How to achieve full resolution deep DoF ultra-macros of live insects?

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jungleexplorer
jungleexplorer Contributing Member • Posts: 758
How to achieve full resolution deep DoF ultra-macros of live insects?

Okay, I realize that my question is a complicated one, so let me explain what I mean. I like to shoot really close up macros of live insects in the field. Of course, this means that they are moving or they are not still for very long. And obviously, this requires a faster shutter speed, which demands a wider aperture setting, which results in an almost flat DoF. I know I am preaching to the choir here, so I will spare you more details and the issues you already know exist.

Now, I know some people will suggest that the best way to achieve my goal is to a video of the insects, extract stills from the video and stack them. I have seen some really good results from this method, but what you end with is at best a 5MP image if you shoot in 4K. A 5MP image is not usable for my purposes. I need at minimum a 12MP image and preferably a 20MP image.

Now, I have shot a lot of macros, but I have never tried photo stacking, so I admit my ignorance here. The camera I am using is a Sony A6500. The A6500 has an extremely fast FPS and can take 11 frames per second up to around 250 frames, I believe. So My thinking is, to set my camera up to shoots as fast as it can go, and when I get into position and focused on the near portion of the subject, just hold the button down while manually slowly focusing past the subject and back again. I realize that this would make it extremely difficult to keep the camera stable which is essential to the stacking technique from what I can tell, but I am usually shooting with a short tripod, or on my stomach with both elbows on the ground, soothing through the viewfinder when I take these shots.

I don't own any focus stacking software as of yet, and I just want to run some ideas by you guys before I spend money on something that may not work for me. Thanks.

 jungleexplorer's gear list:jungleexplorer's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Pentax K-r Sony a6500 Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED +8 more
Sony a6500
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