E-M1 mark III Exposure Bracketing + Focus Bracketing combined?

balazs

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Hello. First post. Love my recently acquired E-M1.3 and was thrilled to find this amazing community.

I am trying to combine exposure bracketing with focus bracketing. Per my E-M1.3 reference guide (Mastering... by Darrel Young), one can combine multiple bracketing modes, but whenever I try to enable a second bracketing mode while I already have one on, the first one gets automatically disabled. I am trying to take 3 different exposures at each of 5 different focus points, i.e. a total of 3x5=15 photos with a single push of the exposure button. Is this possible?

Similarly, is it possible to enable bracketing and high-res shot at the same time? Or (focus) bracketing and HDR? I understand these combinations could require long processing time but not being able to combine them feels such an artificial limitation that I have a hard time imagining that my problem is not user error.

Thank you!

(I use the 12-100 f4 on my E-M1.3. Searched both the interwebs and this forum for an answer, with no luck.)
 

SaintMovies

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I’d like to know these answers — being also new to this platform. Loving it so far as well.
 

RAH

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Hello. First post. Love my recently acquired E-M1.3 and was thrilled to find this amazing community.

I am trying to combine exposure bracketing with focus bracketing. Per my E-M1.3 reference guide (Mastering... by Darrel Young), one can combine multiple bracketing modes, but whenever I try to enable a second bracketing mode while I already have one on, the first one gets automatically disabled. I am trying to take 3 different exposures at each of 5 different focus points, i.e. a total of 3x5=15 photos with a single push of the exposure button. Is this possible?

Similarly, is it possible to enable bracketing and high-res shot at the same time? Or (focus) bracketing and HDR? I understand these combinations could require long processing time but not being able to combine them feels such an artificial limitation that I have a hard time imagining that my problem is not user error.

Thank you!

(I use the 12-100 f4 on my E-M1.3. Searched both the interwebs and this forum for an answer, with no luck.)
From the E-M5.3 (which I have and assume it is the same as the E-M1.3 in this respect) manual, it says:

"Exposure bracketing cannot be combined with FL or focus bracketing"

"Focus bracketing cannot be combined with other forms of bracketing."

As far as hi-res:
"The following cannot be used: interval-timer photography, multiple exposure, keystone compensation, bracketing, fisheye correction, and HDR.

You really should crack open that manual. :)
 

balazs

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From the E-M5.3 (which I have and assume it is the same as the E-M1.3 in this respect) manual, it says:

"Exposure bracketing cannot be combined with FL or focus bracketing"

"Focus bracketing cannot be combined with other forms of bracketing."

As far as hi-res:
"The following cannot be used: interval-timer photography, multiple exposure, keystone compensation, bracketing, fisheye correction, and HDR.

You really should crack open that manual. :)
Thanks, you are absolutely right - I made the mistake of only checking in a third-party reference book ("Mastering the Olympus OM-D EM1 Mark III") and failed to check it in the original Users Manual - my bad. Still feels a strange limitation and annoys me because I feel this combination (exposure br. + focus br.) would be really useful for hand-held landscape shots. Here is a shot that could have turned out better with such a feature:

_4071401-Edit.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Thank you for responding - onward to learning more about my camera!
 

Growltiger

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But it is quite easy to set it to M mode, manual ISO, adjust the exposure how you want, and then press shutter release for focus bracketing. Then adjust the aperture or shutter speed a stop, press again, repeat. It would only take a few seconds to take each sequence.
 

balazs

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But it is quite easy to set it to M mode, manual ISO, adjust the exposure how you want, and then press shutter release for focus bracketing. Then adjust the aperture or shutter speed a stop, press again, repeat. It would only take a few seconds to take each sequence.
Agreed; the only advantage of being able to do it as a single multi-bracketed burst would be doing it handheld and not having to worry about changing framing as all 15-20 shots could be captured in less than a second. (Isn't "Break Free" about leaving that tripod behind? :) ) I am not steady enough to adjust settings and keep the same framing across multiple exposures.
 

balazs

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Regardless, it's still a super shot though.
Thank you. I really like the story behind it: the sprinkler is used to protect the crops from early morning frost damage by covering them in ice. Freezing water produces some heat as well as provides a bit of insulation to keep the plants' temperature just slightly below zero and avoid permanent damage.
 

