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Mirrorless camera recommendation
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1261
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:45 am    Post subject: Mirrorless camera recommendation Reply with quote

I have built a new, more traditional stacking setup that moves the camera instead of the subject stage. It's not fully tested but I am already seeing the need to have a smaller camera that can be mounted 180deg ("upside down") on the bellows. I can get away with the 180deg mounting on a larger Canon Autobellows but I am not happy with the minimum length of the Canon nor its rigidity, so I am using a Pentax. Problem is the Pentax is too "short" to allow 180deg rotation of a DSLR, as the prism/flash "bump" interferes.

So, I am looking for a MILC recommendation. I have long wanted to go this direction in order to shorten the register distance, which ultimately will allow a smaller system to be built, but my criteria has been too steep:

- No AA filter
- EFSC/EFCS
- Camera control and image download via wired tethering
- Interfaces with stacking hardware/software

So far, only Canon DSLR's have fit the bill, though the D810 may also, and the D850 should once CMN or other control software is released.

But now I've added the "small" requirement so I can mount it 180deg, and I am not sure which (if any) available cameras can meet the criteria.

Some comments from those using mirrorless cameras, and what requirements in my list I would need to compromise on (if any), would be appreciated.
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for sure a pretty trivial (stupid) answer...I use a short extension tube to mount an rotate my Canon on the Pentax Auto Bellows

The later Sony 7 and 9 models could do, not sure about all your requirements.
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 974

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau wrote:
for sure a pretty trivial (stupid) answer...I use a short extension tube to mount an rotate my Canon on the Pentax Auto Bellows

The later Sony 7 and 9 models could do, not sure about all your requirements.


I do the same - Pentax on Pentax bellows
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you probably know, I use an Olympus mirrorless camera. I love it but the smaller sensor size might not meet your needs.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1261
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johan wrote:
Pau wrote:
for sure a pretty trivial (stupid) answer...I use a short extension tube to mount an rotate my Canon on the Pentax Auto Bellows

The later Sony 7 and 9 models could do, not sure about all your requirements.


I do the same - Pentax on Pentax bellows


Of course I do the same but then the camera standard movement is limited (the prism/flash hits the end of the rail), and the minimum extension is further compromised. Thus for lower magnifications (I shoot as low as m=0.2) I must use a longer lens, which together with the low magnification means a very long working distance. It's all do-able but I'm trying to keep the setup reasonably compact.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1261
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
As you probably know, I use an Olympus mirrorless camera. I love it but the smaller sensor size might not meet your needs.


Yes, and you're getting excellent results with it. I am not limiting myself to larger sensors. Can your Oly camera meet the criteria list?
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it does all those things. With the extra advantage of fast automated focus bracketing, which is a joy to use.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
Yes, it does all those things. With the extra advantage of fast automated focus bracketing, which is a joy to use.


Thanks Lou. Can you describe:

- What software is used to control the camera via wired tethering?
- A brief workflow for taking stacks (with manual lenses)
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer to write the files to cards rather than to the computer directly. So I connect the rail controller (Stackshot or WeMacro) to the mini-USB port of the camera, and the HDMI output of the camera goes to a monitor (optional). If you want to send the images directly to the computer, I will test the Olympus Capture 1 software and the "robot" feature that Rik once mentioned when the Cogsys controller is connected by USB to the computer.

Edit: I prefer writing to cards because the computer can induce vibrations in the camera, due to fans and especially my heavy pounding of the keys when I type.
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Lou Jost
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
my heavy pounding of the keys when I type
Hmm, must be very stiff cables
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Chris R
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
Yes, it does all those things. With the extra advantage of fast automated focus bracketing, which is a joy to use.


Hi Lou...can you describe your use of the automated focus bracketing? I saw in another thread about a fairly deep stack created with this method but I don't know its limitations, if it works only with AF lenses, etc.
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray, it is of course limited to autofocus lenses, since the camera must change the focus between shots. For Olympus cameras, any MFT lens will work, but not regular 4/3 lenses, even though these can be autofocused with the use of an adapter for MFT. (I should note that I have not actually tried it on ordinary Four thirds lenses, but the Oly literature says it doesn't work.)

The stack depth is unlimited; any single press of the shutter button can trigger up to 999 shots (you program the number, and the degree of overlap between shots, in advance) but if you want more you just press the shutter button again. There is a settable optional time delay between shots to allow for a flash to recharge.

The ordinary MFT lenses cover m up to 1.0. By using a Raynox or reversed lens or microscope objective on the front of an MFT lens, you can get higher m, but it is unclear whether you'll have enough focusing range to do a deep stack at higher m.

You can also use MFT lenses in reverse, with a home-made automatic reversing ring, and automated focus bracketing works just as well with the lens reversed as when it points forward. Working distance is limited though. I assume there must be some limit to m, caused by the minimum focusing increment that the camera can produce, but I have not reached it yet. I've gone to between 2x and 3x with the reversed Oly 60mm macro lens.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the fastest fps doing this, if not limited by shutter duration or flash?
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is limited mainly by the card writing speed. With a 90Mb/s card I just timed a 200 shot stack with 1/5000 shutter speed. The shooting took 13 seconds and there was an additional 9 sec delay to finish writing all the files in the buffer. This is shooting RAW + jpg.
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Lou Jost
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Lou. Impressive!
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