TG-5 & FD-1 Help Please

Started 11 months ago | Questions thread
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 3,909
Re: TG-5 & FD-1 Help Please

I only have the TG4 and limited experience of macro - although I have completed around 300 macro pics lately in an effort to capture local fungi during it's fruiting season.

The first thing I would recommend is to use RAW whenever possible. It isn't possible in some macro modes - the camera will only take jpegs. But I believe the TG5 will do RAW pics in basic close-up mode (as does the TG4) and also in focus bracketing mode. Perhaps it won't take RAWs in its own focus stacking mode or microscope mode (the TG4 doesn't). Use of RAW will get the most detail, the least noise and the best dynamic range. Personally I use ETTR of +1/3 stop to get the most dynamic range.

It goes without saying (but I'll mention it anyway) that you need to be au-fait with a good RAW processor such as that of Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop to get the most out of the RAW images.

The second thing I'd mention is that microscope mode is doing a digital zoom. This inevitably reduces image quality, especially of jpegs, which is the only image mode available in microscope mode (in the TG4 at least). The high zoom of microscope mode is just a digital zoom. It won't ever get maximum possible detail - but then neither will anything else other than an actual microscope with a camera attached; or a very elaborate macro set up costing loadsa cash and being very awkward to set up.

Incidentally, in your first pic the ISO is a bit high at 400 ISO and the shutter speed is too slow at 1/8th sec. If you're also doing a manual shutter button press its not likely you'd ever get the photo as sharp as it could be in that mode.

The FD-1 is only good for close ups that take one frame, as it only flashes once. In most macros, one frame won't get much DoF. For deep DoF macros you have to use a focus stacking mode and the LED ring light is much better than the flash ring light because it'll light up for each frame of the stack.

The camera's own focus stacking mode is OK for many macro subjects but you do get jpeg only and this limits what dynamic range & white balance alterations you can achieve;  and what you can do to increase sharpness and decrease noise in post-processing. Focus bracketing mode where the camera takes 10 - 30 shots with a user-variable change of focus will give more quality - especially if your TG5 does these images in RAW and you process them with a versatile post-processor such as Photoshop.

Finally - a tripod helps a lot, even if you do have to manually press the shutter button. I have three mini tripods and use that which suits the subject best. A bean bag might be even better, with such a small camera.

I press the tripod feet down with some force, which stabilises the camera when the shutter button is pressed, as the finger-force is still less than the force I'm using to press the camera tripod legs into whatever they're standing on. The technique should work also with a bean bag.


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