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

NIK HDR Efex Pro version

Photomatix 4.0 version

OK, after 2 rounds NIK is up 2-0.  This is the last and final round.  I found a tough sky/halo shot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.    Please note, again I used basically the same steps for each processed shot.   Yes, the Photomatix shot can be improved, but I wanted to compare apples to apples.

NIK is amazing!  It kinda makes Photomatix looks like a piece of old junk.   Check out the overall light/shadow difference….

a) NIK handled the sky nicely…while Photomatix looks messy!

b) The Eiffel Tower’s upper section on the NIK looks nice…the Photomatix struggles to even the light flow and is dark and lifeless.

c) The light on the main big tree in the NIK version is fluid and eye pleasing…while Photomatix struggles with the top section light in that tree

d) The green tones above are softer in NIK.  Photomatix must always be desaturated.

Of course NIK is not perfect. I see a slight halo on the lower left side of the tower.  Any photo can be broken down in many many pcs…but in a quick overall visual decision….it is an easy victory for NIK.  Looks like my Photomatix will be collecting dust until they improve it.   This is great news for us HDR artists!  Competition fuels quality and it can only help us!

I have been asked what settings I use for my NIK HDR Efex Pro….I’ll go into that next week!  Let me get some more play with the software and then I can give you some firm scoops!  Have fun!

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

  1. Evan Gearing says:

    I think I like the Nik one the best. I do like the greens you achieved in the photomatix one, but I see you desaturated it. If those two shots got blended in some how, it would really look nice. I downloaded the nik software, now I just have to try it out. Thanks for the testing you’ve done here Pete. It’s great to see the differences put to paper, so to speak.

  2. atmtx says:

    Get set of tests, Pete. The photomatix version looks more flat but brighter in the greens. Nik seems more natural.

  3. aswirly says:

    The difference is pretty remarkable. The Nik has much more color, vibrancy, detail, and punch. Wow. It is really cool to see the comparisons

  4. Kay Gaensler says:

    Pete I´m really impressed by the results. When I´m back from my trip to Boston I will definitively try the test-version of the software!

  5. Thanks for doing all the testing for us, Pete. I guess it’s time to start saving up ;-). Of course, all the images were great, no matter which process you used.

  6. It all depends on the setting you choose in the two programs.
    It is diffcult to compare.
    I find the Potomatix much faster and the final result better.
    Nik has too many presets and you only end up using a few.

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