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09-20-2015, 12:07 PM   #1
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645z multi exposure/in camera image overlay ?

This is my first post on the forum. Hopefully I'm in the right place for this question.

I have been on the fence about purchasing the 645z for a while because of some questions that I can't get answered by Pentax customer support or the regional Pentax rep. Very frustrating.

I currently make A LOT of composite images with an in camera function on my Nikon D3 called "Image Overlay". Hopefully there is someone on this forum that shoots both Pro level Nikons and the 645z that is familiar with the "Image Overlay " function. This function allows you to capture several RAW images and stack them on top of each other and save them as 1 composite RAW image. This can be done with any series of images recorded on the flash card even after turning off the camera. This is a fantastic tool I use to combine multiple light sources and computer screens in shots on almost every job I shoot. This IS NOT the same as the multiple exposure function.

Is there any way to do the identical thing in camera with the 645z? And yes, I realize most people's responses will be to do this in Photoshop but there is a very specific reason why I don't want to do it that way.

Hopefully someone out there can help me with this question. Now if they would just bring back the 25mm lens and add new leaf shutter lenses.
Thanks,
Bibbt

09-21-2015, 11:25 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bibbt Quote
This is my first post on the forum. Hopefully I'm in the right place for this question.

I have been on the fence about purchasing the 645z for a while because of some questions that I can't get answered by Pentax customer support or the regional Pentax rep. Very frustrating.

I currently make A LOT of composite images with an in camera function on my Nikon D3 called "Image Overlay". Hopefully there is someone on this forum that shoots both Pro level Nikons and the 645z that is familiar with the "Image Overlay " function. This function allows you to capture several RAW images and stack them on top of each other and save them as 1 composite RAW image. This can be done with any series of images recorded on the flash card even after turning off the camera. This is a fantastic tool I use to combine multiple light sources and computer screens in shots on almost every job I shoot. This IS NOT the same as the multiple exposure function.

Is there any way to do the identical thing in camera with the 645z? And yes, I realize most people's responses will be to do this in Photoshop but there is a very specific reason why I don't want to do it that way.

Hopefully someone out there can help me with this question. Now if they would just bring back the 25mm lens and add new leaf shutter lenses.
Thanks,
Bibbt
I do not believe this is possible with the 645Z.
09-21-2015, 08:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
I do not believe this is possible with the 645Z.
Thank you Texandrews for the reply. I was really hoping the 645z would do this. I still might rent one just to see if I like it despite it not having that capability.
Thanks,
Bibbt
09-22-2015, 12:14 AM   #4
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I know that the Z has something like this, as I've seen it while playing in the settings before, but I'm *not* sure whether it actually applies this effect to RAW files or Jpegs only.

I figured that image stacking can't possibly apply to RAW files, so I never even bothered to try it, but I may try to do so today.

Edit:
Ok, so it does work after all, with RAW even. Basically, you press up on the d-pad to select shooting mode, and to the right of your regular "single/cont/timer" settings you'll also have composite and composite interval, where you can choose to either manually or automatically take composite shots. There are three blend modes available: Average, Additive and Bright, but so far I've only tried out Average. One neat thing I noticed is that Live View shows you a "ghost" image of the composite you've shot so far, as you're shooting.

Here's a quick test shot out of my office window, the resulting file was a single RAW DNG, but of course you can set it to save the original files individually as well.



Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 09-22-2015 at 01:19 AM.
09-22-2015, 02:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
I know that the Z has something like this, as I've seen it while playing in the settings before, but I'm *not* sure whether it actually applies this effect to RAW files or Jpegs only.

I figured that image stacking can't possibly apply to RAW files, so I never even bothered to try it, but I may try to do so today.

Edit:
Ok, so it does work after all, with RAW even. Basically, you press up on the d-pad to select shooting mode, and to the right of your regular "single/cont/timer" settings you'll also have composite and composite interval, where you can choose to either manually or automatically take composite shots. There are three blend modes available: Average, Additive and Bright, but so far I've only tried out Average. One neat thing I noticed is that Live View shows you a "ghost" image of the composite you've shot so far, as you're shooting.

Here's a quick test shot out of my office window, the resulting file was a single RAW DNG, but of course you can set it to save the original files individually as well.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, I'll be damned. I didn't think it was possible with the raws. That is extraordinary news for me.
09-22-2015, 08:21 AM   #6
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WOW Kolor-Picker. Thanks for the info. Now my next question would be if you can overlay these shots after you have turned of the camera ? I like to overlay shots sometimes after I have finished a shoot and retired to my hotel when I'm on the road. If you could test this and report I would really appreciate it.
Thanks,
Bibbt
09-22-2015, 09:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bibbt Quote
WOW Kolor-Picker. Thanks for the info. Now my next question would be if you can overlay these shots after you have turned of the camera ? I like to overlay shots sometimes after I have finished a shoot and retired to my hotel when I'm on the road. If you could test this and report I would really appreciate it.
Thanks,
Bibbt

