Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

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seta666
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Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by seta666 »

Hi,

Now I am using Sony APS-C cameras (Sony NEX-5N and A5100) and bought a cheap (20€) Nikon 1 J1 but I am thinking about getting a m4/3 camera as the main one for my scope, the 2x crop factor seems ideal for nikon CFN lens line.

I do not need things like a viewfinder or but I would like to have good DR, IR remote control and EFSC

Any recommendations?

Javier

ojd01
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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by ojd01 »

seta666 wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:10 am
Hi,

Now I am using Sony APS-C cameras (Sony NEX-5N and A5100) and bought a cheap (20€) Nikon 1 J1 but I am thinking about getting a m4/3 camera as the main one for my scope, the 2x crop factor seems ideal for nikon CFN lens line.

I do not need things like a viewfinder or but I would like to have good DR, IR remote control and EFSC

Any recommendations?

Javier
Hello Javier!

I have had a really good experience with the Micro Four Thirds range when using them for macro and microscope stuff.

I would have a look, and compare, the Olympus E-M10 series and Panasonic GX80 series for your needs :) I don't have much experience with all the viewfinder-less M4/3 models, or much experience with Panasonics units - however, the GX80/GX85 appears to be a good investment. The GH5 has been reviewed well for microscope work for its "dampened vibration reduced shutter" and superior video recording - but it may be a little steep in cost. I guess it depends on budget a little, if I was going to invest in an M43 system it would probably be a GH5 or EM-1 mark 2.

I hope this helps a little in pointing in a direction of some units.

Best Regards

Owen
Instagram: @ojd_photo

seta666
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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by seta666 »

I will look them up, thanks!

I do not really plan to use it outside of macro/micro work so mainly what I need is a good sensor, as long as the sensor was the same and it had remote control and EFSC I would rather have a PEN than a OM/EM, cost wise.

Edit: Truth is pixel shift mode is quite impressive; what would be the most basic camera with it, the OM-D E-M1 mkII?

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by Lou Jost »

Pixel-shifting is excellent but takes a long time per shot, so you won't be using it all the time, but it is nice to have for special things that don't move at all.

Don't buy one that doesn't have a fully electronic shutter (not just EFCS). The fully electronic shutter causes zero vibrations and never wears out.

I recommend a 20Mp model if you can afford it.

I don't know about camera-brand IR releases, but for very little money you can buy third-party radio releases for Panasonic and possibly for Olympus.

Olympus sensors supposedly have better UV sensitivity than Panasonic ones, because of differences in the filter pack, so if you have an interest in UV photography, that could be a consideration.

seta666
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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by seta666 »

Wops!!; I just made the maths and cropping the the 24mpx sensor of the Sony A5100 to match m4/3 size gives me 14mpx, cropping it 1" sensor gives 7.7mpx The EOS M6 mkII cropped to m4/3 size gives almost 20mpx
I bought a cheap J1, I will run some test against Sony A5100 cropped and study the results before jumping yet to another camera ecosystem..

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by Lou Jost »

If you already have a mirrorless camera with fully electronic shutter, instead of cropping, you should use what you have at its native size, expanding the image with a good 1.4x teleconverter or using a longer tube lens if your system in infinity-corrected. If your lenses are good, this will give you better results than cropping. It is better to oversample than to undersample, and with good low-power objectives you will not be oversampling.

seta666
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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by seta666 »

Lou Jost wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:17 pm
If you already have a mirrorless camera with fully electronic shutter, instead of cropping, you should use what you have at its native size, expanding the image with a good 1.4x teleconverter or using a longer tube lens if your system in infinity-corrected. If your lenses are good, this will give you better results than cropping. It is better to oversample than to undersample, and with good low-power objectives you will not be oversampling.
I can not use a teleconverter on my microscope, phototube is too short. The options left are Afocal method, photoeyepiece or cropping.

