Yesterday I went to Sunset Cliffs to photograph the sunset and test out the smooth reflection app. The app essentially duplicates an ND filter by averaging multiple images (there is a big thread on FM).
The sunset was so nice I actually forgot to test out the SR app until the light was almost gone so I only made a few test pictures.
The first pictures are:
* single shot 1.6s f/11 ISO 100
* HDR 5s/1.6s/0.6s f/11 ISO 100
* Smooth Reflection 16x 1.3s f/11 ISO 100
* Smooth Reflection 16x 1.3s f/11 ISO 100 - no adjustments
Except for the last picture, they have been synced to have the same adjustments in lightroom. As per the FM thread I exposed for the highlight (no overexposure).
The next two pictures are comparisons of
* single shot vs smooth reflection
* HDR vs smooth reflection
They are screenshots at 2:1 on my retina laptop.
In terms of noise it appears that the ranking is single shot << smooth reflection < HDR
So far I really like the app and I can see myself using it more often. The pros are:
* looks natural
* provides more stop granularity than ND filters (I only have 3,6,10 stops)
* in some cases I may be able to skip filters altogether or I maybe able to get away with a lower density ND filter
* generates a single raw file (so easier workflow)
* reduces noise over a single picture
For the cons I see:
* app is fiddly (you lose some custom settings like back button focus)
* HDR is slightly better on noise
* harder to time shots when waves are coming in