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Sony A7R IV: Using Pixel Shift to Capture 4 Frames for Frame Averaging

Sony’s 4-shot pixel shift is so badly implemented* that it is largely useless for work outdoors, where any number of factors cause checkerboarding. It is far too slow, which raises motion issues, and change-in-lighting issues. It is algorithmically flawed, in that that it naively makes 4 exposures literally*.

However, there is a non-obvious useful functionality available using pixel shift:

Using Pixel Shift to Capture 4 Frames for Frame Averaging

Includes images up to 120 megapixels for both single-frame and frame averaging.

* For example, 4 nominal frames could be implemented as 16 rapid-fire exposures, e.g., 4 exposures at 1/4 exposure repeated four times (or 1/32 exposure repeated 32 times, etc), thus cycling rapidly so as to average out the capture values at each location for each color. Doing pixel shift must be done in literal fashion show a lack of creative thought in solving practical usage challenges, rendering outdoor use an oxymoron mosty of the time. BTW Sony’s 16-shot pixel shift is a total failure—worse than 4-shot in every attempt I’ve made—Sony seems intent on making pixel shift (both variants) of minimal practical use.

The Eastern Sierra is in it wonderful transition state typical of October, passing the days with hard freezes at night and warm sun in the day, yet temperatures in the shade are not enough to melt the night’s newly formed ice. When the big heat lamp in the sky is not shining (shade, even mid-day), hands get stiff and cold quickly, with shaded areas feeling like walking into a freezer. One storm front and the landscape will change from summer-in-statis to bitter cold pre-winter.

Pine Lake at Dusk before Moonrise
f5.6 @ 30.0 sec electronic shutter frame averaging 4, ISO 100; 2019-10-12 18:50:29
Sony A7R IV + Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art @ 14mm
ENV: Pine Lake, altitude 9950 ft / 3033 m, 30°F / -1°C
RAW: LACA corrected, USM {8,50,0}

[low-res image for bot]
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