HDR Efex Nik Software or Photomatix who is the winner

I just got HDR Efex pro and played around with it comparising against Photomatix Pro - who would be the winner?

To be fair I am not "the HDR master" and neither the softwareguy to really tell you the difference. With playin around with different sliders and especially the U point technology of Nik Software you can get the same results. But for beginners it is really a difference.

 

I shot nine images in Germany in Monatabaur of a very contrast full enviroment and took the pictures both software possibilities produced.

 

First HDR Efex pro from NIK right from the default

 

and the default in Photomatix

 

 

clearly there is a difference for beginners. With Photomatix Pro it is easier to start the HDR process.

In my opinion there is no ‘all in wonder’ HDR toolset. Nik Software HDR Efex Pro comes close if you know how to fiddle with the sliders and different algorithm but I still find myself blending and merging layers within CS5 to achieve my desired result. My patterns of when and where I prefer to use a different HDR toolset are:

  • Anytime there is any significant movement in a bracketed series for example trees in the wind or shooting hand held HDRs, I would prefer to process with CS5 HDR Pro due to the unparalleled alignment capabilities. It is a real go to select one image as the source image for the HDR alignment which makes all the difference.
  • For landscapes captures when using a tripod, I like the results from Nik HDR Efex Pro. It seems easier with U point technology than to spend tons of time merging and blending layers in CS5.
  • Nevertheless Photomatix Pro 4 continues to be the king for me. When I want to unleash the creative  possibilities of a HDR image, I’ll almost always go to Photomatix Pro which is hands down the fastest HDR processing tool.

No matter if you use Photomatix or HDR Efex Pro or CS5 HDR, anyone will have to learn how to use the sliders to get happy with the processing results.

The best way to determine which you are more comfortable with is to download both trial versions and see for yourself.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,