Focus Stacking with the lumix GH5

Written by Paul Bourke
June 2017


Focus stacking is the process by which multiple photographs, each with a different focal plane, are combined into a single image with an overall deeper depth of focus. The most common application is in macro photography where the object is close to the lens and the depth of focus does not extend across the depth of the object. While using limited depth of focus is often an artistic/composition choice, there are other applications such as digital recording for archive purposes where having all depths in focus is desirable. The interest for the author is the photography of small small objects for the purpose of 3D reconstruction.

The Lumix GH5 has a builtin focus stacking mode. It automatcially scans across the focus range. One can save individual frames by choosing focus depth, or merge the images in the camera to achieve a wide focus range. In addition to the individual images one might save, the result in the form of a mp4 movie is saved on the SD card. This makes one suspect the image quality may not be as good (probably using the 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 compression the other video modes use) as the old fashion manual method ... but the automatic mode takes "seconds".

Example


Near focus

Distant focus

In camera focused image

Example


Near focus

Distant focus

In camera focused image