How to Find Your Camera's Macro Focus Range

(for Point and shoot camera users)

 Update: This post includes helpful links to help you research your next camera purchase!

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of shopping around and testing out the macro focus range of point and shoot cameras. This week, let's talk a little bit more about what that means and why it's so important...

When my well-loved Samsung point and shoot stopped functioning, I had to find a replacement. I knew I could have purchased the same camera for a song on an auction site, but *NO* - I had to go and buy the "newer" version for $20 more...

My original camera: Samsung S630
 The next-gen version: Samsung S860

Now, these are admittedly NOT the newest, shiniest or most expensive cameras out there. On the contrary - they could really be classified as OLD and CHEAP. But you know what? I don't care. I wanted a camera that I could rely on and since I've taken some pretty great shots with that first oldie and I didn't want to spend a fortune on a new model.

The two cameras above are pretty similar in most every way with one VERY important difference:
the macro focus range - the minimum distance the camera can focus on an object while in macro mode.

You see, with Small Object Photography, you need to be able to get up close and personal with your objects. Otherwise you miss out on a lot of detail that photo editing programs just can't create for you after your session is over.

Macro Focal Length comparison for the above camera models:
  • Samsung S630 = 5cm
  • Samsung S860 = 10cm 
Seriously. TWICE the distance. Wow. That's a *huge* difference when it comes to macro photography!

Bottom line: The closer you can get to your small objects, the better!

Find out the focal length of YOUR camera and do some great research about your *next* camera by spending some time on these awesome and informational sites:

Bonus: My top 5 criteria for my "new" point and shoot camera
  1. 1cm macro focal length
  2. Custom white balance capability
  3. Uses AA batteries (I personally love using AA rechargeable batteries and in a pinch, I know I can always stop by any convenience store to pick up some fresh batteries!)
  4. Silver or black (to minimize reflections)
  5. Under $100
This is the camera I ended up purchasing based on the above criteria:
The lovely and compact Canon PowerShot A490
 I love love LOVE this camera!

Do you have a point and shoot camera? 
Look up the make and model number on one of those sites I mentioned above, and share what you found out about your camera below!

2 Response to "How to Find Your Camera's Macro Focus Range"

Haute Goat Cashmere said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm thinking about getting a new camera - and replacing 3 (yes 3) inadequate point & shoot cameras. The links you provided for comparison shopping are so INCREDIBLY helpful! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

IMakeCuteStuff (aka Marlo M.) said...

Thanks for the comment and Twitter sharing @HauteGoat!
I love information rich sites like the ones listed here. I'm so glad you found them as useful as I did :) More links to come!

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