DeepSkyStacker is geared for astrophotographers and provides a simplified option for pre-processing of images.
This app will be of use after a night session of photography; you can give all your pictures (light frames, dark frames, offset/bias frames, flat frames) to DeepSkyStacker. From there, you can view the results and then start post-processing your images.
This app includes most everything needed for image processing, and it consists of the ability to auto-detect stars as well as auto-determination of darks, flats, and offsets to be applied to the pictures using ISO speed and exposure time.
Automatic registration of a set of pictures
Automatic detection of stars using all the picture area
Preview of registered stars
Automatic creation and use of offsets, flats and darks frames
Subpixel alignment and stacking
Supported bitmaps formats: 8, 16 and 32-bit color and monochrome TIFF files, 8, 16, 32 and 64-bit color and monochrome FITS files, JPEG, BMP, PNG
Native use of RAW files from most DSLRs (CR2, NEF, CRW, DNG ...) without using an intermediate file format (TIFF or other).
Darks, Flats, and Offsets computed from and applied directly to the RAW picture before any interpolation.
Stacking methods: average, median, kappa-sigma clipping, auto adaptive weighted average, entropy weighted average, maximum
Preview of all pictures (including RAW)
Simple post-processing with RGB levels, luminance curve, and saturation adjustments.
Save the resulting picture to 16 or 32 bit TIFF or FITS files with or without adjustments applied.
Simple and intuitive user interface
Optimal memory usage: the same amount of memory is required to register and stack 10 or 500 pictures.
Optimal usage of all available processors (hyperthreaded, multiprocessors, duo and quad-core processors)
DeepSkyStacker Advanced Features:
Automatic determination of Darks, Flats, and Offsets to be applied to the pictures using ISO speed and exposure time
Several methods to optimize the processing of the RAW files by using the best of the Bayer matrix without interpolating the missing pixels
Option to automatically detect hot pixels and during the registering process
Options to automatically detect and remove hot pixels and bad columns during the stacking process
Options to detect and clean hot and cold pixels remaining after calibration
Automatic flat calibration to equalize luminosity differences
Automatic calibration of pictures background for each channel
Automatic Dark Optimization
Automatic use of a bicubic, bilinear, or bisquared alignment transformation depending on the number of stars
Creation of File Lists to speed up loading of often used files (darks, flats, offsets/bias)
Manual edition of stars and comet positions
Drizzle option (x2 or x3) during the stacking process
Possible use of B&W 16 bit FITS files like RAW files (automatic use of a Bayer Filter Pattern)
Use of File Groups to simplify multiple nights on the same object file management
Options to create a calibrated and registered file for each light frame
Cosmetic options to detect and clean the remaining hot/cold pixels from calibrated images