Aurora HDR 2018 Coming Soon for Mac & Windows

I am excited to announce some awesome news – Macphun’s Aurora HDR will be upgraded later this year AND it will be available for Window’s users for the first time ever!! Aurora HDR has been my go-to HDR program since it first came out and it is so much better than any other HDR programs available. And now Windows users will be able to get their hands on this powerful software.

Aurora HDR 2018 is coming in September. You will be able to pre-order it on September 12 and it will be available on September 28. Get more info from Macphun here and read the announcement on Macphun’s blog here.

Aurora HDR 2018

Here are the Details on Pricing:

Mixed-computer households can share the same product key for Mac and PC that can be activated on 5 devices.

Pre-order:

  • Current users of Aurora HDR may upgrade at a special pre-order price of $49
  • New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 at a special pre-order price of $89
  • A collection of bonuses will also be included with every purchase.

Retail price:

  • $59 for current Aurora HDR users
  • $99 for new users

Great looking interface more in-line with Luminar.

What’s New?

In addition to Aurora now being available for PC’s, here is some other highlights of the upgrade.

  • Lens Correction Tool – The new Lens correction filter easily fixes all kinds of lens distortion, from barrel to pincushion, to chromatic aberration and vignetting. Based on the screenshots I have seen, there are no lens profiles to choose from based on your particular lens. Corrections are done manually yourself via the sliders.

    New Lens Correction Tool for Aurora HDR 2018

  • New User Interface – Redesigned from scratch, the modern and responsive user interface brings a powerful, yet joyful experience to HDR photo editing. This new interface looks great and brings the UI much closer to that of Luminar.
  • Cross-platform version – Aurora HDR 2018 will be available both for Mac and PC users. Files are interchangeable and mixed-computer households can share the same product key.
  • Speed Improvements – Up to 4x improvement in RAW image processing, and up to 200% faster merging and masking performance means that Aurora HDR 2018 is dramatically faster than the last version. 

This is what is currently publicly listed as what’s new. There might be some more enhancements coming – we shall see soon.

With the new UI comes a new look for some of the Filters.

My Observations

I will be getting my hands on an early beta release very soon and will then have a better handle on the improvements. But based on the screenshots I have seen I can make some initial observations.

For the Windows Users: Your time has come. You are now going to be able to use the best HDR program available. Perfect for both natural and more artistic HDR photos, you will be amazed at the toolset and options now available for you. It is much more advanced than any other HDR program out there. And it even does a great job on single exposure images!

Get on the list for the new Aurora HDR 2018!

Here are some highlights of Aurora HDR:

  • Total HDR editing experience with the most complete set of tools available.
  • Fast, powerful RAW processing engine.
  • Tone-mapping algorithm to achieve both realistic and dramatic HDR images.
  • Over 70 presets that give photos an amazing HDR look in just one click.
  • Luminosity masking that automatically makes advanced selections within HDR images based on the Zone System.
  • Unique layer system that supports blend modes, custom textures and using original exposures as source images.
  • Image Radiance, brushes, masks, lighting, vignettes and much more help users achieve their artistic vision
  • Highly versatile batch processing
  • Works as a standalone app, or a plug-in to Photoshop and Lightroom

Lens Correction now available in Aurora HDR 2018

For the Mac Users: For an upgrade price of just $49 dollars you are getting the latest and greatest version of Aurora HDR with a completely new user interface that comes closer to matching Luminar, there is a new Lens Correction Tool, your registration key will also work on a Windows computer if you have one, and you will enjoy much welcomed speed improvements.

The lens correction tool is definitely going to be helpful, eliminating the need of other software to make lens adjustments. And based on the screenshots of the new UI it looks like there will be some interesting workflow enhancements that I will be discussing more once I get a chance to use the program.

“Is it worth upgrading?” “Why do I have to spend money for an upgrade already?” “Am I going to have to pay each year for an upgrade?”

Every time a new upgrade comes out I see these same questions and also complaints. Photographers always appreciate new features, but don’t always like paying for them. The way most photo software companies are now operating are via a monthly subscription or a yearly upgrade cycle. Macphun for the last few years has decided to go the yearly upgrade cycle, meaning they spend a year making enhancements and adding features to their software and offering the upgrade at a special reduced price for previous owners.

