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stuart
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Joined: 28/04/2015 - 18:10
Magic Lantern

Following the demo at the Practical Evening tonight - you can find the Magic Lantern software at http://www.magiclantern.fm and there is a Wikipedia article abou it.

As I mentioned, it is only available for certain models of Canon DSLRs (with specific firmware - usually the latest version). The list of supported camera is: 5D2, 5D3, 6D, 7D, 50D, 60D, 500D/T1i, 550D/T2i, 600D/T3i, 650D/T4i, 700D/T5i, 1100D/T3, EOS M and "in progress" the 70D.

Several people asked whether there were equivqlents for other makes of cameras. A quick search suggests that "Nikon Hacker" is trying to do something similar for Nikon cameras, but I know nothing further about this.

Here is the result of stacking the images of the Uruk-hai model I took in the demo.

Uruk-hai

stuart
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Joined: 28/04/2015 - 18:10
Stacking software

People were also asking about stacking software:

  • I use Zerne Stacker. You can download a 30-day free trial version. The full version comes in various flavours, but the "Personal edition" is probably the most appropriate for amateur hobbyists and cost $89. This is a once-and-for-all licence which covers updated up until the next major version.
  • Helicon Focus is another commercial system. I have used this extensively (most of the images in the first edition of the Hoverfly WildGuide were produced using this software). The results are very good and it has a very polished user interface, but I currently prefer Zerene. Again, a free 30-day trial version is available. They offer three versions, "Lite", "Pro" and "Premium" in two types of licence, "annual" or "unlimited". For example, the Lite version costs $30/year for the annual licence and $115 for an unlimited licence.
  • CombineZP is free software written by Alan Hadley. It is written for Windows XP and "it may work on a later version of Windows" (according to the web site) but requires you to install the correct version of the Microsoft C++ redistributable run-time package. I got it working OK on Windows 7. I have not tried it for several years, but when I tried it last, the alignment routines were a bit dodgy and sometimes needed running several times to get acceptable results.
  • Hugin is also free software intended for stitching panoramas together. However, two of the programs that form part of the package (align_image_stack.exe and enfuse.exe) can be used to perform focus stacking with very acceptable results. These are command line tools, so definitely for the techies!

The image above was produced from 20 shots using Zerene Stacker 1.04.

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