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.

20 comments on “NIK HDR Efex Pro vs. Photomatix 4.0 (Round 2 of 3)

  1. Evan Gearing says:

    Looks better to me as well. I think I’m gonna have to save for the Nik! Thanks for putting these up!

  2. I have NIK Coupon Code , If you need please visit my web site to get

  3. Mike Criss says:

    I agree! Too bad I just purchased Photomatix 4. Nice work by the way.
    Newest Blog Post

  4. DJ Schulte says:

    I have added Nik HDR Efex as well. Definitely agree with #1 in your points on Nik; it does produce much better reds and oranges. Agree with #4 as well. Regarding presets; I do not use them in either package and work in my own on their sliderss/adjustments. And yes, Nik can get much closer to thefinal image. The one positive I am really liking is the use of control points to adjust HDR settings on spots of the image.

    Thanks for your work and analysis.


  5. Wayne Frost says:

    I do like your version processed via HDR Efex pro the best. I am new to HDR and have been using Photomatix but recently acquired the NIK Complete Collection suite of their products, and that now includes HDR Efex pro (for about $219 at B&H you can obtain the entire bundle of six Nik products). I really like the ability to use their control points.

  6. Jim Nix says:

    Just ordered the complete Nik collection today Pete, gonna give it a whirl! Should be fun, and probably not much sleep with all the new toys!! Good analysis, definitely looking forward to the HDR Efex Pro, looks versatile and really good. Thanks Jim

  7. Kay says:

    Pete, your test results are quiet interesting! As I’m on my way to Boston next week, I don’t want
    to try the test version because of the 14 day limit. So it is great to read your review of the
    software! The only thing I want to know is: What is about outdoor images??? Did you test it??? — Kay

  8. aswirly says:

    Yup, once again the Nik one looks better. Real fun to see these comparisons!

  9. Chris1000 says:

    thanks for the examples. Would you mind telling us about your settings in the respective app (screenshot?) and, maybe, a short description on the steps you took afterwards (Photoshop?). Thanks a lot.

  10. Paul Shappirio says:

    Thanks for the visual proof as to which is better! I’m going to try the Nik software. I love Silver Efex Pro!

  11. blogger wordpress…

    […]NIK HDR Efex Pro vs. Photomatix 4.0 (Round 2 of 3) « Places 2 Explore[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s