Friday, June 24, 2011

Oloneo HDR

I've been farting around with Oloneo HDR software (full disclosure -- they sent me a complimentary copy; hard to say no to free!) to see how it compares to the other software I use and have used, including Photoshop CS2, CS5, and Photmatix 4. So far, the strengths of Oloneo seem to be in ghost removal (it's been almost perfect at this in most test images I've tried) and in doing a good job of rendering more "photoreaslistic" HDR shots -- i.e., not overcooked. If you've followed me in the past, you know that one of my pet peeves is overdone HDR images that look like something out of a chemically induced Hunter Thompson story. It also has some rather powerful tools (seperate curves for saturation and luminence, for example, with an instantly updating histogram) that make fine tuning an image possible, if you know what you're doing.

Oloneo's weakness currently seems to be that it has no chromatic abberation correction, which is a problem as ultrawide lenses like the ones I use often have a bit of this -- and it gets magnified by HDR photomerges. I tried to get around this by doing the CA removal in Adobe Bridge, saving as TIFF files, and merging the TIFFs, but this resulted in even more (and even weirder) artifacts showing up in the final image. It would seem Oloneo really prefers to ingest RAW files.

Here's a quick comparison I did of an old image that I revisit from time to time whenever I have a new HDR program to play with:

Photoshop CS2 Version:

Photoshop CS5 Version:

Photomatix 4 (then taken into Photoshop for final adjustments):

Oloneo 1.0 (then taken into Photoshop for final adjustments):


can i SHOOT you? said...

Personally, I like the final image. It has a bit more contrast (I love contrast) and more true blacks and whites. Love the depth of field of this photograph also!

nathan said...

I don't usually do HDR. The newer software certainly looks more realistic. Have you tried Nik soft's HDR plug in yet?

Dan said...

I haven't used Photomatix 4 or any Photoshop Merge to HDR later than CS2, but so based on my limited sampling of the software I found Oloneo to always produce better shots and to do it in a more streamlined manner.

Ironically, the one thing that I thought it was horrible at was ghost removal and dealing with alignment issues. (I usually end up bracketing freehand, which is unfortunate.) I haven't used it since it came out of beta and they started charging though, so maybe that's improved, too.