The 8 Best Cameras for Macro Photography

Macro photography can be fun and rewarding. There’s a whole other world waiting to be explored, and the right equipment can bring it out in exquisite detail. However, there are a few things you need to bear in mind before you start. True macro photography requires a 1:1 magnification, and you have to be able to get close enough to your subject with the right lens to achieve this. As well as a decent lens, you also need a camera that’s up to the task.

We take a look at 8 of the best cameras for macro photography, and what it is that makes them so good.

The Best Cameras for Macro Photography


1. Sony RX10 Mark III

Why it’s great:

  • 20-megapixel, 1-inch CMOS sensor.
  • 24-600mm equivalent F2.4-4 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens.
  • 4K video capture.

Although technically the Sony RX10 Mark III counts as a super-zoom point-and-shoot camera, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The 20-megapixel, 1-inch sensor is capable of capturing some stunning images, particularly when coupled with the 25x optical zoom which is equivalent to a 24-600mm range on a 35mm camera. There are a whole host of features on this camera that make is special, and although it isn’t capable of ‘true’ macro photography, it comes close enough that you wouldn’t know the difference. This is a versatile camera that packs some impressive specs into a reasonably small and lightweight body.

Buying considerations:

  • The impressive features and performance come with a fairly high price tag.

2. Olympus TG-5

Why it’s great:

  • 12-megapixel sensor captures great results.
  • 4x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25-100mm.
  • Lightweight, compact, and robust design.

This is a camera that was designed with the adventurer at heart. Within its compact design and robust body, there are housed some impressive features. It’s capable of taking a broad range of shots in all kinds of condition due to its waterproof, dustproof, crushproof, shock and freeze proof design. It makes it onto our list of best cameras for macro photography due to its Variable Macro System which allows users to take true macro photos. Overall, this is an incredibly durable camera that’s ideal for taking macro shots when you’re on the move.

Buying considerations:

  • The lack of fully manual controls will make this a frustrating choice for more experienced users.

3. Canon EOS Rebel T6i/750D

Why it’s great:

  • 2-megapixel APS-C sensor.
  • DIGIC 6 Processor for fast performance.
  • A vari-angle 3-inch touchscreen LCD display.

Canon’s range of entry-level DSLRs is renowned for their quality, and the EOS Rebel T6i (also known as the 750D) more than lives up to these expectations. Perhaps the standout feature is the lightning-quick DIGIC 6 processor, which makes all aspects of the camera’s operation fast and responsive. Images captured with the 24.2-megapixel sensor come out sharp, with excellent color reproduction. One of the useful features for macro photography is the 3-inch adjustable touchscreen, which can be moved to give you the best angle for taking pictures of all things great and small. Overall, in terms of APS-C sensors, this is one of the best cameras for macro photography when paired with the right lens.

Buying considerations:

  • There is no autofocus microadjustment setting, which could be frustrating for macro photographers.

4. Ricoh WG-50

Why it’s great:

  • Durable design that is waterproofing down to 14m.
  • 5x optical zoom lens equivalent to 28- 140mm.
  • 16-megapixel CMOS sensor.

This is a unique camera on our list as it’s targeted towards underwater photographers who want to take macro shots. The body of the Ricoh WG-50 is incredibly durable; not only is it waterproof down to 14m, it’s also shockproof, freezeproof, and crushproof. It really is a camera aimed at the outdoor and adventure enthusiast. The modest 5x zoom gives fairly pleasing results, although there are better cameras for on-land macro photography. It’s the ability to take excellent macro shots underwater that make it an appealing choice for some users.

Buying considerations:

  • Aside from the macro mode, many of the other features hold this camera back. If you’re not going to be underwater, there are better options.

5.Fujifilm X-T10

Why it’s great:

  • 3-megapixel APS-C sensor.
  • Sleek and stylish design with excellent performance.
  • Intelligent Hybrid autofocus.