Generationfourth

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I have done some experiments and I suggest using the monitor to compose and turning on the touch exposure. When you tap the screen it’s focusing and firing a shot at the same time. I set up the bracketing for 3 exposures and do three quick taps:
- one on the foreground that has the most mid tones
- one on the sky where it has the most highlights
- one on the closest thing to me that has shadows

Typically I prefer to do two shots instead of three- seems to cover most landscapes unless it’s UWA with something in the extreme foreground. This is obviously better for tripod usage but can manage it handheld. Personally I think focus bracketing is a little over kill in most cases.

If you don’t need the focus bracketing I like to do ISO bracketing as it processes multiple ISO’s for a single frame. This is great for handheld, action, wildlife, flash, etc where multiple shots isn’t going to cut it. I have stacked these with success and don’t notice noise differences, or I simply chose the best exposure and deleted the other two.
 

balazs

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Thanks for responding to this old thread. There is so much wisdom/experience in your comment, I am still trying to uncover it all. Seriously.

Starting from the end: ISO bracketing. It never occurred to me that this is done as a SINGLE EXPOSURE and saved as 3 files processed with 3 different ISO settings. This is awesome. (BTW, I wonder if this means I should set my ISO to no lower than 400 instead of 200 when using ISO bracketing so the lower ISO file is processed with 200 and not L100 as I recall reading that those L settings are not really useful for recovering details from highlights.) Other than card storage, there is really no reason NOT to keep ISO bracketing enabled. I wonder what the best method to merge these ISO-brackets. I would be inclined to try HDR merge. The big question is whether there would be any extra details from the shadows and highlights not already present in a single RAW file? I don't know enough about RAW files and how the camera operates to know for sure.

At the top, you wrote "set up bracketing for 3 exposures and do three quick taps" - so you end up with 3x3 images, right? In this case, do you use AE bracketing? How do you merge all these files? Do you first separately merge the 3 AE bracket files for each focus point as "HDR" and then merge the three resulting files for focus stacking?

Thanks again, your ideas and thoughts are truly appreciated.
 

Generationfourth

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Thanks for responding to this old thread. There is so much wisdom/experience in your comment, I am still trying to uncover it all. Seriously.

Starting from the end: ISO bracketing. It never occurred to me that this is done as a SINGLE EXPOSURE and saved as 3 files processed with 3 different ISO settings. This is awesome. (BTW, I wonder if this means I should set my ISO to no lower than 400 instead of 200 when using ISO bracketing so the lower ISO file is processed with 200 and not L100 as I recall reading that those L settings are not really useful for recovering details from highlights.) Other than card storage, there is really no reason NOT to keep ISO bracketing enabled. I wonder what the best method to merge these ISO-brackets. I would be inclined to try HDR merge. The big question is whether there would be any extra details from the shadows and highlights not already present in a single RAW file? I don't know enough about RAW files and how the camera operates to know for sure.

At the top, you wrote "set up bracketing for 3 exposures and do three quick taps" - so you end up with 3x3 images, right? In this case, do you use AE bracketing? How do you merge all these files? Do you first separately merge the 3 AE bracket files for each focus point as "HDR" and then merge the three resulting files for focus stacking?

Thanks again, your ideas and thoughts are truly appreciated.
Haha it’s definitely not wisdom I’m new to the mkiii and bracketing in general so I’ve just been doing lots of experiments.

ISO bracketing has been quite useful for me. I think it’s also because I’ve been using jpegs more so it’s easier to just pick the best looking one instead of having to load the raw. I can’t find much on the internet (that isn’t negative) about it so I’ve been playing with it. I have used standard automated HDR in LR to merge the files and it’s worked quite well. Generally speaking noise hasn’t been an issue when combined because for example a correct exposure for the shadows yields much less noise. However I only combined them just to see if I could- I think you are thinking correctly in that you can recover from one raw file. I typically iso bracket when the light is challenging and usually it’s 400/800/1600 that I end up with. One thing I noticed is LR doesn’t recognize the ISO differences so all three photos will look underexposed- I just adjust the exposures manually. In OLY workspace and the jpegs the iso differences are shown correctly.

Focus bracketing with AE bracketing: ok this one is a lot more tricky to process. I’m handy with photoshop so what I’ve done is use the “by hand” method using layer masks to reveal different parts of the exposure. This is much easier with two different exposures that are landscape and there is clear separation. Once I added a third exposure it gets more tricky. I want to experiment more with this but honestly I find that it is an edge case and typically an AE bracket or focus bracket by itself is all I need. I still want to find a more automated way of processing these. If you need to combine both the best/easiest is probably via tripod taking focus brackets for each AE bracket:
 
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