Focus Stacker combines sharp areas from multiple images into one seamless composite image. The focus stacking is used in macro photography for subjects like flowers, insects, jewelry, in microscope image processing, in landscape photography. The app has an advanced automatic stacking algorithm and also includes manual retouch mode allowing to have full control of the final result.
Main Focus Stacker features:
- Automatic advanced image alignment for stacking.
- Automatic detection and seamless blending of sharp image regions.
- Retouch mode allows precisely select areas from source images for complex cases where automatic selection is not possible, like moving insect antennae, similarly sharp backgrounds/foregrounds and so on.
- Built-in planar stitching. Especially useful for microscope images where the whole specimen does not fit into one frame.
- Optional exposure leveling routine available.
- All processing done in 32 bit floats, import in all image formats supported by macOS (including those in Apple Raw), export in 16 bit TIFF or 8 bit JPEG/PNG.
- Retouch mode. The feature allows to precisely select areas from source images those are used in composite image for complex cases, like moving insect antennae, similarly sharp backgrounds/foregrounds etc.
- Stacking performance on large (30+ source image) stacks improved.
- Support for Dark mode.
- Crop to original size option was removed
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
It works as claimed very well and fairly quickly. The design with dark mode is clean and simple as an added bonus. The focus merging program I saw in lists online were hideous looking, which always makes me question if they're any good. This is a solid buy.
Basic but does the job
It does focus stacking magic. That's about it so not much else to say - note I have not used other software to compare and contrast, and since this works and the price was reasonable I do not see myself bothering. Context - my images are 45 megapixel and it chews through a stack of 6 images in less than a minute.
For my workflow/life missing feature is better use of Apple Photos as an asset manager. The file picker does allow you to select from system photos, but I did not get it to work (maybe just too slow?). There is also no ability to send images directly from Photos to Focus Stacker which is unfortunate - it would be ideal to not have to export to disk first (drag & drop from photos works, but Photos exports low-rez images in that case).
Could use a few important features.
I use Photoshop almost exclusively for focus stacking. Been running CS6 forever as it doesn't make sense to pay an outrageous subscription for a program I use a couple times a month to do focus stack. With the arrival of Catalina (and the death of CS6), I thought I'd try purchasing a focus stack application so I could stop using Photoshop for that purpose.
For the most part, Focus Stacker does the job fine. It is, however, missing one crucial feature and a couple others would be nice to have:
1) As best I can tell, there is no manual crop function. This is absolutely essential to a program such as this one. It's a real shame I have to load the finished photo into some photo editing app just to crop the part I want to keep.
2) It would be really nice if there was a simple control to adjust (brightness) levels.
Other than that, it seems to work fine. A little faster than Photoshop (because there are several manual steps involved when using Photoshop). More speed would be graciously accepted, but I understand that stacking 40 20-megapixel images is going to take a while.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.