Difference between revisions of "HDR Software overview"

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(Introduction should be on the same level as the other sections, right? IMHO a better readable TOC now.)
(Software overview: removed useless sentence)
 
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==Introduction==
+
Certainly one of the most interesting upcoming technologies for photographers is High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI), allowing work with the full real world levels of illumination. While standard image formats utilizes 8 or 16 bits with applied gamma and color space, the HDR image format extends the bit depth up to 96bit in a linear color space.
  
Certainly one of the most interesting upcoming technologies for photographers is High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI), allowing to work with the full real world levels of illumination. While standard image formats utilizes 8 or 16 bits with applied Gamma and color space, the HDR image format extends the bit depth up to 96bit in a linear color space.
+
On this overview we will focus on the currently available GUI-based software packages that are able to create and process HDR images. I want to thank all authors of the respective software packages for their support during the creation of the overview, especially Geraldine Joffre, Andreas Schömann, Paul Nolan, and Thomas Lock. Aside from the windows based GUI packages Bernhard Vogl has evaluated, command line tools are also available and have been added to the table below.
 
 
On this overview we will focus on the currently available Windows GUI-based software packages that are able to create and process HDR images. I want to thank all authors of the respective software packages for their support during the creation of the overview, especially Geraldine Joffre, Andreas Schömann, Paul Nolan, and Thomas Lock. Aside from the windows based GUI packages Bernhard Vogl has evaluated, command line tools are also available and have been added to the table below.
 
  
 
The following software packages have been tested:
 
The following software packages have been tested:
Line 10: Line 8:
  
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="5"
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="5"
 +
|- style="background-color: #000000; color: #F5F5F5; font-size: small;"
 +
! Software
 +
! Homepage
 +
! Version
 +
! Platforms
 +
! Price
 +
! Comments
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#000000" | '''<font color="#F5F5F5">Software'''
+
! EasyHDR
| bgcolor="#000000" | '''<font color="#F5F5F5">Homepage'''
 
| bgcolor="#000000" | '''<font color="#F5F5F5">Version'''
 
| bgcolor="#000000" | '''<font color="#F5F5F5">Platforms'''
 
| bgcolor="#000000" | '''<font color="#F5F5F5">Price'''
 
| bgcolor="#000000" | '''<font color="#F5F5F5">comments'''
 
|-
 
| '''Artizen'''
 
|
 
[http://www.supportingcomputers.net/  www.supportingcomputers.net]
 
| 2.5.0
 
| Win
 
| 59.99 CDN
 
| -
 
|-
 
| '''EasyHDR'''
 
 
|
 
|
 
[http://www.easyhdr.com  easyhdr.com]
 
[http://www.easyhdr.com  easyhdr.com]
| 1.22
+
| 3.13
| Win
+
| Win, Mac
| 25 EUR
+
| 35 EUR (HOME)
| -
+
59 EUR (COMMERCIAL)
 +
| Live preview while tone mapping, at full image resolution; Automatic and manual alignment; Automatic and manual ghost removal; Manual Chromatic Aberration correction; Advanced options for RAW import (with preview); Noise filtering at HDR generation step; Adobe Lightroom plug-in; Selective saturation and advanced white balancing; Post-processing filters (blur, sharpen, denoise, color adjust);
 
|-
 
|-
| '''FDRTools Basic '''
+
! FDRTools Basic
 
|
 
|
 
[http://fdrtools.com/  fdrtools.com]
 
[http://fdrtools.com/  fdrtools.com]
| 1.8.2
+
| 2.6.2
 
| Win, Mac
 
| Win, Mac
 
| free
 
| free
 
| -
 
| -
 
|-
 
|-
| '''FDRTools Advanced'''
+
! FDRTools Advanced
 
|
 
|
 
[http://fdrtools.com/  fdrtools.com]
 
[http://fdrtools.com/  fdrtools.com]
| 1.8.2
+
| 2.6.2
 
| Win, Mac
 
| Win, Mac
| 39.00 EUR
+
| 39 EUR
 
| -
 
| -
 
|-
 
|-
| '''HDRShop'''
+
! HDRShop
 
|
 
|
 
[http://gl.ict.usc.edu/HDRShop/  gl.ict.usc.edu/HDRShop]
 
