The How Zone

Point and Shoot Macros


In previous articles I’ve focused on macro photography using digital SLRs. This article will demonstrate that you don’t need an expensive SLR with exchangeable lenses and macro adaptors to have fun with macro photography. In fact you should be able to use most point and shoot cameras and even a web camera like the Apple iSight.

Canon A70Nikon 4500

Canon A70 and Nikon 4500

A point and shoot (P&S) camera has a permanently attached lens, usually with some level of optical zoom (i.e. 3x). The lens is smaller, as is the sensor. Right out of the box most of them do a pretty good job of taking macro photos.

But what if you want to take higher magnification macros? Depending on the make and model of your P&S camera they may sell accessory lenses for telephoto, wide angle, or macros. These lenses are tailored for the camera and may provide better results. At the very least the connection to the camera will be solid. The downside is that they can be hard to find, expensive, and there isn’t much of a selection.

In fact all you really need is another lens to put in front of the camera to pre-magnify the image. Here you can see I experimented with a magnifying glass. Unfortunately the results weren’t much better than normal macro shots and lining everything up was difficult.

Magnifier Test
Magnifying Lens Test

In this article we’ll explore using the built in Macro mode of P&S cameras and introduce techniques that will help you get the most of out of what you may have already. Following that, we’ll zoom in even more by adding an inexpensive lens.

   Page 1 of 8 Builtin Macro Mode»