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Thread: Does Photomatix down grade the image quality?

  1. #1
    Member emlee's Avatar
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    Default Does Photomatix down grade the image quality?

    Hi, I am evaluating HDR by Photomatix to help me make a purchase decision. I tried doing tone mapping on 3 jpg images taken on AEB (+ and - 2 stops). The same images were processed using exposure blending.

    #1 tone mapped on photomatix (I tried to adjust the settings so that the sky appears similar, however the result is still a tad darker)


    #2 Manual Exposure blend


    At such image size (about 12% of full size), tone mapped seems better. brings out more details. But at 100%, the tone mapped image appears softer and lower in contrast, while the non-tone-mapped image still appears clear and crisp.

    To some extend, the tone mapped image seems like a picture taken from a poor quality lens.

    Will users of Photomatix please enlighten me:
    1) do you have similar experience?
    2) is there a way to overcome?
    3) did I do something wrong in the process?
    4) is it because of the evaluation software copy?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Does Photomatix down grade the image quality?

    photomatix will degrade your image in terms of sharpness, and introduce what i like to call "funny noise", it isn't uniform, and it appears here and there.

    i prefer the manually blended option, but both suffer from massive distortion problems.

    that said, i do two rounds of usm on my photomatix images, and they come out fine in print after proper tweaking and careful ensuring that i did not push the programme's output too hard during tone mapping.

  3. #3
    Member emlee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Photomatix down grade the image quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    photomatix will degrade your image in terms of sharpness, and introduce what i like to call "funny noise", it isn't uniform, and it appears here and there.

    i prefer the manually blended option, but both suffer from massive distortion problems.

    that said, i do two rounds of usm on my photomatix images, and they come out fine in print after proper tweaking and careful ensuring that i did not push the programme's output too hard during tone mapping.
    thanks for the feedback. Indeed, I did usm on the tone-mapped image, else it would be totally not presentable. I did a 30/80/0 USM on the tone-mapped version.

    this funny noise, tends to appears in shadows of high contrast area? like in this example: the bridge, the people on the bridge, and shelter? This is the part where I find the image quality detiororate the most.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Does Photomatix down grade the image quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by emlee View Post
    thanks for the feedback. Indeed, I did usm on the tone-mapped image, else it would be totally not presentable. I did a 30/80/0 USM on the tone-mapped version.

    this funny noise, tends to appears in shadows of high contrast area? like in this example: the bridge, the people on the bridge, and shelter? This is the part where I find the image quality detiororate the most.
    noise tends to be present in shadow areas..

    you just take your highest iso setting, take a high contrast scene, the brighter areas will have less noise.. the shadow areas will have a lot of noise..

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