Zoner Photo Studio Spring Update Adds True HDR Image Editing

Sunlight filters through a misty forest, illuminating trees and casting long shadows. an abstract blue and green logo overlays the scene on the left side.

Zoner Photo Studio X’s spring update promises to bring “the world’s best HDR photo editing” to the Windows-based photography app, alongside other new features and improvements.

“The Zoner Photo Studio team is among the first in the world to introduce full support for true HDR photo editing,” says the Czechian developer. “Starting with the spring update, it is now possible to use the full dynamic range of modern monitors supporting HDR content.”

Many RAW files already include sufficient data for an HDR photo editing workflow, and Zoner Photo Studio’s developers explain that the new technology replaces traditional tone-mapping or exposure bracketing-based HDR workflows, which the company says “only emulate” HDR.

Zoner Photo Studio X allows users to save typical standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) data in a single image, enabling backward compatibility with standard monitors, browsers, and applications.

“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,” says Jan Kupcik, Zoner Photo Studio product manager.

When developing the new HDR workflow, the Zoner Photo Studio team tested “dozens” of HDR-enabled monitors. The company says the best choice it tested is the Innocn 32M2V-B mini-LED 4K monitor, which retails for about $800. However, in general, any full HDR display should work.

Among other new features is improved chromatic aberration removal. While it was already possible to address some optical issues, a tool for removing color fringing is a new addition. This type of chromatic aberration appears around the sharp edges of high-contrast objects, especially those out of focus. “This makes chromatic aberration removal in ZPS X complete,” the developer says.

Answering user requests, the team has also added an effect 3D LUT at the end of the editing process. “Their output is no longer affected by further editing, so they are useful for final color tweaking,” ZPS explains.

The spring update also brings improved keyboard shortcut management, a new “Rejected” rating to help organize large libraries of images, new video transitions and markers for video editing, and new camera and lens support.

Support has been added for the Canon EOS R100 and EOS R10, Nikon Z8, Sony a9 III and a6700, Fujifilm X-S20 and X-H2, Panasonic G9 II and S1H, OM System OM-1 Mark II and OM-5, and “others.”

The Zoner Photo Studio X spring update is available now for current users. New users can download a seven-day free trial directly from the company, even if they have previously tried a free demo of an earlier version of ZPS X.

Zoner Photo Studio X is available through a subscription for new users. Prices start at $5.99 per month or $59 annually. Complete purchasing details are available on Zoner Photo Studio’s website. The photo editing app is only available for Windows.

Image credit: Zoner Photo Studio