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Best HDR Software for Real Estate Photography [2021 Review]

Published: 29/01/2021

Being able to create HDR (high dynamic range) photos is a key component when it comes to editing images of real estate. By using the best HDR software for real estate photography, you can showcase all of the details of a property without having elements over or underexposed.  

Our Top HDR Software for Real Estate Photography Reviews

If you are looking to take your real estate photography to the next level, the following HDR software will help you create professional and clean looking photos. 

Brand
Best Overall
Photomatix Pro 6
Best for the Money
Adobe Photoshop
Best Cheap Pick
Adobe Lightroom
Product
Photomatix Pro 6
Adobe Photoshop | Photo, image, and design editing...
Adobe Lightroom | Photo Editing and Organizing...
Operating System
Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X
Windows 7, 10.12 Sierra
Windows 10, Mac OS X (All), 10.11 El Capitan, 10.12 Sierra
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Photomatix Pro 6
Product
Photomatix Pro 6
Operating System
Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Adobe Photoshop
Product
Adobe Photoshop | Photo, image, and design editing...
Operating System
Windows 7, 10.12 Sierra
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Adobe Lightroom
Product
Adobe Lightroom | Photo Editing and Organizing...
Operating System
Windows 10, Mac OS X (All), 10.11 El Capitan, 10.12 Sierra
Rating
Price

Best Overall HDR Software For Real Estate Photography: Photomatix Pro 6

The 2017 release of the Photomatix Pro 6 features significant upgrades from the previous Photomatix software. Among the notable upgrades are a tone balancer, exposure blending, edge-aware brushes, enhanced color controls, and distortion and perspective correction tools. With these, you can easily adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness of individual colors.

Photomatix Pro 6

Unfortunately, the user interface looks a bit dated if you compare it with other new photo editing tools. This is because this software has been in the industry for a very long time now. However, even with that, the functionality and effectiveness of this software remain solid.

When you open the software, you have two ghost reduction options, global or selective ghost reduction, which are both reliable. The Photomatix Pro 6 also comes with robust HDR Rendering Methods that allow you to customize and achieve the photo outlook you want. The methods include:

  • Details Enhancer
  • Fusion/Interior
  • Fusion/Intensive
  • Average
  • Tone Balancer
  • Tone Compressor
  • Contrast Optimizer
  • Fusion/Natural

Every one of the above HRD rendering methods above has a unique adjustment set for the technique. The software comes with automatic alignment of hand-held photos.

Finally, Photomatix Pro 6 works perfectly as standalone software and can integrate with other software like Adobe Lightroom. It’s an excellent processing solution if you want to work on exposure bracket and HDR photos.

 What We Like

  • User-Friendly Interface
  • More style choice giving realistic results
  • Blend multiple images to create HDR images
  • Plugin for Adobe Lightroom
  • Advanced Tools for Ghost Removal
  • Batch mode, automatic alignment of hand-held photos

What We Don't Like

  • Dated User interface
  • A limited photo editing tools
  • Few presets
Photomatix Pro 6
  • Merge of bracketed exposures to HDR, tone mapping and exposure fusion
  • Automatic Alignment of Hand-Held Photos
  • Advanced Tools for Ghost Removal

Best HDR Software for Real Estate Photography for the Money: Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is arguably one of the best photo editors today. The software gives you the freedom to tweak numerous aspects of your images. It also allows you to merge various exposure brackets to form a single HDR photo.  

Adobe Photoshop | Photo, image, and design editing...

One incredible thing about using Adobe Photoshop to create HDR images is that you can always edit the same program's resulting images whenever and however you want.  The only problem is that it is not easy to learn, so you may not like it at first as a newbie.

Photoshop also comes with several other photo editing tools and features. The software has everything you'd require to edit, enhance, and change any aspect of your real estate photographs. Among the things you could do with this software are, cropping out objects, adjusting the photos, or work in layers.

Photoshop is an ideal platform for users who want to manipulate and enhance existing photos with colors, levels, and lens correction tools. When it comes to subscription and packaging, you can get Adobe Photoshop in various options. For Real Estate Photography, we recommend the Photography Pack.

The Photography Pack comes with the photo editing software plus 58 step-by-step guided edits, and built-in prints and gift services to give you an unmatched experience with your real estate photos. The software comes in Disc, Mac online code, and PC online codes.  

What We Like

  • The general user interface is easy to adjust
  • Expansive cloud storage Space
  • It comes with loads of tutorials

What We Don't Like

  • The HDR tool is a bit tricky to handle
  • Relatively Expensive on Subscription
Adobe Photoshop | Photo, image, and design editing...
  • With Photoshop, you can create and enhance photographs, illustrations, and 3D artwork
  • Design websites and mobile apps
  • Existing subscribers must first complete current membership term before linking new subscription...

Best Cheap HDR Software for Real Estate Photography: Adobe Lightroom 

Adobe's Lightroom is the favorite software amongst professional photographers. The program comes with almost all the image editing tools available on other software except the Post-Crop Vignetting tool, Flat-Field Correction, and Profile calibration tools.

Adobe Lightroom | Photo Editing and Organizing...

