I've processed my data of M51 taken with my Canon t3i DSLR a few different ways. Sharing the results of three different OSC processing techniques for comparison. Particularly surprising was the results of LRGB processing (3 below). Feedback + insights welcome...
The same subs were used in all three images below (astrobin links in headings). They've have had identical processing steps applied with mild differences to parameters within processes tuned to the differences in the starting points:
This is the standard OSC process of integrating debayered subs.
2. Bayer drizzle integration
Decided to try this since I had 62 subs: presumably statistically sufficient (with dithering) for individual R, G, B eval of pixels vs. interpolation using VNG debayering. I feel this results in an image with less noise and mild improved resolution.
3. LRGB processing
On a whim and having done no real reading on this, I decided to split my Bayer drizzled integrated image into L,R,G,B components using PI's ChannelExtraction. Then processed by pretending to have acquired these channels separately: combining RGB channels and then adding in L using PI's LRGBCombination.
I was pleasantly surprised by the LRGB processing result. I find it to be the most pleasing. It results in the deeper blues I have seen in most other M51 images, greater resolution and less overall noise. To be clear, I used the same Photometric color calibration settings and later applied the same color saturation on all three.
I'm curious about applying this more regularly to my other images.
Thanks for looking.