HDR­soft

Pho­tomatix Pro 5

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

£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!

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