Pixel Shift

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What Is Pixel Shift and How to Get High Resolution Images

If it is the first time you hear about pixel shift, you just come to the right place. This article will explain the definition, tutorial and extended knowledge of pixel shift. You can know what it is, how pixel shift work and get image retouching tips. Even though you are a beginner, you can still capture and create high resolution images by yourself. Just read and get more details about pixel shift photography.

Pixel Shift


Part 1: What Is Pixel Shift

Pixel shift is a common method for producing a super resolution image with digital cameras. Your camera will capture a set of picture and then composite into a new one. Between each captured image, the camera sensor will move to a new position slightly. To be more specific, the sensor is shifted by ½ pixel in the X and Y directions automatically. The standard resolution can be extended by 4 or even 9 times. As a result, you can combine pixel shift images into an extremely high resolution image. Compared with a standard image, the output file contains more details and has a larger file size.

Part 2: Which Camera has Pixel Shift Technology

Can you get pixel shifting on all digital cameras? The answer is No. You can also find the pixel shift technology with different names on different camera models. For instance, Sony sets it as pixel shift multi-shooting mode. Panasonic uses it as high resolution mode instead. While Olympus calls it as high res shot mode with the pixel shift technology with its OM-D line. The followings are some representative pixel shift cameras you can refer to.

  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M1X
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9, Panasonic Lumix DC-S1, Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R, Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H, Panasonic Lumix G9
  • Pentax K-3 II, Pentax K-1, Pentax K-70, Pentax KP, Pentax K-1 II
  • Sony α7R III, Sony α7R IV
  • Hasselblad H6D-400c MS

Part 3: How to Use Pixel Shift Photography

Before using pixel shift camera technology, you need to lock down your camera on a sturdy tripod. Thus, you can take several images of the same scenery. This method does not work for capturing moving objects in a landscape.

Later, select the pixel shift mode on your digital camera. If you own a Sony camera, you can set pixel shift settings of shots, exposures and delay time. For instance, you can select pixel shift multi shoot mode with shoot 16 shots and internal shortest. To make sure there is no movement before pressing the Shutter button, you can set the self-timer at 5 seconds.

As a result, your Sony camera can start shooting and run the entire pixel shift process automatically. You can see the pixel shift multi shooting notification on the Sony’s display screen. Open those captured images on your computer. Now you can use Sony Imaging Edge or other pixel shift software to get a better result.

Part 4: How to Create a Super High Resolution Photo with Photoshop Lightroom

You can also use pixel shift in Photoshop Lightroom. Photoshop can combine images captured by a handheld camera. The Photoshop Lightroom super resolution can sample a scene captured multiple times. It does not matter if there are slight shifts. Photoshop Lightroom can localize it with sub-pixel precision. After that, you can get an image with less noise and more dynamic range.

Step 1: Load your images into Photoshop Lightroom. You can see those images in different layers. Choose the first layer. Hold on Shift and move to the bottom layer to select all of them.

Step 2: Due to a bit of movement, you need to align those images within Lightroom. So unfold the Edit list to choose Auto-Blend Layers.

Auto Blend Layers Photoshop

Step 3: Select the proper Projection in the Auto-Align Layers window. Click OK to save changes. Then Photoshop will align those layers automatically.

Auto Projection Photoshop

Step 4: Wait for a while to get the pixel shift processed result. Click on the layer panel to select Convert to Smart Object. Photoshop will merge and align all those image into a new one.

Convert to Smart Objects Photoshop

Step 5: From the Layer list, choose Smart Objects followed by Stack Mode and Mean. At last, export or save your pixel shift image within Lightroom.

Smart Objects Photoshop

Part 5: How to Touch Up High Resolution Images in 5 Minutes

If you don’t subscribe to Photoshop, and you want to retouch images to get a better looking, WidsMob Retoucher can be your good choice. You can quickly remove image noise, touch up portraits, analog film grain, apply artistic effects and other adjustments. The intuitive interface and easy-to-use options are friendly to all users, especially for beginners.

1. Fix blurry photos by eliminating image noise and minimizing other imperfections.

2. Remove selfie imperfections and beautify portraits in a family reunion picture smartly.

3. Apply film analog effects while preserving high quality RAW files.

4. Add vignetting, fish eye and other artistic image effects.

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Step 1: Run WidsMob Retoucher. Drag and drop your image into the main interface. Click Next to move into its retouching window.

Add Image Denoise

Step 2: In the Adjustment section, you can adjust saturation, contrast and other parameters. Moreover, you can head to Portrait, De-noise, LOMO and Film Pack sections to make other changes. You can choose Before/After from the View list to get the direct comparison.

Before and After Photos Retoucher

Step 3: Click Share or Save to export your image. You can save the image as JPEG or TIFF format with different quality options.

Save Photos Retoucher


That’s all about pixel shift photography in different aspects. You can get pixel shift shootout and photo editing from the above paragraphs. Just choose a camera mentioned above to capture high resolution images. In addition, you can apply artistic camera profiles and other stunning image effects with ease here.

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Peter Wood
Peter Wood
Peter Wood, a senior editor, focus on photography design and editing software and devices.

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