The other day I mentioned the series of errors that prevented my Pentax K-01 mirrorless DSLR from giving good panoramas on a recent trip to Scotland. I'm looking for yellow duct tape (to match the bright yellow of the K-01 body) to keep the zoom and focus settings from wandering...
But yesterday I gritted my teeth and checked what SNS-HDR made of the same panorama that had been disfigured by holes and rendered very difficult to stitch by inadequate overlap. I started a new PTgui project with the resulting TIFFs.
I was really impressed by the quality of the individual HDR images, and was pleased to find that they stitched with nearly perfect seams on auto settings! I had heard that PTgui finds TIFFs easier to stitch than RAW files, and here was proof. The holes are still there, of course, but I am even wondering whether I ought to try to patch them... I don't take many interiors, and this one was a particularly interesting old hotel in Edinburgh with a tremendous range of lighting levels from the scene through the windows to the darkest recesses of the suite, so HDR was essential. And the panorama now looks worth saving.
About the only disadvantages I encountered were that the processing is a little slow, and that you have to decide the level of RAW noise reduction before processing begins, I.e., it's a startup option, so you have to wait until you see the tone-mapped image before you know whether or not the noise reduction is OK. Of course, you can wait until after panorama stitching and apply noise reduction to the final image, but I was rather impressed with the job that the program does, given the optimum setting.
Incidentally, I processed each of the six (x3) shots independently and then stitched them in PTgui as normal, non-HDR images, relying on the internal blending to cope with differences in lighting levels at the seams. This worked very well. Much, MUCH better than just importing them all into PTgui. So as soon as this program can be integrated into PTgui the better, as far as I am concerned. Erik has pointed out its errors in processing moving clouds, but for interiors the free, line-command version of SNS-HDR is surely desirable. And I was relieved to learn from Erik that it appears to be fully compatible. It seems to offer an improved way of integrating HDR processing into PTgui, especially for those prepared to fine-tune things with line commands. Me? I'll be hoping the defaults work well...
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