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Thread started 06 Dec 2016 (Tuesday) 21:07
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Is it over for Photomatix?

 
Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Dec 06, 2016 21:07 |  #1

Out of curiosity, I went to HDRsoft last night to check on updates.

It appears they are still on version 5. It was released about Nov. 2013.

Three years and no upgrade?

Not a good sign. I'm wondering if they are intentionally letting the application die a slow death and just dwindle away.


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nqjudo
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Dec 06, 2016 21:57 |  #2

They have a beta build that includes support for the 5D4 so it looks like they are still developing the software. I thought I saw someone around the forum mention an update for OsX Sierra as well but I may be wrong about that one.


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by Picture North Carolina. 2 edits done in total.
Dec 07, 2016 07:16 |  #3

nqjudo wrote in post #18205636 (external link)
They have a beta build that includes support for the 5D4 so it looks like they are still developing the software. I thought I saw someone around the forum mention an update for OsX Sierra as well but I may be wrong about that one.

That's a good point. But I don't think it addresses the suspicion that HDRsoft may be abandoning their product. Adding a new camera is one thing. But true product development is found in improving functions and adding features, none of which has been done to Photomatix in over three years. And perhaps they don't plan on doing so. Adding new cameras and adapting OS'es just ensures they continue to sell a stale product and maximize their profits as long as possible.

Photomatix is getting hit from both ends. One one the technology of sensors continues improving to widen dynamic ranges. On the other, other imaging apps add and improve their HDR options. The only thing left is creation of that particular tonemapped look which also can be done with plugins and other editing FX.

HDRsoft appears to be slowing down development and perhaps giving up the ghost on Photomatix. And from a product management point of view, I can't say I would not make the same decision.


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nqjudo
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by nqjudo. 2 edits done in total.
Dec 07, 2016 11:45 as a reply to Picture North Carolina's post |  #4

That's one way to look at things I guess. If you look at articles, reviews and general recommendations for HDR software you'll still find that in 2016, Photomatix features quite prominently among the 'best of/recommended' lists. There is still a strong demand for the product and support remains good. Consider that the time between the releases of version 4 and 5 was a little over 3 years. It offers a different perspective in that long periods between releases in the case of HDRsoft may have more to do with not fixing it if it isn't broken rather than giving up the ghost. At the very least it is an indicator that the state of things is no more dire now than it was then. Whether they release another version or not, the present offering still excels at what it does and if one finds it unsuitable, you state the case very well that there are other options available. There's never going to be one HDR software to rule them all and maybe these full 'pro' HDR suites are a little outdated anyway. Choice is good.


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BlakeC
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Dec 07, 2016 11:47 |  #5

what's Photomatix?


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Alveric
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Dec 07, 2016 14:14 |  #6

I hope that what's dying a slow death is HDRI itself.

I haven't used my copy of Photomatix in years. For professional purposes, most clients are rejecting HDR images right off the bat: don't blame them, these images hardly ever look natural. On the other hand, RAW processors such as CaptureOne Pro have quite powerful algorithms that can extract tons of detail from a single capture, without the wonky, tone-mapped horrendous look: this, at least in my case, has made Photomatix and HDRI itself redundant and unnecessary.

With less professionals buying the software, I can see why Photomatix isn't being further developed: probably no funds for development, since hobbyists and experimenters are usually unwilling to pony up for programs and apps.


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Dec 08, 2016 08:18 |  #7

nqjudo wrote in post #18206069 (external link)
That's one way to look at things I guess. If you look at articles, reviews and general recommendations for HDR software you'll still find that in 2016, Photomatix features quite prominently among the 'best of/recommended' lists. There is still a strong demand for the product and support remains good. Consider that the time between the releases of version 4 and 5 was a little over 3 years. It offers a different perspective in that long periods between releases in the case of HDRsoft may have more to do with not fixing it if it isn't broken rather than giving up the ghost. At the very least it is an indicator that the state of things is no more dire now than it was then. Whether they release another version or not, the present offering still excels at what it does and if one finds it unsuitable, you state the case very well that there are other options available. There's never going to be one HDR software to rule them all and maybe these full 'pro' HDR suites are a little outdated anyway. Choice is good.

Valid points. However, I would disagree on one - the part about not fixing something that was not broke. In version 5 they stuck that adjustment routine in at the end. It has always been my belief that was just a wedge added to the end of their existing program. Instead of changing the way the main program works, they sort of tacked that wedge onto the end. IMHO, a shoddy and cheap way to code. I've never been impressed with it. And every time I use Photomatix and run across those final adjustments, my thoughts are they were just an afterthought.

Alveric wrote in post #18206208 (external link)
most clients are rejecting HDR images right off the bat:

Not true. I will agree that for the wedding, portrait, etc. photographer, they may not sell. But IMPO that view is myopic - not everybody does what you do.

