The Best HDR Program Ever?

German-developed HDR Projects Platin is the most intricate, feature-complete HDR app I've ever seen. It's more advanced than FDRTools Advanced and offers more control than Photomatix Pro, but it lacks one thing: manual image alignment.

The workflow is easy and simple enough. The app imports JPEGs, a large number of RAW file formats including Hasselblad files, and HDR images. Upon import, it will let you set color space, white balance, and a couple of preparation settings. When the images have been imported, your bracketed images appear in a left column with sliders for process weight and exposure. You can create faux HDR images by creating "synthetic" images from an existing one. Presets allow you to get started quickly.

HDR Projects Platin comes with seven HDR algorithms, 51 postprocessing presets that can be combined and customized, ghost reduction and halo removal, and an expert mode with five tone-mapping algorithms and 46 photo filters arranged in six categories. Additionally, you can change the weight of the image areas by painting, a very powerful feature with a bit of a steep learning curve.

The application has intelligence built in at several levels, starting with image alignment. However, this didn't always work perfectly and a manual image alignment isn't available. HDR Projects Platin does have a perfect halo and ghost removal system.

The possibilities to convert up to 18 images into HDR artwork are dazzling. One example is that you can combine HDR tone-mapping algorithms or apply the same algorithm several times. Effects are highly configurable, with easy-to-use sliders and on-image manipulators.

Company: Franzis Verlag GmbH
Price: £99.99
Rating: 4.5
Hot:  Controls; infinite creative possibilities; batch mode
Not:  Awful user guide; no manual image alignment