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Zoner Photo Studio Spring Update Includes True HDR Image Editing

Zoner Photo Studio X has introduced a spring update that promises “the world’s best HDR photo editing” and other features for the photo platform.

According to Zoner,

“The Zoner Photo Studio team is among the first in the world to introduce full support for true HDR photo editing,”

Jan Kupcik, Photo Studio product manager also elaborates on the effort put into this by the team at Zoner,

“During development, we spent hundreds of hours testing various HDR displays to ensure that the resulting HDR photos and, more importantly, the results themselves are as good as possible,”

With the effort for “true” HDR editing integration, Zoner Photo Studio X promises to be “among the first photo editing software to include HDR”.

The company adds, “this includes the most comprehensive support for HDR formats and the highest comfort for editing HDR photos. All properly tested on dozens of different monitors supporting HDR.”

With Zoner’s spring update, users of the software app will be able to use the full, real high dynamic range of any modern, HDR-supporting monitors they have to develop HDR in their photos to its highest level of quality.

As the company explains, the RAW files captured by many modern cameras contain enough data for HDR photo editing workflows, but need the right software and monitor to really express this visual quality.

Zoner’s new technology helps photographers take advantage of this by replacing traditional tone-mapping and exposure bracketing-based HDR techniques that only emulate HDR, according to the company.

Users will however have to carefully calibrate their HDR monitors and ZPS X itself before using the software at its most effective.

During development of their HDR workflow updates, the Zoner team says that it tested dozens of HDR-capable monitors for the sake of calibration and workflow.

According to the Zoner team, their favorite choice was the Innocn 32M2V-B mini-LED 4K monitor, which is priced at $800.

However, they add that their ZPS X software should work well with any complete HDR monitor.

The range of HDR-related and visual features and improvements in Zoner Photo Studio includes the following:

  • Saving to various formats like JPEG, AVIF and JPEG XL (JPEG allows the use of gain maps while AVIF and JPEG XL are HDR only).
  • Support for gain maps so users without HDR monitors will correctly see your HDR edits
  • Full control over what people will see either on HDR or SDR monitors
  • New Develop module effects
  • Halation – For giving photos a retro feel. This lets users add a subtle glow around objects.
  • New, finer 3D grain for adjusting the smoothness and intensity of added grain and mimicking analog photography.

Furthermore, with Zoner, users can save both their SDR and HDR data in a single image file. This lets them work with HDR on monitors capable of the format, or using standard monitors and apps with the SDR versions of their photos.

Other improvements included in the spring update for ZPS X include chromatic aberration removal.

Their software now features a tool for removing color fringing around the sharp edges of high-contrast objects and the developers add that “this makes chromatic aberration removal in ZPS X complete.”

Zoner now also features Effect 3D LUT for easily creating an ideal look in photos.

The process for doing this has also been made simple by letting a user select a Color Style photo (input 3D LUT), edit it, and then “spice up” the photo with a 3D LUT of their choice via output 3D LUT.)

Another improvement for ZPS X is a new Reject function for getting rid of bad photos in batches. With this, users can mark unwanted images with an X and delete them in batches.

Furthermore, the software includes six times more transition effects for videos, bringing the total to 36 effects, and a new timestamp feature for marking key moments in a video sequence. This latter improvement lets users add color labels and even captions.

The app also offers broadened native support for a wider range of cameras and lenses. These include the following:

  • Canon EOS R100 and EOS R10,
  • Nikon Z8,
  • Sony a9 III and a6700,
  • ujifilm X-S20 and X-H2,
  • Panasonic G9 II and S1H,
  • OM System OM-1 Mark II and OM-5

Zoner also offer support for a range of other cameras and related devices, which you can see fully listed here.

Existing users of Zoner Photo Studio X can make use of the above updates already and new users can give them a spin through a 7-day free trial through Zoner’s website. It’s worth noting here that Zoner only works with Windows machines and isn’t yet available for Mac or Linux.

Right now, Zoner Photo Studio X is available as a subscription service for a starting price of $5.99 per month or $59 per year. The company website offers a further breakdown of plans and pricing here.

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