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Pixel Shift: What Would be the Ideal Workflow for Handling Such Files

See my Fujifilm medium format wish list and get Fujifilm GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR at B&H Photo.

Sony has chosen to store 4 files for its pixel shift mode, with no naming or subfolders, etc. Pentax makes one DNG file, which I much prefer. All that’s missing (a dumb mistake one the part of Pentax) is a splitter app that makes 4 files from one.

Sony’s approach is such a mess to sort through, including having to delete 4 files if I want to redo a shot, and scroll over 4 files to compare one shot to another—these are serious usability problems any half-wit should have seen up front .

Setting aside those messy details, I pondered ways in which pixel shift would best be supported for raw conversion. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ideally, the raw converter can figure out areas where pixel shift is causing issues, and just substitute one of the frames. Technically I doubt this could work perfectly.
  • What I would like to see Photoshop do is this: when opening a pixel shift image, convert it into a file with 5 layers: the bottom layer having the merged image, and the top 4 masked off (the 4 single exposures that created the one merged image). If there are problem areas, paint out the mask the fix the area. When sure it’s all to satisfaction, merge the layers into one final image.
  • A utility to take 4 Sony files and make one DNG file so that they can be handled as single files just like with Pentax K-1 pixel shift files.
  • Software should recognized any one of the 4 files in a pixel shift image, and present the image as ONE image, not 4, displayed in some appropriate distinguishable way.
  • Sony could fix the problems I noted above.
  • The camera should detect if motion occurs during the exposure.
  • The camera should make a noise when done. When the heck is it done? I have to stare at the screen—ridiculous.
  • Deleting a pixel shift file should delete all 3 others (user preferences of course). Image review should skip over 3 of the frames so that an A/B to one exposure to another can be made (or one focus position versus another).

These ideas are just the obvious ones.

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