Dear ptgui users, version 8.0 beta3 is now available for download.
I have done some first tests on small panos, and it seems to be much faster than 7.8. This especially shows when opening the images. I have a very fast SCSI320 RAID disk unit and the opening of 70MB Tiffs is much faster now, around 1 second per image (no scientific test though).
The actual pano computation seemed significantly faster also, but I cannot yet size that since I didn't do rigorous comparisons. Twice faster would be my feeling now.
They have also finally added a crop capability that will significantly reduce the size of the files it generates for large panos. This should help people having problems opening 1GB+ images due to hardware limitations.
My tests were done on OS10.4.
Could you answer a question that could save a pano-popping newbie many experiments?
Last Fall I purchased PTGui to stitch and Photomatix Pro to to HDR with the intention of producing HDR panos. At that time, from my reading at least, it appeared that Photomatix Pro was state-of-the-art for HDR. However, I am just now getting around to shooting a few panos to experiment.
So, I updated to the latest PTGui Pro version before diving in. I also updated Photomatix Pro because it was a free update. I noticed that PTGui now provides embedded support for HDRs (and even a layer combining mode that does not require going to HDR). So, I have these questions:
(1) Which produces the highest quality, PTGui Pro using the embedded HDR cabability, or a combination of PTGui Pro and Photomatix?
(2) If a combination, which should be performed first, the stitching or the HDR?
(3) In either case, which produces the highest quality, a tone-mapped HDR or "exposure blending" (in Photomatix parlance)? (Note that Photomatix "punts" on this question by advising to experiment with both).
(4) Or, would it be better to use Guillermo's "Zero Noise" software for the dynamic range portion of the effort? (I have done a few HDRs and blends with Photomatix Pro, and the results seem to be pretty noisy.)
I would appreciate comments from anyone who has experimented with these software tools and can compare the results.