This page is a directory to all kinds of software with HDR capabilities.
Programs are grouped by common tasks and sorted alphabetically. Check the HDRI Handbook 2.0 for more detailed reviews. The book also explains the most interesting programs in practical tutorials. The rating on this page, however, is based on popularity. Flip the switch to add your vote (only one flip per day).

Download Page

Popular Vote

Viewer and Thumbnail Browsers

Thumbnail browser specifically made for HDR images. Supports all standard HDR formats: can create, analyze, calibrate, crop, rotate and resize HDRIs. Also some basic tonemapping capabilities. Downside: Not very fast and rather unstable with large images.
PC, Mac, Linux | Free | semi-active
Windows extension for system-wide support of OpenEXR files, Radiance HDR, and a flurry of RAW formats. they show up as thumbnails in Explorer and every Microsoft program can display these images. This codec pack is essential for working with HDR files in Windows.
PC | $15 | active
The golden oldie! Lightweight viewer for Radiance(.hdr), floating point TIFF(.tif) and (.pfm) files. Launches immediately, and lets you tap through exposures with +/- keys.
PC | Free | stalled
HDR Thumbnail Browser with display mapping capabilites. The only app supporting every single HDR file format. HDR Combination works with absolute luminance calibration, hence suitable for analytical applications.
Mac | Free | semi-active
Excellent everyday thumbnail browser. Can deal with Radiance and OpenEXR files, althoug not perform any display mapping. But it's packed with tons of general-purpose features. Batch-Renaming, Lossless JPEG transformations and the like.
Mac, PC, Linux | Free | semi-active

HDR Utilities and Tonemappers

30% OFF

with code
Combines exposures to an HDRI with semi-manual ghostbusting (painting garbage masks), and a unique pin-warping aligment. Sports 6 different tonemappers and slick little curve/color controls to tweak the output right away. Super-polished interface and integrated help.
PC, Mac | $55 | active
Not only easy to use, but also extremely powerful. Intuitive interface, excellent ghost reduction, fine-grained toning settings, batch processing, color management, 360 option. It has everything. EasyHDR holds its ground compared to much more expensive programs.
PC, Mac | Home: $39, Commercial: $55 | active

30% OFF

with code
Formerly known as project Wukong, Essential HDR sports the Detail Revealer tonemapper. Almost too easy to use, but quality-wise it is cutting edge in avoiding halo artifacts.
PC | $70 | stalled

15% OFF

with code
HDR Combination with a unique histogram slicing mode to manually fight those pesky ghosts. The Advanced version allows extreme amounts of detail extratction by using frequency curves. Not the easiest to learn, but insanely powerful.
Mac, PC | Basic: Free, Advanced: $72 | active

50% OFF

with code
Very streamlined interface, with RGB histogram and sliders right in the docked sidebar. One global and two local tonemappers, which are claimed to make photo-realistic and surreal results very easy. The best: student license is heavily discounted.
Mac, PC | $79, students: $29 | stalled

15% OFF

with code
Nik Software's powerhouse for creative tonemapping. Control points allow locally targeted adjustments, which opens a whole new world of artistic control. Designed as plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge, but can be tricked to run standalone.
Mac, PC | $99 | active

30% OFF

with code
Offers an exclusive set of HDR editing tools: White Balance, Color Tuning, Tint, Noise Reduction - all in full 32 bit. Tonemapping is done with powerful Local Contrast and Shadow/Highlight tools, in a WYSIWYG workflow. Highly recommended app for serious HDR pros.
Mac, PC | $150 | active

20% OFF

with code
The small brother of HDR Expose. Runs on the same high-qualiity engine, but stripped down to the essential controls. Very easy to pick up, recommended for beginners, lightning fast and interactive. Delivers crisp and clean tonemapping results.
Mac, PC | $100 | active

