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Slow performance in HDR and panorama development

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Hej there,

I am using an i7 Skylake with an GTX950M and 16GB RAM, still I get very very slow panorama and HDR renderings from Canon CR2 files. At the same time, very little CPU capacity is used (~15-20 %). Tonemapping panoramas takes easily a complete afternoon!

I would love to see an performance upgrade in future versions (even if I have to pay for it). Otherwise, Affinity Photo is close to irreplacable as the generated images are excellent. Even the output using the default settings is much better than for example Aurora HDR, imho.

Sincerely, Benedikt

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I have always found that it is quicker to develop raw files first, then save them. Then you can load them into the appropriate stack. You can also decide whether you need 8-bit or 16-bit and if jpegs are sufficient for your needs. Obviously this will take you more steps, but less elapsed time. You can also edit during the develop phase should you wish to.


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.10.5 Designer 1.10.5 and Publisher 1.10.5 (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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  • 1 year later...


I am adding my recent insights to this thread as it is the one I found when I searched on slow HDR Merge, so if you also end up here this might be useful.

I was finding HDR Merge on a MAC unusably slow on a brand new iMac (I gave up timing it because it took so long), so for a while have created TIFFs from C1, then merged in free version of Photomatrix Essentials (fast but very limited), before importing into AP. Far too many steps and I would need to invest in the paid version of PE to make the results sing.

Now that I have gotten around to ordering OWC memory to upgrade from 8GB to 24GB I have tried playing around with AP Preferences with some interesting results.  It might be worth trying the same on your machine if you have some headroom on memory.  My results summarised here (AP 1.8.3, started application fresh each time and checked stats in Activity Manager):

Machine: 2019 iMAC 27" 3.7GHz, 24GB memory, 1 TB SSD, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB.  No other apps running at the time.

Images: 5 bracketed Sony RAW images, each 50MB (from A7R IV).  Settings for image align, ghost removal, noise reduction and tone map. 

Then I adjusted the settings for RAM Usage Limit and Disk Usage Warning in Preferences->Performance.

RAM Usage Limit        Disk Usage Warning           Processing time (mins)         Disc write            Disc read

Default (8GB)               Default (32GB)                               29:00                                    92.9GB              5.9GB

21.5GB                          Default (32GB)                                 3:30                                      4.3GB              250MB

Max setting                  Max setting                                      2:00                                         16KB            104MB

It is clear from the disc activity where the processing time comes from.  I am not technical enough to hazard a guess at why with the default settings Activity Manager indicates AP writes about 15 times more data than it reads (that does not sound like the path to wisdom). 

Now that I have performance that is manageable I will be doing some comparisons of the results I get with AP, as compared to with my multi-step workflow, and with Aurora HDR.  


Edited by MarkAU
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