You can buy or download a plethora of third-party Raw editors and converters to help you make high dynamic range images. If you’re unhappy with your current software and want to try something new, get your hands on one or more of the applications listed in the table.

Third-Party Raw Editors
Name URL Platform(s) Freeware?
ACDSee Pro Win No; free trial
Bibble Mac/Win/Linux No; free trial
BreezeBrowser Pro Win No; free trial
Capture One Mac/Win No; free trial
dcraw Mac/Win/Linux (available at Yes
DxO Optics Pro Mac/Win No; free trial
LightZone Mac/Win No; free trial
RawShooter Win N/A
RawTherapee Win/Linux Yes
SILKYPIX Developer Studio Mac/Win No; free trial
Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is a plug-in that works within Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It is Adobe’s near-universal Raw editor and converter. ACR is very popular and has a clean and professional interface, as shown in this figure. The icons at the top are tools and the three tabs below the histogram are the main editing categories. There’s not much to complain about with ACR.

ACR works differently within Adobe Photoshop Elements than in Photoshop. The Elements version has fewer options, bells, whistles, and doodads. That won’t affect you as much when it comes to preparing Raw images for HDR because, for the most part, you’re after a fairly direct conversion to TIFF.