HDR Studio by Unifiedcolor Announces A Mac Version

February 7th, 2010

I did a post last August on HDR Studio when released their Windows only version.

They recently released a Mac version and temporally reduced their price from $149 to $99.

I’ve downloaded the 30 day trial version and have been using it for a few days. I have to say there is much to like about HDR Studio. It seems to generate less noise during processing so final images don’t tend to have that slightly foggy look as they do some times in Photomatix. Of coarse this ultimately results in less or no time in Lightroom or Photoshop after the HDR processing. It also seems to be easier to produce a more realistic looking image with HDR Studio (this could be seen as a plus or minus depending on your tastes).

To me, the biggest problem HDR Studio is going to have gaining traction is that it’s regular price is $50 more than the industry standard (Photomatix) but the good news is that through the end of February it’s the same price as Photomatix. I think at the same price as Photomatix it is a good choice for photographers that are going for the realistic look.

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8 Responses to “HDR Studio by Unifiedcolor Announces A Mac Version”

  • I am excited about this. I have become so upset recently about all the ghosting effects of Photomatix. All I do is real estate photography, so the fuzziness of the images frustrates me. I am going to download the trial. I will be back to tell you what I think. I am so happy to have found your blog!

  • I have been using the “Exposure Fusion” mode in Photomatix Pro 3.2 exclusively when I need to composite an image. I find this mode makes much more realistic looking images without all the unwanted side effects of the HDR mode images. Does anyone know if HDR Studio has an “Exposure Fusion” mode like Photomatix?

  • If you want, you can read my blog. I did a huge post today all based on your post…

  • @Blayne- Thanks for posting your examples. What I mean by “being easier to produce a more realistic looking image” is that I find that no matter what you do in HDR Studio, you cannot created the overcooked look that is so often seen with Photomatix created HDR images. Yes, as you nicely demonstrated you can produce realistic images in HDR Studio that look much like realistic images created with Photomatix but It looks to me like HDR Studio prevents you from creating that “overcooked” look. With Photomatix, it takes restrain on the part of the photographer running the sliders to get a realistic image.

  • I’ll have to give it a try. As a avid Photomatix user, I’m exited to see the difference in programs. If it makes more realistic images, it will be great for real estate photography.

  • This looks like a great photo program. I’ll have to give it a try. Photoshop has been my standard equipment, but I can see a use for a simpler program at times.

  • A member at also made a blog post post about this topic. I may have to take a closer look at this software. The blog I’m mentioning can be found here:

  • After buying Photomatix Pro literally the day before this post, and not being happy with the muddiness of its processed images, I read the post, and decided to give the free trial of HDR Studio (for Mac) a try. I am so confused, even after reading their tutorial, and watching their tutorial videos, I still can’t get images to look anywhere near as good as those made with Photomatix (they are much more muddy).

    In using 5-7 RAW images of a living room with a view of gardens, Photomatix gives a relatively good inital (processed) image, albeit muddy, while in HDR Studio, I couldn’t even get the initial (processed) image to show both inside and the view out the window (the view of outside was blown out), until after playing around with sliders in many different categories, I finally got both interior & exterior to show up, but now the interior is completely muddy, much worse than Photomatix. I almost feel that there seems to be a step missing (or I am missing a step): In Photomatix Pro, there are just 2 steps until you get the preliminary image (1. Generate HDF Image, then 2. Tone Mapping, then you have a decent (ie. I can see inside & outside) image to start working on. In HDR Studio, after the Merge to HDR step, you are presented with the image, and it feels like there should be a second step (the equivalent step to Photomatix’s “Tone Mapping” (automatic) step), but there isn’t, you are left to playing with all the sliders now.

    Also, HDR Studio (for Mac) is extremely slow, compared to Photomatix Pro (Mac). It took 5-7 min. to process 6-7 RAW images (~12-14MB each). Have they slowed the free trial version down, or is there a bug in their new software, or…? (I have a 2GHz Duo MacBook, which fits their requirement.)

    Do you have some settings (particularly in the Brightness/Contrast, Highlight/Shadow, and WhiteBalance settings), that I maybe just completely off on (particularly for house interior images with views out the windows)?

    Great blog, great images, and great testing of the 2 different software! Do you have any special settings (or any HDR Studios ” recipes”, as they call them) you can recommend

    Thanks for any info, tips,

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