Olympus patent: All in focus macro.


Sometimes you find very exotic and unexpected patents like this one from Olympus (Source: Egami). And it was even a bigger surprise after learning that actually a camera having a feature like this already exists…it is the Casio EX-ZR1000. Basically it’s a feature where you can shoot multiple pictures in a sequence and different focus points to obtain an all sharp image.

Son’t know how many of you would find this useful but to have a feature like this doens’t hurt :)

  • Boooo!

    Focus bracketing? Olympus had that in the E-x00 cameras half a decade ago, then removed it from future models.

  • Beautemps

    Fast Casio Cameras use this feature for Nightshot Modi. If you face dark light situations, the camera takes several shots with short times and diverent focus points according to your body movement and composes them to one image.

    So you would be able to make handheld fotos were even a m43 and nokton is to slow.
    I tried it in a dark cave at the ardeche where none of the several DSLR fotografers could make any foto.

    • jim

      nope – thats a diffrent technology – thats exposure stacking – as the sony does.

      This will just take several shots over a range of focus distances (not compensating for motion – just from near to far) and than mearge all the sharp bits of all the images to one final high depth of feild image – most used for macro where the DOF is silly thin.

  • Miroslav

    Nice idea. It would be interesting for low light shots where you want both the object and the background in focus, but want to keep large aperture because of high shutter speed.

    But I doubt it’ll make any m4/3 Olympus anytime soon since they’ve refused to put any stitching mode in their cameras so far :(.

    • hjKIGH

      “Nice idea. It would be interesting for low light shots where you want both the object and the background in focus, but want to keep large aperture because of high shutter speed.”

      I imagine it would only be useful for near static subjects

      But I doubt it’ll make any m4/3 Olympus anytime soon since they’ve refused to put any stitching mode in their cameras so far :( .

      I don’t know lol

      • Miroslav

        Yes, static “take a photo of me in front of that building” type shots. I’ve had complaints from my subjects that city at night is blurred behind them.

        As for that E-500 focus stacking, you’re correct, but Oly hasn’t done anything like that in m4/3. I’m also aware all of that can be done in software afterwards, but the time it takes is much longer than it would take if it was done in-camera.

  • Isn’t it called focus stacking? A sort of HDR for depth of field. And hasn’t it been a feature of Photoshop and some stand-alone software for some time now? In fact the answer is yes.

  • Ross

    It sounds more like a P&S type of feature, but it could be interesting in our new range of CF-AF cameras now.

    • roo

      Sounds like a feature I would want on my camera, who restrict this to just p&s cams?

    • GX2 where are you?

      Yeah, and m4/3 cams don’t have any P&S features.

    • Miroslav

      “It sounds more like a P&S type of feature”

      Yeah, but P&S don’t need that kind of feature because of the large DOF they offer anyway.

  • How is that different from stacking?

    • Bob B.

      I think it “is” in-camera focus stacking.

    • roo

      stacking is just to compensate for expoure.

      This is taking multiple frames each with different focus points and bring all in focus content together into one image

      • Bob B.

        I believe that what we are all taking about is: “focus stacking”. Which is combining the in-focus data from many exposers an creating one image with greater DOF than would have been possible with one image.
        (But I am no expert.)
        Combining exposures from multiple images is HDR…which is a in- camera feature in many cameras.

      • Dr No

        No, stacking is not about exposure compensation. It’s FOCUS stacking and this is exactly it…

      • Dave

        You are wrong, sir. This is focus stacking. Take several different photos changing the position of the DOF, then combining them to enlarge your DOF and achieve a macro fully in focus.

    • Dr No

      It’s not. It’s just automated.

  • Dr No

    Great stuff!
    Would be very useful for landscape photography (and macro too) when you want super sharp focus all the way. Of course you can do manual stacking but this would be so much quicker and more convenient!!
    Bring it on :)

    • roo

      Cue people who think you have to put on a hairshirt to be a photographer ;)

      • Kenny Graham

        @Roo thanks for that image man, I am itching just thinking about it lol

  • SteB

    I’ve been saying for some time this would be a useful feature for macro photography. I achieved a 2 shot focus stack of a hoverfly in flight in 2009. I did have to clone out the extra wings, as they were in a separate position.

    Handheld focus stacks have now become common. The high possible frame rates of mirrorless would make easier to achieve. Although for handheld shots it would still require some degree of skill and knowledge from the photographer. Nevertheless it would be much easier if the lens rapidly racked focus over a few millimetres whilst you braced the camera, than having to move it yourself. Personally I would prefer the camera to save it as separate images to give you more control.

    It would nevertheless easily work for tripod shooting as it would work in a similar way to this. Again the saving of each image would be an advantage.

  • Kenny Graham

    I think that using the magic lantern software allows for focus bracketing with some Canon cameras including the 5DmkII

  • avds

    I wonder if Panasonic’s remote apps for the GH3 could do this programmatically with just about any digital lens?

  • This is in-camera focus stacking, which is a similar concept to exposure stacking except that what your combining is not the exposures, but the in-focus portions of the image. Enfuse/Enblend is a popular free tool for doing both. I would be excited just to have focus bracketing.

  • OldAlaskan

    I thought we were only interesting in razor thin planes of focus.

  • Homer

    Our Eye behave the same

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