I decided to download a trial version of PhotoMAtrix Pro and Picturenaut to see how well they perform. I think I need to learn about the process of tone mapping and all the other HDR techno stuff before I pass judgement, but here are my initial reactions.
I liked that Picturenaut was free, and it is pretty simple to use. I could mess with the sliders until I started to get a look that I liked. It was fairly intuitive. I do not think that it has all the bells and whistles of PhotoMatrix, but it’s great for a free program.
I wasn’t able to get Photomatrix on my home computer so I was only able to mess with it on this photo that I took during my lunch and work on it on my work computer. It was overcast and pretty bland as far as the light was concerned, so I do no think it works as a good example. The color output for the program was bland, but the black and white option in Photomatrix was fun to play with. As far as I could tell Picturenaut does not have many, if any, B&W options. I will have to play with them both more before I come to a conclusion, but so far they both seem to work well, and are fun to play with.