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Hi Affinity team.

During the last days I tested the Windows version of Affinity Photo 1.5.1 and checked out those parts most important to me: RAW processing, HDR/Tone mapping and stitching Panoramas. (The video tutorials are great for newbies concerning your software.) I am happy to see all these features under a common hood and working reasonably well (although there are issues like the wrong histogram displayed in Develop persona which will refrain me from using Photo as default RAW software for now.)

What I want to achieve:

For years now I'm accustomed to create HDR images from a single RAW file instead a series of JPG or RAW files. The benefit is that there are no problems with motion (and thus ghosting) in the image, and no softness as a potential side-effect of the automatic alignment of handheld shots. Today's DSLR cameras create RAW images which can easily compensate 3 EV steps.
(Depending on sensor size and ISO, the downside can be higher noise in dark areas, but that's acceptable for me.)

My conventional approach is to develop 3-5 differently exposed JPG images (usually with different noise reduction settings) and then creating the HDR from these. This approach is very cumbersome with Affinity Photo, which does not even remember the RAW conversion settings I last used by default. Once a RAW file is developed, the Develop persona is closed and I have to start over for the next exposure. (In contrast to a dedicated raw converter like Canon's DPP or Nikon's NX-D where this is a no-brainer and easily done.)

But maybe Affinity has a better approach?

What if you could develop the raw file and apply a tone mapping without JPGs inbetween? Lets see, Photo Persona works in 32 bit, and RAW files can be developed to 32 bit HDR. Sounds promising.

 

1. I import the RAW file, disable applying the tone curve and leave the exposure-related settings untouched.

2. Then I put the developed 32 bit image into the Tone mapping persona -> Voilá, a developed HDR image.

 

And what if I have a panorama of single RAW images which needs HDR processing?

 

1. You can start a "New batch job", select the RAW files to process and choose EXR as output format.

2. Then you can continue creating the panorama with "New panorama" and select the EXR files as shown in the HDR panorama video tutorial.

3. After the panorama has been stitched, it can be tone mapped in the Tone Mapping persona.

 

Cool - this is a real time saver and more flexible regarding adjustments compared to my previous workflows which would mean first tone mapping every HDR image and then stitching the (hopefully equally exposed) JPGs together.

 

Matthias.

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Some good idea's there, Matthias.

 

I also found that you can open a New HDR Stack with just a single RAW file, with Tone mapping - then process as 'normal'. In reality, I guess, you are just extracting as much information as possible from the RAW file. I think most RAW files these days will have at least +/-2 stops, perhaps more.

 

Of course, using 3 - 7 differently exposed RAW files would take this to extremes, but there may cases where tis is necessary.

 

Cheers,

Biff

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