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.
Best Cameras With Focus Stacking: Our Picks
1. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
The OM-D E-M1 Mark III has a great set of features, including a full focus stacking mode.
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.
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
The OM-D E-M5 Mark III has a weather-sealed design and is great for outdoor focus stacking.
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.
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
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X has an ergonomic design with a host of useful features for focus stacking.
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.
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
The Lumix G95 is a well-rounded mirrorless camera with advanced focus-stacking features.
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.
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.
5. Panasonic Lumix GX9
The GX9 is a decent camera for beginners and allows you to create focus-stacked images with minimum effort.
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.
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
The G9 features brilliant IS, a decent AF system, and some useful shooting modes for high-quality macro shots (with the right lens).
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.
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
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has some excellent features and a high-quality 26.1 MP sensor.
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.
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
The Nikon Z6 II is a high-end mirrorless camera that has a host of awesome features, including focus stacking.
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.
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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