What are macro cameras and how are they used?

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Macro cameras on phones

The macro camera is slowly making its way into the smartphone market. It hasn’t arrived in the big leagues yet, but it’s being added to more and more mid-range rangers and many budget devices.

The average smartphone user is familiar with mobile photography quite well, as increased image quality and photo-centric applications such as Instagram have improved their understanding of the basics of photography.

However, there are many nuances to the subject, one of which is the macro species. The macro belongs to more special photography categories and brings some precise details with this status. Companies like Huawei, Samsung, Xiaomiand OnePlus have produced phones with macro cameras, marketing them as a useful addition to the user. But do you know what they are, how they work and how they are used?

What is a macro camera?

The macro camera is mainly dependent on the lens it uses. Most of the work is done by that lens, and its main function is to magnify the object. This usually involves getting really close, which means the camera needs to be able to focus at much shorter distances than others. The magnification can be, for example, a 1: 2 ratio, which means a lens that can project an image upwards to half the size of the subject. Similarly, a 5: 1 ratio would mean you could be up to five times the size.

The camera achieves this result due to the convex curvature of the macro lens. The convex lens has a glass curved inwards. This concept is not new to mankind and has been used in diopter and magnifying glass for hundreds of years.

One of the biggest challenges in this type of photography is the depth of field that needs to be addressed. Basically, depth of field is how much of your image is in focus. Macrographs address this problem by introducing a technique called focus stacking. Focus stacking is a photographer’s way of combining multiple images into different focus areas, producing a clear image.

How to use a macro camera

There are a few tips to follow when entering the macro world. The first thing is first, as with any type of photo, make sure you have a good amount of light. You need as much as possible. The more you have, the easier it is for the camera to give you better results. Here, the type of lighting is also significant. Scattered light is recommended because it illuminates the subject evenly. You can get it on a cloudy day when light is reflected from surfaces or when it passes through some type of white fabric.

Another tip that can improve your macro game is to find a way to stabilize your device. This can be achieved by mounting it on a cardan shaft or stand. However, these methods can be quite expensive, so another option is to set a timer on the camera and place it on the surface. This will prevent vibrations that affect the shot.

Are smartphone macrocams viable?

How popular a feature of a smartphone is, its usefulness to the average user. In general, we are not in many situations where the introduction of such a camera would benefit our mobile phone needs.

In addition, most of the macrocams we see on smartphones are pretty meager, and the quality just isn’t there. They are usually beating affordable models and some mid-range models to increase the appeal of the device following the trend of “More cameras = better phone”.

However, something needs to be said about the potential of this technology. Currently, the low saturation of the property leaves a gap in the market. If companies like Apple and Samsung decide to invest in a macro, it can lead to creative implementations that benefit users and thus generate profit for the manufacturer.

It is worth noting that some phones like Galaxy S21 Ultra and OnePlus 9/9 Pro, has integrated macro modes into the camera application. Although they do not have macro cameras, Samsung and OnePlus have used the devices ’ultra-wide camera. With the addition of software and artificial intelligence, macro shots produce decent results.

At least for now, however, macro cameras are a smart part of the world of smartphones. Perhaps in the future we will see some innovations that will make them more mainstream and useful in mobile photography.

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