[http://gl.ict.usc.edu/HDRShop/  gl.ict.usc.edu/HDRShop]
| 1.0
+
| 3.1
 
| Win
 
| Win
 
| free for non-commercial and educational use<br /> (commercial license: HDRShop 2 (399.00 USD))
 
| free for non-commercial and educational use<br /> (commercial license: HDRShop 2 (399.00 USD))
 
| no further development, superseded by the commercial version 2.0
 
| no further development, superseded by the commercial version 2.0
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Photogenics HDR'''
+
! Oloneo PhotoEngine
 
|
 
|
[http://www.idruna.com/  www.idruna.com]
+
[http://www.oloneo.com/  oloneo.com]
| 7.0
+
| 1.1
| Win, Linux
+
| Win
| 699.00 USD
+
| 149 USD / 125 EUR, 30-day free trial
| focuses on 3D workflow and film editing
+
| Oloneo® PhotoEngine™ is the only HDR and Raw processing software offering digital photographers full control over light and exposure in real-time. At the core of Oloneo PhotoEngine is a fully real-time, 32-bit floating-point per channel (96-bit per pixel), High Dynamic Range (HDR), ultra-wide gamut, full resolution and non-destructive image-editing engine. Oloneo's color model handles a range of colors that largely surpasses what printers or screens are capable of displaying today. Combined with the suppression of any color shifting and clipping, it guarantees photographers against any loss of image data during the HDR process. A Lightroom plug-in is included.
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Photomatix Pro'''
+
! Hugin
 
|
 
|
[http://www.hdrsoft.com/  www.hdrsoft.com]
+
[http://hugin.sf.net/  hugin.sf.net]
| 2.3.1
+
|nowrap| 2019.0.0
 +
| Linux, Win, Mac, FreeBSD
 +
| free, open source
 +
| All in one panorama creation program. See [[hugin]]
 +
|-
 +
! Photomatix Pro
 +
|
 +
[http://www.hdrsoft.com/  hdrsoft.com]
 +
| 6
 
| Win, Mac
 
| Win, Mac
| 99.00 USD
+
| 79 USD
 
| -
 
| -
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Photoshop'''
+
! Photoshop
 
|
 
|
[http://www.adobe.com/  www.adobe.com]
+
[http://www.adobe.com/  adobe.com]
| 9.0 (CS2)
+
| CC 2019
 
| Win, Mac
 
| Win, Mac
| 649.00 USD (US download)<br /> 1042.84 EUR (Europe boxed)
+
| 59,49 EUR per month
 
| -
 
| -
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Picturenaut'''
+
! Picturenaut
| No Homepage ([http://www.dslr-forum.de/showthread.php?t=61750 download here])
+
|  
| 2.09
+
[http://www.hdrlabs.com/picturenaut/ hdrlabs.com/picturenaut/]
 +
| 3.2
 
| Win
 
| Win
 
| free
 
| free
 
|  
 
|  
 
|-
 
|-
| '''pfstools'''
+
! pfstools
 
|
 
|
[http://www.mpi-sb.mpg.de/resources/pfstoolswww.mpi-sb.mpg.de]
+
[http://pfstools.sourceforge.net/  mpi-sb.mpg.de]
| 1.5
+
| 2.1.0
 
| Unix, Mac, (Win)
 
| Unix, Mac, (Win)
 
| free, open source
 
| free, open source
 
| Command line tools and two GUI (pfsview and [http://theplaceofdeadroads.blogspot.com/2006/07/qpfstmo-hdr-tone-mapping-gui-for-linux_04.html qpfstmo]) for creation and processing of hdr images.
 
| Command line tools and two GUI (pfsview and [http://theplaceofdeadroads.blogspot.com/2006/07/qpfstmo-hdr-tone-mapping-gui-for-linux_04.html qpfstmo]) for creation and processing of hdr images.
 
|-
 
|-
 +
! PTGui Pro
 +
|
 +
[http://www.ptgui.com/  ptgui.com]
 +
| 11.17
 +
| Win, Mac
 +
| 125 EUR, 143 USD
 +
| All in one panorama creation program. See [[PTGui]]
 +
|-
 +
! LuminanceHDR (was Qtpfsgui)
 +
|
 +
[http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/  qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net]
 +
| 2.6.0
 +
| Win, Mac, Linux
 +
| free, open-source
 +
| QT based GUI for pfstools, now including an automatic image alignment. See [[Qtpfsgui]]
 +
|-
 +
! HDRMerge
 +
|
 +
[http://jcelaya.github.io/hdrmerge/  http://jcelaya.github.io/hdrmerge/]
 +
| 0.5.0
 +
| Win, Mac, Linux
 +
| free, open-source
 +
| HDRMerge combines two or more raw images into a single raw with an extended dynamic range.
 +
|-
 +
! GIMP
 +
|
 +
[http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/  qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net]
 +
| 2.10.12
 +
| Win, Mac, Linux
 +
| free, open-source
 +
| GIMP is a cross-platform image editor
 +
|-
 +
! Krita
 +
|
 +
[http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/  qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net]
 +
| 4.2.5
 +
| Win, Mac, Linux
 +
| free, open-source
 +
| Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program.
 
