Remove Banding caused by silent shutter


I am looking for a software solution to remove banding caused by a silent shutter. See the picture of the doll here for example:

Is there an option in PhotoLab?

I know, using the mechanical shutter and slower shutter speeds will avoid the problem. However, sometimes I can’t get around using a silent shutter (weddings, concerts) and shutter speeds <1/125sec.

I am wondering whether PhotoLab can fix the caused banding? I haven’t found a simple software solution yet, but in my understanding it should be a fairly simple technical fix to remove dark lines going horizontally through a photo(?).

Any help/experience appreciated :slight_smile:

The problem is that there aren’t just dark lines; the banding includes repeating gradients from light to dark and varies with the artificial light sources as well as the shutter speed. There is no option in PhotoLab to remove such banding, and I’m not aware of any other software that has that ability built-in (though some pixel editors such as GIMP and Photoshop can partially remove banding with masks - an Internet search turns up some suggested ways to do it). Some cameras can mitigate it with proper settings. As the article you linked suggests, until global electronic shutters or some even newer technology becomes the norm, photographers will have to plan their photo shoots accordingly and use equipment that is best suited to the task.

What you can do in PhotoLab can be painstaking but effective with some images: use Local Adjustments where you can (particularly control lines and control points) and the Repair Tool as needed.


Local adjustments with gradients is probably the best way, but even that’s not easy. If the scene isn’t evenly lit by the same flickering light then you have varying degrees of correction needed depending on how far away things in your scene are relative to the flickering light source.

Best is to do a few test shots and adjust shutter speed if you see banding. Some shutter speeds show worse than others depending on the frequency. And there are 3 cameras on the market that let you fine tune shutter speeds (to very small fractions) to tune-out the banding. (Sony A9II, Sony A1, and Canon R3). I have used 1/275 and 1/540 recently during a show to optimize for led flickering.

Anyway sorry I can’t help much on the stuff you’ve already shot.

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Thanks, Greg! I’m also not aware of any other software that has that ability built-in. Local adjustments might do the trick for now, but I was hoping for an easy solution for a set of images. I am thinking this should be a case for AI (detecting horizontal gradients and removing them) but then it’s not such a common issue after all.

Thanks, Mike. Good to know. I’ll play around with the shutter speed next time.

I don’t think there will ever be an easy or perfect software solution. This is an issue that needs to be addressed by camera manufacturers. While some cameras seem to have addressed this problem in their design, apparently most have not. Adjustments in software are just a bandaid.



That’s an interesting story about the difference between exposure and scanning. Thanks.


…looks like something that needs Photoshop(oid) and a lot of time to create the correction mask.

With some “assisted” intelligence, a solution could be made more or less easily:

  • draw a rectangle over an area that contains mostly banding
  • analyse the pattern (average in in one direction) and/or extend the pattern
  • overlay the correction.

This is what I’d try to do in Photoshop, sampling the doll image background, but other images will be more difficult to analyse. DxO should have the brains to do such an adaptive correction and it could be a key differentiator…unless someone else comes up with it before DxO.

Until then, it’s best to prevent banding caused by flickering illumination through other techniques - during exposure.


Even when done carefully, the results are at best mitigation. Images with this banding are defective and should be thrown away unless absolutely needed for documentation.

And yes, I’m speaking from experience (shooting under stage lights). The suggestion to switch shutter speed does help. Some shutter speeds are much worse.

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Yes, but hey, if it’s the one in a thousand capture, why not go the extra mile?

Agreed, light flicker is best avoided while taking the pictures. A few cameras have dedicated settings for it, but there is not much one can do, once the image has been captured.

Yeah and I’d also say that’s a little bit or miss. Both of my cameras have fine shutter speed control and can select the shutter speed in very small fractions. However I photographed a stage show where there were two sets of lights that operated on different frequencies and there was no shutter speed that was fast enough to freeze action that would eliminate banding from both sources.

I was constantly switching back and forth between 1/350 and 1/550 depending on which lights were more dominant. Most pics were okay as only one light was prominent. But there were a few scenes where both were prominent and I had banding in one part of the scene.

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4 cameras. The Nikon Z9 has this functionality as well.

It does now…. My statement was correct at the time I wrote it… Nikon added that capability to the Z9 with firmware 2.10 which was released a few months after I posted my comment.

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Yes it was. I was just adding to your list :slight_smile:

In typical Nikon style, they got there in the end! Considering they released a camera without a physical shutter, with hindsight it seems surprising that this functionality was not included when the camera first shipped.

I agree. The banding issue was well known and established (though still in rather rare circumstances) with the A9 in 2017. Sony created the shutter speed fine tune with A9II in 2019… and Nikon releases a shutterless flagship camera without it in 2022.

Well better late than never. It’s a great camera.

“Typical Nikon style” to me is also “good idea, only half finished”. Like their focusstacking, split view, cluttered LCD with no possibility to get a clean view without tons of text and symbols. Oh, forgot: horrible wireless tethering. At least the images are good. Although elsewhere as well… :grin:

…reminds me of current software implementation practices :grin:

Definitely. Where “half finished” is already the big “nice to have” target :grin: and would be a reason to celebrate.

Nonetheless, the thread could be a reason for me to try a bit with frequency separation (in Affinity Photo, don’t know about PS) which can reduce lens flare. So, maybe I give that a try and invert a low frequency mask? Something along this idea…

If it’s a comfort for Nikon shooters: The Sigma fp-L has as shortest flash sync speed 1/15. Or 1/10?