15% OFF

with code
HDRMAX comes in a very professional outfit and fits right in with Adobe's Creative Suite. Tonemapping is powerful, simple to use, and pretty halo-resistant. OpenEXR support is deeply missed, but it has powerful post adjustments and batch HDR generation.
Mac, PC | $130 | stalled
The godfather of all HDR utilities. HDR Combination is very dated, and it does tone mapping only via Plugins. But it has a good amount of editing capabilites, that still make it the swiss army knife in HDR. Development on HDRShop has stalled, though.
PC | v1: Free, v2: $400, v3:$199 | stalled

30% OFF

with code
Hydra has by far the flashiest interface, a 101% Mac-App. Tight integration with iPhoto, even comes with an Aperture plugin version included. Unique strength is the alignment feature, that will morph and warp each exposure into place based on control points.
Mac | $60 | active

25% OFF

with code
HDR/tonemapper with excellent quality, great automatic ghost removal, and plenty of styling controls. Feedback is exceptionally fast. Included is a unique Relighting module, plus Image Stacking for noise removal. Not all modules support 32-bit, though.
PC | $149 | active

30% OFF

with code
HDR Combination and Tonemapping, very user-friendly hence recommended for beginners. Best-in-class ghost removal, RAW decoding with CA correction, and batch processing. Integrates nicely with Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture.
Mac, PC | free Trial with watermarking, $99 | active
Free HDR utility, making HDR imaging accessible for everyone. Highly configurable HDR merger and superfast tonemapper. Runs HDRShop plugins and performs basic conversion tasks. Includes open-source SDK for aspiring coders...
PC | Free | active
pfsTools is the equivalent to PanoTools in the HDR world: a powerful suite of commandline utilities. And Luminance (formerly called QTpfsGui) is a user interface for pfsTools. Plenty of tonemappers for free, although not much interactive feedback.
Mac, PC, Linux | Free, Open Source | active

30% OFF

by clicking here
Photographic tonemapping / Exposure Fusion with enormous control over colors and highlights. Streamlined realtime interface, with a Series processing mode (like Batch processing, but pauses to let you adjust settings).
PC | $118 | active
Remote control software for shooting with a tethered DSLR (or multiples DSLRs). Smartshooter is scriptable and can extremely wide bracketing sequence. Integrates with Picturenaut to immediately generate HDR images.
Mac, PC | $50 | active
Remote control software, only for the Mac + Nikon combo. Sports a gorgeous interface and direct HDR generation after shooting exposure brackets. See an example video.
Mac | Free | semi-active

Paint Packages

Full package, including Thumbnail Browser and Album Generator and everything. Includes plenty of tone-mappers and can apply them all on the fly as display mapping. Really elaborate featureset, although not everything works reliably in HDR mode.
PC | $55 | active
Formerly known as Film Gimp, and recently reborn as (and in) Glasgow. This one had a tough life already, ever since it split from the GIMP family to become a movie star. Features a very comprehensive color management system, and has a complete set of HDR painting tools.
Mac, Linux | free | stalled
Full 32-bit editing and painting capabilities since 2002, in the latest version 7 even with curve adjustments. Based on a unique workflow, where filters and adjustments are painted on. Includes direct HDR capturing from a tethered camera.
PC, Linux | $399 | stalled
The king. Has gained quite some weight over the time. Since CS5 the HDR Layers and HDR paint tools are no longer exclusive to the Extended edition. Tonemapping is surprisingly crappy, but extendible via Plugins. Leader in stability and handling big files.
Mac, PC | Basic $699, Extended $999 | active

Panorama Software

15% OFF

with code
Everything is automatic here, not even the exposure brackets have to be sorted. You just give it a folder and it spits out any pano it can stitch. Works often great, but sometimes makes funny choices. Supports Fisheye and plays well with 64-bit Windows.
Mac, PC, Linux | $146 | active

15% OFF

with code
The super-deluxe version of Autopano. Has additional templating abilities for a more streamlined workflow. Also includes Autopano Tour for conveniently linking panos with hotspots and generating a professional virtual tour website.
Mac, PC, Linux | $294 | active

