Nik Software has now released their HDR Efex Pro software and I think a lot of people are really going to like it. I have been testing it for the past three or four months and I really like the ease of use, you can either use it directly from Lightroom, Photoshop or as an stand-a-lone program. With all the new HDR software that is now on the market, HDR Efex Pro is the closest to Photomatix Pro of any of the other software programs out there that can give you that grunge look. I really like how this program works, the interface is pretty easy-to-use and it comes with some fairly good presets. There are a few presets that I really like, one is the Bleach Bypass preset and the other is the Granny’s Attic preset.
This is Nic’s first try at HDR and in general they’ve done a good job, but two of the things that I think need to be worked on will be speed and ghosting. When I first started testing the alpha I was a little worried about how slow the program took to process images, but Nik did work on it and it’s a lot faster, but I still feel it needs a little bit more work. Ghosting is the other part of the program that still needs work. I wish they would have given me the option before it starts to process images instead of waiting until after it’s been processed for the preview, I also wish I had a little bit more control of how it will correct the ghosting as Adobe did in Photoshop’s HDR Pro.
Here are three examples of the same image from three different HDR programs and as you can see Nik HDR Efex Pro did a really great job and it was fast to work with especially using some of their U-point Technology.