It doesn't sound like the control you have on your D3. I used that feature on a Nikon once and I recall I could grab any photo already taken and mix it with the others as a percentage of my choice. I didn't have to be in a shooting mode and collect the photos all at once. But perhaps Ricoh has that too in the Z.
09-22-2015, 10:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
It doesn't sound like the control you have on your D3. I used that feature on a Nikon once and I recall I could grab any photo already taken and mix it with the others as a percentage of my choice. I didn't have to be in a shooting mode and collect the photos all at once. But perhaps Ricoh has that too in the Z.
Tuco,
You are absolutly correct. The Nikon allows you to grab any shots on the card after shooting and merge/stack/overlay or what ever you would like to call it, together. Only restriction is the shots must all be captured in the same file format. Can't combine NEFs or jpegs together. I am anxious to hear back from Kolor-Pikker.
Thanks,
Bibbt

09-22-2015, 11:45 AM   #9
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You'll have to wait a bit longer then, since I'm no longer at work, but I'll try it out tomorrow.
The Z does have a photo processing feature built in, I just have no idea if blending is among the feature set.
Looking through the manual revealed nothing so far.
Edit: doing some looking around on google didn't reveal anything either. Since this is a shooting mode, I'm guessing that you can only create composites as you're shooting them...

Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 09-22-2015 at 12:14 PM.
09-22-2015, 12:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
You'll have to wait a bit longer then, since I'm no longer at work, but I'll try it out tomorrow.
The Z does have a photo processing feature built in, I just have no idea if blending is among the feature set.
Looking through the manual revealed nothing so far.
Edit: doing some looking around on google didn't reveal anything either. Since this is a shooting mode, I'm guessing that you can only create composites as you're shooting them...
I will appreciate any info you can pass my way. As I said, even the Pentax rep for my area was no help. The lack of professional support for this camera has me worried. I buy cameras to make money with so support is important to me. I don't think Pentax has a clue about the professional market. When the 645Z first came out I tried to arrange for a pre purchase camera test with the rep and the closest I ever got was meeting her at a camera store in Austin where I got to hold the camera for about 5-10 minutes while other people were waiting to handle it. I guess if I was a writer for a photographic publication it would be easy to arrange a test. Not so for a working pro looking to spend money on a new system. I'll quit complaining now. The rep might be on this forum.
Bibbt
09-23-2015, 03:56 AM   #11
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Right, so after some more testing, I came to the following conclusions:
The image sequence is only saved in interval mode, if you shoot manual composite, there is no option to save individual images.
There appears to be no way to composite images after the fact.

I do wonder if these changes can be brought in with a firmware update, maybe if enough people ask about it?

QuoteOriginally posted by bibbt Quote
I will appreciate any info you can pass my way. As I said, even the Pentax rep for my area was no help. The lack of professional support for this camera has me worried. I buy cameras to make money with so support is important to me. I don't think Pentax has a clue about the professional market. When the 645Z first came out I tried to arrange for a pre purchase camera test with the rep and the closest I ever got was meeting her at a camera store in Austin where I got to hold the camera for about 5-10 minutes while other people were waiting to handle it. I guess if I was a writer for a photographic publication it would be easy to arrange a test. Not so for a working pro looking to spend money on a new system. I'll quit complaining now. The rep might be on this forum.
Bibbt
Pentax has been out of the professional market for quite a while, not that they've ever had as strong a presence in the USA as in Japan, compared to Canon and Nikon.
You should know that if anything does happen to your camera, you'll have to ship it to Japan for maintenance, as there do not appear to be any international service centers, at least for the 645 cameras. The 645Z is built like a tank and I highly doubt that you will get a dud or break it, but given the difficulties with repair, it's better to take advantage of your dealer/retailer's grace period and just return/exchange the camera if there is a problem within the first month or whenever. As far as electro-mechanical devices go, if it hasn't broken immediately or within a week of turning on, it's usually good.

I, of course, bought the camera knowing this, but I live in a place where you're straight out of luck if you want to get literally anything repaired, so I don't care about the warranty or support of anything that I buy. If you do care, know that Pentax is indeed infamous for difficult service, but I've had an impossible amount of headaches with Canon myself... I once dropped my EF70-200 f/4 IS, knocking the IS module out of place, and I left it with a friend to send it to a repair center in NYC, and every time they fixed something, there would be a new problem like wonky AF, then stuck aperture blades and so on. It only got fully repaired 2 years later after I've already bough the 645Z and was selling off my Canon gear. With no real use for it, it's still at my friend's studio, looking for a buyer, along with an 85LII which I was told had to be sent to Japan even for just cleaning, as they claimed it was "too difficult for them to take apart". YMMV.

Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 09-23-2015 at 05:20 AM.
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