10% OFF

with code
Completely unique application for creating HDR panos suitable for 3d lighting out of thin air. Set light intensity in Watts, move and scale softboxes in spherical space, with realtime preview and mental ray import. Highly recommended for designers and 3d viz artists.
PC, Mac, Linux | $499 | active
Community-driven stitcher, that carries on the tradition of PanoTools in the Open Source domain. Can stitch HDR segments, supports fisheyes and a huge amount of fun pano projections. Soon to step up to a modern one-step workflow from LDR bracketed segments to HDR panorama.
Mac, PC, Linux | Free, Open Source | active and buzzing
Authoring utility for interactive web pano viewers and VR Tours. Also extremely useful as conversion utility between different panoramic formats. Includes a hand patch mode to fix the nadir and works great with OpenEXR images.
Mac, PC, Linux | $88 | active
Leading PanoTools-Frontend, with reliable automatic control point creation and excellent manual tweakability. Fisheye support is a given, and it already sports HDR pano generation directly from the LDR exposure brackets. Even includes a Tonemapping module.
Mac, PC | $203 | active

Plugins

Open Source Tonemapping plugin for After Effects. Includes 9 common tonemapping methods, each parameter can be animated. Fairly slow but very powerful, especially when used in conjunction with After Effect’s excellent built-in color tools and masks.
Mac | free, open source, donations appreciated | active

15% OFF

with code
Enhances OpenEXR support in Lightwave. With EXR Trader you export all your render buffers in a multi-layer OpenEXR. Supports every compression out there, and runs on unlimited renderfarm nodes. A must-have for production work and professional compositing.
Mac, PC | $60 | active

20% OFF

with code
The ultimate filter for Photoshop. The power of Nodes allows the creation of any filter you can imagine. Community-driven effect library with tons of presets. Only Pro edition unlocks full 32-bit support, but rebates are given for sharing presets.
Mac, PC | $299 | active and buzzing
Converting panoramic projections couldn't be easier. Great for retouching HDR panos, and with 150 projection you'll have hours of fun warping and bending your image into crazy perspectives. Or how about printing a cutout globe?
Mac, PC | $54 | active
Tonemapping plugin for After Effects and Premiere Pro. Sports all the detail and tone controls you could wish for, and includes a special mode to postprocess HDR footage taken with a Canon5D and the MagicLantern firmware.
Mac, PC | $149 | active
After Effects plugin for rendering rectangular (normal) views from a spherical panorama. Conveniently uses After Effect's built-in 3D camera, works in 32-bit mode, and integrates very seamlessly. CS6 has such Environment maps built in, but Horizon is still faster. (example).
Mac, PC | $99 | active
Cinema4D plugin for generating light rigs from HDRIs. Can also perform complex mass cloning tasks. Fully compatible with Smart IBL, which is just awesome.
Mac, PC | $39 | active
Photoshop plugin for cinematic look development, processing based on an optical light behavior. Vignetting, Selective Blur, Lens Diffusion, Color Curves, Cross Processing — all together that’s 36 tools, all in full 32-bit mode and super quality. Highly recommended.
Mac, PC | $199 | active
Optional plugin issued by Adobe; enables proper Alpha channel support for EXR files in Photoshop. Instead of applying the Alpha channel as pixel transparency, it will load it as channels. Examples here, and an epic discussion about the problem here. This plugin is not needed in CS6.
Mac, PC | free | stalled

20% OFF

with code
Enhances OpenEXR support in Photoshop. Layers, channels, all compression schemes. ProEXR is the perfect counterpart to EXR Trader, absolutely required for postprocessing 3d renders in Photoshop. ProEXR is so awesome, that the AE version is included in CS4!
Mac, PC | $95 | active

15% OFF

with code
A very unique plugin, that allows using Gigapixel-sized images as texturemap in Lightwave. It works through some kind of tiled EXR image pyramid, which means the renderer only loads the image area it needs. I use it regularly for these crazy Zoom-In-From-Space-Shots.
Mac, PC | $306 | active
An advanced curved motion blur filter, typically used in professional car photography and CGI. The Pro version may be pricey, but can also blur HDR images and spherical panos (very useful to get perfect reflections on CGI car models just right).
Mac, PC | $699 | active

I'm cheap. Show me only free software!