Best Macro Camera

Shooting macro photography is all about focusing on miniscule details at a larger-than-life size and that’s what macro photography cameras are designed to do.

Microscopic subjects like insects, plants, and flowers – as well as small objects like jewelry and coins – can be photographed in detail without the need for awkward lenses or deep depth of field, thanks to these specialized cameras.

You’ll need a macro photography adapter for almost any SLR camera, but there are also dedicated digital cameras with special models specifically designed to capture small zooms and macro lenses.

water drops up close on leaf

How To Get The Most Out of Your Macro Camera

If you’re going for a macro shot, you’ll want to set your camera to the macro function. You can adjust the lens focus manually or use the auto-focus function, but be aware that because it’s close up, if there isn’t enough light on the object you’re photographing, it will become blurry.

Set your camera’s aperture to f/8 or higher if using auto-focus and f/11 or higher if focusing manually. Setting the aperture to smaller values will cause less than perfect photos, so it’s best to stay within an f/stop of a full stop.

At f/8 you will have plenty of light for clear macro shots. And at f/11 you will have bright enough light for sharp macro photos. The dark areas in the photo on the left are caused by a zoom lens which is not sharp enough.

Framing the Shot

A tripod will help you frame your shot perfectly. As you get closer to the object, if there isn’t enough light, it will cause the shot to become blurry. If you don’t have a tripod, then try not to hold it in your hands. Having a steady hand is better than having a blurry picture. Be aware that some camera’s are not made for close up shots which can cause lens problems.

Sensitivity to Brightness

If you’re using a digital SLR camera, you can set the ISO sensitivity to high or unlimited. On a lower end model, low ISO settings are not ideal and can cause blurry pictures.

The most ideal settings for macro photography are 400 – 800 in digital SLR cameras and 50-100 on lower end models.

You can also set the white balance to auto or daylight. If you have a flash, you can use that as well but remember your ISO setting will probably be higher than if you were using it outdoors.

Top Macro Cameras

Macro photography is all about shooting things up close and personal, so you need a camera with great optics that can really get in there. That’s why we’re going to take a look at the top cameras on the market right now to see which one is best for your needs.

Canon EOS 5D Mk IV

This is a great camera for doing macro photography as it has excellent glass and a fast lens. The EOS 5D Mk IV does a great job of getting in close and taking pictures of things with lots of detail.

The camera comes with a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor that provides detail even when shooting at very high ISO settings. It also has an 11 point autofocus system that makes it easy to focus on your subjects, especially considering the many different kinds of lenses available, including macro lenses.

Why We Love It: As mentioned above, the nature of macro photography requires that you get really close to your subject so it’s nice to have a camera that can make this easy. The 5D Mk IV also has great image quality and is able to create photographs that are packed with detail.

What You Need to Know: It can be a bit hard to focus with this camera as there is no touchscreen. If you want a touchscreen, consider the Canon EOS 6D Mark II instead. It has the same kind of sensor and autofocus system, but it has a newer image processor which makes this easier. There is also touch screen capability and it shoots 4K video.

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Nikon D850

The D850 is a great camera for shooting macro photography. It has a great sensor and lens which are designed for extreme detail. This means that you can shoot at high ISOs without losing any of the details in your subject matter.

It also has a 10-megapixel sensor with incredible clarity and low noise, which makes it an excellent choice for shooting macro photography. This also allows you to take pictures at extremely high ISOs without losing any of the fine details in your photos.

Why We Love It: This camera can shoot at insane ISOs while still capturing incredible fine details in the image. The D850 also has a great autofocus system that works quickly and accurately based on your needs.

What You Need to Know: This camera is quite heavy, so it might not be the best choice for people who want something that is easy to carry around. It has a lot of features, which can make it tricky to get used to at first.

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Nikon D500

The D500 is a great camera for shooting macro photography. This camera has an excellent autofocus system so you can get the shot faster, which is especially important if you are shooting macro photography. It also has a flip-out touchscreen that helps with framing and composition.

It shoots great images that have stunning detail in them, and because it has a 12-megapixel sensor it’s great at shooting at high ISOs without losing details in your photos. It also uses the EXPEED 4 processor which makes it very fast and responsive.

Why We Love It: The D500 has fantastic image quality, a fast autofocus system, and a flip-out touchscreen. These are all features that make this camera great for macro photography and make it much quicker to use when trying to shoot quickly.