|}
 
|}
  
As you can see,there is a wide variety of fees you have to pay for the different software packages. This is partly justified by the features and the editing functions the various programs offer.
+
== HDR creation and tonemapping ==
 
 
==HDR creation and tonemapping==
 
  
{| border="1" cellpadding="5"
+
{| border="1" cellpadding="5" style="text-align: center;"
 +
|- style="background-color: #000000; color: #f5f5f5; font-size: small;"
 +
! rowspan="2" | Software
 +
! rowspan="2" | measure camera response curve
 +
! colspan="4" | create HDR from bracketed images
 +
! rowspan="2" | create HDR from camera RAW image<sup> (*1)</sup>
 +
! colspan="5" | tonemap image to LDR
 +
|- style="background-color: #000000; color: #f5f5f5; font-size: small;"
 +
! single HDR image creation
 +
! batch mode
 +
! LDR image alignment
 +
! ghost<br /> removal
 +
! number of different operators
 +
! single image via GUI
 +
! batch mode
 +
! parameters save-/restoreable
 +
! panoramic mapping (correct border and zenith/nadir blending)
 
|-
 
|-
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" | '''<font color="#F5F5F5">Software</font>'''
+
! align="left" | EasyHDR
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" |
+
| √
<center><font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">measure camera response curve</font></center>
+
|
| colspan="4" bgcolor="#000000" |
+
|
<center><font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">create HDR from bracketed images</font></center>
+
| √<br />(auto, manual)
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">create HDR from camera RAW image<sup> (*1)</sup></font>
+
|
| colspan="5" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">tonemap image to LDR</font>
+
|
 +
| 2
 +
|
 +
| √
 +
| √
 +
| <big></big><br />(left/right border only)
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">single HDR image creation</font>
+
! align="left" | FDRTools Basic
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">batch mode</font>
+
| <br />& modify-able histogram
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">LDR image alignment</font>
+
|
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">ghost<br /> removal</font>
+
| <big></big><br /> (via command line)
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">number of different operators</font>
+
|
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">single image via GUI</font>
+
|  
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">batch mode</font>
+
|
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5"> parameters save-/restoreable</font>
+
| 2
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5"> panoramic mapping (correct border and zenith/nadir blending)</font>
+
|
 +
| <big></big><br /> (via command line)
 +
|
 +
|  
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Artizen'''
+
! align="left" | FDRTools Advanced
| align="center" | <big>○</big><br /> (histogram)
+
| √<br />& modify-able histogram
| align="center" | √
+
| √
| align="center" | √
+
| <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
| align="center" | automatic &<br/>freehand &<br/>numeric
+
|
| align="center" | ?
+
| √
| align="center" | √
+
| √
| align="center" | 11
+
| 3<br /> (also supports compression & contrast bracketing)
| align="center" | √
+
| √
| align="center" | √
+
| <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
| align="center" | √
+
|
| align="center" | –
+
| √
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''EasyHDR'''
+
! align="left" | HDRShop
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | ?
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | manual ?
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | ?
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | 1
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | during creation
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''FDRTools Basic'''
+
! align="left" | Oloneo PhotoEngine
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √<br />& modify-able histogram
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" |
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | 2
+
| 4
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" |
+
| <br />(left/right)
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''FDRTools Advanced'''
+
! align="left" | Hugin
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √<br />& modify-able histogram
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
+
| <br />(via PTBatcher GUI)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √<br />(by standard control points or ''align_image_stack'', also used by LuminanceHDR)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √<br />experimental command line tools ''deghosting_mask'' and ''hugin_hdrmerge'' with kahn option
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | 3<br /> (also supports compression & contrast bracketing)
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" |
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" |
+
| -
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''HDRShop'''
+
! align="left" | Photomatix Pro
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √<br />(selectable)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| √ (selectable)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| 2 + 2 LDR blending methods
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| <big>○</big><br />(no zenith/nadir possible)
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''Photogenics HDR'''
+
! align="left" | Photoshop
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| √<br /> (supposedly automatic)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √<br />(relies on EXIF data)
+
| √<br />(relies on EXIF data)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | ?
+
| √  (selectable)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | ?
+
| ?
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –<br /> (tethered shooting with Canon cameras possible)
+
| –
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | 3
+
| 4
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| –
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''Photomatix Pro'''
+
! align="left" | Picturenaut
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √<br />(selectable)
+
| √<br />(selectable)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √ (selectable)
+
| √ (selectable)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| ?
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | 2 + 2 LDR blending methods
+
| 2
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| command line (HDRI2LDRI - adaptive logarithmic only)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √/<br />(can read MKHDRI-curves)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | <big>○</big><br />(no zenith/nadir possible)
+
| not necessary, global operator
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''Photoshop'''
+
! align="left" | pfstools
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √<br /> (supposedly automatic)
+
| √<br />(pfscalibration, pfstmo with qpfstmo GUI)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <br />(relies on EXIF data)
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" |
+
| <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √ (selectable)
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | ?
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | 4
+
| 7
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √ (qpfstmo)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" |
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| -/<br />(command line)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| –
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''Picturenaut'''
+
! align="left" | PTGui Pro
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √<br />(selectable)
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
+
| <br /> (via Batch Stitcher)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √ (selectable)
+
| √<br /> (by standard control points)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | ?
+
| -
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| -
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | 2
+
| 1
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| √<br /> (via Batch Stitcher)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √/–<br />(can read MKHDRI-curves)
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
|
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''pfstools'''
+
! align="left" | LuminanceHDR
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √<br />(pfscalibration, pfstmo with qpfstmo GUI)
+
| <big>○</big><br />pfstools calibration can be used
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | <big>○</big><br /> (via command line)
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | -
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | -
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | 7
+
| 9
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √ (qpfstmo)
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | -/– <br />(command line)
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
 
