Google

HDR Efex Pro

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

Free www.google.com/nikcol­lec­tion

Google’s Nik col­lec­tion may be com­pletely free, but this isn’t a case of you get what you pay for. You ac­tu­ally get a great deal for noth­ing at all. For starters, Google bun­dles HDR Efex with a whole suite of other im­age en­hance­ment plug­ins, and HDR Efex it­self isn’t short on fea­tures, with 28 pre­set ef­fects and a good range of colour and tone ad­just­ment op­tions. There’s also Nik’s sig­na­ture Con­trol Point se­lec­tive edit­ing fea­ture that’s great for quickly mak­ing tar­geted tweaks.

Right off the mark, HDR Efex pro­duces at­trac­tive re­sults biased to­wards re­al­ism rather than over­cooked eye candy. But on closer in­spec­tion, bound­aries be­tween some com­po­nent im­ages in merged se­quences can be no­tice­able, and HDR Efex doesn’t deal with noise par­tic­u­larly well. You’ll also need to run the soft­ware from a host pro­gram like Pho­to­shop, Light­room, or Aper­ture, it’s not stand­alone soft­ware.

Pros Very easy to use; pro­duces re­al­is­tic re­sults; se­lec­tive edit­ing; fast. Cons Doesn’t give the clean­est re­sults pos­si­ble; rel­a­tively short on cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions. We say

HDR Efex isn’t the best pro­gram on test, but you can’t com­plain when it’s free. Over­all score

Use­ful split-screen view op­tions, so you can see the ef­fect of your changes, and a full res­o­lu­tion pre­view make HDR Efex Pro a plea­sure to use

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