I have tested many HDR programs in the past and until this point none have given Photomatix its run for the title belt until now.  Oloneo has created the Oloneo PhotoEngine, a brand spanking new HDR processing software that really takes the cake.  As always I went into the download a skeptic, but came out a believer.  Oloneo has graciously presented the HDR world with a program worthy of the finest HDRtist’s.  I was astounded when I opened the interface, setup 5 Raws for processing, and 23 seconds later I was tonemapping an HDR image.

The Interface:

The Good:

  • Insanely fast processing time.  Oloneo has it nailed, 5 Raw Exposures ready for tonemapping in 24 seconds?  Unheard of!
  • The “Natural HDR Mode”. This mode is great for putting nasty saturation spikes at bay.
  • Excellent color control.  Oloneo has added a white balance color picker which allows you the ability to set your white balance during the tonemapping phase by select an area of true white in your image.  They have also given the user complete control over color hues using genuine saturation, luminance and hue slider bars.  This may be my favorite feature.
  • The ability to adjust curves during the tonemapping phase.
  • You can look at the history of what you have done to your image and get a real time preview of what each step did…Sick!
  • Oloneo has even added video tutorials for each adjustment box, a killer touch!
  • Very simple Batch processing interface.
  • Export directly to Photoshop!

The Bad:

  • My only complaint: You really have to ensure there was no movement in your HDR exposures.  The ghosting features are not as sharp as some of the other HDR programs out there.

The Bottom Line:

  • Oloneo has redefined my expectations of future HDR programs.  It will take a lot for another program to reach the caliber of Oloneo’s PhotoEngine.  Photomatix’ next update will have to bring it’s A game to the title bout with Oloneo.  With a little more playing, I could easily be converted.  While it is pricey at 150 US clam shells, it is worth it!  Well done Oloneo, I cannot wait to see the evolution of your product (as if it could get any better)!

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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