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Best Focus Stacking Cameras: Top 8 Picks (in 2021)

Focus stacking lets you achieve a greater depth of field in your photos, but it can be a hassle to focus several images, then blend them in post-processing.

That’s where focus stacking cameras come in, which can focus stack images automatically, no post-processing software (or time) necessary. In this guide, we look at eight of the best cameras with built-in focus stacking in 2021.

1. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Our Pick
Great for macro focus stacking

The OM-D E-M1 Mark III has a great set of features, including a full focus stacking mode.

Durable weather-resistant design
Decent AF system with 121 detection points
Ergonomic design for ease of use
Some lenses are not compatible with focus stacking

Our top pick is the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. Olympus is one of the main manufacturers that offer built-in focus stacking and the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is their best, thanks to a great set of features, a robust design, and excellent ergonomics.

This camera has a 20.4 MP Four Thirds sensor, and you can expect high-quality photos with great contrast. You also get in-body image stabilization that can compensate for up to 7.5 stops of camera shake.

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 Mark III Black Camera Body

We also like the versatile camera controls and the comfortable design. It’s easy to use but gives great control via features like an EV control dial.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark III also includes Olympus’s focus-bracketing and focus-stacking modes. As a result, you can either take a series of shots at different focus points or use the full focus-stacking setting to automatically combine images within the camera. Please be aware, however, that not all Olympus lenses are compatible with the focus stacking feature, so it is advisable to check before investing in a lens.

2. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Great for outdoor use

The OM-D E-M5 Mark III has a weather-sealed design and is great for outdoor focus stacking.

Compact and lightweight design
High-quality 20 MP sensor
Versatile with a range of interchangeable lenses
Some may find the button design cluttered

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is technically a lower-spec camera than the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. However, it has some features that are superior and is certainly one of the best cameras with built-in focus stacking on the market.

This camera has a 20 MP sensor and uses the TruePic VIII image processor. It also has a more compact and lightweight design, making it great for focus stacking macro shots on the go.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Body Black

Like the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, this camera also has in-body image stabilization, which provides compensation for up to 5.5 stops of camera shake. We also like that it has a durable, weather-sealed exterior.

Of course, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III also includes focus stacking and focus bracketing. The focus stacking mode gives great control and allows you to easily increase the depth of your photos without post-processing software.

3. Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Great for high-end photos

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X has an ergonomic design with a host of useful features for focus stacking.

5-axis in-body image stabilization
Live ND filter effect
Simple AF controls
Expensive

If professional photography is your goal, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X is an excellent option. This is a high-end mirrorless camera that features some noticeable upgrades from the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. For example, it has a vertical grip that allows you to comfortably hold the camera in both orientations.

The E-M1X has a 20.3 MP MOS sensor and uses dual Tropic VII image processors. This offers excellent image quality, and the camera can also perform great in low-light situations. We also like that it has 5-axis image stabilization that provides up to 7.5 stops of compensation.

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1X

AF system controls let you easily select different AF points when using the focus stacking shooting mode. Like other Olympus cameras on this list, the E-M1X features both focus bracketing and focus stacking modes. Lastly, it has a live ND filter effect, so you can get the effect of an ND filter without needing to install one on your lens.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a great camera and it is definitely one of the focus stacking picks for professional shooters.

4. Panasonic Lumix G95

Great for intermediate photography

The Lumix G95 is a well-rounded mirrorless camera with advanced focus-stacking features.

Built-in 5-axis image stabilization
Includes a decent kit lens
Weather-sealed design
Button controls may be a little cluttered

One of the best Panasonic focus stacking cameras is the Lumix G95, which features a 20.3 MP sensor and comes with the Lumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. This is a decent kit lens that offers plenty of versatility for your photography.

The Lumix G95 is lightweight and has a compact design. The body is also comfortable to hold, although it does have a cluttered button layout. Regardless, intermediate photographers should find it pleasing to use.

Panasonic LUMIX G95 20.3 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera, 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 Micro Four...

The G95 includes a great range of special shooting modes, including focus stacking. Another notable option is the Live View Composite mode; this allows you to create a single image from several RAW shots inside the camera without the need for any additional software.

The Lumix 95 also has 5-axis image stabilization and a full rotatable LCD touchscreen. It may not have the same resolution as some of the other cameras on this list, but it is versatile with a great set of features.

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5. Panasonic Lumix GX9

Great for beginners

The GX9 is a decent camera for beginners and allows you to create focus-stacked images with minimum effort.