|}
 
|}
  
<nowiki>*1: Most software relies on DCRaw for RAW conversion. Some cameras with extended DR capabilities are not converted correctly (e.g. Fuji's S3 camera: Although DCRaw could theoretically read all photosensors, it would need one conversion call for every photosite which is not implemented in the testes software packages.)</nowiki>
+
<nowiki>*1</nowiki>: Most software relies on DCRaw for RAW conversion. Some cameras with extended DR capabilities are not converted correctly (e.g. Fuji's S3 camera: Although DCRaw could theoretically read all photosensors, it would need one conversion call for every photosite which is not implemented in the tested software packages.)
  
==HDR image manipulation==
+
== HDR image manipulation ==
  
{| border="1" cellpadding="5"
+
There are basically 3 types of appications available:
|-
 
| colspan="11" align="center" |
 
There are basically 2 types of appications available:
 
 
* Converter software: This type of software will assist you in generating and tonemapping HDR images
 
* Converter software: This type of software will assist you in generating and tonemapping HDR images
 
* Image editors: These are full-flagged image manipulation programs that will also give you the possibility of HDR generation and tonemapping
 
* Image editors: These are full-flagged image manipulation programs that will also give you the possibility of HDR generation and tonemapping
 +
* Panorama creation programs with the additional possibility of HDR generation and tonemapping
 +
 +
{| border="1" cellpadding="5" style="font-size: small;"
 +
|- style="background-color: #000000; color: #f5f5f5;"
 +
! rowspan="2" | Software
 +
! File formats <sup>(*1)<br /></sup><small>EXR/HDR: 96bit<br /> TIFF: 32bit</small>
 +
! rowspan="2" | software type
 +
! rowspan="2" | full image editing capabilities
 +
! colspan="2" | manipulation essentials
 +
! rowspan="2" | no. of builtin panoramic transformations
 +
! colspan="3" | filters
 +
! rowspan="2" | plugins possible
 +
|- style="background-color: #000000; color: #f5f5f5;"
 +
! read/write
 +
! resize, crop, rotate
 +
! white balance
 +
! approx<br /> number
 +
! HDR capable
 +
! scriptable
 
