Long Exposure vs. Stacked Exposures: Which produces higher noise?

Started May 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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benelkind
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Long Exposure vs. Stacked Exposures: Which produces higher noise?
May 2, 2012

I have been taking star trail photos using the long exposure method. I usually leave the shutter open for 2-4 hours and then use the in-camera Noise Reduction which takes another 2-4 hours.

My question is this: If I buy an intervalometer and take X number of 20 second exposures over the course of 4 hours will there be higher noise with each successive image due to the cumulative effect of taking that many photos (perhaps the sensor temp increases?) in a row? Or would each new image taken reset the sensor temp (not sure on the correct terminology)?

I'm curious because if I do buy an intervalometer then I won't be able to use the in-camera Noise Reduction because the star trails will have gaps. I usually use ISO 200 for the long exposure, but will probably have to bump it up to ISO 800-1600 for shorter 20s exposures, so I'm wondering if 300 images taken at ISO 1000 will be even more noise than a 4 hour exposure at ISO 200.

Thanks for your help!

Ben

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