Dual IS from lens and camera body
Compact and minimalistic design
User-friendly features and shooting modes
Not the best AF system

Next in our Panasonic range is the Lumix GX9. This is another relatively inexpensive camera that comes in a bundle with the Lumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

It has a smaller body than the G95 and a more minimalistic design, too, which makes it ideal for beginners who have never used a mirrorless or DSLR camera before. It also has an electronic viewfinder and a touchscreen that can be rotated downward 180 degrees.

Panasonic LUMIX GX9 4K Mirrorless ILC Camera Body with 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S....

The GX9 packs a 20.3 MP sensor and uses the Venus Engine image processor. Its autofocus system is okay, and although it can’t quite match the G95, you should still be able to focus on subjects with relative ease.

The included focus stacking technology is excellent, plus its beginner-friendly design means you can create some advanced photos with minimal technical knowledge. You can also expect a great degree of stability thanks to the built-in image stabilization (and the image stabilization in the kit lens, too!).

6. Panasonic Lumix G9

Great for macro shots

The G9 features brilliant IS, a decent AF system, and some useful shooting modes for high-quality macro shots (with the right lens).

Has a touchscreen and and a top-facing LCD
High-quality 20.3 MP sensor
Built-in 5-axis image stabilization
May not have the best battery life

Our last Panasonic pick is the Lumix G9. This is a high-quality mirrorless camera aimed somewhere between professional and intermediate photographers. It packs a 20.3 MP Four Thirds sensor and a decent ISO range.

We also like that this camera has in-body image stabilization. As a result, you should be able to track subjects and record smooth 4k videos easily.

Panasonic LUMIX G9 4K Digital Camera, 20.3 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera Plus 80...

The Panasonic Lumix G9 also has a focus stacking feature that is easy to use. Combined with the IS, this makes it great for high-detail macro shots.

The design is also ergonomic, and you get a large textured grip. The button layout is also relatively minimalistic compared to some other Panasonic cameras. Lastly, we like that this camera has a special high-resolution mode, which takes a series of 20.3 MP RAW images and combines them to create one ultra-resolution 80 MP RAW photo.

7. Fujifilm X-Pro3

A retro-style camera

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has some excellent features and a high-quality 26.1 MP sensor.

Excellent AF
Beautiful image quality
Versatile touchscreen and EVF
Some people may not like the retro design

Fujifilm offers focus stacking technology in some of its cameras, including the X-Pro3, a high-end, full-frame mirrorless camera that is great for professional photography.

It uses the X-trans CMOS 4 sensor with an effective resolution of 26.1 MP. This sensor also gives an excellent dynamic range for fantastic colors and lighting. We also like that the camera is highly usable with an LCD touchscreen and a 3.60M-dot OLED EVF. This means that you can easily compose using either the screen or the viewfinder.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Mirrorless Digital Camera - Dura Silver (Body Only)

In terms of design, the X-Pro3 is retro. It has a classic style that not everyone may like. However, those who prefer traditional camera designs will love the contrasting black and silver body.

8. Nikon Z6 II

Great for professionals

The Nikon Z6 II is a high-end mirrorless camera that has a host of awesome features, including focus stacking.

Hybrid AF with 273 detection points
Ergonomic design with a touchscreen
Fully weather-sealed chassis
Expensive

Our last pick is the Nikon Z6 II. Nikon uses a different focus stacking technology called Focus Shift, though the results are similar to other cameras on this list. Using the Nikon Z6 II, you can create photos with a deep depth of field with minimum effort.

This compact mirrorless camera offers top-notch image quality, thanks to the 24.5 MP BSI sensor that performs well in low-light situations. The Z6 II also features dual card slots for a greater storage capacity. And we like that this mirrorless camera has dual EXPEED 6 image processors, which allow the camera to operate incredibly quickly.

Nikon Z 6II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body w/NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, Black

As mentioned above, you can use the Focus Shift feature to create focus-stacked images. This tool is easy to use, and in conjunction with the high-end specs of the camera, you can produce some fantastic results.

Which Focus Stacking Camera Is Right for You?

We hope you have found this guide on the best focus-stacking cameras useful. As you can see, there are a great range of cameras available that allow you to produce beautiful focus-stacked images with minimal effort.

We should also mention that there are some Canon cameras like the Canon EOS R6 that feature focus bracketing. This is similar to focus stacking, but the mode does not combine the photos afterward. Instead, you simply take a series of focus bracketed shots, and must then combine them using focus-stacking software afterward.

If you want professional-grade focus stacking, something like the Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a great option. Alternatively, for focus stacking on a budget, the Panasonic Lumix GX9 would be a better choice.


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