|-
 
|-
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font color="#F5F5F5">'''Software'''</font>
+
! align="left" | EasyHDR
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">File formats <sup>(*1)<br /></sup></font><font size="1" color="#F5F5F5">EXR/HDR: 96bit<br /> TIFF: 32bit</font>
+
| EXR, HDR, TIFF
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font color="#F5F5F5"> software type</font>
+
| converter
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">full image editing capabilities</font>
+
|
| colspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">manipulation essentials</font>
+
| <br />(+ free hand rotation)
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">no. of builtin panoramic transformations</font>
+
|
| colspan="3" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">filters</font>
+
|
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">plugins possible</font>
+
| 7
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5"> read/write</font>
+
! align="left" | FDRTools Basic
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">resize, crop, rotate</font>
+
| EXR, HDR, TIFF
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">white balance</font>
+
| converter
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">approx<br /> number</font>
+
| –
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">HDR capable</font>
+
|
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5"> scriptable</font>
+
|
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''Artizen'''
+
! align="left" | FDRTools Advanced
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | EXR, HDR, TIFF, PFM
+
| EXR, HDR, TIFF
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | image editor
+
| converter
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <big>○</big> (color adjust)
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | 4
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | >40
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | Tone Mapping Operator SDK included
+
|
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''EasyHDR'''
+
! align="left" | HDRShop
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | HDR, TIFF
+
| HDR, TIFF
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | converter
+
| converter
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
| 6 (+ 3D rotation)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
| ~15
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" |
+
|
 +
|-
 +
! align="left" | Oloneo PhotoEngine
 +
| HDR
 +
| HDR merge, image editor, raw processing, dynamic relighting (Relight)
 +
|
 +
| <big>○</big><br />(rotate)
 +
| √<br />(extensive)
 +
| -
 +
| -
 +
| -
 +
| -
 +
| -
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''FDRTools Basic'''
+
! align="left" | Hugin
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | EXR, HDR, TIFF
+
| EXR, HDR, TIFF
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | converter
+
| panorama creation program
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| <big>○</big> (panorama related transformations and cropping)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| 20
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| -
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| n/a
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''FDRTools Advanced'''
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | EXR, HDR, TIFF
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | converter
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
 
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''HDRShop'''
+
! align="left" | Photomatix Pro
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | HDR, TIFF
+
| EXR, HDR, TIFF
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | converter
+
| converter
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | 6 (+ 3D rotation)
+
| 1
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | ~15
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
|
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''Photogenics HDR'''
+
! align="left" | Photoshop
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | EXR, HDR, TIFF
+
| EXR, HDR, TIFF<br /> (always assumes 32bit)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | image editor
+
| image editor
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <big>○</big> (color adjust)
+
| <big>○</big> (white point adjust)
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | 4
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | >40
+
| >40
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| ~15
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √ (beta)
+
| √
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''Photomatix Pro'''
+
! align="left" | Picturenaut
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | EXR, HDR, TIFF
+
| HDR, TIFF
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | converter
+
| converter
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √ (resize)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | 1
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| HDRShop plugins
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | '''Photoshop'''
+
! align="left" | pfstools
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" | EXR, HDR, TIFF<br /> (always assumes 32bit)
+
| EXR, HDR, JPEG-HDR (read only), PFM, TIFF
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | image editor
+
| converter
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | <big>○</big> (white point adjust)
+
| –
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | –
+
| 4
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | >40
+
| ~11
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | ~15
+
|
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#F5F5F5" align="center" | √
+
| n/a
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''Picturenaut'''
+
! align="left" | PTGui Pro
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | HDR, TIFF
+
| EXR, HDR
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | converter
+
| panorama creation program
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| <big>○</big> (panorama related transformations and cropping)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| 10
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| -
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| -
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| -
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| n/a
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''pfstools'''
+
! align="left" | LuminanceHDR
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | EXR, HDR, JPEG-HDR (read only), PFM, TIFF
+
| JPEG, PNG, PPM, PBM, TIFF, EXR, HDR, PFS, RAW (read only, all cameras supported by dcraw)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | converter
+
| converter
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| –
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | 4
+
| 4
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | ~11
+
| ~11
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| -
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | n/a
+
| n/a
 
|}
 
|}
  
<nowiki>*1: TIFF: 32 bit floating point TIFF. Please note that the TIFF file format is an abstract container for various encoding methods. This may result in incompatibility when exchanging TIFF files between various applications.</nowiki><br /> This is also true to some extent for .hdr files. Though, all applications in this overview use the most recent file format.
+
<nowiki>*1</nowiki>: TIFF: 32 bit floating point TIFF. Please note that the TIFF file format is an abstract container for various encoding methods. This may result in incompatibility when exchanging TIFF files between various applications.<br /> This is also true to some extent for .hdr files. Though, all applications in this overview use the most recent file format.
  
