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DPP4 Depth Compositing tool (Focus Stacking) - Comments / Observations For those interested.

FloridaDrafter
Valued Contributor

I've been "Focus Stacking" for a couple of years now using two programs from Helicon, Helicon Remote and Helicon Focus. I use Remote to take the stacks via a 10' USB 3x connection to my laptop which transfers RAW (CR2) files to my laptop and opens Helicon Focus to do its thing. It's quite powerful and packed with features, but it's fairly expensive, so I wouldn't expect anything less.

With that being said, back to the topic. Since I seldom use all of DPP4, I just found the Depth Compositing tool and gave it a go. I started with some stacks taken with the EOS 7D mark II, which didn't work because only certain Canon cameras are supported. When all else fails, read the DPP4 maunual. It turns out that my EOS 5D mark IV is supported, so I loaded a 19 shot stack taken with that camera and an EF 100mm f/2.8L macro lens. One gripe I have with DPP4 is that you can't embed your RAW recipe in a saved RAW file, at least i can't find a way to do it, and if I needed adjustments in my stacks, it was either reshoot or adjust in DPP4 and convert to tiff in DPP4 and rerun the stack as tiff's in Helicon as opposed to simply editing my RAW files, saving them, then using Helicon Focus to stack the edited RAW files. With this feature now in DPP4, I can edit one RAW image then copy the recipe and paste it to the others, then process the stack with edited RAW files 🙂

 

I'm impressed with the outcome, but the "touchup" tool is a little clunky. You don't get a lot of options through the process, but I am happy so far and will only use Helicon Remote to get the initial shots. I'm assuming that other Canon users who have "in camera" stacking as an option will like it also.

 

The attached image was taken with an EOS 5D mark IV and EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, stacked in DPP4, converted and saved as tff, then resized and converted to jpg for posting (just to save space). the tiff's are stunning.

 

Dracaena Surculosa-2a.jpg

23 REPLIES 23

FloridaDrafter
Valued Contributor

This is a tighter crop of the above image.

 

 

Dracaena Surculosa-2b.jpg

steve_z
New Contributor

re: Supported cameras

I am reading page 117 of the DPP 4.12 manual and using verson 4.12.20.3 that I just downloaded. The manual says that JPEGS are suppoted for "All cameras compatible with DPP".  I tried the Depth Compositing Tool with JPEGS shot on an 80D (which is compatible with DPP).  I got an error message "Cannot start depth compositing tool. Not available for the focused image."

 

The JPEGS were all shot using the same manual settings in a sequence of shots just changing the focal distance on an object. This seemed to satisfy the Shooting conditions noted on page 117 of the manual: " The camera, lens, shutter speed, aperture value, focal length, image format, and image size must be the same." I tried changing the focal distance both by keeping the camera fixed and focusing with the lens and by moving the lens/camera closer in sequence of images.

 

Does anyone know if the manual is in error or what else could be going on?


@steve_z wrote:

re: Supported cameras

I am reading page 117 of the DPP 4.12 manual and using verson 4.12.20.3 that I just downloaded. The manual says that JPEGS are suppoted for "All cameras compatible with DPP".  I tried the Depth Compositing Tool with JPEGS shot on an 80D (which is compatible with DPP).  I got an error message "Cannot start depth compositing tool. Not available for the focused image."

 

The JPEGS were all shot using the same manual settings in a sequence of shots just changing the focal distance on an object. This seemed to satisfy the Shooting conditions noted on page 117 of the manual: " The camera, lens, shutter speed, aperture value, focal length, image format, and image size must be the same." I tried changing the focal distance both by keeping the camera fixed and focusing with the lens and by moving the lens/camera closer in sequence of images.

 

Does anyone know if the manual is in error or what else could be going on?


Thanks for the headsup, Steve. I didn't notice it woud use other file types. I just went straight for the Raw files.

I just did a down n dirty three shot jpg stack (converted from Raw to jpg in DPP) shot with a 7D mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM lens using DPP4 v.4.12.60.0 to stack. It worked fine. What lens were you using? Is it possible you have EXIF info turned off in the conversion dialog? Also, are you manually adjusting focus with the focus ring or using the EOS utility or some other remote shooting app?

Please note that I used Helicon Remote to get the Raw shots.

 

Cropped to 1280x801.

7D mark II JPG Stack.jpg

amaitra
Occasional Contributor

Does this work at all with TIFF files generated by DPP from RAW on 6D?

 

DPP cannot import TIFF created by Hugin either.


@amaitra wrote:

Does this work at all with TIFF files generated by DPP from RAW on 6D?

 

DPP cannot import TIFF created by Hugin either.


