In most instances, it is impossible for the camera to capture full dynamic range (the total range of light in a scene, from very dark to very light) accurately in a single photo. In other words, today’s digital camera can’t properly expose everything at the same time in scenes with even moderate contrast ratios. This results in two main problems (which sometimes happen together in the same photo):
- Blown highlights – When the exposure is raised to make sure the foreground or subject is properly exposed, brighter ar eas of the scene suffer. They “blow out” and turn white because they have very little or no usable data in them.
- Lost detail in the shadows – Conversely, when bright areas of a scene are pro tected (by lowering exposure), there is not enough light to register details on the camera’s sensor in dark areas of the scene. These turn to shadow and black ness.
The solution is Photomatix Essentials, a standalone program for HDR (High Dynamic Range) image creation and processing. By importing enough photos (typically 3, separated by 2 EV steps) of the same scene under different exposures (such Photos are often called bracketed photos, in reference to the Automatic Exposure Bracketing function available on many DSLR cameras) into the program, it is possible to merge the photos into a single HDR image, rescuing details from shadows and keeping highlights from blowing out.
Photomatix Essentials 4 Key Features:
- Merge of upto 5 bracketed photos
- HDR Tone Mapping with Details Enhancer
- HDR Tone Mapping with Contrast Optimizer
- Exposure Fusion with Fusion/Natural
- Finishing Touch (sharpening, contrast)
- Undo Tone Mapping / Fusion
- Automatic alignment of hand-held photos
- Automatic ghost removal
- Thumbnails of built-in presets
- Saving and loading of user presets
- Automatic noise reduction
New in version 4
- New Tone Mapping method designed to give realistic looking results while preserving details in highlight and shadow. It is called Contrast Optimizer and adds the ‘Balanced’ and ‘Vibrant’ Presets.
- Finishing Touch step to add Contrast or Sharpening before saving.
- Back button to return to the Adjust & Preview step and apply other settings.
- Preview checkbox in the Adjust & Preview step to toggle between the original and the image with settings applied.
- Option in Preferences to refresh the Preview continuously as slider moves (not available in Win 32-bit version).
Photomatix Essentials 4 is available for Windows (XP/Vista/7/8) and Mac OS X v10.6 through v10.10 platforms.
Photomatix Essentials 4 Full Version Free Download For Windows & Mac
Photomatix is available in two editions – Photomatix Essentials, and Photomatix Pro. Photomatix Essentials focuses on simplicity and ease of use. Photomatix Pro offers more options and includes advanced features such as batch processing and selective deghosting. Click here to compare between editions.
Photomatix Essentials is normally priced at $39 per serial number / license key. But as part of the promo offer by Practical Photography Magazine, you can download Photomatix Essentials 4 full version free for both Windows and Mac. Not sure for how long the giveaway is going to last, which means it’s probably best to grab the goods while the offer is still live.
Photomatix Essentials 4 is not the latest version on its branch because the developer has released Photomatix 5 software sometime ago. But this does not mean in any way that Photomatix Essentials 4 is useless or obsolete. The features available are still current and compatible with the needs of a regular user.
Interested users just need to visit the promo page here, enter the Access Code: pphdr2015 to access your free download links of ‘Photomatix Essentials 4. These are giveaway installers, no additional serial key is required to active full version.
Updated: This is an old promo (shared on Jul 29, 2015) but hope it prove useful to the one who may not know abut the promo.