Oloneo HDR Software Review

Mar 10, 2011 | misc

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.