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What is the difference between focus stacking and focus bracketing?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Web-Betty, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Web-Betty

    Web-Betty Mu-43 Veteran

    337
    Jun 16, 2013
    Denver
    MJ
    Showing my ignorance here, but I don't seem to see the difference between focus stacking and focus bracketing. :cautious: In my searching today, they seem to be very similar.

    So what's the difference between the two options?
     
  2. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    507
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Focus stacking utilises eight shots from a single shutter release, combining them within camera for a finished image with greater depth of field than is attainable with a single shot.

    Focus bracketing allows up to 999 shots to be taken, with the focal point moved for each shot. The final image is assembled from these images in third party software such as Photoshop, or Helicon Focus
     
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  3. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    To add, focus stacking uses focus bracketing but then does the work for you in the camera, but because is done in camera is limited to 8 shots since there is only so much computing power and buffer available to work with.
     
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  4. Web-Betty

    Web-Betty Mu-43 Veteran

    337
    Jun 16, 2013
    Denver
    MJ
    Thanks! Makes complete sense now. :)
     
  5. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    In general Bracketing takes multiple shots varying one parameter (Aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus can all be bracketed)
    Stacking combines multiple shots into one. This is done to reduce noise & boost sensitivity in astro work as well as combing focus zones in macro.

    It's not always desirable to merge focus bracketed images - you may want a very thin DOF and to select from the shots the one that nails the focus EXACTLY where you want it...
     
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  6. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    Bracketing = capture

    Stacking = post process
     
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  7. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    So.. Erm.. Is a photo-stacked shot saved as RAW? Or JPG only?

    Z...
     
  8. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    507
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Saved as jpeg, with the eight original images also saved, which means they can either be manipulated later and re-stacked in third party software, or a specific frame can be utilised.
     
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  9. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    640
    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    If you take RAW+JPG the eight photos will be saved as 16 files, so you get the raw images in case you want them for processing on your computer, as well as the JPGs.
    Obviously the stacked image is JPG, it cannot be raw since it is not data from the sensor. (I set my JPG to super-fine for the highest quality).
     
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