Image stacking

Started Jan 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
zackiedawg
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Re: Image stacking
In reply to saycheese, Jan 26, 2013

saycheese wrote:

When you take 10 shots what are you altering between shots?

You actually aren't altering anything yourself - the 10 frames (or 3, or 200) are with identical settings.  What you're doing is taking advantage of the fact that noise is random - except for hot pixels, noise does not appear in exactly the same spot in every frame.  So by taking multiple frames, you can compare frames and help determine what parts of the photos were the same (no noise) and what parts were different (where noise occurred).  The more frames you take, the more the noise can be found and averaged out through the successive frames.  Moreover, the detail in the scene that had been obscured by noise (say, the lettering on a bottle in a shadow, which in the first frame had several big spots of red and green noise right on top of the letters making them impossible to make out) can be rebuilt - because over a series of 4, 6, 10, or more frames, the noise moves around in each frame to different parts of the letters - by stacking all the multiple shots, eventually most or all parts of the letters are going to be unobscured by noise, and those letters can become cleaner and clearer the more stacking you do.  That's why stacking is technically not just removing noise, but also restoring or rebuilding fine detail normally lost to that noise...or lost to the smearing the camera performs when it applies noise reduction to a single frame to try to get rid of the noise.

Hope that helps!

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Justin
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