Sam Kacey

Sam's expertise is in Landscape, Portrait, and Travel photography. He and his team also review the best Cameras and Lenses on the market in 2022 for B&H Photo.

We understand you already know what macro photography is, however before we review the 5 best cameras for Macro photography here is a short recap.

Macro photography is the art of capturing small objects, most often insects and flowers, but also still life objects such as jewels. Macro photography allows photographers to observe objects more closely and in full detail. 

Here is the #1 Macro Camera: Focus Range – 10cm to 50cm (Wide). See full review further down.

See Today’s Best Price for the PowerShot G1 at B&H Photo

A macro photographer focuses on showing the hidden world that lies just outside our naked eye’s range of vision. Macro photography nowadays requires much less gear. Several point-and-shoot cameras offer the best macro settings for high-resolution close-ups. A macro lens with a DSLR offers even more quality.

butterfly photo taken using the best macro camera

What Should You Look For In The Best Camera For Macro Photography

“What camera should I choose?” is a question that many people who are starting out in the field of macro photography ask. This is a tricky question to answer since there are many options available in the market, and the answer is dependent on a variety of factors like budget, performance, etc.

Macro photography has a few unique challenges that make the type of camera you choose extremely important. Nearly all digital cameras have a macro mode. Theoretically, this makes them suitable for shooting decent quality macro photography. However, you need to know what exact features a camera has to make it the best for clear, high-quality macro photos.

You can buy any camera to take close-ups. However, if you are looking for the best macro photography camera out there, we can help. This article will serve as a guide to selecting the best macro camera with an emphasis on three primary considerations: Sensor size, Advanced Features and Controls, and Maximum Aperture.

Criteria #1: Sensor size

Even though the sensor size is perhaps the most significant aspect of your camera that should be considered, it is a feature that many people are unaware of or do not adequately understand. Every DSLR contains an image sensor responsible for recording the image you see through the viewfinder and sending it to the memory card in the camera’s battery. If your camera has a large sensor, the amount of information it can capture will be more significant, and your photographs will be clearer, particularly when magnified.

A sensor within each camera takes the image you see via the viewfinder and sends it to a memory card for safekeeping. Full frame-sized sensors will provide the highest level of clarity and image quality, which is why these DSLRs are more expensive than their smaller counterparts. Smaller crop sensors are used in entry-level cameras.

purple flowers taken using macro photography camera

There are a variety of different sensor sizes available as well, but the link between sensor sizes is straightforward: the larger the sensor, the better it performs in general. The downside to using larger sensors is that they are more expensive, so you’ll have to consider how much you’re willing to spend to achieve better image quality. Most entry-level DSLRs will find the micro four-thirds or APS-C sensor. These formats offer an appropriate combination of affordability and image quality in their respective modes.

Criteria #2: Advanced Features and Controls

Manual controls, to be precise. While most point-and-shoot cameras allow you to change the settings, DSLR cameras are initially designed with manual control in consideration. The ISO ranges are wider with reflex cameras, and larger sensors, paired with precise aperture adjustments, enable you to achieve a more controllable depth of field in your photographs.

The ability to edit images immediately from the camera’s screen on the back means that you can apply filters, make automated adjustments, and change the exposure settings without going to another screen.

macro photo of Orchid

Making these adjustments with photo editing software on your computer is considerably more convenient, but having the freedom to experiment with your photographs without connecting your camera and downloading them all is easier.

Criteria #3: Maximum aperture

The maximum aperture for macro lenses usually is f/2.8, which is considered standard. The bigger the maximum aperture, the greater the amount of control you’ll have over your lens’s performance.

Other parameters, such as the size of the camera sensor, the distance between you and your subject, and the brand of camera you use, all influence the optimal aperture you can get.

If you photograph in low light, a lower f-stop will enable you to sustain quicker exposures, which will allow you to shoot inside without using a flash and capture photos at sunrise or sunset.

Here’s How We’ve Determined The Best Camera For Macro Photography

So, after getting our hands on the best macro cameras, we compared them to our given criteria to determine whether or not they were worth buying.

To come up with our list of the “top Macro Photography Cameras” and determine whether they are great for photographers, we also went through several customer reviews, blog posts, and articles.

Here, we will provide a diverse range of products that can cater to various uses and price ranges. This way, everyone can find the perfect product that fulfills their needs and fits their budget.