What You Need to Know: The D500 has lots of features, which can make it a bit tricky to get used to at first.

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Ricoh GR III

The Ricoh GR III is another great camera for shooting macro photography. It has an APS-C sensor, so you’ll get fine details in your images, which is great for macro photography. It also has a fast f1.8 lens that lets you get in really close to your subject matter so you can get some great shots. For example, this camera will focus up to 0.4m from the subject, which is quite impressive considering how close you need to be for macro photography. This means you’ll be able to shoot macro photography with some really great results.

Why We Love It: This camera has amazing image quality and great autofocus. It also is a great choice for working with macro photography because it’s quite light weight and performs well up close.

What You Need to Know: This camera has a fixed lens, which means that you can’t shoot video or change your settings during a shot. Also, the aperture is quite large at f1.8, which can make it difficult to shoot in low light situations.

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Nikon D5600

The D5600 is a fantastic camera for shooting macro photography. It has an APS-C sensor so you get more detail in your photos, and it has a 24-megapixel sensor that captures stunning images. It also uses the EXPEED 4 image processor, which allows you to shoot quickly without worrying about lag between shots. This also lets you capture some stunning images that have incredible detail.

Why We Love It: This camera has fast autofocus, high image quality, and can shoot at high ISOs without losing any of the fine details. This makes it great for shooting macro photography.

What You Need to Know: The D5600 is quite a bit bigger than most of the other cameras on our list, but it still weighs in at only 16 oz so it’s easy to carry around.

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Canon EOS Rebel T6i

The Canon EOS Rebel T6i is a solid macro camera. It has an APS-C sensor so you’ll get great detail in your images, and the image processor is quite fast so you won’t have to worry about lag between shots. The autofocus is also quite fast, which can be perfect when you want to capture subjects that are moving quickly or erratically.

Why We Love It: This camera is a really solid choice for shooting macro photography, as it has great image quality and good autofocus.

What You Need to Know: The only downside to this canon is that it doesn’t have a flip-out touchscreen or full HD video. If you’re looking for one of these features, you might want to look at other models on our list.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 is a nice, all-around camera that’s perfect for a range of photography. It has an APS-C sensor so you’ll get great image quality, and it also has a fast 12.1MP sensor that allows you to get in really close to your subject matter. This means you can get in some really great macro shots, especially if you’re shooting with the telephoto lens on this camera.

Why We Love It: This camera has a really nice, wide lens so you can get in nice and close to your subject matter. It’s also small and compact, which means it’s easy to carry around.

What You Need to Know: While the image quality is good, it doesn’t have some of the features that other cameras on our list have, such as a flip out screen or full HD video recording. If you’re looking for these features, you might want to look at another model on our list.

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Sony RX10 Mark III

The Sony RX10 Mark III is one of our top recommendations for those who take a lot of video on their trips. It has a really nice zoom range, so you can get in nice and close to your subject matter without having to move closer or change lenses. If you’re also looking for a camera that takes great photos, this one has an APS-C sensor that will give you great image quality. If you have a keen eye for detail, the Mark III also has a really nice autofocus system. You can also shoot in full HD, so you can get beautiful video on your trip.

Why We Love It: It’s also pretty compact and lightweight, which means it’s easy to carry around with you. It’s also got built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, so you can easily transfer images to your smartphone.

What You Need To Know: The battery life is pretty short, which can be frustrating if you spend a lot of time filming. It’s also a little on the expensive side, which makes it a better choice for people who really want to up their photography or videography skills.

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Nikon COOLPIX W300

This is a great all around camera with a lot of features. It has a 16MP sensor, an excellent 5X zoom, and it is rugged and waterproof. It includes built-in GPS, a barometer, and a compass. The zoom is operated with your thumb, and it has a bright touchscreen. It has good balance between the brightness and the zoom, and it has a range of 24-120mm.

Its closest focus distance is 1cm at the wide angle setting, which means that you can get very close to your subjects to shoot macro photos. The bottom point on the four-way controller in Auto shooting mode puts you in macro mode. It also works in other modes, such as Pet Portrait, underwater, and Smart Portrait. You can use the zoom in macro mode, but you need to move further away. The zoom will not increase the magnification.

