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Open Source HDR Processing Alternative to Photomatix

Published: 19/09/2009
By: larry

I came across this video (sorry about the ad... first time I've seen ads on youtube videos) by Patrick Norton and Roger Chang of Revision3 the other day that besides being a decent basic introduction to HDR talks about an  open source HDR processing application called Qtpfsgui. This is the first time I'd heard of the application. It runs on Windows, Mac OS-X (Intel only) and Linux and I have to say that, after downloading it and installing it on OS-X, it works pretty good.

I tested it by processing a 7 exposure HDR series that I'd processed with Photomatix. I processed the same images with Qtpfsgui and with all the default settings the final image came out as good as what I'd done with Photomatix. It took me a couple of tries to produce a finished image mostly because it's a little different than Photomatix. I'm amazed by how well it works. There a a bunch of features that Qtpfsgui doesn't have, like blending, exposure fusion and a Lightroom plugin so I'm not going to say Qtpfsgui is as good as Photomatix, but For those starting out in real estate photography this could easily be a way to save some money. Qtpfsgui is donationware and If you use it on a regular basis I highly recommend that you make a donation to the authors.

I missed a step in the installation that took me a while to figure out. You have to download QT4 and install it before Qtpfsgui will work. Give it a try and see what you think.

7 comments on “Open Source HDR Processing Alternative to Photomatix”

  1. @David- Your comment made me realize that I should have said more about why Qtpfsgui. I don't usually recommend or do posts on products that are just Windows or just Mac. There are a bunch of HDR apps but very few that work on all operating systems and are in the same class as Photomatix... I think Qtpfsqui meets this standard.

  2. Eeal estate imaging is that you have to sell the photographic technique to the agent (to get their business), even though the end user may be more ’sophisticated’ and would appreciate an HDR image of a property, many real estate agents dislike what they call overprocessed looks.

    St. Louis photographers (that's where I'm at) are no where near HDR, 360 virtual tour, or other 'new' media. But that's why I think companies that employ these techniques now, will be more experienced and will have a huge advantage in the near future when these types of media become more standardized.

    Vladimir Sterkin
    ViewPlus Photo | Video

  3. I think photography in a commercial area like real estate has to look natural and the best ones using HDR do. An HDR image on its own is not sufficient and is a partial tool like shadows and highlights, curves etc to improve an image. An interior with a noisy, radio active look, wrong colours and grey walls just looks amateurish and I see a lot of those on the web. If all people end up doing in the future is turning up with a wide angle lens, take a few bracketed shots then processing them in HDR software and this becomes the norm and acceptable we're in trouble. My 15 year old nephew can do that.

  4. As far as I can see it doesn't work with the DNG-format, which is THE format of my choice. Keep posting these things please! I am not very satisfied with Photomatix, because of the non-natural look it generates.


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