Photoj, I'm sorry, but your reply is at least subjective! I hope that all the talk here on Camera Labs isn't just rubbish! So I don't think that my point of view is anywhere near elitist! What I meant about merging files in auto mode in ps whas that the tone-mapping in ps is way harder than playing with the slides in photomatix! I hope you'll understand what I'm tryin' to do! For that to happen, I prepared 2 HDR images (one obtained in Photomatix and one obtained in Photoshop) with 100% crops from the center of the frame. Both HDRs were obtained merging 3 RAW files (f/11, ISO800, 0.8 3.2 13 seconds exposure times - 0, +/- 2 EV AEB) without fine tweaking!
The HDR images (above using Photomatix Pro 3, bellow using Photoshop CS3)
The HDR crops (100%) from the center of the frame (again, above using Photomatix Pro 3, bellow using Photoshop CS3)
So you see, with none PP made in PS other than HDR merging, PS yields better results, although the one made in Photomatix has more vibrant colours! But the one made in Photomatix lacks detail and presents more noise than the other. On none of them Noise Reduction was not used!!!
So I'm sorry for you all, but I'm just being objective. I posted my reply because I'm using both
imaging softwares and I can make a subjective comparison. I wasnt surprised by Photoj's reply, as it's clear that there's a certain closed community here on CL. But I won't continue on that, because it's off topic!
Alex, as for you, I'll post some of my HDR images in the "Imaging software" forum just to give you some examples of HDRs made in Photoshop.