An open-source application creates good results for amateur and serious amateur photographers.
Pros & Cons:
Luminance HDR (Qtpfsgui) is an open source project from Source Forge. It would come in second my tests. It produced an acceptable result from the handheld test and good results from default settings. One advantage to Luminance is the thumbnails it creates using the different algorithms available. It makes it easy for a user to pick a thumbnail that they like and then make small adjustments.
However the interface is cryptic and lacking description and documentation that I found was wanting. What does the "Beta" slider do? Most is trial and error and big "reset everything" button would be very helpful after chasing a rabbit down a dark hole. It would also be nice if the preview refreshed itself after making a slider change instead of having to remember to press the "tone map" button every time. And do note that after you have made all your choices, you should change the render size to as large as possible as it has been rendering low res all this time.
I did have a little bit of an issue with the larger render not matching the low-res render. This would be solved by getting in the ballpark at low resolution, moving to medium resolution and tweaking more and then finally rendering at high resolution.
Luminance did create good results with default settings as well as options to fine tune the image making a suitable choice for amateur and serious amateur photographers.
Luminance supports any incoming camera file including RAW formats.
Luminance HDR was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on based on version 2.4.0.