In the world of fine art sales, they sell quite nicely. I will agree that the images that are over-the-top-tonemapped (clown puke as it were) do not sell. I don't really like the style myself. But images that show no or just a little tonemapping effect actually sell rather nicely.


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MalVeauX
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Dec 08, 2016 08:20 |  #8

Competition from any direction in this regard is a good thing.

I like Photomatrix and use it still. But if years go by and it hasn't improved, it's either already way ahead of the game, or not being competitive and something else will surely be better. Either way, you win.

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Alveric
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Dec 08, 2016 10:59 |  #9

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #18206927 (external link)
Not true. I will agree that for the wedding, portrait, etc. photographer, they may not sell. But IMPO that view is myopic - not everybody does what you do.

In the world of fine art sales, they sell quite nicely. I will agree that the images that are over-the-top-tonemapped (clown puke as it were) do not sell. I don't really like the style myself. But images that show no or just a little tonemapping effect actually sell rather nicely.

Yes, I was referring to commercial work, even editorial.

As for fine art, well, they probably stand a chance there, considering what passes by 'art' nowadays.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
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Stiga
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Dec 27, 2016 08:49 |  #10

HDRsoft released Photomatix FX for iphones at the beginning of November - so I guess that is what they have been concentrating on recently. See: News at the bottom of this page: https://www.hdrsoft.co​m/index.html (external link)

I rarely use Photomatix 5.1 now as I much prefer the natural look and colours generated by SNS-HDR 2 - or easyHDR or Machinery HDR.

But to return to Photomatix for Mac or PC, there is a, IMO, a lot yet to be done. Unless you have used it for many years, the interface is much too confusing; it's not intuitive. Have a look at the Conclusions in the video on this page: http://farbspiel-photo.com ...s/photomatix-pro-5-review (external link) . Klaus Herrmann is right.

Martin


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Dec 28, 2016 08:04 |  #11

Stiga wrote in post #18224654 (external link)
...I much prefer the natural look and colours generated by...Machinery HDR.

Interesting. I have long since dropped out of the Machinery HDR thread here, but if I remember correctly years ago MHDR was touted as one of the remaining few that was able to achieve the tonemapped HDR look. And now they have retargeted to a realistic look?

Stiga wrote in post #18224654 (external link)
But to return to Photomatix for Mac or PC, there is a, IMO, a lot yet to be done. Unless you have used it for many years, the interface is much too confusing; it's not intuitive.
Martin

Agree. As said above, much of the interface (especially the color / luminance adjustment window that pops up after tonemapping) appears to be "patched" or hung onto the end. A serious upgrade of Photomatix would have all controls available in the tonemapping stage. A person might want to tweak saturation of all or certain colors, luminance levels and so forth WHILE in the tonemapping process, not after the fact. Unfortunately Photomatix, once the undisputed leader, is no longer a practical app.


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kirkt
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Dec 28, 2016 11:16 |  #12

I have found photomatix's exposure blending to produce some of the best images in certain, very high contrast situations. The color across the potentially very large dynamic range is preserved and not dulled or muted as a result of tonal range compression or blending.

For less challenging scenes, many hdr applications produce similar results such that you probably would tend to go with what you like, workflow or tone mapping control-wise.

Again, photomatix's batch processing is still some of the best out there.

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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Dec 29, 2016 06:51 |  #13

kirkt wrote in post #18225653 (external link)
I have found photomatix's exposure blending to produce some of the best images in certain, very high contrast situations. The color across the potentially very large dynamic range is preserved

Interesting. When tonemapping in Photomatix I experience the opposite. I find Photomatix oversaturates certain color groups substantially, even to the point of creating clown puke. Mostly in the yellows, oranges, reds, and greens.

But you are exposure blending (not tonemapping) and admittedly I never do that in Photomatix. I find Raya Pro (external link) to be far superior for blending.

Here's some videos:
https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=IDLDgngxx1Q (external link)
https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=OzksGC7_X4w (external link)

Edit:

And this tutorial which teaches blending without HDR software and without Raya Pro

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=dioqQ-NA8vE (external link)


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Stiga
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Dec 29, 2016 08:08 as a reply to Picture North Carolina's post |  #14

You're absolutely right about oversatruration. And, what's more, it seems to me that red is often boosted more than other colours.


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icor1031
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Aug 09, 2017 01:34 |  #15

nqjudo wrote in post #18205636 (external link)
They have a beta build that includes support for the 5D4 so it looks like they are still developing the software. I thought I saw someone around the forum mention an update for OsX Sierra as well but I may be wrong about that one.

Why does it need to support specific cameras?


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Is it over for Photomatix?
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