Fujifilm’s range of mirrorless cameras is one of the best available. The X-T10 is a fantastic camera that looks beautiful and performs wonderfully. There are so many features that make this a good camera, from the 16.3-megapxiel sensor, to the EXR Processor II. Images come out in the highest quality, and a macro timer feature makes it a good choice for macro photography. Furthermore, it’s a more affordable alternative to the popular Fujifilm X-T1 that has many of the same features. This is one of the best mirrorless cameras for macro photography.

Buying considerations:

  • RAW format isn’t available in all shooting modes.

6. Nikon Coolpix W300

Why it’s great:

  • 16-megapixel 1/2.3 sensor.
  • 5x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24-120mm.
  • Waterproof down to 30m.

This is the second waterproof camera on our list. The Nikon Coolpix W300 is an incredibly robust camera that can deal with almost any challenge you throw at it. Like the above Ricoh camera, it has a dedicated macro mode that can focus as close as 1cm. This mode, coupled with the 5x optical zoom and Vibration Reduction technology make it a stronger performer as a macro camera. Although point-and-shoots can’t quite match the quality of DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, models such as the W300 are resistant to the harshest conditions. If you’re planning on travelling to a lot of different conditions and want to take some macro shots along the way, this could well be the camera for you.

Buying considerations:

  • There are no manual controls or advanced settings. If you have experience using DSLRs this may be a step backwards.

7.Nikon D7500

Why it’s great:

  • 9-megapixel DX-Format sensor.
  • EXPEED 5 image processor.
  • 1-inch adjustable touchscreen.

Similar to the above Canon rebel, the Nikon D7500 is a crop-frame camera that offers excellent performance. The 20.9-megapixel sensor delivers images of the highest quality, and the operation of the camera is incredibly quick thanks to the EXPEED 5 processor. When it comes to macro shooting, the adjustable touchscreen is useful for achieving the correct angle for your shot, without disturbing the scene. Other features such as 4K video capture and a constant shooting speed of 8fps mean that you can achieve a variety of different macro shots with this camera.

Buying considerations:

  • Focusing using live view is a little slower than some competitors.

8. Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70

Why it’s great:

  • 3-megapixel sensor.
  • 30x Zoom Lens equivalent to 24-720mm.
  • High image quality with little noise.

The last camera on our list of the best cameras for macro photography is the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70. This little point-and-shoot delivers great results, particularly when taking macro shots. One of the mean features that drive this macro performance is the ability to focus stack, effectively giving a larger depth of field than would otherwise be possible. It also has a macro mode that means the minimum focusing distance is 3cm. The DC-ZS70 also has image stabilization, which will help when capturing the finer details of a subject.

Buying considerations:

  • The white balance performance could be a little better.

The Best Cameras for Macro Photography: What to Look For


From our list of cameras, you should hopefully know what’s available when it comes to buying the best cameras for macro photography. We’ve outlined two of the key points to look for when making a purchase:

Sensor Size

Although a larger sensor produces better quality images, there are some benefits to having a smaller sensor for macro photography. Because of the crop factor of APS-C or micro four-thirds sensors, it’s possible to get closer to your subject with a longer lens. Although in general a full-frame sensor produces the best results for all kinds of photography, smaller sensors do have their merits, particularly for macro photography.

Lenses

Aside from the camera itself, the lens is perhaps the most important part of capturing good macro shots. The most important feature for a macro lens to have is 1:1 magnification, meaning it can capture subjects in their true size. Minimum focusing distance is also important, as it will determine how close you can get to your subject and still focus correctly.

If you’re using a DSLR camera or mirrorless system, you’ll be able to change out your lenses to one suited to macro photography. However, if you own a compact or point-and-shoot, you’ll need to make sure that the lens it has is up to the task. As we’ve mentioned already, compacts and point-and-shoots often have smaller sensors, making it easier to get up close to your subject. Many also feature the ability to switch to a dedicated macro mode.

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