As usual, the installation process can be completed easily and efficiently. If preferred, the installation of the Photoshop plug-in and the graphics support can be excluded from this procedure before initiation. In addition, the comprehensive program manual PDF can be opened directly from the installation window. From the options displayed in the program start window that appears following installation however, this is no longer possible.
If the PDF manual is not accessed initially from this location, the file will not be saved.
After restarting the computer, the file won’t be available due to the fact that it is saved in a temporary folder.
In order to locate the file again, the installation file must be brought up to show Start Window containing the handbook.
The installation doesn’t have to be initiated anew, rather the handbook simple needs to be displayed in order to be saved to a different location for later use. This process for saving the manual correctly only applies to the downloaded version; The manual accompanying the software in its CD version will be saved directly to and accessible from that specific storage medium. Nonetheless, a better solution to this problem could have indeed been found.
After completing the installation process, the program can be started as usual. Similar to previous versions, an empty window will then appear.
As shown above, the available options are distributed under five separate tabs.
The first tab would allow for GPU-Accelerator to be turned off in case the graphic card used exhibits problems with the program. This should not be a problem for most modern computers, however.
Adjustments being made in this test are those concerning the Preview-Display resolution, which is now set to a value of 2,5 Megapixels—one click on the Optimal settings button should do the trick.
Should additional information be needed while navigating this window, one click on the “I” symbol in the upper right-hand corner will provide a helpful explanation of each the different options available under the respective tabs—same as in the previous versions.
The “Calculation” tab is especially interesting and can have a major influence on the display and quality of the image result.
The relatively high sampling density being used can put a strain on even the most efficient computers, therefore we have taken it upon ourselves to execute further tests of the Preview-Mode and Point-of-Interest whose results are presented later in the article.
Assisting in making the right decision with regards to the quality settings can be found under the Extras tab in the form of the Benchmark-Test, a familiar function present in previous versions of the software.
If your tested image receives a rating of five stars, you are cleared to adjust the quality settings to their maximum outputs without any hesitation. This should not give the impression that the software only runs optimally on high-performance PCs. Even on our 8-year-old Computer with Quadcore-CPU and only 8 GB of Ram, HDR projects 5 ran smoothly and without a hitch.
It is often worthwhile to activate the maximum resolution setting for the Point-of-Interest, located in the last sub-menu labeled Automatics. An addition to this version worthy of mention is the ability to adjust font sizes for menus and headers, known by the developers as 4K-Design and customizable in the Display menu.
As far as additional setting highlights are concerned, we’ve left a further assessment up to you!
This Review has been written by Gerhard Lang, www.ahadesign.eu