Thanks to my friend Evelina Kremsdorf I just had a chance to try the new version of Photomatix 4.2. I must say that most of the time, it is my HDR application of choice, but ever since version 4.0 came out, I have been noticing something that has been irritating me quite a bit. Every so often, some of the darker areas that were not illuminated by the brightest exposure come out with red noise pixels. I was interested to see if this issue was taken care of in v4.2.Unfortunately it was not.
Here is what I mean,
Here is a simple 3 shot exposure -3, 0, +3,
Click on the image and you will see what I mean.
This shot has been taken straight out of photomatix. No filters, no photoshop adjustments. You can see that the dark area inside the shell is filled with red pixels. To me, it looks like the algorithm will show these red pixels whenever there is no information on the pixel. Of course this is a quick fix in photoshop, or if I really wanted to illuminate the inside of the shell, I would make the brightest exposure a +5 if +3 did not work all that well. That being said, Nik HDR PRO, does not leave the same artifacts in the dark areas. Take a look below.
Same 3 exposures processed in Nik HDR Effects Pro
The red pixels are not found here.
In my opinion Photomatix is still the front runner in the HDR processing software and I will continue to use it, but as a photographer I like options and it's always great to have them, just in case.
Here is another shot straight out of Photomatix 4.2, that proves that it is still the king.