==UI functionality and large image processing==
+
== UI functionality and large image processing ==
  
{| border="1" cellpadding="5"
 
|-
 
| colspan="5" align="center" |
 
 
The best HDR software is not of much use if it lacks of an intuitive user interface. We will now have a look on some key functionality and UI design.<br /> We will also have a look if the applications utilize a clever memory management. The test file is a HDR panorama stitched by Hugin with a size of 8000x4000 pixels (32 Mpix), converted to the Radiance (.hdr) format. (This is tested using a standard Windows XP setup w. 1GB of RAM, swapping to HDD allowed)
 
The best HDR software is not of much use if it lacks of an intuitive user interface. We will now have a look on some key functionality and UI design.<br /> We will also have a look if the applications utilize a clever memory management. The test file is a HDR panorama stitched by Hugin with a size of 8000x4000 pixels (32 Mpix), converted to the Radiance (.hdr) format. (This is tested using a standard Windows XP setup w. 1GB of RAM, swapping to HDD allowed)
 +
 +
{| border="1" cellpadding="5" style="text-align: center;"
 +
|- style="background-color: #000000; color: #f5f5f5; font-size: small;"
 +
! rowspan="2" | Software
 +
! colspan="2" | drag & drop operation from operating system possible
 +
! colspan="2" | large image processing
 +
|- style="background-color: #000000; color: #f5f5f5; font-size: small;"
 +
! drop JPEG LDR images → generate HDR image
 +
! drop HDR image
 +
! load 32Mpix HDR file
 +
! tone map 32Mpix image
 
|-
 
|-
| rowspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font color="#F5F5F5">'''Software'''</font>
+
! align="left" | EasyHDR
| colspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">drag & drop operation from operating system possible</font>
+
| yes / yes
| colspan="2" bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">large image processing</font>
+
| yes
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">drop JPEG LDR images → generate HDR image</font>
+
! align="left" | FDRTools Basic
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">drop HDR image</font>
+
| no / no
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">load 32Mpix HDR file</font>
+
| no
| bgcolor="#000000" align="center" | <font size="2" color="#F5F5F5">tone map 32Mpix image</font>
+
|
 +
| <big></big> (very slow)
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Artizen'''
+
! align="left" | FDRTools Advanced
| align="center" | yes / yes
+
| no / no
| align="center" | yes
+
| no
| align="center" | √
+
| √
| align="center" | √
+
| <big>○</big>  (very slow)
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''EasyHDR'''
+
! align="left" | HDRShop
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | no / no
+
| yes / no<br />(will open multiple images for editing)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | no
+
| yes
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | runtime error
+
|
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | –
+
| n/a
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''FDRTools Basic'''
+
! align="left" | Oloneo PhotoEngine
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | no / no
+
| yes / yes
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | no
+
| yes
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √<br />(64-bit)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | <big>○</big> (very slow)
+
| <br />(64-bit)
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''FDRTools Advanced'''
+
! align="left" | Hugin
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | no / no
+
| no / no
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | no
+
| yes
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | <big>○</big>  (very slow)
+
| -
 
|-
 
|-
| '''HDRShop'''
+
! align="left" | Photomatix Pro
| align="center" | √ / no<br />(will open multiple images for editing)
+
| yes / yes
| align="center" | √
+
| yes
| align="center" | √
+
| √
| align="center" | n/a
+
| √ (only in batch mode)
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''Photogenics HDR'''
+
! align="left" | Photoshop
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √ / no<br />(will open multiple images for editing)
+
| yes / no<br />(will open multiple images for editing)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| yes
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | <big>○</big>  (very slow)
+
| √
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Photomatix Pro'''
+
! align="left" | Picturenaut
| align="center" | /
+
| yes / no<br />(will open multiple images for editing)
| align="center" | √
+
| yes
| align="center" | √
+
| √
| align="center" | √ (only in batch mode)
+
| √
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" | '''Photoshop'''
+
! align="left" | pfstools
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √ / no<br />(will open multiple images for editing)
+
| no / no
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| no
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| n/a (no GUI)
| bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center" | √
+
| √ (depends on algorithm)
 
|-
 
|-
| '''Picturenaut'''
+
! align="left" | PTGui Pro
| align="center" | no / no
+
| no / no
| align="center" | no
+
| yes
| align="center" | √
+
| √
| align="center" | √
+
| √
 
|-
 
|-
| '''pfstools'''
+
! align="left" | LuminanceHDR
| align="center" | no / no
+
| yes / yes
| align="center" | no
+
| yes
| align="center" | n/a (no GUI)
+
|
| align="center" | √ (depends on algorithm)
+
| √ (depends on algorithm)
 
|}
 
|}
 
  
 
== See Also ==
 
== See Also ==
Line 490: Line 586:
 
[[Category:Software:Platform:Linux]]
 
[[Category:Software:Platform:Linux]]
 
[[Category:Software:Survey]]
 
[[Category:Software:Survey]]
 +
 +
{{Outdated|Talk}}

Latest revision as of 12:53, 22 August 2019

Certainly one of the most interesting upcoming technologies for photographers is High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI), allowing work with the full real world levels of illumination. While standard image formats utilizes 8 or 16 bits with applied gamma and color space, the HDR image format extends the bit depth up to 96bit in a linear color space.

