Hydra – HDR Photo Editor 4.2 macOS
Hydra lets you easily create beautiful high-dynamic-range (HDR) images from a set of exposures, effectively capturing both dark and bright subjects to make it more natural or to enhance scene drama.
Very often, a single photo can’t represent the entire dynamic range of light in a scene due to the physical limitations of the sensor. The picture is either underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too bright), or both at the same time. Hydra allows you to overcome this limitation by merging a number of photos with different exposure settings and to create a natural image that is much closer to what your eyes actually see. Alternatively, Hydra also lets you artistically push contrasts to increase drama and emotions in your pictures beyond reality.
Optimized for Metal
Hydra has been optimized for latest macOS enhancements and brings native Metal support for maximum performance. Hydra comes with a completely rewritten computation and display architecture that is optimized for Metal from the ground up. It provides a high-precision 128-bit per pixel internal format with extremely fast 60 FPS previewing at full resolution. This lets you change tone mapper settings in real-time, at full size, and with no delay which in turn gives you more creative power and control on the result.
Image Alignment & Ghost Removal
Because multiple photos are merged, input pictures typically need alignment to compensate for camera motion if no tripod is used. Also, moving subjects in the scene may create ghosting artefacts that must be handled. Hydra 4 provides an advanced alignment tool to interactively align images against the reference one by locating feature points. You can inspect alignment quality through various 1 to 1 image difference schemes (blue/red, overlay…) or even preview the whole merging result. Full automatic alignment is also provided for simple cases. For ghost handling, Hydra 4 lets you delineate regions where moving subjects occur, and then, for each of these region, define which images do contribute to the merged image. This makes it possible to create beautiful HDR images even for difficult conditions.
New Tone Mapper
Hydra 4 comes with a brand new tone mapper based on a new technique which is faster, more accurate, and gives more control for fine tuning the details. This new tone mapper allows real-time previewing on the full resolution image for the best possible user experience. All settings get instant feedback that corresponds to the actual output. 12 tone mapping presets are available in Hydra 4 from which you can start, and then fine-tune the result using Hydra’s manual mode.
Modern Features & User Experience
In addition to native Metal support, Hydra 4 also provides support for lots of modern OS and hardware features, such as accurate color processing that includes support for Deep & Wide Color of latest Mac displays (P3 Retina displays), integration with Photos app, multitouch trackpad navigation and a gorgeous Mac-native translucent user interface. A number of unique features are also provided for a complete HDR editing experience, such as a new comparison tool that lets you compare the result with individual input pictures, a flashing mode that shows under- or overexposed regions, and snapshots that let you quickly save multiple tone mapper configurations to later compare together. Hydra 4 also provides more advanced options when needed, such RAW input options, Radiance and OpenEXR input and output file formats, color space choices for image exports, and per-scope tone mapper settings.
Powerful HDR app
Combines multiple exposures into an HDR image that can be tone mapped. Optimized for latest macOS enhancements.
New Tone Mapper
More accurate tone mapper that allows real time editing in full resolution. Various settings provided: Range Compression, Shadow Boosting, Highlight Recovery, etc. Additional “per-scope” settings also available to edit specific image regions.
12 tone mapper presets are provided to quickly tune towards a given target. Fine tuning can still be applied from the chosen preset by manual adjustment.
Original app-maintained projects list to enable easy project management. Hydra projects can also be exported to the file system when needed.
Integration with OS services for output (export to messaging apps, social networks). Share extension to import images from other apps
Optimized for Metal
Modern Metal-based display and computation architecture, that allows fast and accurate rendering. OpenGL fallback & resolution limits are available for older Macs.
Comparison Tool & Flashing
Splitscreen comparison of tone-mapped image against input images or the merged image (HDR). Flashing of overexposed and underexposed regions of the image.
Multiple image settings can be saved in the project to quickly move between them.
Elegant and modern user interface that makes use of latest OS features like translucency, and animated transitions. Prepare mode to setup input images before merging; Develop mode to edit tone mapper settings before export.
Image Alignment Technology
Automatic or manual homography computation. Alignment points can be precisely located manually with edge-enhanced views of reference and target image. Tool to preview alignment before processing image in the tone mapper. Displayed as icons (with optional name) or as a table.
Input Image Tools
Automatic Image EV determination from EXIF or from image contents + calculator allowing manual EV override from user-entered aperture, exposure time, and ISO. Additional resharpening option is available for RAW inputs. Inspection of EXIF properties.
Fast Viewing & Editing
Full-speed, high quality, aliasing-free scrolling at native resolution. Real-time image editing with tone mapper at any zoom level.
Support for various input photo formats: JPEG, RAW (macOS), OpenEXR / Radiance. Support for various output image formats: JPG, TIFF, OpenEXR, Radiance and color spaces: sRGB, ACES CG Linear, Adobe RGB, Pro Photo, DCI-P3.
Support for automatic cropping that depends on alignment, and manual cropping and rotation.
Dynamic HDR & LDR Histogram
Image histograms before (HDR) and after (LDR) tone mapping to inspect image features. Both histograms display light intensity under mouse cursor in real time.
Wide & Deep Colors Display
Support for DCI-P3 displays of latest Macs. Editing workflow is completely color matched for accurate results.
Improved ghosts (moving subjects across input pictures) handling tools. Delineation of moving regions & selection of which photo(s) contribute to final image for each region. Tool to preview merged image including ghost removal across full exposure range.
Apple Photos Workflow
Share Extension that enables exporting multiple exposures from Apple Photos (or possibly other apps). Rendered image can be exported back to Apple Photos.
- Operating System: macOS 10.11 El Capitan
- GPU compatible with OpenGL Core Profile 4.1 (HD Graphics 4000 or latest).
What’s New in Hydra – HDR Photo Editor 4.2
- Optimized for macOS 10.14 Mojave.
- Improved support for dark theme & accent color. Accent color now effective throughout the app, in particular ghost selection & various buttons.
- Metal 2 optimisations.
- Fixed 8bit rendering on integrated Intel GPUs that could output corrupt image (Mojave only).
- Fixed 32bit rendering on discrete GPUs that could output black image when tone mapping was not applied.