updated 11:15 am EDT, Thu March 12, 2009
Hydra 2.1 update
Creaceed has released an update to Hydra, its high dynamic range (HDR) tool for the Mac. Available in stand-alone or Aperture plug-in versions, the software combines as many as 10 different photo exposures to simulate the full light sensitivity of the human eye. Source images do not have to be closely aligned, as a warping algorithm provides necessary compensation.
The v2.1 update introduces a smooth image overlay, which allows users to compare source images and judge tone mapping output. Also new is dual histogram, displaying separate low and high dynamic range views, the former being associated with the current preview image. Preview rendering is now said to be as much as five times faster, particularly when dealing with RAW files; the Aperture plug-in has meanwhile been altered to use 16-bit TIFF rendering, while dropping 32-bit.
Hydra runs only on Mac OS X Leopard and costs $80.