Astronomical image processing software mac

You cannot layer images to create composites or image stacks. This is not a Photoshop replacement. It has a command for image stacking with a choice of stack modes for averaging and adding images. It works fine when restricted to working on just a handful of images. Raw noise reduction was acceptable but not up to the best for smoothness. It produced a blocky appearance. There are no selective color adjustments. Nor is there any library or browse function. You can batch export images, but only through an unfriendly dialog box that lists images only by file name — you cannot see them.

Its noise reduction was good, with hot pixel removal lacking in Camera Raw. It can batch export images. It has good selective color and offers adjustment layers for brushing in local corrections. And its library mode can be used to copy and paste settings and batch export images. Its shadow and highlight recovery never produced a satisfactory image with good contrast.

Software-Assisted Focusing

Its local adjustment brush is very basic, with no edge detection. It has downloadable camera and lens modules for automatic lens corrections. Its noise reduction was excellent, with its PRIME option producing by far the best results of all the programs, better perhaps than Camera Raw, plus with hot pixel suppression.

Plus, DxO is just a raw developer; there is no image layering or compositing. Nor does it create a catalog as such.

Nebulosity 4

So it is not a full replacement for either Lightroom or Photoshop. Adjustments can be added in layers, making them easier to edit. Noise reduction was smooth and artifact-free, but adjustments were basic. Many filters can be painted on locally with a brush, or with a radial or gradient mask. The preview was slow to refresh and display results when adjusting filters. The interface is clean but always requires adding filters to the filter panel to use them when creating new layers. Its batch export is crude, with only a dialog box and no visual browser to inspect or select images.

Settings are applied as a user preset on export, not through a visual copy-and-paste function. It has good layering and masking functions, both in its Develop mode and in its Photoshop-like Layers mode. Selective color and contrast adjustments were good, as was noise reduction. Developing, then exporting a time-lapse set worked very well, but still took as long as with Lightroom or Photoshop.

Stars exhibited dark haloes, even with no sharpening, dehaze, or noise reduction applied. Its de-Bayering algorithm produced a cross-hatched pattern at the pixel level, an effect not seen on other programs.

Free Software for astronomy and Astrophotography

It offers an immense number of controls and sliders. You can even change the debayering method. It detects and applies lens corrections though in my case only distortion, not vignetting. It has good selective color with equalizer-style sliders. It has acceptable sort of! This is immensely useful for deep-sky photography. Too many! It is open source software by committee, with no one in charge of design or user-friendliness. Yes, there is documentation, but it, too, is a lot to wade through to understand, especially with its broken English translations.

This is software for digital signal processing geeks. But worst of all, as shown above, its noise reduction left lots of noisy patches in shadows, no matter what combination of settings I applied. While it has some nice functions and produced a decent result, it took a lot of time and work to use. The MacOS version I tried on a brand new 5K iMac ran so sluggishly, taking so long to re-render screen previews, that I judged it impractical to use. Sliders were slow to move and when I made any adjustments often many seconds would pass before I would see the result.


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Pretty frustrating, even for free. I tested a trial copy of v3.

The Mac in Astronomy

While it worked OK, I was never able to produce a great looking image with it. It had no redeeming features over the competition that made its price worthwhile. While it offers image and adjustment layers, it cannot do much with bit images and has very limited functions for developing raw files. Elements is for processing photos for the snapshot family album.

Some important keypoints

But it can be pressed into service for raw editing and layering single images, especially for beginners. In addition, for just developing raw files, you likely already have software to do the job — the program that came with your camera. These are all capable raw developers, but have no layering capabilities. And they read only the files from their camera brand. If theirs is the only software you have, try it. They are great for learning on. Each has strengths, but also weaknesses, if not outright deficiencies. A possible non-Adobe combination for the best image quality might be DxO PhotoLab for raw developing and basic time-lapse processing, and Affinity Photo for stacking and compositing still images, from finished TIFF files exported out of DxO and opened and layered with Affinity.

But that combo lacks any cataloging option. These add the star haloes and a subtle blocky pattern to the sky, most obvious at right. Nor am I worried about Adobe suddenly jacking up the fees or holding us hostage with demands. For me, the need to use LRTimelapse shown above for about 80 percent of all the time-lapse sequences I shoot means the question is settled. LRTimelapse works only with Adobe software, and the combination works great. Yes, other programs certainly have some fine features I wish Camera Raw or Lightroom had, such as:. The mean stacking smooths noise even more. The masking reveals just the sky on the tracked set.

While making a switch will be fine when working on all new images, reading the terabytes of old images I have processed with Adobe software and being able to re-adjust their raw settings and layered adjustments will always require that Adobe software. PSD files, they usually open them just as flattened images, as ON1 warns it will do above.

It flattened all of the non-destructive editing elements created in Photoshop. Luminar did the same. Scripts for automatic research and observatory automation, centering via plate solving, shortest-path telescope sequences. High speed Astroart is an extremely fast software thanks to its code optimized in SSE assembly. It can align and stack hundreds of images quickly and offers realtime preview on most filters. For further information:. Latest news.

The Astro List

Astroart - 96 bit image processing. For further information: New features of Astroart 7 Astronomical image processing Astrometry and photometry Stacking and registering images Top five reasons to choose Astroart 7 A demo version of Astroart is available at the download page. Astronomy Weather Forecast.

Before you can start planning for an observing session, it's helpful to know what the weather is going to be that evening as well as the phase of the moon. The weather will help determine a start time and what clothing you'll need. The phase of the moon will tell you whether you'll be doing some casual observing of the moon and planets during a bright full moon or perhaps some deep sky photography at new moon or after the moon in partial phase has set.

Two sites that help with that are 7Timer! Satellite Info. Satellite info is good in case you'd like to try to catch one with binoculars and need the azimuth and rise time. Some amateurs have used this data to anticipate and photograph the International Space Station from the ground with stunning results. Observational Planning. Once you've figured out the weather and what you want to look at or photograph, it's helpful to have a session planning app. Your start time and the positions of the selected objects will determine when they go below the horizon, so you'll want to start in the western sky before they set.

A planner will help with all that.