Real HDR support in Lightroom 4.1 RC2

Finally! A footnote on John Nack's blog tipped me off: The next Lightroom update can process real 32-bit TIFF images! Of course I had to put it to the test right away...

Highslide JS

Toning real HDR files in Lightroom needs some extreme slider settings.

This is my regular test image, with a vast dynamic range of more than 18 EVs. The result isn't bad at all, compared with the original and a few other tonemappers on the RealHDR page. I had to drag all the adjustment sliders to the full extreme, which is a sure sign that Lightroom is technically built to handle about as much dynamic range as you can expect in a single RAW file (current record is 14.4 EVs, held by the Nikon D800). Still, I'm pleasantly surprised how natural and free of artifacts the image turned out.

Download Lightroom 4.1RC and see for yourself.

Keep it coming, Adobe!
The next step should certainly be OpenEXR support. Full-on 32-bit TIFFs are annoyingly huge for no good reason. Seriously! For the image above it's 120 MB versus 30 MB in EXR, with absolutely no quality difference.

PS: According to ancient tradition I released a brand new sIBL-of-the-month. This time it's a Renaissance Cemetery, spiced up with an extra dose of cinematic mood.
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