In-Camera Focus Stacking – Lumix GX85

Well here’s a new feature I wasn’t expecting!

There is a new Firmware version out for the GX85 the leverages the 4K video feature called Post Focus. Post Focus will run a little video capture that will make an image with approximately forty focus points. You can pull any of the still frames, and each frame of the video is focused in a different place. You can then play back the video in camera and select any frame you wish and save as an eight megapixel still frame. See the video below.

You ask, “Wait a minute Bob, why is this a nice feature?”

Number one, it enables you to choose what’s in focus in the image after the fact. For example, you are capturing an image of someone’s face with a VERY shallow depth-of-field without a lot of time to check on your focus point. You can dial in the corner of the eye or the beginning of the iris or the other eye if you’d like for creative possibilities. Here’s the cool part. You can take a few of these images and put them together with a process called Focus Stacking and control exactly what is in focus or out of focus in your photo.

ppa 25 plus bar photoSingle still frame with just the middle portion of the image in focus bringing attention to the Plus 25 bar placed on the red bag.

Number two on the cool list, we can now do the focus stacking right in camera and have it saved as a jpeg right to the card. This can save a bunch of time. Before you had to take the video into another program, save each image as a single frame and then run those frames through Photoshop or another program to obtain your stacked focus image.

25 bar image with PPA medalsThis image was Focus-Stacked in-camera to show detail throughout the entire range. Total time for processing about thirty-seconds

Nuber three, you can use this feature the way I have been to get a hyper-focus image but stacking all the images together. This will allow you to use a macro lens which can give incredible detail. Usually, that detail is very shallow depth-of-field, but with Focus Staking you can get focused detail from the front to the back of the image.

Here’s the video showing all the points of focus that were captured. The original is a little over one second long. I slowed it down to about twenty percent so you can see it move through all the focus points.

This is a photo of the representation of my achievements and service to photography through Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The bar on the red bag is the newest sent to me and shows 25 merits earned through service, education, and imaging competition. The medals on the bottom of the ribbon are degrees earned and the small rectangle in the PPA National Award presented by Arizona PPA. As members of the association, we are charged with wearing the medals at conventions and PPA events. It is a message to other members that we are accomplished photographers available to answer questions.

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob