The field of photography is growing at exponential rate with cameras, accessories and software to let us capture amazing images. This also means software manufacturers are always competing for your money and producing software that is not only easy to use but is able to produce a better result than its competition.

And competition is great for us as consumers, gives us more options to choose from.

My photography journey over the past 6 years, has seen me use various different softwares such as:

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (from version 2 to now CC)
  • Nik Collection by Google
  • On1 Perfect Photo Suite
  • Photomatix Pro
  • Aurora HDR Pro
  • Aurora HDR 2017

In the above list the names is bold are software which I still use, while others I’ve stopped using. Aurora HDR 2017 is currently my benchmark software that I am using to re-process some of the images I had processed years ago. I’m seeing better results over the earlier softwares.

What I have noticed is that the softwares get better over the years and if you don’t upgrade to the latest versions you are losing out!! How do I determine that this is the case? Well its easy most new software will offer some sort of trial version so it’s risk free option to test it out. For me however, I usually find that upgrade fees are very affordable and if I’ve had good experience with a software, I’d generally upgrade to its latest version (without downloading a trial first).

Here is a comparison on how far HDR technology has come with the latest software. Compare the two images below; one has been processed with Nik HDR Efex Pro and the other with the latest Aurora HDR 2017.

Nik HDR Efex Pro

Aurora HDR 2017

Clearly there is a difference!! I understand I’m not comparing apples with apples here but HDR processing algorithms get better over the years. Image processed with Nik HDR Efex Pro is more grainy, noisy and makes the walls look dirty, where as the same image edited with Aurora HDR 2017 is much cleaner and nicer. You can’t even tell that this is HDR image blended from 3 exposures.

Talking specifically about HDR software, earlier versions suffered from Halo around the edges in some situations and because of the competitions developers have built better processing software that eliminate this unwanted affects in the images.

Check out the images below where you can see the modern software doesn’t produce any Halo whereas older software did.

There is a definite benefit of staying up to date with the latest software in the market.

What’s your favourite?

Nik HDR Efex Pro

Aurora HDR 2017