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by Lou Jost »

I can not use a teleconverter on my microscope, phototube is too short. The options left are Afocal method, photoeyepiece or cropping.
I am not sure I understand that. If the phototube can accept a camera, shouldn't it also be able to accept a teleconverter? The front flange of a teleconverter goes in exactly the same place as that of the camera by itself. And since teleconverters do not have handgrips or viewfinder bulges, they usually need even less clearance than a camera does.

seta666
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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by seta666 »

Lou Jost wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:31 pm
I am not sure I understand that. If the phototube can accept a camera, shouldn't it also be able to accept a teleconverter? The front flange of a teleconverter goes in exactly the same place as that of the camera by itself. And since teleconverters do not have handgrips or viewfinder bulges, they usually need even less clearance than a camera does.
If the TC is the same brand as the camera the answer is yes, but the teleconverter I have is F mount (flange distance 46.5mm vs 18mm Sony E-mount)

My phototube is 11mm long +18mm = 29mm --The teleconverter should be inside the trinocular head by 17.5mm . This sketch should help understand it better; until I visualized it I did not understand what was going on either

A sony FE TC would work, but at 500$ may be too expenssive without knowing for sure it will work. Maybe would be possible to remove the optics from the teleconverter I have and make a custom adapter that could go inside the trinocular head, but I do not have the tools and habilites necessaries for such a custom job.

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by MarkSturtevant »

I have been researching the Olympus / Panasonic M4/3 cameras for some time, with a concentration on Olympus models since they have some features that I especially like. Unless I've missed something, I've seen, the E-M1 and E-M5 series all have electronic shutters and high resolution modes, as does the Pen model. They all seem to go at 50Mpx hi res mode except for the E-M5 mark ii, which has 40 Mpx hi res mode.

They generally have a base 20.3 - 20.4 Mpx sensor, but the E-M5 mark ii has a base 16 Mpx sensor.

I also keep track of how much used bodies go for, and its noted that a common used price range for the more advanced models is $900 - over $1000, while the E-M5 mark ii can be a lot cheaper. I've seen them for under $400 from reputable sellers on Amazon. Those are old quotes, though, and I don't know how much they go for now.

I have not closely tracked the above features (electronic shutter, Hi res mode) in the E-M 10 series bodies. They have 16 Mpx sensors. They are definitely fine cameras, but since they did not have some features I wanted I did not look into them that closely.

So for Olympus, it looks like an E-M1, E-M5, or Pen, and honestly it will be hard to go wrong. If you can afford it, some of these babies do star tracking, for heavens' sakes, where I guess the sensor moves to fix on stars during long exposures. (!!!).
Mark Sturtevant
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Lou Jost
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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by Lou Jost »

One other thing I like about Olympus offerings is the ability to watch a long-exposure photo develop over time during the exposure, in Live View. This is important when light-painting at night, especially when trying to photograph fluorescence rather than reflected light.

Of the models mentioned, I have the E-M5 and Pen-F. I greatly prefer the Pen F. External power supplies are available for both, which is important when stacking. Also, flash works with the fully electronic shutter, and that is not common in mirrorless cameras.

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by joshmacro »

I have an E-M5 Mark II and one of my main reasons for purchasing it was that it can tether to a PC. I believe that the Mark II is the only E-M5 that can tether and that if you want this feature you would need to get the E-M5 Mark II or upgrade to other Olympus models. I have been very happy with the E-M5 Mark II for macro and overall photography. Not quite as good image quality as my FF, but it's been a very economical kit and solid performer.

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by Macrero »

Hi Javier,

glad to see you back on track :wink:

My recommendation would be Panny G9. I don't have it anymore, but I liked it quite a lot. Sensor is about the best you can find in m4/3 + Pixel-shift, which in my experience is better implemented than in Oly cameras.

Best,

- Macrero
https://500px.com/macrero - Amateurs worry about equipment, Pros worry about money, Masters worry about Light

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by Lou Jost »

I have the G9 and Oly PEN F and OM-5. I prefer the PEN F's implementation of focus bracketing. The Panasonic implementation closes down and opens the aperture for each shot, but the Oly stops down at the beginning and stays that way. I also prefer the pixel-shift image quality of the Oly over the G9, But the G9 has a bigger buffer, and that is nice for fast field stacking.

Lou

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Re: Looking for a good m4/3 camera for focus stacking

Post by Macrero »

Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:40 pm
I have the G9 and Oly PEN F and OM-5. I prefer the PEN F's implementation of focus bracketing. The Panasonic implementation closes down and opens the aperture for each shot, but the Oly stops down at the beginning and stays that way. I also prefer the pixel-shift image quality of the Oly over the G9, But the G9 has a bigger buffer, and that is nice for fast field stacking.

Lou

Hi Lou,

hope you're doing well.

I've owned the Pen-F before the G9. I can't comment on focus bracketing, since I didn't use it, but Pixel-shift-wise (what I was referring to), in my experience the G9 does it better.

- Macrero
https://500px.com/macrero - Amateurs worry about equipment, Pros worry about money, Masters worry about Light

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