Review: HDR Efex Pro 2

Posted by Gary Ramey on September 29th, 2012

Summary: HDR Efex Pro 2 is a major improvement over the original version. Not only is it much faster, the presets are usable right out of the box. Finally, Photomatix has competition. I highly recommend upgrading. If you already own HDR Efex Pro, the upgrade cost is only $49.

Review: I seldom used the original HDR Efex Pro. It was deadly slow and, quite frankly, I hated the presets. Version 2 fixes all that and more. I could now find HDR Efex Pro 2 my go-to program for HDR. The new presets are extremely usable and the program is now speedy.

New Features

  • New tone-mapping engine – Enjoy improved color rendering, more natural results, and simplified controls
  • Unified workflow – Users in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture will all have the same experience the same features and functionality
  • Updated merging interface – Previews of each exposure and the ability to enable Smart Objects streamline the merging process
  • Improved ghost reduction and alignment – New algorithms and the ability to select a reference image dramatically improve the initial merge results
  • Chromatic aberration reduction – New controls to reduce unsightly purple & blue fringes where dark tones meet light tones
  • Updated tone mapping and enhancement panel – Completely redesigned controls for enhancing images make crafting superior HDR images fast and easy
  • Depth control – Overcomes the flat dull look that so often accompanies HDR imagery

U Point Technology

HDR Efex Pro 2 offers you precise, selective editing of HDR images. Using our revolutionary U Point® technology, you can easily fine-tune and enhance specific areas of your image, without the need for complicated selections and layer masks. Control the exposure, tonality, color, white balance, and detail in specific parts of your images to achieve stunning results and an image that looks the way you envisioned it.

This is just the half of it. U Point technology allows you to adjust specific areas of your image while in HDR Efex Pro 2. You can even copy a U Point’s settings and apply it to another section of the image.

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