The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions
mpgxsvcd
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The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
Feb 25, 2013

Panasonic has not said anything about the RAW stacking capabilities the GH3 has. In fact I didn’t even know it had it until I first got mine. However, I had a chance last night to really play around with it for Astro Photography.

Simply put. The in camera HDR and stacking could be game changers. The GH3 already beats every single APS-C camera on DXO mark Canon makes. Canon has been the defacto camera for AP for many years.

Here are some images and videos I took last night while the full moon was out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJFaw-burCI

The in camera RAW stacking that the GH3 offers could finally allow us to get impressive images in camera and without ever hooking up a computer to the scope. For me that is essential.

The big issue is that you simply must guide the scope. Trying to do it with tracking alone won’t work. Right now I can’t afford to guide so I did some testing with brighter objects.

Below is a single image that was produced in camera by stacking many RAW images from different areas of space together. The only thing I edited was that some of the stars show through the moon. However, I have posted the original out of camera RAW file if you want to play with it.



In camera RAW Stacking

I took the image of Orion first and then stacked four quick exposures of the moon over it. It is really easy because the GH3 shows you the original RAW image with the live view super imposed over it.



Here is another image where I stacked the moon together in five separate exposures.



If I get enough money to guide then I will try stacking the same object over and over again on top of its self to reduce noise and to also reduce the effects of light pollution.

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BingoCharlie
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Your first image is just spectacular.

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Just Having Fun
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Thsoe pics are totally awesome
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Wow, I love that first one.

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to BingoCharlie, Feb 25, 2013

BingoCharlie wrote:

Your first image is just spectacular.

What is really crazy is that I can produce that image in camera. You could never get the moon and Orion in a single exposure because their brightnesses are so different. Let alone the fact that I don't think they ever cross paths where I am.

The GH3 and OMD are SOOOOO much better for AP than the Canon APS-C cameras are but nobody knows it because Panasonic doesn't advertise.

I hope that the dpreview review will touch on this a bit.

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Another cool thing is that I now have the RAW images saved on a memory card. When the moon is not out I will be able to super impose a much better picture of Orion on top of the moon.

Does anyone know what cluster is in the lower right corner of the image? Also what star is out of place in that image?

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Here are some of the RAW files if you want to play around with them and the RAW Stacking mode.

RAW GH3 files

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

This single exposure Moon image turned out ok as well.



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gtravis
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Your pictures are wonderful.  As another 4/3rds afficionado who is experimenting with his GH3 and OMD for AP, I wonder if you could share a bit about your technique, equipment, etc.

I got my feet wet with a 4" sct on a marginal mount but should very soon (hopefully) have an 8" on a much better mount.  In particular, how do you attach the camera to the telescope (I assume a T connector) -- I am more interested in how you control the image size on the sensor?  My 4" has an 800mm focal length and the moon just about fully fills the sensor.  I am worried about it overflowing on my 2000mm 8" (and have a focal reducer on order just in case).

How do you do your RAW stacking in camera?  I remember something in the GH3 manual about being able to take multiple images to the same RAW file, is that it?  And how do you control for overexposure or does the camera do that for you?

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to gtravis, Feb 25, 2013

gtravis wrote:

Your pictures are wonderful. As another 4/3rds afficionado who is experimenting with his GH3 and OMD for AP, I wonder if you could share a bit about your technique, equipment, etc.

I got my feet wet with a 4" sct on a marginal mount but should very soon (hopefully) have an 8" on a much better mount. In particular, how do you attach the camera to the telescope (I assume a T connector) -- I am more interested in how you control the image size on the sensor? My 4" has an 800mm focal length and the moon just about fully fills the sensor. I am worried about it overflowing on my 2000mm 8" (and have a focal reducer on order just in case).

How do you do your RAW stacking in camera? I remember something in the GH3 manual about being able to take multiple images to the same RAW file, is that it? And how do you control for overexposure or does the camera do that for you?

Can you cancel what you have ordered? I would. The focal reducer won’t work right with a larger sensor. You can crop to the center and the coma won’t be bad. However, you will lose too much of the image.

I am finally finishing up my AP tutorial. I know it took way too long but I wanted to get it right.

The bottom line is that an 8 inch 800mm F4.0 scope is the best match for micro four thirds. It just gets the full moon in a 16:9 frame with the GH3 and all other non “multi-aspect ratio sensor” cameras.

I would get the new Celestron VX mount or find a used CG-5.

An SCT scope is great for the moon and planets. However, it will be difficult to use it for deep space objects without guiding. I simply can’t stand to have cables all over my mount and I don’t want to bring a laptop out with me so guiding is out for me.