On this overview we will focus on the currently available GUI-based software packages that are able to create and process HDR images. I want to thank all authors of the respective software packages for their support during the creation of the overview, especially Geraldine Joffre, Andreas Schömann, Paul Nolan, and Thomas Lock. Aside from the windows based GUI packages Bernhard Vogl has evaluated, command line tools are also available and have been added to the table below.

The following software packages have been tested:

Software overview

Software Homepage Version Platforms Price Comments
EasyHDR

easyhdr.com

3.13 Win, Mac 35 EUR (HOME)

59 EUR (COMMERCIAL)

Live preview while tone mapping, at full image resolution; Automatic and manual alignment; Automatic and manual ghost removal; Manual Chromatic Aberration correction; Advanced options for RAW import (with preview); Noise filtering at HDR generation step; Adobe Lightroom plug-in; Selective saturation and advanced white balancing; Post-processing filters (blur, sharpen, denoise, color adjust);
FDRTools Basic

fdrtools.com

2.6.2 Win, Mac free -
FDRTools Advanced

fdrtools.com

2.6.2 Win, Mac 39 EUR -
HDRShop

gl.ict.usc.edu/HDRShop

3.1 Win free for non-commercial and educational use
(commercial license: HDRShop 2 (399.00 USD))
no further development, superseded by the commercial version 2.0
Oloneo PhotoEngine

oloneo.com

1.1 Win 149 USD / 125 EUR, 30-day free trial Oloneo® PhotoEngine™ is the only HDR and Raw processing software offering digital photographers full control over light and exposure in real-time. At the core of Oloneo PhotoEngine is a fully real-time, 32-bit floating-point per channel (96-bit per pixel), High Dynamic Range (HDR), ultra-wide gamut, full resolution and non-destructive image-editing engine. Oloneo's color model handles a range of colors that largely surpasses what printers or screens are capable of displaying today. Combined with the suppression of any color shifting and clipping, it guarantees photographers against any loss of image data during the HDR process. A Lightroom plug-in is included.
Hugin

hugin.sf.net

2019.0.0 Linux, Win, Mac, FreeBSD free, open source All in one panorama creation program. See hugin
Photomatix Pro

hdrsoft.com

6 Win, Mac 79 USD -
Photoshop

adobe.com

CC 2019 Win, Mac 59,49 EUR per month -
Picturenaut

hdrlabs.com/picturenaut/

3.2 Win free
pfstools

mpi-sb.mpg.de

2.1.0 Unix, Mac, (Win) free, open source Command line tools and two GUI (pfsview and qpfstmo) for creation and processing of hdr images.
PTGui Pro

ptgui.com

11.17 Win, Mac 125 EUR, 143 USD All in one panorama creation program. See PTGui
LuminanceHDR (was Qtpfsgui)

qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net

2.6.0 Win, Mac, Linux free, open-source QT based GUI for pfstools, now including an automatic image alignment. See Qtpfsgui
HDRMerge

http://jcelaya.github.io/hdrmerge/

0.5.0 Win, Mac, Linux free, open-source HDRMerge combines two or more raw images into a single raw with an extended dynamic range.
GIMP

qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net

2.10.12 Win, Mac, Linux free, open-source GIMP is a cross-platform image editor
Krita

qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net

4.2.5 Win, Mac, Linux free, open-source Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program.

HDR creation and tonemapping

Software measure camera response curve create HDR from bracketed images create HDR from camera RAW image (*1) tonemap image to LDR
single HDR image creation batch mode LDR image alignment ghost
removal
number of different operators single image via GUI batch mode parameters save-/restoreable panoramic mapping (correct border and zenith/nadir blending)
EasyHDR
(auto, manual)
2
(left/right border only)
FDRTools Basic
& modify-able histogram

(via command line)
2
(via command line)
FDRTools Advanced
& modify-able histogram

(via command line)
3
(also supports compression & contrast bracketing)

(via command line)
HDRShop
Oloneo PhotoEngine 4
(left/right)
Hugin
(via PTBatcher GUI)

