NIK HDR Efex Pro vs. Photomatix 4.0 (Round 2 of 3)

NIK HDR Efex Pro version

Photomatix 4.0 version

Round 2 of NIK vs Photomatix.   OK, I am not a techie and cannot break down every bit of detail in a photo, I base my opinion on ease and an overall visual inspection.   I compared the above shots of the lovely St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco.  I chose the shot yesterday for tough sunny windows and today was about details and colors.  Both shots were processed using the same amount of time and steps (or as close as possible).   Yes, the PM version can be cleaned up a bit more, but I wanted to use equal steps.

ROUND 2 – WINNER – NIK HDR Efex Pro I must say…game over…NIK wins hands down.  I am truly impressed.

My order has already been placed for the NIK HDR Efex Pro.  I will now use this software to process my HDR’s.  In only 2 rounds, it was an easy victory.   You can download the trial all by yourself and compare.  Everyone has different opinions and that is what makes the world go around.  So see how you like it.  Some of my thoughts on NIK HDR Efex Pro:


1) Great colors – especially red tones

2) Sharp

3) Solid HDR Presets

4) Seems to handle difficult light better than Photomatix

5) After Processing there seems to be a smoother highlight/shadow transition throughout the entire photo.  If you use Photomatix you sometime have falloff in certain areas.

6) After post processing your exposures, the photo is closer to completion than a Photomatix version…this leads to less addtl post processing time


1) Slow Processing – does take alot longer than Photomatix

2) Higher pirce.  $50 more than Photomatix…search the net you can find 15% off coupon codes for NIK products all over.  I think Scott Kelby has one!   Makes it more affordable.

I’m sure there will be many different opinions.  This is just mine.  Buh-bye Photomatix!   NIK rules!!  I will go Round 3 on Monday for fun and try to find a troubling sky shot with possible halos.