When Olympus announced it would be releasing a firmware update for its OM-D E-M1 camera earlier this year, containing the focus stacking feature then already available on the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 camera, plenty of Panasonic camera owners raised their hands and said, “Me too!”
I was one of them. Focus stacking is enormously useful when photographing small objects in extreme close up, for applications like illustrating articles with detailed product shots for planet5D.com.
Then, Panasonic delivered version 2.0 of its firmware updates for the Lumix GX8, G7 and FZ300 hybrid 4K cameras and its came with Post Focus, a 4K Photo-based feature enabling one to choose the most usefully focused image in a stack of them.
What was not revealed back at the time was exactly how Post Focus ca be used to create a set of still frames for focus stacking, outside the camera in image editing software like Adobe Photoshop CC2015.
While some Panasonic camera owners, me included, still want in-camera focus stacking for its speed and convenience, the ability to export a set of still frames from 4K video for import into an image editor containing the focus stacking feature is handy.
It turns out there are two ways to do it. Export images as JPEGs frame by frame in-camera. Or do it the way Panasonic Lumix Luminary Photo Joseph demonstrates in his 4K Focus Stacking with Panasonic LUMIX Cameras video at YouTube.com, using recent version of Photoshop.
First, though, I recommend boning up on 4K Post Focus with another YouTube.com video by Photo Joseph, Experience 4K Post Focus in Panasonic LUMIX Cameras. Photo Joseph aka Joseph Linaschke does a fine job explaining both aspects of 4K video-for-stills, and I found it easy to follow along in Photoshop with my own 4K footage.
Focus stacking is one of the most requested features for Affinity Photo, so I hope it will be appearing there soon too. The more cameras and applications that do focus stacking, the better.
For now though, I will start making my product shots using the methods Photo Joseph demonstrates, and look forward to it hopefully appearing soon in the next round of Panasonic Lumix firmware updates.
Post Focus, at least, will feature in a coming GH4 firmware update, so I will have two Post Focus-capable cameras soon. Two is always better than one.A great how-to video on 4K Post Focus & Focus Stacking by Panasonic Lumix Luminary Photo Joseph. Click To Tweet
4K Focus Stacking with Panasonic LUMIX Cameras – Presented by LUMIX Luminary Photo Joseph
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)