Author: Bruce A Tracy
Photomatix Pro version 4 has been available for about a month now, and I’ve been using it since it was in beta. Yes, even the beta version with all it’s bugs and quirks was better than version 3, and I dare say better than most of the competitors products. I have looked at and used a few of the competitors products, but my preference is still Photomatix. It is hands down the best HDR tool available and is the choice for most professional photographers.
I have written a couple of tutorial/references for Photomatix version 3 which are available on this site…
Most of what is written in these references is still valid and applicable to version 4 as the basic controls did not change. However, there are a few new features worthy of mention.
- Selective deghosting. ghosting occurs due to movement in the scene, either in the background such a leaves blowing in the wind, or in the scene itself such as people moving through the scene. In version 3, the automatic deghosting worked pretty well, but in some cases it would not remove all the ghosting from the scene. In version 4, the selective deghosting allows you to select the areas of concern and specify which image of the set to use for the deghosting. The results are well worth the upgrade. Oh, did I mention that the upgrade is free for owners of Photomatix Pro version 3! Well it is!
- Improved noise reduction. one of the facts of life in HDR Photography is noise. When combining multiple images together noise becomes a factor especially in the darker images. Photomatix version 4 now addresses the noise issue upfront by applying noise reduction technology to the source images so that the resultant image has less noise. Very cool when you think about the time savings realized.
- Thumbnail previews! this is one of my favorite additions to the new version. You can now scroll through the thumbnail previews and select the one that closely resembles the look you are after. It is then a short set of tweaking the settings for just the right look and your done. Also, if you create a preset and save it, Photomatix creates a thumbnail view of your preset for the next time you use the program. Very cool!
These are the most notable additions to the new version, but that is not all. There have also been some adjustments to existing functionality and additional improvements added. They even increased the speed which is a very big deal that we are all happy with. Creating HDR imagery takes time and any reduction in the time to create the image means more time available to shoot more images! Yea!
Here’s a basic summary of Photomatix Pro 4 features: Tone mapping and exposure fusion methods are now accessible from the same area allowing you to switch back and forth before deciding on which method is best for your image, there are two methods available for tone mapping and six methods for exposure blending, semi-manual or automatic deghosting, 16 bit support, tone mapping a single 8 bit image, alignment tool, batch processing, and full support for both Mac and Windows environments.
If you are contemplating HDR photography, or you are into HDR photography, I highly recommend getting Photomatix Pro version 4. If you are purchasing for the first time use code “HDRPhotoZone” to receive a 15% discount off the already amazing price of just $99. If you already have version 3, what are you waiting for? Here’s the link: Photomatix Pro 4
About the Author
Bruce A Tracy is a professional photographer residing in Loveland Colorado. He specializes primarily in events, portraits, pets, and scenic photography. Bruce is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography in Professional Photography. Go to www.bruceatracy.com to see his portfolio or purchase prints.