NIK HDR Efex Pro vs. Photomatix 4.0 (Round 1 of 3)

NIK HDR Efex Pro – version

Photomatix 4.0 – version

Ok, HDR artists….game on!  The new NIK HDR Efex Pro trial is out and it is time to compare vs. the current HDR Software champ Photomatix 4.0.   This is the first photo I have processed using NIK.  You can see both NIK and Photomatix versions above.   I will go 3 rounds in this battle and the winner gets my processing rights!  My original thoughts before I processed the photo in NIK was that they could not compete.  I processed the photo and WOW!!!  NIK HDR Efex Pro impressed me!!  Sharp!!!   Compare the crosses….kudos NIK!!   Pictures are worth 1000 words…you can decide on your own by looking above.  In this 7 exposure shot….my opinion….WINNER ROUND 1 = NIK HDR EFEX PRO   (Score 1-0 NIK).  I have a feeling I may be ordering NIK HDR Efex pro this weekend!!

24 comments on “NIK HDR Efex Pro vs. Photomatix 4.0 (Round 1 of 3)

  1. Evan Gearing says:

    Nik looks pretty good to me as well. I may have to try it myself. Thanks for the comparison!

  2. DJ Schulte says:

    I have been in that church multiple times over the last. Looks good in HDR.

    Does this look familiar?

  3. Michael says:

    I love HDREfex more than Photomatix.

    HDREfex Makes HDR image workflow simplify.

    Thank for you sharing.

  4. Quite a difference in favour of NIK in this case but there seem to be some kind of glow added to the PM image which of course will affect the sharpness. Its quite tricky to do a direct compare with HDR software as there are so many different settings in each software. The big difference in this case are the benches. NIK seem to handle that area brilliantly. It would be interesting to hear exactly how you go about to achieve the final image for comparison.

    Keep up your brilliant work Pete.


    Michael (

    • Michael, thanks! Yes, of course diff settings can create diff effects, so comparison is tough. So I just used the same post processes to compare. NIK does seem to handle many downfalls of PM better. It all depends on what style you prefer. The fun of photography…many choices!

  5. Michele says:

    There also appears to be less chromatic aberration with Nik – check out the windows on the image’s left and right hand sides. But that may be due to a density difference in the 2 images in that area.

  6. Jim Nix says:

    Hard to tell on a laptop Pete, but I agree Nik looks better. The light is better controlled in the windows and across the image. The ceiling color is better, although it appears lighter in the Photomatix shot which I like since it reveals more (but I am sure you can adjust that in Nik too). Overall a good comparison. I just upgraded to Photomatix 4.0 and I like it, but may give Nik some thought too. Thanks for sharing buddy! Jim

  7. rb stevens says:

    I have both. NIK works best for me.

  8. atmtx says:

    Very interesting comparison. We will see how this battle shapes up!

  9. First of all, what a cool shot, Pete. Well done with the fisheye. Secondly, I like your comparisons here (and the next one as well). Due to the price, I’m on the fence right now (couldn’t get the trial to work as I was told my trial had expired before I even tested it). But, according to your processing, there’s no doubt NIK walks off the winner. So I might have to cave 😉

    • Marianne, thanks!!! I love fisheye shots…especially in HDR! NIK is amazing! I think you will love it! Just stinks that we have to have both…we should be saving money for lenses! LOL

  10. aswirly says:

    Ok, wow! I have to admit, I am such a photomatix fan I thought no way…but, the Nik version looks better here. I do love all of Nik’s filters so it’s no real surprise I guess that they can make a good HDR tool as well.

  11. Trevor says:

    I was just starting to test out new apps Nik and Artizen’s new beta, i know i am leaving Photomatix but i can’t seem to decide which one to buy. Has anyone else tried both cause the HDR world is starting to get really exciting with all these new apps that can now do some amazing things.

  12. Hector says:

    I prefer Nik HDR because it’s more intuitive and easier to use. The U point technology has no competion. I have better results with single Tone Mapping.

  13. nerf says:

    thanks for sharing now i can decide which one i should pick as i am a beginner on HDR.

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