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Olympus TG-6

This is another rugged and waterproof compact camera, and it has a lot of great features. It has a Variable Macro System that allows you to expand your macro photography. The macro system contains four different shooting modes and two accessories for close-up shooting. Microscope mode can photograph subjects from just 1cm away, and you can zoom in for a view that is not available to the naked eye. It also has microscope control mode, where you can continue to magnify your subject by touching the screen.

Focus stacking is a mode where you can capture different images by focusing on different focal positions, and focus bracketing allows you to shoot a burst of up to 30 photos at once. With all of these great possibilities, this is a great camera for macro photography. It also offers two accessories that will enhance your macro photography, a light diffuser and an LED light guide.

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What Is Macro Photography?

close up of cat eye

Macro photography is becoming more and more popular because the technology is there to make it easy. You can take stunning photos of tiny objects, such as insects, water droplets on a flower, jewelry, and more, and you will capture incredible details that aren’t always visible to the naked eye. It is close-up photography of small objects, and you can do it outdoors or in the studio. Usually, your subjects will appear as life size or larger due to the magnification. To accomplish this, your subject needs to be smaller than the size of your camera sensor.

Understanding Magnification

Macro photography is all about the magnification, which is the size your subject appears in the image as opposed to in real life. You can use 1:1 magnification, and this means that your subject will be the same size in real life as it is in the image. Some cameras and lenses have 1:2 magnification, so the subject will be half of life size. If the magnification is 5:1, that means it will be five times life size. Generally speaking, when you shoot macro photography, you want a magnification that is at least 1:2, but 1:1 is ideal.

Your Working Distance

macro picture of ladybug

The working distance is critical in macro photography. It refers to the distance between your camera and the subject. If you get too close to your subject, you can end up with too much blur or block the natural light. Normally, you want to be about six inches from your subject to shoot macro.

Your working distance is also dependent on the magnification level. If you are shooting 1:1, you need to be pretty close so that the subject fills your camera sensor. Your lens will play a role in your working distance. If your lens has a longer focal length, you can have a larger working distance.

Choosing a Macro Lens

One component of macro photography is your lens. There are a lot of different options, although a dedicated macro lens is always the obvious choice. However, a 50mm lens can also take macro shots. Macro lenses come in different focal lengths, which essentially tells you your working distance. If you take pictures of a poisonous insect and want to stay far away, you will want a lens with a longer focal length. These lenses range from 20mm to 200mm, so you can choose the length that is best for your subject matter.

If you plan to shoot products or other inanimate objects in the studio, you can use a macro lens with a focal length of 45mm to 65mm. If you are shooting insects or flowers outdoors, you might want a longer focal length of 90mm to 105mm. You have a lot of options depending on what you want to shoot.

Choosing a Camera for Macro

macro lens

You have a lot of choices when it comes to cameras for macro photography. In fact, many point and shoot cameras have a macro mode, and you can get macro lenses for your mobile phone as well. If you choose a DSLR camera, the macro setting comes from the lens you use. This type of camera might offer a higher resolution, and you can choose between full frame sensors and crop sensors. You can also shoot macro with a mirrorless lens. No matter what your budget is, you will be able to find a camera to shoot macro photography.

Other Factors in Macro Photography

In addition to the camera and the lens, you need to consider exposure, depth of field, and lighting. The depth of field is determined by the aperture, or the f-stop. When the f number is bigger, the aperture is small, which allows you to take high-quality shots up close.

Whether you use natural lighting or an artificial flash, you want to have brilliant light so that your subject stands out. You will get better shots with a higher ISO and a slower shutter speed. The depth of field is what causes the camera to focus on the subject and make your image clear and sharp.

Macro photography is mostly about the magnification of the subject. You will be able to see stunning details of tiny subjects, and it can create an entirely new vision of what exists in the world. You can photograph a centipede or a droplet of water, and it shows you details that you can’t see with your naked eye. You can get very creative with macro photography as long as you have a good camera and lens.

Conclusion

If you are interested in macro photography, you need a camera with a lens that can get up close to your subjects. The magnification will let you know how close to real life your image will be. True macro is 1:1, where the image is the same size as the subject. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a fantastic camera for shooting macro if it fits within your budget. You can take any photo you like with this camera and lens combination, and you will always capture the finest details. If you are looking for a compact and rugged model, the Olympus TG-5 is a great choice. Its four modes for macro photography give you control over the types of macro photos you shoot.