PhotoMatix is a program that photographers can use to solve a perplexing problem. The problem is shooting good photos where there is a wide variation in contrast within a scene. For example, in a situation where you want to take a photo of a tall building with the sun high up in the sky in the background and a shadow in the foreground, the problem is that there’s no way to set the camera’s exposure controls to expose all the regions in the scene properly in a single shot. In a situation like that, if you set your camera’s exposure controls to properly expose the building, the background will be washed out, but if you set the camera to expose the background properly, the building will be too dark, as will the foreground.
Photomatix Pro features list
Merge of bracketed photos into HDR (High Dynamic Range)
- Option for automatic image alignment of hand-held shots. Two alignment methods are available, the “by matching features” method corrects for translation, rotation, scaling and perspective distortion.
- Selective deghosting tool for effective removal of “ghosts” in dynamic scenes: users can select ghosted regions with a lasso tool, and change the preferred image taken for each selected region. An option for automatic ghost removal is also available..
- Option for automatic reduction of chromatic aberrations.
- Option for automatic reduction of noise.
- Reading of exposure information from Exif data.
- Source images can be either 8 bits/channel or 16 bits/channel images, or Raw/DNG files. In the case of Raw files, White Balance and output color space can be adjusted.
HDR image adjustments with Tone Mapping and Exposure Fusion
- Two methods for Tone Mapping: Details Enhancer, based on a local operator, and Tone Compressor, based on a global operator.
- Four methods for Exposure Fusion: Fusion/Natural, Fusion/Intensive, Fusion/Auto, and Fusion/2 images
- Additional Exposure Fusion method accessible only in batch mode: Fusion/Realistic is designed to produce natural-looking rendering of interiors with bright windows.
- Tone Mapping methods may be applied to single image.
- Dialog with preview for adjusting the following settings:
Details Enhancer: Strength, Color Saturation, Luminosity, Detail Contrast, Lighting Adjustments, Smooth Highlights, Gamma, Black and White Points, Color Temperature, Saturation Highlights, Saturation Shadows, Micro-smoothing, Shadows Smoothness and Shadows Clipping.
Tone Compressor: Brightness, Tonal Range Compression, Contrast Adaptation, Black and White Point, Color Temperature and Color Saturation.
Fusion/Natural: Strength, Blending Point, Shadows, Local Contrast, Saturation, Black and White Point, Midtones Adjustments.
Fusion/Intensive: Strength, Radius, Saturation.
- Settings can be saved as Presets for quick access, or saved to and loaded from XMP files
- Preset thumbnails panel: built-in and user presets for tone mapping and fusion show as thumbnails in a panel alongside the preview. Thumbnails may be viewed at a larger size and in two columns. Panel may be set in horizontal orientation.
- Finishing Touch: once an image has been processed with tone mapping a fusion, the Finishing Touch panel lets user increase the contrast of the image, sharpen it and adjust the saturation of individual colors.
- Ability to select a region on the Tone Mapping/Fusion preview and replace it with a source photo. Three lasso tools are offered for the selection and “Attach to Edges” button automatically adjusts the selection to follow the nearest edges.
- Loupe to get a crop at 100% resolution.
- Option for different preview ratios and magnification
- Undo and redo buttons for the settings done.
- Luminance and per color channel histogram.
- Output image is in 16 bits/channel mode, with the option to save it as 8 bits/channel jpeg or tiff, if desired
- “360 degree image” option for equirectangular image set to be viewed in a 360 degree panorama viewer.
- Tone Mapping can be undone.
32-bit HDR image support
- HDR Viewer shows local 32-bit HDR image data at the appropriate exposure
- Display of HDR Histogram (logarithmic)
- Read and Write support for Radiance RGBE (.hdr), OpenEXR (.exr) and Floating Point TIFF. Read support for 32-bit PSD and PSB.
- Ability to batch tone map single HDR files in Radiance or OpenEXR file formats.
- Function to tone map large Radiance files while benefiting from a preview.
Automatic Batch Processing
- Automatically loads and processes images of the specified input location, and saves resulting images to the specified output location
- Works for HDR generation, Tone Mapping and exposure fusion
- Advanced selection options: automatic detection of bracketed photos and ability to process a sub-set of each bracketed set.
- Strip processing option to generate an HDR image from large TIFF files without exceeding available RAM.
- Ability to set the Exposure Value spacing for HDR image generation
- Processes all sets of bracketed images stored under a given folder (number of bracketed images in each set specified by user before running the batch)
- Ability to process all sub-folders of a given folder, combining all image files stored under each sub-folder
- Options for naming the the resulting image files, reducing the size of the output images and adding contrast and sharpening.
- Support of the following image file formats: JPEG (read & write), TIFF 24-bit, 48-bit and Floating Point (read & write), Radiance RGBE (read & write), OpenEXR (read & write), PNG (Mac version: read & write), PSD (read only) Raw files (read only)
- Ability to tag saved image with keyword
- Viewing of tone mapping or fusion settings embedded in processed image.
- Option to customise default filename.
- Basic image operation tools
- Cropping (also works with HDR images)
- Resizing (also works with HDR images)
- Rotating (also works with HDR images)
- Remapping of mirror ball (also works with HDR images)
- Finishing Touch: adjustments for contrast, sharpening and saturation of individual colors.
- Multi-threading support for tone mapping: complete multi-threading for Tone Compressor method and partial for Details Enhancer method. The maximum number of cores used can be adjusted in Preferences.
- Color managed HDR workflow: passing trough of ICC color profile from the source to the processed image, and color managed display.
- Includes Lightroom Export Plugin to Photomatix Pro
- HDR processing settings are selected directly in the Lightroom plug-in
- Option to automatically save the resulting tone mapped or fused image and re-import it into the Lightroom library
Updated in v5.1.2
- Support for uncompressed Sony RAW files.
- Bug fixed: Loading Fuji E-X2 RAW files since the v4 firmware upgrade made Photomatix Pro crash.
- Bug fixed: Adding the watermark to an image with unusual width and height could cause a crash in specific cases.
- Bug fixed: Incorrect colors with D810 RAW files. Bug had been introduced in version 5.1.1.
- Fusion/Natural used in batch mode now always runs in RAM (rather than writing and reading memory to disk as was done in v5.1.1 and earlier)