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R7 Focus Stacking forces electronic shutter


The R7, and other R series cameras, forces electronic shutter for focus stacking. This prevents the use of flash for focus stacking. There is no really good reason for not allowing mechanical shutter for focus stacking and the choice of which shutter should be left up to the photographer, not the camera. Does anyone know of any workarounds that can allow the use of flash with the built-in focus stacking?


This is a well known issue and why some macro photographers have switched to other cameras. Focus stacking is often used for high magnification macro images. This really matters for several reasons. 1st is that as magnifications increase, so does the effective f-number. Flash is more powerful than small video lights which can be used for macro. Many of ua photograph insects in the field. Video lights are VERY cumbersome compared to small twin flashes, like the Canon twin flash, which is now of no use for focus stacking with my R6 or R7. PLEASE, PLEASE, if at all possible to add a firmware upgrade which allows flash for in camera focus bracketing, get it done. Let the photographer make the decision if constant lights or flash is the beat tool for the job. 

It seems that only the Canon R3 with EL-1 flash is capable of focus bracketing with flash. 

I was confused by this Canon document ( ( which lists several compatible camera models (R3, R7, R8, R10, R6ii & R50) only to exclude them in the footnotes! 
(1: This feature is supported exclusively on the EOS R3 with firmware ver. 1.2.0 or later. 
2: Feature not supported on the EOS R7, EOS R8, EOS R10, EOS R6 Mark II, or EOS R50.).

I wonder if the compatibility will increase in subsequent models? if it cant be fixed in firmware? It might not matter to Canon but macro photographers are switching to Olympus OM-Systems and other manufacturers because of this issue. I have heard of several on You tube. Macro photographers WANT flash bracketing with flash! 


Can focus bracketing with flash be added with a firmware update? This is a big disappointment.

@hellochando wrote:

Can focus bracketing with flash be added with a firmware update? This is a big disappointment.

Big disappointment?  Are you sure?

 BTW, the use of the electronic shutter has nothing to do with this “issue”.  Going with the electronic shutter, instead of mechanical, means less vibration and sharper images.

Let’s think about how using a flash to perform focus stacking would work, or more accurately would NOT work.  Focus stacking works by capturing a series of images in quick succession as the focus plane is varied according to your settings.  It is not uncommon for a dozen or more images to be capture, if not dozens.

Several images are captured per seconds.  Can a flash or strobe system recharge that quickly?  I seriously doubt that any system can recharge that quickly.  Can yours?

"The right mouse button is your friend."

I'm using speedlights at 1/16 power for macro food photos so recycle time isn't an problem. Most of the camera movement is from manually turning the focus ring. Camera shake from the mechanical shutter isn't even an issue on a tripod at high sync speeds. Using continuous lighting isn't a great option for shooting macro at high apertures - too bulky for tight setups and not ideal for things like chocolate. I invested in two R5Cs, and that price point, it's a monumental disappointment.

I believe the R3 is the only mirrorless that has focus stacking with flash, insufficient sensor readout speed is the reason flash can't be used with the lesser R series models.

And as you correctly pointed out, flash recycle time isn't an issue at reduced power which is where it normally will be set for macro photography.  Canon's MR-14 EX II macro ring light flash has a minimum recycle time of .1 second at minimum power increasing to around 5 seconds at high power.  My Hensel studio strobes have the same .1 second minimum recycle time (9 flashes per second) at low power decreasing to 2 flashes per second at their maximum 500 watt output.

It is common with some camera producers to provide adjustable delay between stacking steps to allow for flash recycling.


EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Yes a Flash system can refresh that fast especially with external power packs and Video lights are not strong or diffused enough I have been doing this for years the old method is to put camera on burst and manually move the camera this is a bit hit and miss but the burst rate is no different, being able to have the camera stack (with Flash) would be a great advantage and other manufacturers do it, Look at someone like this who is a ver accomplished macro photographer he stacks images by manually moving through the subject while on burst 

I don’t think a recharge time of 0.1 sec is fast enough for a body capable of 20-40 fps. 

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Flash Recharge is fine I use my R7 with flash in manual mode around 1/125 I can get 8-10 shots in burst with flash (that is without a power pack) I have to manually move my camera to get a stack which is hit and miss, all I want is it to move the focus for me 


Fujifilm XT4 focus bracketing with flash:

click here to view the gallery