PhotoAcute software to boost effective resolution - first test

M

minibokeh

Guest
Found a new software (PhotoAcute) yesterday that seems to work very well in my first test below. I took 5 pictures at identical settings with OM-D E-M1 and 12-40mm f2.8 Zuiko Pro lens, hand held; the image shows a small area from the PhotoAcute 3 composite (left) compared to the best single image from the series:

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/101667287@N08/15033432687" title="phtoacute 3 by Moritz Berger, on Flickr">View attachment 384637"1024" height="720" alt="phtoacute 3"></a>

Caveat: Seems to be working best for supported camera/lens combinations. I hope to be able to work with the author to get good support for most standard m4/3 lenses.
 

kwalsh

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I played with PhotoAcute a few years back and made a few profiles for lenses/bodies back then. The software does what it says and is pretty cool. I never really fit it into my workflow in the end though. I haven't played with it for quite a while though, thanks for the nice demo shot.
 
M

minibokeh

Guest
Agreed that PA is not a tool anybody would use for all (or even most shots): 1. You have to plan in advance and take multiple frames 2. Have to use PA in addition to the other tools in your pp toolchain. 3. PA is not fast; on my 32 core machine, it utilizes about 10% of processing power and can take a minute to process a stack of frames (I haven't timed it accurately).
At the same time, the results are clearly better than anything else you could do besides upgrading both the camera (sensor) and the lens.
My real-world application is likely to be static subjects, when I'm out and about with M43 only (leaving the D800 behind) and need the best IQ I can get resolution wise (e.g. landscape, urban architecture, art, documentation).
 

PMCC

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Feb 18, 2013
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I bet Drizzling in Deep Sky Stacker or the like can do a better job.
 
M

minibokeh

Guest
Thanks for the pointer - I downloaded and tried to use DSS; it failed with an empty message dialog box.
I found another article on the web that served me better: In Photoshop, use Scripts -> Load Files into Stack with "align images" option selected. Then, set layer blend mode to 1/[number of images], e.g. 20% if you have 5 source images.
This averaging approach works surprisingly well.
Still looking for something better - some astro photography tools are more advanced than what's available for general purpose photography, I'm sure we could benefit from a little technology transfer. As is, leading tools like PixInsight apparently are too far away from being immediately applicable to regular shots.
 

kwalsh

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Mar 3, 2012
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832
Location
Baltimore, MD
My real-world application is likely to be static subjects, when I'm out and about with M43 only (leaving the D800 behind) and need the best IQ I can get resolution wise (e.g. landscape, urban architecture, art, documentation).
I've found stitching is typically more useful for increasing resolution with static subjects than PA. These days the stitching software is so good that automatic stitching works just fine even for handheld shots. That said, shooting for stitching is probably more annoying in the field than shooting for PA. Post processing effort about the same for the two, so sort of a personal preference kind of thing.

As far as a general multi exposure tool box goes PA is very impressive, there were a bunch of features I never got a chance to try (focus stacking for example). The authors clearly know their stuff.
 

tosvus

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Jan 4, 2014
Messages
654
Did a quick test and it worked really well in terms of resolution with the LX100. Unfortunately in my quick test, I used original raw's and it threw off the color (likely not supported yet, so for now I would probably have to convert to another format before running it). The results are undeniably a substantial improvement in resolution and reduction in noise though. I set the LX100 to the quickest sequential shooting, used electronic shutter, and pressed the button for a couple of seconds while trying to hold the camera fairly still. The 20 or so frames were pulled into the application, and while the processing is slow - it is doable for those special shots.

I wonder how it stacks up against the EM-5 ii, and their 40+MP pictures. At least with PhotoAcute, while a much slower process total (post work), you can handhold, rather than use a tripod.

I'll definitely do a few more tests...

This is the test shot comparison. (preview in application). Not a great shot, but shows the difference.
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Here is another test picture. This time a screenshot from Lightroom. Both images are with 0 sharpening and 0 noise reduction (both luminance and color)
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