HDR or High dynamic range photography involves taking three images of the same subject at three different exposures. One image is over exposed, one under exposed and one at normal exposure. Then merging these three photos in HDR software gives you a highly detailed and colored image, which resembles a painting. The aim of this type of photography is to present the details that would otherwise not be prominent in a normal image. To merge these images, you need software. Following are the top 10 HDR software of 2012.
It is an easy to use HDR software and does a great job creating High Dynamic images. It is available for windows only and can be availed for free. The software however comes with limited features for tone mapping.
9- Photoshop Cs5 HDR Pro
This is an advanced package that helps you create highly realistic and stunning HDR photographs. I would recommend using Photoshop for HDR when you’ve reached the level of creating HDR with just a single image. It is available for both Windows and Mac. The program is however quite expensive, even for upgrades.
8- Photomatix Pro
This is one of the best and easiest software for HDR. It requires you just to stack your images, merge them and then choose a preset of your choice. It offers a wide variety of presets like painterly, black and white, grunge etc. After choosing the presets you can also play with colors and contrast manually.
7- Luminance HDR
It is a potential HDR making software but it will make you spend quite a lot of time with it. It is currently available for both Mac and Windows and can be downloaded for free. You will be able to produce stunning images if you can work with this software.
6- HDR Photostudio
It is a very simple, easy and straightforward HDR program with user friendly features like tone mapping and design. It however is not available for free, you can buy it for a price of $ 149.99 US. It is however not designed for creating stylized HDR photos.
5- HDR Darkroom
It comes with a very user friendly interface and is one of the best programs to produce realistic HDR images. The alignment tools however need some work. It is available for $ 79.00 US and can run on both Windows and Mac. It also comes with an Export to Photoshop feature which is a huge time saver.
4- Essential HDR
It is the easiest and simplest HDR making program out of the softwares mentioned so far. It is compatible with windows only and can be availed at a price of $ 48.99 US. This is the best HDR software for beginner photographers.
As the name suggest it comes with an easy to use interface and numerous tools that help in creating excellent quality HDR photos. It is also compatible with Windows only and comes with a price of $ 30.00 Euro.
2- Dynamic Photo HDR
It offers a wide range of controls to produce stunning images. These controls also help in making realistic and stylized HDR images very easily and conveniently. It is available for $ 55.00 US and runs on both Mac and Windows. Its easy point and click controls make HDR production a lot easier and simpler.
1- Artizen HDR
Artizen offers a dynamic range of controls and features making it the most robust HDR software of 2012. It however runs on Windows only and costs $ 45.95 Canadian. It comes with a built in photo editor and is a one stop shop for advanced users who want to perform all the functions in a single program.