Oloneo HDR Software Review

Posted March 10, 2011 – Oloneo is the tenth HDR software to be tested and reviewed by Captain Kimo. This HDR program was recommended by a few folks interested in my opinion on this very new high dynamic range software. So new in fact, it’s still in beta at the time of this post. After taking it for a test run, I am very impressed… can’t wait to test out the final version.

Operating System – Windows & MAC on Parallels Desktop 5
Price – N/A
Standalone/Plugin/Both – Standalone
Processing RAW files - Yes
HDR from Single RAW – Yes
Overall Speed – Fast
Visit Official Websitehttp://www.oloneo.com
Go to Oloneo Download Page

Oloneo is the newest contender in the HDR photography software market. Being that it’s new and the fact that it’s still in beta version, I didn’t have much expectations, but it’s usually the one that you don’t expect that end up being the most impressive, and Oleno was definitely a shocker.

The first thing about Oloneo that impressed me was the speed… wow, I felt like I was working in Photoshop… instant live preview. None of the other HDR programs that I’ve tested even comes close to the preview speed this software offers!

Creating HDR inages is pretty straight forward. When the application first launches the interface might look a little intimidating for some one new to HDR. Oloneo takes the same approach as HDR Photo Pro when it comes to loading exposures. To create an HDR image I need to load a folder with exposures. I then need to select the exposures that I want. Honestly, I feel this method of loading exposures is some what redundant. I prefer the HDR Express method where I load the exposures that I want without loading an entire directory.

Once I’ve selected my exposures I have a couple of options for merging them together. I can select to have Oloneo auto align my exposures by clicking the check box. I also have the option of letting Oloneo handle any ghosting in my image. There are two options for this, either Method 1 or Method 2… the later seems to work the best for my images. After I’ve selected my options I then click the Create HDR ToneMap Project button for Oloneo to merge my images.

When Oloneo is done merging the images I am automatically taken to the tone mapping window where I can begin tone mapping my photo. Oloneo has a total of 4 tone mapping method; Auto Tone Mapper, Local Tone Mapper, Advance Local Tone Mapper and Global Tone Mapper. All of the tone mapping methods are very good at keeping halos to a minimum. Oloneo suppresses halos very well, but the odd thing about the halos, when you do see them, they are darker instead of brighter around the object.

After tone mapping a few images I found it annoying that I wasn’t able to reset my tone mapping controls back to default. Also not being able to see a preview of the original image didn’t help much either. Hopefully Oleneo incorporates this into the final version.

So far out of all the HDR programs that I’ve tested, Oloneo has the most options for controlling color. It also has the ability to add color tint to the shadow and highlights. This is similar to the Gradient Map tool in Photoshop, which I use all the time to add unique color tones to my images. You can see the samples of its’ use in the pier photo and the cityscape image.

There were a few other options in Oloneo that I didn’t understand and couldn’t get to work, HDR ReLight and HDR DeNoise. Maybe these options are still unavailable in the beta version. They look pretty interesting, I guess I’m going to have to wait to find out.

Even though it’s in Beta, I highly recommend trying this software. I like it because of the real time preview that Oloneo has to offer. That and Oloneo’s ability to produce very photo realistic images. I can’t wait until the final release to see what features they will incorporate. Oleneo has the ability to be the top HDR software pick, but until the final release you’ll have to wait and see.

7 thoughts on “Oloneo HDR Software Review

  1. Jamil Malek

    This sounds promising Capt. As I am not ‘au fait’ with photoshop this package may compensate for some of the photoshops effects that can be created in PS. Great work BTW in the comparisons.

    Reply
  2. zts

    Very nice review, Kimo. Not sure if you heard for SNS-HDR, but possibly deserves your quick review. To me it looks OK for realistic hdr, but for some reason I was getting too much noise on almost every setting i’ve tried.

    BTW, a few days ago purchased and am enjoying your hdr Photoshop Actions – great stuff. Looking forward to your hdr portrait/people PS actions.

    Reply
  3. hickdawg

    Great job scoping out the new and improved software. I got to say, I’ve tried quite a few that you’ve suggested and I absolutely love this one. No waiting while messing around! You are soooo right, its instant gratification! Im loving this program and cant wait to see what the final product was. Ive been uncommitted to spending a lot of money on a program, but I might actually invest in this one. Thanks again and keep up the excellent work Kimo.

    Reply
  4. Jamil Malek

    An update .. I downloaded Oloneo (Beta) after your +ve review and man is this good and user friendly. I am loving it. When it does come out I most probably will take the plunge and purchase. With Oloneo I have so far transformed rather dull, mundane photos into somethong that is worthy of being printed and shown off to people.

    Reply
  5. HBMcC

    I’ve been looking for reviews for Oloneo, and so far, you are the only one to have reviewed–that I find–the beta. The program was released yesterday. I am anxious to see your impressions of the “final”, release version.

    Oh, I found your site during an effort to understand HDR. You have my full attention. Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Bill in WA

    A great review… I just began getting deeply into HDR this past year. I do a great deal of scenic/sunset/seashore/mountain photography and lean towards photo-realistic accents rather than the “artistic”.

    I own Photomatic and have tried Efex and HDR Expose. I can say, without reservation, that the newly released full version of Oloneo is by far and away the best program for my needs. HDR Expose comes in at 2nd. I love the results!

    The processing speed is fantastic, the user interface is straightforward and the output is as real as you want it to be. It simply can add just that bit of depth and color that one always strives for. Ghosting is virtually non-existent, the pre-sets are a great place to start from and you can go from subtle changes to the “far out”.

    HDR Re-Light and De-Noise (included in program) also work very well but would take a good deal of space to describe.

    I love the program and would urge anyone who has not given it a try to do so. Well worth the time and, if you purchase it, the money.

    Reply
  7. Rachael Towne

    I am quite enthralled with the Oloneo HDr software. While I still love Photomatix for the more surreal HDR look, I recently found myself wishing for a naturalistic result. Somebody from my Facebook HDR group recommended this software and I instantly fell in love with it.

    Reply

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