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Author Topic: Hand held HDR - What software are you using?  (Read 10644 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: January 13, 2009, 06:23:24 PM »
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Dear all,

I know that the question may sound strange coming from a tripod obsessed person like me, but I have started to look at doing HDR from handheld shots.

I am looking for the best possible software option to handle these cases. Here is what I tried myself and the results. I shot 3 images with the D3x in 14 bits raw mode, meaning at a speed of about 2 images per second using a -1, 0, +1 auto bracketing pattern. The shutter speed was around 1/125 sec average at f8. Because of the rather slow shooting speed, there was not huge, but significant differences in the framing of the 3 shots.

- The first software I tried was Photomatix, but it just wasn't able to align the images correctly. -> I am not very knowledgeable on Photomatix, is there a way to improve on the default alignement?
- CS4 auto align function also didn't do such a good job, about in the same league as Photomatix, meaning barely suitable for 10x15cm critical prints.
- PTgui did a much better job than the other 2, and its Fusion based algo for pano did also produce a much more pleasing result much faster than Photomatix.

Here is the resulting image processed with PTgui:



Based on this, my current feeling is that PTgui is by far the best option for handheld HDR work, but this is a result I have never seen reported by anybody else until now.

What are you ladies and gentlemen doing?

Thank you in advance for your kind feedback.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 06:57:52 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Guillermo Luijk
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 07:14:20 PM »
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Did the alignment need interpolation? or was just X-Y shifted by an integer amount of pixels?

Anyway, don't you think -1,0+1 is no great improvement for the effort?

PS: I am more surprised that you even tried Photomatix.
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haefnerphoto
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 10:20:02 PM »
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What's wrong with Photomatix?  How about trying one normal raw capture and processing it under and over by 2-3 stops?  Jim
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2009, 10:49:43 PM »
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Bernard, I've been consistently disappointed with Photomatix's results from my hand-held HDR tests.  
Close, but no cigar.  Also, I find Photomatix to be quite noisy, unpredictably so.  
I'll try your method.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009, 10:54:53 PM »
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Not an answer but I think they do this stuff over at Digital Outback Photo.  You might consider, if you haven't already, asking in their forums.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 10:56:11 PM »
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Quote from: GLuijk
Did the alignment need interpolation? or was just X-Y shifted by an integer amount of pixels?

Anyway, don't you think -1,0+1 is no great improvement for the effort?

PS: I am more surprised that you even tried Photomatix.

Yes, it was handheld, so it was not a simple X-Y adjustment, the framing was different including angle and actual shooting position.

The D3x was mostly able to capture the DR of the scene, so in this case -1, 0, +1 did bring enough value.

I am really an HDR beginner, so I just tried the Photomatix license I had bought a year ago. I will obviously not waste too much time with it anymore when serious alignement needs to be done.

What do you use?

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2009, 11:02:52 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
Not an answer but I think they do this stuff over at Digital Outback Photo.  You might consider, if you haven't already, asking in their forums.

Thanks for the pointer.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2009, 11:03:40 PM »
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Quote from: haefnerphoto
What's wrong with Photomatix?  How about trying one normal raw capture and processing it under and over by 2-3 stops?  Jim

What was wrong with this test is that the software was unable to align the images...

Cheers,
Bernard
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2009, 12:17:32 AM »
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Hi Bernard:  I don't know if this would be of any use to you or not, but it show up on Jeff Revell's blog site yesterday:
http://www.revellphotography.com/blog/?p=1985

The site for the company is: http://www.ariea.com/products/hdrmax/

Mike.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 01:07:50 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
Hi Bernard:  I don't know if this would be of any use to you or not, but it show up on Jeff Revell's blog site yesterday:
http://www.revellphotography.com/blog/?p=1985

Thanks Mike, I'll give it a try.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2009, 01:11:07 AM »
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Quote from: Peter McLennan
Bernard, I've been consistently disappointed with Photomatix's results from my hand-held HDR tests.  
Close, but no cigar.  Also, I find Photomatix to be quite noisy, unpredictably so.  
I'll try your method.

Peter,

Thanks for your feedback.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Alexandre Buisse
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2009, 03:00:23 AM »
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I've been finding that CS3/CS4 alignment is consistently better than photomatix's. I remember that this used to be what the digital outback people recommended a while back (when CS3 was released, I think) but it might well have changed. I usually have to clean up some details with the clone tool if I intend to print big but overall, it's generally not too bad.
I'll give ptgui a try.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2009, 04:58:23 AM »
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Quote from: Alexandre Buisse
I've been finding that CS3/CS4 alignment is consistently better than photomatix's. I remember that this used to be what the digital outback people recommended a while back (when CS3 was released, I think) but it might well have changed. I usually have to clean up some details with the clone tool if I intend to print big but overall, it's generally not too bad.

Thanks for the feedback.

Cheers,
Bernard

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opgr
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2009, 05:35:19 AM »
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Have been looking for a solution to the exact same problem, following is what I thought worked best:

http://www.autopano.net/

Will do automatic position and perspective alignment, especially for handheld, non-optimal situations. Doesn't necessarily have to be panorama shots, will also do stacking. See the tutorial pages. (I'm not in any way related to this company).
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Oscar Rysdyk
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francois
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2009, 07:59:28 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Thanks Mike, I'll give it a try.

Cheers,
Bernard
Bernard,
Let us know how it works. From a few comments I read a while ago, the application was buggy but the results were similar to the competing products like Photomatix.

Edit: some positive comments here.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 08:01:57 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2009, 10:28:12 AM »
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Bernard,

What version of Photomatix have you been using?  The latest version, 3.1, is a definite improvement over previous versions.

Alignment works pretty well for me handheld unless you're doing architecture with a lot of angles.  That's when you have to resort to tools like you've mentioned.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2009, 11:08:42 AM »
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Bernard -

Are you on a Mac? If so, try: http://pangeasoft.net/pano/bracketeer/index.html. It's specifically designed for hand held HDR's. I've fooled with it a bit and it seems to work well enough to warrant further exploration.

Even works with RAW files in 10.5.
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kikashi
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2009, 11:50:34 AM »
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I've heard it said that Hydra is particularly good at this kind of thing (their blurb certainly claims that it is), but I confess I've not tried it myself. It's both standalone and an Aperture plug-in, if that's of interest.

Jeremy
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 11:51:13 AM by kikashi » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2009, 04:32:45 PM »
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Quote from: rdonson
Bernard,

What version of Photomatix have you been using?  The latest version, 3.1, is a definite improvement over previous versions.

Alignment works pretty well for me handheld unless you're doing architecture with a lot of angles.  That's when you have to resort to tools like you've mentioned.

Thanks. It was with 3.1.

As I mentioned, I have only used the default alignement capability without any tweaking, is there a way to improve on that?

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2009, 04:33:59 PM »
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Quote from: schrodingerscat
Bernard -

Are you on a Mac? If so, try: http://pangeasoft.net/pano/bracketeer/index.html. It's specifically designed for hand held HDR's. I've fooled with it a bit and it seems to work well enough to warrant further exploration.

Even works with RAW files in 10.5.

Hi,

Yes I am on Mac, thanks for the pointer, I'll give it a try.

Cheers,
Bernard
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