#1: Canon PowerShot G1 Mark III Digital Camera (Best Value for Macro)

The Canon PowerShot G1 has a 24-MP APS-C sensor. With the Dual Pixel autofocus feature, the Canon PowerShot stands out among other cameras for Macro, landscape, and portrait photography.

If you want a camera with a fixed lens, this is the one to buy. It has a 24-72mm lens, which is equivalent to the f2.8-5.6 zoom lens to enhance your visuals. It has the new DIGIC 7 processor with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’s also water and dust-resistant.

Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Stabilization 

While the lens has a good range, its maximum aperture range falls short of what some other cameras provide. But, the PowerShot G1 X is a camera that appeals to many photographers who are looking for the best camera for Macro photography under $1000. (However, if you have a higher budget our #2 pick below is the best on the market for Macro).

The lens has optical image stabilization that promises 4 stops of benefit, a switchable 3-stop neutral-density filter, and a 9-bladed aperture diaphragm that makes the background look good.

See the Best Price for the Canon PowerShot at B&H Photo

The buttons are located at the back of the camera, including the ones used for video recording, exposure lock, and focus area selection. The directional buttons on the D-pad can be used for drive, focus, and flash.

Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Focus

It is quick and accurate, no matter where the subject is in the picture. The focus point can be almost anywhere in the frame, but not at the very edges. You can choose from two sizes of AF frame, with the smaller option being better for detailed subjects. It has the biggest sensor and comes with a high-quality lens.

Face detection is also available when you want to take pictures of people. The best part? It allows you to track subjects. Other features include zone AF, which uses nine focus points spread across one-third of the frame. You can move them around using the touchscreen. This feature can be turned on or off. 

A Hummingbird flying taken using macro camera

The results are very impressive, and there are no signs of stitching errors. However, the only thing the camera can’t do is adjust for changes in brightness as you sweep around the scene. In other words, if you point it towards the sun in any direction, that section will get overexposed.

#2: Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV Digital Camera (Best All-Rounder for Macro)

The Sony Cyber-shot IV is the first and only camera in its class to include phase-detect autofocus, which, when combined with its lightning-fast 24 fps maximum burst rate, makes it a formidable all-in-one for sports and action photography. It works great in low-light conditions.

For scene selection, it’s excellent for Macro, Sunsets, Landscape, Portraits, and many other photography styles.

See Today’s Best Price for the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 at B&H Photo

The RX10 IV is equipped with on-sensor phase-detection autofocus technology that significantly enhances the focusing speed for both stills and video shooting. According to the manufacturer, with 315 phase-detection points that give about 65% frame coverage and a 25-area contrast-detection system, the camera is capable of rapid and precise focusing in a wide variety of scenarios.

A hummingbird sitting on a flower using macro photography

When shooting at 24 frames per second, the RX10 can lock on to targets in as little as 0.03 seconds and uses AF tracking to keep track of moving subjects. Its optically stabilized 24-600mm Equivalent lens and 20MP sensor work together to produce very high-quality images. 

#3: Panasonic Lumix ZS200 Digital Camera (Best Point & Shoot for Macro)

The Panasonic Lumix is hands down one of the best pocket cameras available in the market. From the 15x optimum zoom range to the large 1.0-inch sensor, there is so much to like about the ZS200 digital camera. It isn’t bulky like other similar cameras and its battery life is also surprisingly good.

This professional pocket camera, which has a long zoom lens and a 1-inch sensor, appealed to us because of its unique design and functionality. And its focus range for Macro photography is 3cm to infinity wide.

With a greater zoom ratio and a superior overall lens, the ZS200 outperforms its competition. It produces better photographs than a smartphone or a small-sensor superzoom. And has a wide enough zoom range to accommodate everyone, but it’s best suited for sharp macro shots, wildlife, and sports photography.

purple evening primrose flowers shot with Panasonic Lumix camera for macro photos

#4: Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Digital Camera (Best for Image Quality)

Panasonic LX100 II camera

The LX100 II can shoot continuously at 5.5 frames per second with continuous autofocus or 11 frames per second with AE/AF lock. As with the previous model on our list, the LX100 II can record UHD 4K video, which also enables the use of Post Focus, 4K Photo, and Sequence Composition capabilities.

