This week I downloaded the free trial of Essential HDR by Imaging Luminary. I am hoping the results I received are from the fact that regardless of your initial image sizes, the free trial version dumbs your result down to 1 megabyte. While this is a great strategy to keep people from getting a free product, it is a horrible idea for a free trial as you cannot justify spending money on such poor results from the trial version.
I layered the 3 windows for demonstration purposes. In order to access them you have to click on the tabs that are highlighted.
- The histogram feature is awesome and something I wish so much that Photomatix would adopt. It really helps the process of tonemapping an image.
- The color balancer is nice too, a three slider control is much better than a single temperature slider.
- Limited sliders make for very similar HDR images.
- The shadows clipped beyond belief. I couldn’t seem to get them right in the tonemapping process. I believe the clipping is due to the poor 1 megabyte quality images produced due to the trial version. As I stated before, this trial version does not entice me to drop the cash on the full product!
- The alignment process was pretty far off in 3 of the 5 images I processed.
- Get rid of the tabs and open that whole space up for all three slider sections, a lot of wasted space on the interface.
The Bottom Line:
Purchase the full version and get back to me. Tell me if the shadow clipping occurs. From my results below, Essential HDR is not essential in my HDR arsenal.