HDR Merging comparison

Written by Eric W on June 6th, 2010
Underwater HDR, Redux

Underwater HDR, Redux

Following up on the thoughts on this post, witness the  image to right.  Now, I’m not claiming it’s the best image, nor am I trying to even state that I’m done with post-processing.  I am, but only because I’ve decided I’m not happy with the composition.

But I am happy with the results of my tests.  In this case, I now know: when doing handheld bracketed shots, Photoshop CS5′s “Merge to HDR Pro” function is incredibly more useful than Photomatix 3.2.  It’s not just the ghosting, although that sure cleaned up a lot.

No, it’s how easily CS5 finds like components and merges them together.  Seriously, it’s just incredible: this is a three-frame HDR, in JPG.  Compare the sharpness (not the contrast) and the merging to this:

Underwater HDR

Underwater HDR, Try #1

I’m not really sure why there’s such a huge difference, but look at the background.  You can see ghosting in the coral when processed in Photomatix 3.  None of that in CS5.

For what it’s worth: yes, I’m aware that Photomatix 4 will fix the ghosting problem – or so Trey says. And yes, I did try to get Photomatix to do its fixes.

I’m really looking forward to Photomatix 4 now…

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  1. [...] noted a short while ago that I was pretty enamored with Photoshop’s new “Merge to HDR Pro” feature in [...]

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