Macro photography is great art. It requires extreme patience and an ability to work with the finest of details. These pictures need to be captured in complete silence and it gives one time to contemplate the beauty of nature’s smallest specimens. Though these photos look simple, they require great skill and knowledge of working with macro subjects and equipment.
When it comes to the best cameras for macro photography, there is no single camera that can be called the best. All cameras are different and there are some things to look out for when deciding on the top camera to take beautiful pictures of tiny living specimens. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to choose the right camera for your macro photography needs, as well as a few examples of equipment suitable for both beginners and experts.
Macro subjects are very delicate, so stability is of the essence when taking pictures. Nothing can ruin a beautiful shot taken at 1x magnification more than some blur from camera shake during exposure. Macro photography requires long shutter speeds and subject movement must be avoided even in bright conditions, thus it is extremely important to have an anti-shake feature for your point and shoot or DSLR camera body. This feature works best when coupled with vibration reduction lenses which allow you to take pictures at slower shutter speeds without causing too much shake in the image formation process. When it comes to anty-shake feature point and shoot cameras remain popular as they come with this feature built-in. The importance of this feature can never be overemphasized as it helps to take tack sharp images even when shooting handheld.
Consider The Sensor Size
The very first thing to think about when choosing the top camera for macro photography is the size of the sensor. There are three main types of sensors: full-frame, APS-C, and compact. Full frame sensor cameras are considered professional equipment and they require DSLR bodies. They are expensive but will take beautiful pictures with plenty of detail, even in low light. The other two types (APS-C and compact) have smaller sensors which means less enlargement is needed for printing large pictures. However, if you want your photos to be extremely clear with no noise or visible grains when enlarged, then look for an APS-C-sized sensor in your next camera body. Compact cameras have smaller chips hence their lenses are not interchangeable so it is a good idea to choose a point and shoot which has a good quality lens build.
Maximum Aperture Range
The lens aperture is very important for macro photography as you will have to put your subject in focus while allowing the background to appear slightly blurred which gives the photos depth and perspective. You can choose from fixed or variable lenses depending on how much money you are willing to spend on equipment. Fixed lenses do not zoom but they do have large maximum apertures which allow enough light for clear images even in low light conditions. If you cannot afford fixed lenses, then consider getting those with at least an f-stop of 3.5 (the smaller the number, the larger the aperture). This way you can achieve decent results even in low light. The very top lenses have a maximum aperture of f1.4 and they are extremely indispensable when it comes to macro photography because you will not find enough light in any environment to compensate for this loss.
Wide Angle Lens
If you do not have a camera with an interchangeable lens, then choose the widest angle zoom possible (24mm minimum) when taking pictures of flowers and other such objects in nature. This way you will be able to capture the subject along with the background instead of cutting off some parts that would otherwise ruin your picture. If you want more control over the perspective in your shots, then opt for a DSLR which allows interchanging lenses, and buy a mid-wide angle lens ( 35 mm). A wide-angle zoom lens is available in both point and shoots and DSLR formats; what matters is how much money you are willing to spend on equipment.
If you are not keen on buying new lenses for your DSLR camera then first buy a point and shoot that has an interchangeable lens. This way you will be able to use the equipment you already have, saving lots of money in the process. However, if you do go for a DSLR body only then make sure it comes with all accessories required for taking great macro images. These include tripod mount or bracket, remote release trigger, battery charger, battery pack, etc. If any of these accessories are missing from what the seller advertises as a “new” camera package then walk away because they can cause compatibility problems when used with other models.
Continuous Shooting & Burst Mode
Macro photography requires continuous shooting at high speeds because you will be taking a sequence of pictures in quick succession. Ignore all cameras which have a continuous shooting speed of fewer than 2 frames per second (fps) because this is barely enough to get decent shots without missing the perfect moment. If you cannot afford a DSLR then buy a point and shoot that offers at least three fps continuous shooting modes for “Burst” mode photography. This way you will be able to get some great still images from macro subjects including insects, flowers, etc. If you have a DSLR then you should consider getting a camera body that has continuous shooting speeds of 5fps or higher. This way you will be able to capture fast-moving subjects without them being blurred in the final pictures.
The shutter speed is especially important when it comes to macro photography because you will mostly be using a tripod and slower shutter speeds to ensure that your pictures are perfectly sharp from front to back. However, there are lots of other considerations as well; for example, if you want to take still images of active insects such as bees during their peak hours (the sun is up) then do not go below 1/125 of a second shutter speed because anything less than this will result in blurry pictures. However, if you are shooting flowers or other still subjects at night then you can use shutter speeds slower than this to get some great shots.
Do not be swayed by the number of megapixels on a digital camera because this is just one factor that determines image quality. If you want to take great macro photos, make sure to keep the abovementioned tips in mind and you will start getting really good pictures within a short period.