Here a small review on 4 freeware stacking programs used for an DSO capture and the differences in the stacks after basic processing (got bored cause of constant clouds).
Of course all this is based on my own findings as a semi-beginner and it not an overall presentation. In reality processing steps will be done on what the stack demands. This is just a comparison I made to see the differences with basic processing after stacking.
Also, all this will vary on which DSO is captured. I used a part of the Pelican Nebula for this because although it's mainly reds that are present, all other colors are there too.
Actually 5 programs, I also used RegiStax but this gave very bad results with stacking itself.
The main files are FITS, 96 x 60 seconds, Gain 121, captured with SharpCap with white balance Red 50 / Blue 50, so Green is dominant. All this with a Zwo ASI294MC Pro and a Optolong L-Pro filter.
Calibration files: 10 x darks, 40 x flats and 40 x darkflats
Below this, two replies with the reviews and comparison images.
The first one is the stacks of the 4 programs after exactly the same Level and Curves stretching and Histogram alignment in PS (Photoshop).
The second image are the stretched stacks with Color Balance done in a way that colors are not exaggerated while details are more shown and then +50% Vibrance.
I tried to do this all in an uniform way to show any flaws or particular things. Not other processing like black level, noise reduction or whatever was done.
After these basic tests, all 4 stacks could be processed just fine, but each in his own way.
For all 4 stacking programs the basic settings were used. Programs used were:
1) ASTAP / Plate solving program with (live) stacking capabilities / https://www.hnsky.org/astap.htm
2) AutoStakkert / Stacking program mainly for moon and planets / https://www.autostakkert.com/
3) PlanetarySystemStacker / Experimental, Java based, stacking program, mainly for moon and planets / https://github.com/R...rySystemStacker
4) DeepSkyStacker / Dedicated DSO stacking program / http://deepskystacke...lish/index.html
Edited by meegja, Yesterday, 07:24 AM.