Once you load your image, you are presented a close approximation of the merged image and with a settings window on the left side of the screen that will let you work with the two processes. The first is Tone Mapping that is applied to the merged 32-bit HDR image, and Exposure Fusion which combines the sources directly. The Exposure Fusion will give you more natural looking results and the Tone Mapping will give you a large variety of styles and can give you more of the gritty or artistic feels. Once you are satisfied you can save your image which finishes the merge process.
What is New with Photomatix 4?
• De-Ghosting is the process that gets rid of moving images within a final image. That is, when you take 5 shots of a scene, there is bound to be some movement. This can be as subtle as a barbwire fence line blowing because of the wind, or as obnoxious as a dog walking through. The de-ghosting process lets you circle what you want to de-ghost and pick which image you want to keep the item from. You can also choose to have Photomatix automatically detect ghosted zones.
• Noise Reduction has been improved considerably in version 4. This can reduce chromatic and luminance noise. You have the option to increase or decrease the strength based on the noise level in the image. You can apply noise reduction on the source image, but it also can add additional processing time. You can apply it to the merged image once it has been created, and using the Reduce Chromatic Aberrations option automatically corrects color fringing due to chromatic aberrations of the lens.
• Better smoothing throughout Photomatix Pro 4. The micro-smoothing smoothes local detail enhancements. What this does is that it has the effect of reducing the noise in the sky. This results in a cleaner look to the resulting image. Highlight-smoothing reduces the contrast enhancements in the highlights. This helps to prevent white highlights from turning grey and also reduces halos around objects placed against bright backgrounds.
• Preset Thumbnails Panel is built-in and contains quite a number of user presets for Tone Mapping and Exposure Fusion. They show up as thumbnails in a panel alongside the preview. The panel can be set in horizontal on the bottom of the scree, or vertical orientation on the right side.