(by standard control points or align_image_stack, also used by LuminanceHDR)

experimental command line tools deghosting_mask and hugin_hdrmerge with kahn option
- - - - - -
Photomatix Pro
(selectable)
√ (selectable) 2 + 2 LDR blending methods
(no zenith/nadir possible)
Photoshop
(supposedly automatic)

(relies on EXIF data)
√ (selectable) ? 4
Picturenaut
(selectable)

(via command line)
√ (selectable) ? 2 command line (HDRI2LDRI - adaptive logarithmic only) √/–
(can read MKHDRI-curves)
not necessary, global operator
pfstools
(pfscalibration, pfstmo with qpfstmo GUI)

(via command line)
- - 7 √ (qpfstmo) -/–
(command line)
PTGui Pro
(via Batch Stitcher)

(by standard control points)
- - 1
(via Batch Stitcher)
LuminanceHDR
pfstools calibration can be used
9

*1: Most software relies on DCRaw for RAW conversion. Some cameras with extended DR capabilities are not converted correctly (e.g. Fuji's S3 camera: Although DCRaw could theoretically read all photosensors, it would need one conversion call for every photosite which is not implemented in the tested software packages.)

HDR image manipulation

There are basically 3 types of appications available:

  • Converter software: This type of software will assist you in generating and tonemapping HDR images
  • Image editors: These are full-flagged image manipulation programs that will also give you the possibility of HDR generation and tonemapping
  • Panorama creation programs with the additional possibility of HDR generation and tonemapping
Software File formats (*1)
EXR/HDR: 96bit
TIFF: 32bit
software type full image editing capabilities manipulation essentials no. of builtin panoramic transformations filters plugins possible
read/write resize, crop, rotate white balance approx
number
HDR capable scriptable
EasyHDR EXR, HDR, TIFF converter
(+ free hand rotation)
7
FDRTools Basic EXR, HDR, TIFF converter
FDRTools Advanced EXR, HDR, TIFF converter
HDRShop HDR, TIFF converter 6 (+ 3D rotation) ~15
Oloneo PhotoEngine HDR HDR merge, image editor, raw processing, dynamic relighting (Relight)
(rotate)

(extensive)
- - - - -
Hugin EXR, HDR, TIFF panorama creation program (panorama related transformations and cropping) 20 - - - n/a
Photomatix Pro EXR, HDR, TIFF converter 1
Photoshop EXR, HDR, TIFF
(always assumes 32bit)
image editor (white point adjust) >40 ~15
Picturenaut HDR, TIFF converter √ (resize) HDRShop plugins
pfstools EXR, HDR, JPEG-HDR (read only), PFM, TIFF converter 4 ~11 n/a
PTGui Pro EXR, HDR panorama creation program (panorama related transformations and cropping) 10 - - - n/a
LuminanceHDR JPEG, PNG, PPM, PBM, TIFF, EXR, HDR, PFS, RAW (read only, all cameras supported by dcraw) converter 4 ~11 - n/a

*1: TIFF: 32 bit floating point TIFF. Please note that the TIFF file format is an abstract container for various encoding methods. This may result in incompatibility when exchanging TIFF files between various applications.
This is also true to some extent for .hdr files. Though, all applications in this overview use the most recent file format.

UI functionality and large image processing

The best HDR software is not of much use if it lacks of an intuitive user interface. We will now have a look on some key functionality and UI design.
We will also have a look if the applications utilize a clever memory management. The test file is a HDR panorama stitched by Hugin with a size of 8000x4000 pixels (32 Mpix), converted to the Radiance (.hdr) format. (This is tested using a standard Windows XP setup w. 1GB of RAM, swapping to HDD allowed)

Software drag & drop operation from operating system possible large image processing
drop JPEG LDR images → generate HDR image drop HDR image load 32Mpix HDR file tone map 32Mpix image
EasyHDR yes / yes yes
FDRTools Basic no / no no (very slow)
FDRTools Advanced no / no no (very slow)
HDRShop yes / no
(will open multiple images for editing)
yes n/a
Oloneo PhotoEngine yes / yes yes
(64-bit)

(64-bit)
Hugin no / no yes -
Photomatix Pro yes / yes yes √ (only in batch mode)
Photoshop yes / no
(will open multiple images for editing)
yes
Picturenaut yes / no
(will open multiple images for editing)
yes
pfstools no / no no n/a (no GUI) √ (depends on algorithm)
PTGui Pro no / no yes
LuminanceHDR yes / yes yes √ (depends on algorithm)

See Also

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