Free (shareware), aimed at preparing images for 'social media' use. By default, input is scaled to 1600x1600 max, output is 800x800 (the default .jpg compression is only 5% so the output files 'look' big)
Whilst these limits can be modified (or removed) via 'More options', I kept running into 'out of memory' errors with 'normal' sized camera images. For example, whilst a single 20Mp can be HDR processed, the result could not be 'saved', giving an 'out of memory' error (with >1Gb RAM + >1Gb virtual on a PC with 4Gb RAM). Setting the .exe to LARGEADDRESSAWARE had no effect.
One annoyance is that AutoHDR does not 'remember' the 'browsed' folder (where you 'Open Images'). = instead it always goes to the default C: (which can be changed in 'More options'). By default, it saves the HDR in a subfolder of the source image (using imag e= 'name_HDR.jpg') - again 'More options' allows this to be changed
By default, it adds two 'watermarks' - one in each corner (these can both be removed via the 'More options' button)
The HDR processing Options are 'Detail', 'Contrast', 'Colour', 'Noise', 'Shadows', 'Highlights' and 'Sharpen'. The values can be adjusted from 0-10 (the Default sets to 5). You can set and recall 3 'custom' Option setting sets
It took about 5mins to process a single 20Mp .jpg but failed to 'save' with an 'out of memory' error. Reducing the output size to HD (actually setting 'max width 1920 only) saved OK (at max width 1920, a standard Camera (4:3) landscape is 1920x1440 (portrait is 1920x2880))
To a process a 3x image 'set' (taken from the RAW (-1EF, 0 , +1EV)) I had to reduce the input size of each from 20Mpixels to 6Mpixels When I tried to use +/-2ev, the 'align' produced a 'ghosting' effect, offsetting the +2ev by about 5% to the left. It is not possible to 'run off' the 'align' (since all 3 images were from the same RAW and of the exact same size, this was extremely annoying)
Using the 'Default' Options setting (all settings = '5'), the results are 'OK', but seem to lack 'punch' (or contrast) - everything just looks a bit subdued (compared to 'normal' HDR). The result with the 3x 4Mp image set input was worse than the single .jpg (both outputs 1920x1280) - the 3x set result was more 'muddy' (with a 'greyer' sky) and slightly less detail than the single 20Mp (0EV) image !
I next tried the 'Bold' preset = this gave a totally unnatural result with 'flat' white wall turning into a 'blotchy' mess. The 'Landscape' preset improved the sky, but blacked out the shadows ... 'Architecture' brought back the shadows but the while wall went 'blotchy' again. Playing with the 7 Option settings (0-10) was an exercise in frustration - each time I got good shadows the highlights broke up, each time I managed 'smooth' (white wall) highlights the shadows went black ... I eventually gave up concluded it's a process of 'hit and miss'
In conclusion, whilst you CAN get good results with AutoHDR2.1.8.exe it's a matter of 'hit and (mainly) miss'. Since it can't output anything much larger than HD, I can't recommend it.
Next page :- Using PhotoFilmStrip - (for PhotoStory HD output)