However, the software comes with a nifty profile feature that allows you to convert your raw camera files to viewable images, such as JPG or PNG.

The latest version of Lightroom now comes with Panorama as well as HDR-merging capabilities. That way, it allows you to give your images an elongated field of view and blend multiple unique photos of different exposure into one image.

Lightroom has come a long way since it's inception, and it has quite a few features that you can also find in Photoshop that are helpful when creating HDR images. Tools such as the gradient filter, brush filter, and the HSL sliders allow you to edit specific parts of images and really dial in the finished look.

While Photoshop will still give you a more robust toolset than Lightroom, it's hard to beat the price point of Lightroom, especially if you are just starting out.

When it comes to pricing, the software is relatively affordable considering the range of tools it gives you. It only costs $9.99 per month or $119.88 per year. With that, you get easy-to-use tools that allow you to customize your photos the way you want.

Finally, the package comes with 1 TB of storage space in the cloud to ensure that you access your photo library from anywhere at any time. Lightroom is compatible with Mac OS Sierra 10.12, Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11, Windows 10, and Mac OS Platforms.

What We Like

  • Simple, user-friendly interface
  • HDR-merging capabilities and panorama
  • Robust raw profiles and enhanced filters
  • Automatically synchronizes your work to cloud storage

What We Don't Like

  • It does not allow printing
  • It does not come with plugin support
  • Limits Sharing
Adobe Lightroom | Photo Editing and Organizing...
  • Existing subscribers must first complete current membership term before linking new subscription...
  • Lightroom gives you everything you need to edit, organize, store, and share your photos across...
  • Smarter organization. Auto-tagging lets you quickly find the shots you want so you can focus on the...

Factors to Consider for the Best HDR Software for Real Estate Photography

Most clients and agents today are looking for images that showcase a wide dynamic range. As a result, your images often will need to include both a well lit interior along with a natural looking exterior. This is where HDR real estate photography enters, and you'll want a software to handle this for you. Here are factors to consider:

Man setting up DSLR camera

Editing Capabilities 

If you have a good camera, you will most likely get good-quality images. However, to make them stand out and appeal to your real estate clients more, you will need a range of editing tools in your HDR software. 

Remember, that small details matter in real estate photography and great software should seamlessly bring out these details. Below are some of the most important editing capabilities to look out for in your real estate HDR software: 

  • HDR Toning: This feature is common with Photoshop and is used to make dull photos pop. If for some reason you have a property image that doesn’t stand out, this feature allows you to apply HDR effects to boost luminance and make your image more vibrant. 
  • HDR Denoise: This feature is used to remove noise or unnecessary details from a photo. This way the client can only focus on what matters in your photos. 
  • LUT Mapping: LUT stands for Look-Up Table and is a system used to map one color into another. With the LUT mapping technique, you can create distinctive and attention-grabbing images for your real estate marketing portfolio. 

Other important editing features to consider in your HDR software include image radiance, polarizing filter, and color editing.

Ease of Use

Most HDR software has complicated interfaces that make it hard to edit real estate photos. It, is, therefore, important that you get software that is easy to use for you. Fortunately, most of the software we included in this guide has uncomplicated interfaces that even a beginner photographer can use. 

For instance, Adobe lightroom has a distraction-free workspace that allows you to focus on the image. You get quick access to your image gallery making it easy to toggle between different property images while editing. 

There is also a drop-down menu on the right-hand panel which you can use to make quick adjustments while editing the photo. 

Adobe Photoshop on the other hand is a bit hard to use especially if you’ve never used it before. The interface is a bit difficult to navigate. So, if you are starting out and need software that won’t give you a headache, you can go with Adobe Lightroom.

Compatible File and Video Formats

Each HDR software has its own unique file formats. For instance, Adobe Photoshop uses the .PSD extension. There is also the large document format (PSB) which is used in both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. However, these formats are not supported by regular photo viewing apps on computers or smartphones. 

For this reason, the HDR software you use should easily convert images to a format that is supported by other devices you might use while showing them to clients. Lucky for you, all the software in this guide support popular file formats like JPEG and PNG. 

When you convert images to these file formats, you can easily view them with the clients on your computer or phone. You can also seamlessly compress them and upload them to your online portfolio. 

Cross-Platform Compatibility

As a real estate photographer, you probably work with different operating systems on your computer. For instance, you might use Linux, Windows, or macOS. Good HDR software should be compatible with all of these computing platforms.

It can be frustrating if, for instance, you love Adobe Lightroom but it can’t run on your computer. This means you will have to look for another software that might be less helpful. 

Cross-platform compatibility for real estate HRD software is, therefore, vital even if you only use one platform on your device. You never know when you will need to change devices. You will not have to go through the hassle of buying another HDR photo editing software when you do.

The same goes for the number of computers the software allows you to use for editing. Some software licenses will restrict you to only one computer, while others will give you the freedom to use it on multiple devices at once. 

Conclusion

Getting the best HDR software for real estate photography is essential if you want to be top in the industry. There are things that you must look at before you make a subscription. We hope that this guide will help you find the right software for your specific real estate needs. 

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