Photomatix Pro 5
£72, £50 www.hdrsoft.com
Photomatix is arguably the daddy of HDR software, and like many daddies, it’s starting to show its age. Its interface now looks distinctly dated, with clunky floating palettes that don’t self-align when adjusting window size, plus there’s the odd display glitch. Effects previews can also be a little sluggish to load, although at least the preview is full resolution.
Photomatix’s range of 36 preset effects seems somewhat limited next to HDR Projects, but despite some ugly thumbnails, most do actually look the part when applied. The amount of customisation you get varies between presets, though, with many only packing eight enhancement variables.
Even so, Photomatix manages to produce some of the best results on test. It’s easy to create natural-looking HDR with minimal noise and no visible ghosting.
Pros High quality results; batch processing ability; good RAW file support. Cons Annoyingly awkward interface; not as powerful as some rivals. We say Photomatix can deliver stunning results, if only it were more pleasing to use. Overall score
Photomatix’s interface hasn’t changed for years, and it shows; this layout wouldn’t look out of place in Windows 98!