Photomatix 4 is finally out, and man, it was worth the wait. The entire application has been sped up significantly, and the interface is a lot nicer. The best new feature by FAR though is the single-shot RAW tone-mapping ability. You could somewhat do this in previous versions, and we’d been getting around it by “faking” the HDR process and making 3 shots by lightening and darkening the same image in photoshop and saving out the copies, but that was time-consuming and annoying. Now, at the click of a button, Photomatix treats your single RAW file as though it were a bracketed set… with AMAZING results. Truly, this will enable creativity far beyond what we could do before for a few reasons, mainly that you can do HDRs of moving subjects with a single shot, and if you have some RAWS from before you knew about HDR (as I do) you will be able to make them come alive! That second reason is why I’m so excited, because I have TONS of RAW photos that I will now be able to process and post. I dug way, way back for this one, from right around the time that photography was becoming interesting to me, in 9th grade. This is (… obviously) Stonehenge, from a trip to London that we took, and I had shot in RAW that particular day because I didn’t know what it was and wanted to experiment. Turns out, the Canon Digital Rebel 300D did not capture RAW data that well, and the resulting files were really, really dark. Not a problem for Photomatix 4!
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