Panasonic is introducing a new shooting mode that it calls Post Focus. With one press of the shutter button, the camera shoots multiple photos with multiple focus points, allowing you to later compare and choose the focal point you want from the batch. The mode will be available in the Lumix DMC-GX8, DMC-G7, and DMC-FZ300 via a firmware update that is to be released on November 24 at 8 p.m. ET, and will most likely be included in future cameras.
According to the company, “Post Focus leverages Panasonic’s high-speed, high-precision, 49-area DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology, and leadership in 4K Photography and Video, to capture 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) images at 30 frames per second.”
The focus racking system is processed in-camera, and here’s how it works. The photos are displayed as one image during playback on the camera’s LCD. On the touchscreen, the user is able to pick the various focus point — essentially refocusing, somewhat like a Lytro image. Once the desired focus point has been picked, the camera outputs it as an 8-megapixel file.
In order to achieve optimal results, Panasonic says the mode is best used for non-action shots, such as portraits and landscapes, as well as wide apertures for shallow depth of field.
Experienced photographers can also perform focus stacking with this new mode when shooting macro photography. “Simply capture the scene using the same process, then use third-party software to perform ‘focus stacking’ in order to combine multiple frames into a single image, which has more areas in tack-sharp focus for amazing results in a fraction of the time typically needed for great macro images.”
The firmware is free, and it is available via the Lumix support site.