Photomatix Pro – upgrade from 4 to 5

Summary – HDRSoft recently released an upgrade to their industry standard HDR program, Photomatix. Here are example results as compared with their main competitor, HDR Efex Pro. Both get the job done so, unless you’re a fan boy, choose between them for reasons other than performance.


Click for a very large version

11-21-2013 5-07-32 PM

The above were all made with default settings

An apples to apples comparison

11-21-2013 4-11-12 PM


Should you upgrade?

Sure – at $29.99 it’s worth it

Should you buy it? Depends….

If you already own the Nik Collection – no

Not that I think HDR Efex Pro (HEP) is better

I don’t, but it’s good enough

If you don’t already own HDR software, but want to – probably no

For a little more money ($149 vs. $99)

You can buy the entire Nik Collection which

Has HDR plus a whole lot more

I say “probably” because I’m less than happy with

Google’s current mishandling of the Collection

If I were starting from scratch? (without any $ considerations)

Photomatix – it’s a little better & a lot more complete

Offers Exposure Fusion & HEP doesn’t

Ditto batch processing & some other “stuff”

I’ll touch on these in a later post


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3 thoughts on “Photomatix Pro – upgrade from 4 to 5

  1. For me the biggest improvement was the Contrast Optimizer. I can get my landscapes looking good with almost no effort.

    I got HEP with the upgrade to NIK, I’ve tried it, sometimes I like the results, sometimes I don’t

    • Thanks for your thoughts.

      Nik has a way to go before they catch up. HEP2 is really version 1 (the original was rushed out and was poor at best; 2 fixed the most egregious problems but still lacks the thought & experience of 5 concentrated iterations shown in PM5). Now that Google’s in charge I don’t expect to ever see that level of commitment to just the HDR component of a larger collection (which itself is low on their priority list); not going to happen IMO.

      • Like you I don’t see Google doing that much with the whole suite. Shame really as I like CEP4 and I’m sure HEP could be much better with a little bit of development. As to that new Analog thing, yeah right, who was on the magic mushrooms when they thought that one up.

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