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Three New Post Processing Products On The Market

In: ,
Published: 19/07/2010
By: larry

This last week we've had three new post processing products that are of interest to real estate photographers announced. Since I've had an unusually busy week last week I've not had time to use any of these three products but I'm in the process of trying them out. The three products are:

HDR Expose by Unified Color
From the cursory look at this product I've had so far it looks interesting since it has a Lightroom plugin and the results I've seen so far are very realistic. Unified Color is clearly trying to compete head to head with Photomatix, which is difficult. They have a free 30 day trial and same price as Photomatix until July 31 plus both Mac and PC version.

Seems to me if you are trying to take over Photomatix domination of the market you'd want to be better than Photomatix and cost less... oh well what do I know?

Oloneo PhotoEngine
This product looks fantastic! Although, being a Mac user I'm a little put off by there not being a native Mac version. But the HDR ReLight component looks so cool I may be forced to fire up my Parallels virtual machine for Windows on my Mac. Mario Restrepo in Baja was complaining to me today that this product is so fast that he doesn't have time to sip his coffee and watch football games during post processing like he does when he uses Photomatix and Tufuse.

Update to LR/Enfuse
Timothy Armes has released version 4.00 of his very popular LR/Enfuse plugin. This is a Lightroom Plugin interface to the open source Enfuse 4.o code.

This plugin can be used to blend multiple exposures of a scene in order to create an image with greater apparent dynamic range. Exposure blending (Exposure Fusion) is similar to HDR, but the results are most often far more natural.

Here are the highlights of this new version:

  • LR/Enfuse now uses (and requires) Enfuse version 4. This is the latest version of Enfuse and offers niceties such as multi-processor support for improved performance.
  • The installation procedure has been greatly simplified. Users no longer need to download and install the third party applications themselves, the plugin can do this for them.
  • LR/Enfuse now supports blending of focus stacks!
  • This plugin is donationware and may be downloaded from the Photographer’s Toolbox.

Trend Towards Enfuse for real estate going on
In talking to real estate photographers the last 6 months I've noticed that an amazing number of real estate photographers are moving from HDR to Enfuse and adding a bit of flash when shooting the Enfuse brackets. The motivation they give me is always reducing post processing time to get shots that look realistic. Many folks are telling me that they are frustrated with the time it takes in post to get HDR to look realistic. Of course this is not an issue with Exposure Fusion. I ran across a nice comparison of Exposure Fusion products on Wayne Grundy's blog. This is the best comparison that I've seen.

If you've tried out any of these three new post processing products let us all know what you think. I hope to give you my impressions in more detail in the near future.

7 comments on “Three New Post Processing Products On The Market”

  1. I fully agree with your endorsement of Enfuse! It's my primary tool and it directs how I shoot real estate. I create image stacks of each scene in Lightroom and batch process all the stacks at once in Enfuse. While that's running I can be busy doing other things. I am very very very happy using Enfuse in Lightroom!!

    I have to admit that it was my stumbling upon Enfuse that helped make the decision to do Real Estate photography a reality. If you go to my site and look at the Solstice Spa images those are ok. I did those with speedlites and I'm proud of them but the others are sooooo much better!!

    I still have more to learn/room to improve and that's ok because I like that about our craft!

  2. I've gone from using up to 5 strobes for real estate photography, to using just EnfuseGUI, to now adding some strobes at low power along with Enfuse. I'm using the EnfuseGUI stand alone product because it is freeware, then do additional adjusting in Lightroom and Elements. I've added the strobes back to correct some of the color issues that seems to be inherent in Enfuse. It also seems to help get rid of some of the "muddiness" that is typical of Enfuse.

  3. We currently use Bracketeer version of Enfuse on Mac. We love it. Due to the fact that we use aperature, we cannot use the plug-in for lightroom, but that's OK. Bracketeer is fast and does a great realistic job. Then its off to Aperature where we do some minor adjustments - the to NIK where we add back any contrast and saturation and structure we might have lost in the HDr process. We love the results.

  4. I agree with Larry about the HDR ReLight functionality. It would seem to eliminate having to use the graduated filter in LightRoom. Wonder if it works with just a single exposure...?

  5. Well I never could find Photomatix settings that worked for me. I might put more effort into Exposure Fusion in PM if they offered presets in batch processing. LR/Enfuse works great for me, processing RAW images with settings 100/0/0 gives me the pop I like.

  6. I use Enfuse exclusively for batch processing 5-9 shot LR stacked brackets from a Nikon D700. I start with a 9 shot bracket & reject very under exposed shots as necessary to keep colors more natural (especially dark wood, which comes out looking strange otherwise). I have been very happy with Enfuse as Photomatix seems too complicated.
    I have never tried using flash in combination with my brackets but am interested in trying that technique. Can anyone give specifics on the best technique for this?

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