The macro focus range is 3cm to infinity like the ZS200 (#3 on our list above).

The Panasonic LX100 II has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and allows for quick remote control and auto image transfer. If you are looking for a compact camera for Macro photography, the LX100 II Digital Camera is a good choice for under $800.

macro photo of a small fish

The camera comes with a 17MP Four Thirds sensor. However, keep in mind that the camera isn’t pocket-friendly and doesn’t carry a body flash.

#5: Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera (Best for Budget)

Canon PowerShot camera for macro

The PowerShot SX740 camera captures priceless moments at home or on the road. The outstanding 40x Optical Zoom makes distant things seem closer, while the Optical Image Stabilizer helps to ensure clear, stable results. For special, scenic memories, dive into the immersive world of 4K video recording, which helps produce cinematic movies while enhancing the resolution four times the Full HD.

Even though the lens included inside the camera only has an aperture of f/4.0, the macro mode in the Canon Powershot lets you experiment with small depths of field.

Additionally, you can exercise your imagination with interesting features like 4K Time-lapse Movies, Food Mode, and more. Combining exceptional zoom capability with 4K video capabilities and several intriguing features, the pocket-sized PowerShot SX740 is ready to join you on your next occasion.

There are no unpleasant surprises when shooting with the SX740. While exposure metering is precise and achieves a decent balance between maintaining highlight and shadow detail, the overall dynamic range is limited.

macro image of silvereye bird sitting on branch

It performs well across the board, but there is nothing exciting other than the enormous zoom range and macro mode. While its performance is sufficient, a modern high-end camera phone would easily outperform it with wide-angle picture quality.

While there are still ‘new’ trip cameras being introduced, such as the PowerShot SX740, most are just refurbished versions of previous cameras based on outdated core technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Buying a camera can require hours of research. From the battery life to the ease of use, people have several questions about the cameras they are considering buying. To help you settle on the best macro camera, we are answering some of the most commonly asked questions here.

What is the most crucial detail when choosing a macro camera?

When it comes to macro photography, one of the essential factors to consider is the ‘aperture.’ The aperture allows you to have complete control over the lighting and depth of field.

Using a small aperture will give you more control over your camera’s shutter speed. The photography of moving objects, such as insects, benefits from this technique.

How many megapixels do I need for macro photography?

Crop sensors are excellent for macro photography, at least when it comes to extreme closeups, which is something you should aim for.

A 36-megapixel full-frame camera and a 16-megapixel APS-C camera both have around the same pixel density, which means that they both have approximately the same capacity to resolve fine details while shooting at close range.

Verdict: Your Best Cameras For Macro Photography

The two primary factors to consider when choosing the best camera for macro photography are your needs and budget.

Consider a point-and-shoot or compact camera if you’re after a dedicated camera but don’t want to carry all the extra weight. Our list features 5 excellent cameras that’ll easily fit in your pocket or backpack.

If you need the best value camera for Macro, go with the Canon PowerShot G1 Mark III.

The camera carries a 1-inch sensor, bright zoom lens, fast focus and burst rate, and tilting touch LCD. Its pocket-friendly design makes it easier for you to carry it around. It is a little expensive, but if you are looking for a camera that can last for years, the Canon PowerShot should be your primary choice.

It is hands down one of the best pocket cameras available in the market. You can buy it in black or silver finish.

If you’re looking for the best all-round camera for macro photography, get the Sony Cyber-shot IV Digital Camera.

The Cyber-shot IV is perfect for macro photography since it allows you to capture the smallest details in your surroundings with all its exclusive features.

If you want the best point-and-shoot camera for macro, go with the Panasonic Lumix ZS200.

The Panasonic Lumix ZS200 Digital Camera is small enough to fit in your pocket. If you want to buy a durable camera and not invest in more lenses, the Panasonic Lumix should be on the top of your list. The camera carries a Touch LCD, 20MP 1-inch image sensor, and much more.

Macro photography is a lot of fun, as any experienced macro photographer will assure you. Photography is a skill that demands a lot of practice and a pinch of imagination, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or if you’re aiming to set up your own photography studio.

If you are starting out in the field of macro photography, we recommend buying a pocket-friendly macro camera, one or two lenses, memory card, camera bag, tripod, extra batteries, and post-processing software.