Does Photomatix down grade the image quality?


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emlee

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2008
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Ang Mo Kio
#1
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?
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#2
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.
 

emlee

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2008
1,763
1
38
Ang Mo Kio
#3
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.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#4
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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