Originally Posted by Rick
Burst mode on the camera. It just keeps taking shots for as long as you hold down the shutter button. 8 frames per second. I set the camera on my tripod, and lock it down, so the background scene remains constant for making these montages. I then save each frame I want to use in the montage, and compile them on one master frame to create the montage.
Rick may be shooting JPEGs. With most cameras, the JPEG buffer depth is much deeper than the RAW buffer depth, so the camera can shoot many more images before slowing down (buffer full). For a sequence where Rick only wants to composite 2-3 seconds (depending on the buffer depth of his camera) and he can precisely time the start of the burst, he may be able to shoot RAW files.
Although you can attempt this with a compact or mirrorless camera equipped with a burst mode, a DSLR is recommended, simply because the focusing system on a DSLR (particularly a high-end one, like Rick probably has) is better able to focus on and track a moving subject. Some mirrorless cameras have gotten better at this recently, but a DSLR is still usually the tool of choice.
Rick does his composites in Photoshop. For most of us, Photoshop Elements is fine and supports layers. As noted in another post, it's commonly well under $100 in the US and Canada. It also comes with Organizer, which is a handy set of tools for building a database of your 20,000 photos so you have a chance of finding That Special One two or three years later. The Organizer rating system may give you a basis for choosing the 90% of them to delete because you'll never look at them again, as well.
If you want to try something amusing with a camera that has an in-camera Panorama function (usually a compact of some kind), try shooting a moving subject like a skier without panning the camera much. The weirdly distorted image that results when the camera attempts to stitch the different skier images together can be hilarious.
Now back to your regularly scheduled argument.