Helicon Focus or Zerene Stacker?

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It is logically impossible to focus stack raw files, you need the images. Programs that support raw files simply put them through a basic raw converter first. So you are probably better off using the JPGs from the camera, or ideally doing the raw conversions yourself where you have full control over the processing.
I was imprecise. I was trying to ask if the process was automated with the raw conversion happening within the stacking application (either overtly or behind the scenes). Sorry for the confusion.
 

Growltiger

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I was imprecise. I was trying to ask if the process was automated with the raw conversion happening within the stacking application (either overtly or behind the scenes). Sorry for the confusion.
I understand. The answer to your original question, regarding Zerene, is no, it doesn't provide automatic raw conversion. If you take raw files you have to convert to TIFF or JPG yourself, then stack them. This seems preferable anyway, since you control the raw conversion.
 
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I would think that would be especially helpful considering that you use three different stacking programs and might want all three to be using the same source files.

After converting the raw files, what file format do you use for output to your stacking programs and why?
TIFF, for no reason other than it’s supported by so many programs.

Most of the programs I use for post processing support the RAW files from my various cameras, whether they are all equal in their conversion I’m not sure. I feel if you’re going to let a specialised program like a focus stacker auto convert your RAW files, you might as well just use files converted by the camera.
 
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I wonder which will give the better focus stack result...

Files which have had a lens profile applied, i.e. via dedicated software like Adobe, or even the files Olympus uses for in camera focus stack, or JPEGs in general. Or files converted using possibly a generic converter using computer installed codecs?

I guess it could depend on the quality of the lens being used, but worth checking out someday.
 

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