Orion nebula revisited

Previously my astrophotography workflow comprised of stacking the images and stretching in Deep Sky Stacker, before importing it into Capture One Pro 7 for further processing. This produces reasonable results, but I wanted to explore other dedicated software for this. After reading online about the various software available, I decided to take Pixinsight on for their 45-day free trial.The reason for such a long trial period, is that this is a very complex suite of software which requires time to learn and get the most from. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to do various stages of processing, which is great for a beginner like myself. As I have not had the weather to image in, I decided to revisit some images I had stacked previously with Deep Sky Stacker, to see if I could extract more out of the images than before.

Hence I decided to relook at the Orion nebula imaged with the Sony A7R. Suffice it to say that the Pixinsight software is a steep learning curve, but once you get used to the workflow then it becomes more second nature. But I am still relying on video tutorials on Youtube to help me find my way around this software. In particular, I was interested to see if I could get more out of the images (detail, noise reduction etc).

Original image post-processed in Capture One Pro 7

Orion nebula using Sony A7R, Astrotech 8" RC mounted on Celestron CGEM
Orion nebula using Sony A7R, Astrotech 8″ RC mounted on Celestron CGEM
Picture saved with settings applied.
Orion nebula processed with Capture One Pro 8.2

Now for the Pixinsight image, I used the Histogram stretch, Background extraction tool, mask and colour saturation, curve transformation and TGVDenoise. It required alot of work, but also enabled me to remove much of the noise inherent in my image.

Orion nebula processed in Pixinsight
Orion nebula processed in Pixinsight

I do not think that Capture One Pro works well for astrophotography images, as the noise reduction function does not seem to work, unlike the Pixinsight TGVDenoise. I think I will need to work with a few further images first before deciding whether I should invest in the Pixinsight software.