I don’t understand why photographers complain about this. Often they reference Photomatix (a very popular HDR program) when complaining, mentioning that their recently released v6 upgrade was free for v5 users. They fail to mention however that they had to wait some 5 or 6 years for the upgrade… Personally I would rather pay a small upgrade fee each year for new features and enhancements to make my photos look even better than to wait years for such upgrades.

Lastly these upgrades are not mandatory.  You can still use Aurora 2017 and wait for Aurora 2019. But you will miss out on the new features of Aurora 2018 while you wait 😉

And why wait? Be notified when the pre-order and launch begins by signing up to Macphuns announcement list here.

Will I Have a New Mastering Aurora 2018 Online Course?

You bet!! The plan is to have it available on or around the release date of Aurora HDR 2018. Want to be added to my pre-order list for my course? Let me know by filling out this form:

Join the Pre-Order List

My upcoming Mastering Aurora HDR 2018 Online Course will be available when Aurora 2018 ships. Join my Pre-Order list now for special savings! You will be able to pre-order my course in September.

Thanks for joining my pre-order list. I will be in touch with you soon!

 

Comments

  1. john scratchley

    Looking forward to the upgrades for my Mac.
    John

    1. Matt Suess Post author

      Me too John. And there just might be a couple more enhancements coming our way with the upgrade that hasn’t been publicly mentioned yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that they make it into the September release 🙂

  2. Mike Malandra

    Very excited about this!!!!

  3. Mike Wallace

    Will the presets that you and others created and the ones I created in Aurora HDR 2017 be portable to Aurora HDR 2018. That was not the case for Aurora HDR to Aurora HDR 2017. Could be a deal breaker. I had to keep both versions. Not good

    1. Matt Suess Post author

      Too soon to tell Mike. It’s important to understand something though in regards to the presets between the original Aurora and v2017. They made some big changes to the way photos were tone mapped and also made improvements to some of the filters too. Even if they somehow did make the presets compatible, chances are that the presets would give completely different results between the 2 programs or in some cases not even work. Presets are made based on specific slider adjustments – if that slider doesn’t exist anymore in a new version, or the algorithm is different for it, the preset either won’t work or won’t look the same.

  4. Mike Wallace

    Thank Matt, appreciate the explanation, very informanitive

  5. paul guertin

    Hi Matt- Very happy about the lens distortion feature. I do a fair amount of city scapes and distortion can be a big problem. My big question has to do with saving raw/tiff photos in either HDR aurora, or HDR aurora 2017. I’m thinking the problem will remain in Aurora HDR 2018; and that is photos processed in Aurora HDR, for instance, cannot be opened in Aurora HDR 2017 or visa versa. So I guess that means that an upgrade in Aurora HDR 2017 cannot be used in Aurora HDR unless I start from the beginning and import the image from photos. Is there any way around this? Many thanks. Paul

    1. Matt Suess Post author

      Hi Paul – the same answer I gave to Mike above regarding presets would be the same for saving your work in the proprietary .mpaur file. If they add/remove sliders and change algorithms to sliders, how could they make .mpaur files and presets compatible between major new releases of the software? My guess – and this is just a guess as I don’t have my hands on the v2018 beta just yet – is that the .mpaur files from 2017 will not be compatible with the v2018 files if they make changes again to the sliders. We will find out soon enough. And if that is so, keep v2017 around for your old files you worked on and use v2018 for the new brackets.

  6. Mike Beckworth

    Hi Matt! What makes this worth the purchase as Lightroom also does HDR and allows for presets. From what I am seeing in this article there is not much difference. Maybe you can tell me what makes this better for HDR.

    1. Matt Suess Post author

      Hi Mike. Lightroom is honestly terrible at HDR. I can get pretty much the same results in LR by using the middle exposure bracket and cranking up the highlights and shadows slider. Aurora HDR is 100% designed for exposure brackets. The HDR in LR is really just an afterthought. You can’t even compare the 2 programs for HDR images – it’s not a fair fight. Oh, and did I mention that Aurora supports Layers? Something LR doesn’t, for one…

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