No.  This feature only works with the latest camera releases.  These cameras have a special shooting mode for focus stacking.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

amaitra
Occasional Contributor

Thanks!

 

It is odd they put up such strange restrictions. They seem to want to make folks purchase higher end or new cameras for simpel features that can easily be implemented in other lower / older models!

 

It would be so much better if they open sourced DPP and allowed others to add things to it! 


@Waddizzle wrote:

@amaitra wrote:

Does this work at all with TIFF files generated by DPP from RAW on 6D?

 

DPP cannot import TIFF created by Hugin either.


No.  This feature only works with the latest camera releases.  These cameras have a special shooting mode for focus stacking.


Yes, latest cameras Raw files, but I suspect it's more to do with the Raw format. Not all of the cameras listed as "Raw" compatible have the Focus Compositing feature.

 

FD

amaitra
Occasional Contributor

Thaese are unneded restriction - I can export tiffs from DPP and use tools (even open source ones like enblend) to do it. 

 

I use older manual focus non canon lenses.

 

Some of these restrictions are just to make us buy higher priced body 😉

 

e.g, If they can autofocus, they can do focus peaking! Just adding magic lantern will let you do it on all bodies. So one can easily focus with oldr manual focus lenses. One can do focus stacking, intervalometer and all the usual stuff with it. 

 

DPP shoudl allow all these things in case the camera does not have the horse power to do it. Or just have the smart phone app to drive them. Makes little sense to buy a new body to do these features that are easily done in post processing software on a computer.

 

If Canon does not want to invest in DPP, they can simply open source it and people will add them in no time!


@amaitra wrote:

Thaese are unneded restriction - I can export tiffs from DPP and use tools (even open source ones like enblend) to do it. 

I use older manual focus non canon lenses.

Some of these restrictions are just to make us buy higher priced body 😉

e.g, If they can autofocus, they can do focus peaking! Just adding magic lantern will let you do it on all bodies. So one can easily focus with oldr manual focus lenses. One can do focus stacking, intervalometer and all the usual stuff with it. 

 

DPP shoudl allow all these things in case the camera does not have the horse power to do it. Or just have the smart phone app to drive them. Makes little sense to buy a new body to do these features that are easily done in post processing software on a computer.

 

If Canon does not want to invest in DPP, they can simply open source it and people will add them in no time!



Greetings, amaitra! I hope all is well.

The way I look at it is a little different 🙂 DPP is made for Canon users and is basically a free courtesy, so it just makes sense that they restrict files to those created with DPP or Canon cameras. The Raw restriction, I suspect, is because of Canons updated Raw files not camera features, which is a shame because I have stacks from other Canon cameras shot in older Raw as I've used Helicon software over the years to shoot them, so on that we can agree 🙂 The restrictions with JPeG and Tiff, provided they were created with DPP or with a Canon camera, are that each shot in the stack have the same settings (Av, Tv, ISO, etc) which requires that you put your camera in Manual mode, make your settings, and either use dedicated software to advance the focal plane or manually do it, preferably with a macro rail. As far as I know, JPeG and Tiff from any Canon camera can be used to make a stack, provided the above requirements are met. I've used a Rebel, 7D2, and 5D4 to make stacks from JPeG/Tiff, non of which have built in stacking. I prefer Raw and that is what I use with my dedicated stacking software (Helicon) from all of my cameras, even Nikon.

There is a problem with taking images out of DPP, editing in other image editors, then back into DPP, or simply bringing some images into DPP (like from the web or LR/PS) as there are several threads here about that problem. I and several others have examined these files with ASCII/HEX editors to find that there is additional header information (color space and even URL's) created by other editors that makes DPP reject them. DPP on the other hand, has a very clean header so it's readily accepted by other image editors.

As for the "Open Source" comment, Canon is not about to release the Raw specifications or any other proprietary programing, at least not without a heavy monitary return, and if they do, it won't be "full". I know that there are Camera profiles avaailable in some Raw editors, but most require you set up a custom profile for your camera/lens. LR/PS users please chime in on this comment, I don't use either one and would hate to mislead anyone.

 

Overall, I am happy with DPP in general and thankful they throw us a bone every now and again, after all, Canon is not in the software business and I'm pretty sure they source it out. Admitidly, the bones don't have a lot of meat sometimes, but it's a free program. DPP is probably the best at getting your Raw files ready for other post processing programs with NR and lens adjustments, then it's easy enough to export to PS or convert/save to JPeG or TIFF. As for the Focus Stacking in DPP, it's pretty weak but functional for simple stacks. It falls way short in the "touch up" area, compared to my pricey dedicated program, but as mentioned, it's free so I cut it a lot of slack, LOL

 

FD