HDR Darkroom Review

Use the code HDRsoftware15 for 15% off HDR Darkroom!

Order HDR Darkroom or HDR Photo Pro

We recently picked up HDR Darkroom and really weren't sure what to expect.  In an HDR world where a combination of Photomatix and Photoshop reign supreme, I was definitely curious to see how some of the lesser known HDR products would hold up against the more well known pieces of software.

The verdict? Well, it depends on what you're looking for.

First I'd like to start out with a few caveats about this software. Everimaging has two main HDR products HDR Photo Pro and HDR Darkroom, this is a review of the latter, which isn't as full featured as it's older brother.  So, why not review the most direct competitor to programs like Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro? Well, the truth is simply because it isn't out yet for a Mac!  Everyone here at HDRsoftware.com either uses a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air – so until they come out with a new version of Photo Pro, this is the review you get 🙂

Ok, now that that's out of the way, on to the review.

Initial Thoughts

Upon opening HDR Darkroom up, I found the interface to be very simple and user friendly.  Both Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro – and especially Photoshop, can be slightly overwhelming if you've never used them before, and HDR Darkroom was extremely straight forward.

For my first photo I tried to process three RAW images and even though it said RAW processing was in it's capabilities, I had trouble getting it to work (this very well could have been my own incompetence). That said, I converted the files over to jpegs, and then everything worked like a charm.

It became clear that this was in a way the “lazy mans” HDR software – which can definitely be a good thing.  I say this because the images loaded very quickly, and from there the options were fairly basic, which in essence leaves you with a finished HDR image pretty quickly.

That said, due to it's simplicity, you don't have nearly the control over the images as you do in Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro.

There are no visual presets to speak of, but most of the expected HDR sliders were there such as strength, brightness, saturation, and white/black clip levels.


While I wasn't blown away with the results from HDR Darkroom I did find them to be perfectly acceptable, and for many people who value speed and simplicity over endless customization, this may very well be the program for you.

As you can see in the image comparison, you tend to get slightly more detail out of the Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro shots, but there were also reduced halos around some of the buildings in HDR Darkroom.

Comparison between HDR Efex Pro, Photomatix and HDR Darkroom

Notice how HDR Darkroom has less detail, but also reduced halos

It's also a bit tough to get creative with a wide variety of image styles in HDR Darkroom.

While I think this software is decent, I personally prefer having a multitude of presets available that I can tweak (see HDR Efex Pro), and that's definitely where it lacks.  I'd say it's most direct comparison would be to Photomatix Light.  That said, I'm really excited for Everimaging to release the Mac version of HDR Photo Pro, as it sounds like many of the features available in that program make up for much of what is lacking from Darkroom.


For the right type of photographer I think HDR Darkroom could be an excellent choice. I like Photomatix 4 for it's latest ghost reduction capabilities and because it's the industry standard.  I like HDR Efex Pro for it's assortment of presets and custom abilities, and I like HDR Darkroom for its simplicity and speed.  What software is best for you really depends on what your goals are.

Use the code HDRsoftware15 for 15% off HDR Darkroom!

Order HDR Darkroom or HDR Photo Pro


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