Aurora HDR vs Photomatix

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Having the right tools and software is a no-brainer in high dynamic range (HDR) photography. Aurora HDR and Photomatix are both excellent pieces of software that provide the essential features for your high-dynamic range photography needs. However, you might need to decide on Aurora HDR Vs. Photomatix. Which is more efficient?

Aurora HDR vs. Photomatix General Overview

Let’s admit that both tools are top-quality software in the HDR space, providing the necessary features you need for processing your shots. With any of them, you can easily edit your photographs to produce a stunning, high-quality HDR image. However, what can this software really do?

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Aurora HDR Overview

Aurora is advanced software that provides all the features you need to optimize color display across multiple camera models. This tool can easily merge exposure brackets for multiple images shot at different exposure or create a tonal map for a specific image.

It also features an AI-powered technology that helps to produce HDR Images with super high qualities. It has over twenty helpful editing tools and applicable presets to make your work easier and faster. On top of that, it boasts a batch-processing system that lets you work on multiple images simultaneously.

The Aurora software is compatible with Mac and Windows computers, making it versatile and easy to access across various computer models. It is a great choice if you’re looking for durable software that produces a better tonal dynamic range than your camera in a single exposure.

Photomatix Overview

Photomatix is a super useful tool that is easy for both beginners and experienced photographers to use. It features an HDR merging technology that helps you bring out the best quality for your images. This software is known for giving photographers full control over an image’s HDR processing.

It boasts a wide range of tools such as RAW support and ghost removal that can help produce a natural-looking HDR image. Besides, it comes with a ton of useful presets to streamline your editing process. With this software, you can work on multiple HDR images at once.

The latest version of the Photomatix software comes with a pretty simple and interactive user interface. It features some extra features such as alignment tools and basic adjustment tools to bring out the best natural or artistic image. When it comes to anything HDR, this tool is definitely worth considering.

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Comparing Aurora HDR and Photomatix

Generally, Aurora HDR and Photomatix are one of the best HDR processing tools that you can get your hands on. They offer the basic features you need to create top-quality high dynamic range images. Thus, deciding which is best for you can be quite a headache.


The Aurora HDR and Photomatix are both highly efficient tools that help to produce quality HDR images. They can both perform simple HDR processing functions, which makes them similar in some way. Let’s go over the common features of both tools:

  • When it comes to the interface, Aurora has a pretty interactive one. It is super easy to navigate, and most of its features are easy to locate. Like Aurora, the Photomatix software also has a simple interface for users to work with
  • Aurora offers more than twenty different features that enable you to edit your images with the best styles and quality. Photomatix also offers a wide range of features that cover all your needs for editing HDR images.
  • Aurora offers a series of quality presets and filters that you can easily apply to your work, and with over 30 collections, this software offers a unique range of presets you can easily apply to your works to produce quality, natural-looking images.


Though both tools are similar in terms of what they offer, like every other tool, they’re not totally the same. Depending on which situation, one may outperform the other and serve you better. So, what are the differences between both tools:

  • In Aurora, the main toolbar for adjusting your image properties is located on the right side of your windows, while in Photomatix, the essential editing tools you need are all displayed on the left side of the window.
  • All the essential tools and features in Aurora are displayed right on the screen in a single window, with the layout offering ample space to work on. However, Photomatix opens a pop-up window for each tool you use, making things a little bit cluttered.
  • While it mainly focuses on the HDR type of editing, Photomatix offers extra features for other forms of photo editing however, when used right, Aurora allows you to edit your images beyond the HDR basics. 

Major Distinguishing Factor

You might be wondering that although the Aurora software and Photomatix are alike in many ways, and they both help in creating high-quality HDR images, there should be a particular factor that sets them apart.

Aurora HDR is unquestionably the most resource-intensive application as it requires at least 8 GB of RAM for optimal performance. It will have difficulty moving if the memory capacity is lower. However, for Photomatix, memory requirements are half that of the former as it only requires 4 GB of RAM.

When to Use Aurora HDR

This tool is ideal when you need to merge exposure brackets for multiple images that have different exposure qualities. Besides, you can easily use it to create tonal maps for any image.

Aurora also has a lot of tools and features that you need to perform most of your basic HDR Processing tasks. So, it is especially helpful when you need a wide range of tools to complete your tasks. Some of these tools Include:

  • HDR Basic
  • Color Management
  • Brushes
  • HDR Enhance
  • Mapping
  • Adjustment Layers
  • Crop & Transform
  • HDR Denoise

Also, whether you’re looking to edit a landscape or portrait image using ready-made presets,  Aurora has you covered it offers a variety of presets that is suitable for both landscape and horizontal images. Some of the presets that you can use while working include:

  • Essentials
  • Trey Ratcliff Looks
  • Landscape
  • Serge Ramelli Looks
  • Architecture
  • Artistic
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When to Use Photomatix

When you need to give your image a natural look with a stunning high dynamic range quality, then Photomatix is ideal. It is also super useful due to the several different features that it offers.

This tool is also ideal for adjusting your HDR image’s color, temperature, brightness, detail, and saturation. Although this tool offers a range of helpful HDR processing tools, it requires linking to third-party editing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to discover its complete features.

Some of the features that this software offers include:

  • Detail enhancer
  • Tonal compression
  • Tonal balancer
  • Contrast Optimizer

Aurora HDR or Photomatix, Which Is Better?

Choosing the better tool between Aurora HDR and Photomatix is not that simple because they both offer a wide range of essential HDR editing features. They’re advanced tools that let you bring out the best quality in your HDR images without any hassle. However, which one outperforms the other?

In terms of overall performance and usability, the Aurora HDR does slightly better than the Photomatix. When factoring in the number of features that they offer and the overall user interface, it does a better job than Photomatix. That’s not to say that Photomatix is a low-quality tool.

The Photomatix also does a great job in preset diversity and done-for-you filters. It offers all the essential features to amp up your HDR photographs. While it operates similarly to the Aurora, the latter still performs better than the Photomatix.


The Aurora HDR and Photomatix are advanced tools that offer a wide range of features for processing your HDR shots. They are versatile and can go beyond the HDR basics to more detailed editing techniques. Undoubtedly, having either of these tools is a game changer for a photographer.