Focus Stacking In-Camera with the New Olympus OM-D E-M1X Camera First Attempt

Olympus recently sent me a bunch of gear to try out free of charge for a couple months, and here is another post update on how I am liking the system.

So the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera has the ability to focus stack in-camera and this is one of my first shots testing out this super cool feature, and already I am in love!

I photographed this Linkley’s Silverpuff flower last week using theM.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens. It was shot hand-held at 40mm, 1/200s, f8 at ISO 400.

For those who do not know what focus stacking is, I set the camera up to take 8 shots, allowing the camera to adjust the focus plane between each shot automatically. The camera then takes those 8 shots and blends them in-camera into one file that gives me way more depth of field than had I just taken one shot, providing me with way more detail in the flower with more of it in-focus.

The camera produces a jpg image of the focus stack and that is what I used to post-process this shot. Alternatively I could have used the original RAW files and used special focus-stacking software to blend it. But I wanted to see what results I could get with that jpg image.

And I was totally impressed!!

Here is an animated GIF that shows you the 8 frames that the Olympus captured during the focus stacking:

I used Skylum’s Luminar Flex plugin to enhance the photo, and then I used ON1 to upsize it. I wanted to see how large I could print this without any real noticeable artifacts or loss of detail. And let me tell ya – this would look awesome in a 50” print!

What really helps with this focus stacking I have learned so far, is that you definitely want your subject to be as free from movement as possible, and for you yourself to hold as still as possible during the photo burst to maximize your chances at a great image with no stacking errors.

I’ll have more to say on this feature as I get more used to it!

In the meantime be sure to sign up for my photo newsletter, and also check out something new I am developing – a Photography BootCamp Online Photo Workshop!