HDR software maker Unified Color Technologies has announced version 2 of its HDR Express high dynamic range merge and editing software for Windows and Mac. New features include Image Stacking that automatically groups bracketed exposures and a visual browser that navigates with thumbnail previews. Along with improved de-ghosting algorithms, the software also includes single-click presets and a new slideshow feature. Its native .BEF format can be opened in Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture via a plug-in for further editing. HDR Express 2 is available for an introductory price of $84.00 or $59 for current Unified Color users.

Press Release:

UNIFIED COLOR TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCES HDR EXPRESS™ 2

Enhanced Workflow and Improved Processing Algorithms Make Creating True-Color HDR Images Accessible to Users of All Skill Levels

Belmont, CA – November 5th, 2012– Unified Color Technologies, the experts in high dynamic range imaging (HDR), today announced the launch of HDR Express TM 2. The latest evolution of Unified Color’s true-color HDR software features its most streamlined workflow yet, making it ideal for photo enthusiasts new to HDR. HDR Express 2 has further simplified the HDR photography process to a point that promises users of any skill level first-time success when creating 32-bit color HDR images.

The latest version has further improved on the workflow of its predecessor with several key feature upgrades. With the new image stacking in HDR Express 2, the application automatically arranges, sorts and groups bracketed exposures. A new visual browser allows users to quickly and easily identify images by thumbnails rather than filenames In images with moving subjects, and the new de-ghosting algorithms in HDR Express 2 produce more realistic results. 

In addition to feature improvements and algorithm updates, Unified Color is dedicated to continuing its aggressive commitment to color accuracy. Powered by the company’s Beyond RGBTM color technology, which allows color and brightness channels to be adjusted independently thus preventing the telltale color shifts associated with the HDR grunge–look. Unlike other photo editing software, the new HDR Express 2 features “Adaptive Tone Mapping” algorithms that further improve contrast, color, and detail retention in the highlight areas of large dynamic range images, while also maintaining optimal contrast and color in darker areas of image.

“HDR Express 2, builds upon the user friendly legacy of HDR Express, making the power of our 32-bit color HDR process even more accessible,” said Alfred Zee, CEO of Unified Color Technologies. “The improved features help users of any skill level leverage our core technology to quickly create true-color HDR images that, unlike many other HDR photo editing programs, accurately represent what they originally saw at the time of capture.” 

Additional new features of HDR Express 2 include:

  • Slideshow Feature – Allows users to share JPEG, TIFF and 32-bit BEF files as a full-screen slideshow
  • New Single Click Presets – New preset functionality combines tone mapping and style parameters in a single click

HDR Express 2 can be used as stand-alone HDR software or a plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop®Lightroom® and Apple® ApertureTM. It accepts popular JPEG and TIFF files as well as most of the major manufacturers’ RAW formats. Once the HDR image has been processed users can save the results as an 8-bit or 16-bit TIFF, JPEG, or Unified Color’s native 32-bit BEF format preserving the full dynamic range of the HDR image while maximizing storage compression. 

Pricing and Availability

HDR Express 2 is available immediately for a special introductory price $84through Nov 12, 2012, after which it will be available for the regular price of $99. Current Unified Color customers can upgrade to HDR Express 2 for just $59.

System Requirements

PC: Widows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista (for 20 MP image or larger, 64-bit Windows version is recommended.) 2.0GHz dual core minimum, 2GB RAM (recommend 4GB), 128MB video card memory.

Apple: Intel Macintosh 2.0 GHz dual core CPU with 2GB minimum RAM (4GB is recommended) running Mac OS 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard), Mac OS 10.7.5 (Lion) and now OS 10.8.x (Mountain Lion).