As of this moment, the Helicon Focus software does not have the capability to adjust the distance/step size per exposure. This is certainly what is needed, to be able to use the same settings for a stair-step. With live composite one can set one focus, press the camera's shutter and turn off autofocus while leaving the camera in auto. When the camera wants to focus again it will find the proper distance/step size and do a stack. This is not possible with Helicon Focus; by the time you press the shutter the camera has no idea where to focus. It would probably be possible to create software that would accomplish this, but I can't think of any high level scripting languages that will match Helicon Focus in feature richness, flexibility and speed. By penalty of not having the same feature set, this will create a problem with values. I.e. the numbers will never be exact between Helicon Focus and Live Composite, but for the same situation you may find the two results to be slightly different in some obscure scenario.
Actually, I think that does make sense. Unfortunately, as Bill pointed out, the settings for each focal distance in Helicon are based entirely on your lens (or lenses if you have several). So, if the lens and/or settings change, the settings might not be correct. But, you can try another combination of settings in Helicon to see if the situation changes. For example, if you are using a macro lens, and it is set for a very small focal distance, then you can attempt to increase the focal distance that the camera will focus at. The optimization would be to try to close an aperture as wide as the camera can go, but still work at the required focal distance. But if the lens can't be adjusted, you could try the wider aperture, but also use a greater step size, so the final stack would have sharper details.
I believe the use of short term memory may have far reaching consequences in imaging. In a professional setting, the human short term memory is typically more robust than that of some robots, an often quoted example is that a car would not recognize the sidewalk as a destination until the car has parked itself on the sidewalk. d2c66b5586