Have a look at the Astro Tech AT8IN Newtonian. That is what I use and it is simply a steal at less than $600 with the coma corrector(Essential).

http://www.highpointscientific.com/product/ATN-AT8IN/Astro-Tech-Imaging-Newtonian--Astro-Tech-8-Imaging-Newtonian--Imaging-Newtonian.html

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gtravis
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Thanks, what I have on order is a VX mount and an 8" EdgeHD.  I'll keep them on order as I want to use the EdgeHD for deep space as well as planetary imaging, particularly Jupiter and Saturn which should fill the m4/3rds sensor quite nicely without the focal reducer.  I can also turn the EdgeHD into a f2 800mm with the hyper star.

For the meantime, I'll use my 4" MCT for the moon, but mounted on the VX mount which should help with stability and thus my ability to focus.  In the not-too-distant future I'll consider picking up a refractor to put on the VX.

Eventually I'll go with guiding on the VX mount but don't plan on any long-exposure deep-space AP for a few months at least.

So are you mounting your GH3 on a refractor?

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to gtravis, Feb 25, 2013

I am not saying that m4/3s with an SCT won’t work. However, it sounds like it will be more difficult than you think. The hyper star is great. However, it requires that the camera be mounted infront of the scope instead of behind it, right?

Won’t the camera block almost all of the light coming in? At $1200 the hyperstar could be a very expensive gamble.

Also you can always do a panoramic of the moon if your focal ratio is too long to get the whole moon in a single image. That actually works very well.

The only scope I own is the AT8IN. The 800mm focal length is ideal for m4/3s. I also have a 5x teleconverter that works great for the planets.

If you haven’t looked at a Newtonian for AP then it might be worth looking at. They are inexpensive and offer the fast focal ratios that are really required if you are not guiding.

You will get bored of the planets and the moon really quickly. You are much better to have a scope that can do DSOs well and modify it to handle the moon and planets instead of the other way around.

I think my entire setup(Scope, Mount, Coma corrector) costs the same as your 8 inch Edge HD will. In the end it sounds like you are going to end up with imaging at about the same focal length and focal ratio. So why not get a scope that has those specs natively?

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

It doesn't sound like a HyperStar will work with an 8 inch scope and the GH3(Too big of an obstruction). It would probably work with the OMD though.

http://starizona.com/acb/hyperstar/whatis.aspx

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Elemental Photography
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Wow!
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Very cool images, nicely done!  I hadn't heard of the GH3's stacking feature, I'll definitely be playing with it when mine arrives.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

It is a great feature. the first picture you showed resulted very well. The amazing is that noise is hardly seen.

And it is very practical to have it on camera.


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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Send a feedback to Dpreview telling.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

mpgxsvcd wrote:

BingoCharlie wrote:

Your first image is just spectacular.

What is really crazy is that I can produce that image in camera. You could never get the moon and Orion in a single exposure because their brightnesses are so different. Let alone the fact that I don't think they ever cross paths where I am.

The GH3 and OMD are SOOOOO much better for AP than the Canon APS-C cameras are but nobody knows it because Panasonic doesn't advertise.

I hope that the dpreview review will touch on this a bit.

Send a feedback to Dpreview telling them about the feature, and maybe on the full review they speak more extensively about this feature.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Send a feedback to Dpreview telling.
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Feb 25, 2013

Aleo Veuliah wrote:


What is really crazy is that I can produce that image in camera. You could never get the moon and Orion in a single exposure because their brightnesses are so different. Let alone the fact that I don't think they ever cross paths where I am.

The GH3 and OMD are SOOOOO much better for AP than the Canon APS-C cameras are but nobody knows it because Panasonic doesn't advertise.

I hope that the dpreview review will touch on this a bit.


Will do.

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Just Having Fun
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Serious?
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

I mean Sirius. 

I think that is the dog star.  Brightest star in the sky.

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NumberOne
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Re: The GH3 has hidden Gems! RAW stacking in camera.
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Feb 25, 2013

Thank you so much for the valued posted information - Much appreciated!

...And the excellent pictures, I dare say...

Best regards,
Pedro

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Serious?
In reply to Just Having Fun, Feb 25, 2013

Just Having Fun wrote:

I mean Sirius.

I think that is the dog star. Brightest star in the sky.

Yup. That is the star that is out of place. Now what is the cluster in the lower right. I actually don't know myself. I just skipped through the list of messier objects and started combing them.

I really want to try to stack like 15-20 messier objects in one shot. I think this would be an interesting way to record a messier marathon.

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toxotis700
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Re: Serious?
In reply to Just Having Fun, Feb 25, 2013

can you tell me how did you stack them ?

I have gh3 and i cant find this feature....

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