, RAF, ARW, etc.). With the basic export function you can create an image file and save it in the following formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, JPEG-2000, TIF, PSD (Mac only). It also can be used as plug-in for Lightroom, Photoshop Element, Apple Aperture and Adobe Photoshop.

    Aurora HDR Software


    10. Best HDR Software – EasyHDR

    EasyHDR is one of the best and easiest software to use for producing beautiful HDR images. It has been around since 2006. The software is very quick and easy install with straightforward and simple operation user interface. EasyHDR is capable of tone mapping single photographs, which is especially useful in case of developing raw images.

    • Combine several different exposed photographs (JPEG, TIFF or RAW) into a HDR image.
    • With tone mapping algorithms of easyHDR get realistic or dramatic HDR results.
    • Correct white balance during tone mapping or in case of RAWs at import step.
    • Automatic and manual Ghost Removal feature ensures that moving subjects like cars, people, clouds or trees won’t spoil the final photo.

    EasyHDR can let you get neat results even if the photos are taken in very difficult lighting conditions. The program is capable of importing various file formats: JPEG, TIFF, FITS (used in astrophtotography cameras), Radiance RGBE (HDR image) and nearly all digital camera RAW formats, by all vendors.

    EasyHDR HDR Software


    Conclusion

    When you need to composite photos into HDR photographs, you can use HDR software. If you only take one photograph, you can still apply HDR effect to create similar high dynamic photo result. And you can leave a comment if you have any query about the HDR software, I will find a solution for you as soon as possible.


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Peter Wood
Peter Wood
Peter Wood, a senior editor, focus on photography design and editing software and devices.

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