Every point and shoot camera has a macro mode, which is actually incorrectly named. A true macro shot is a 1:1 reproduction, i.e. life size, however no point and shoot camera is capable of this. Whilst the macro mode on a point and shoot camera isn’t true macro it does allow for some close up photography.
Top end point shoot digital cameras enable you to use various filters and filter accessories, provided you buy an appropriate adaptor of course. With the filter adaptor it is possible to buy close up macro filters to increase the magnification of the camera’s lens and achieve macro shots. Close up filters are basically a magnifying glass you screw in to the filter thread to force the lens to focus closer and increase the size of the subject, which is pretty cool.
Premium branded close up filters, like the Canon branded 250d and 500d close up filters are overpriced and really not worth the additional money you have to part with for them. There are third party close up filters that are of the same quality, produce the same results and do the same thing but are a fraction of the cost of the Canon branded macro filters. Please do not waste your hard earned cash on the Canon macro filters because they are not worth it, and a set of third party close up filters are just as good and give more bang for the buck.
You will see a reduction in image quality using close up filters, which considering there is another piece of glass for the light to travel through is not surprising. Whist there is a loss in image quality, whether the image is still usable depends entirely on the type of point shoot camera you use. If the image quality of the lens isn’t very good without the close up filter it is only going to be worse using the close up filter. If, on the other hand the image quality is superb without using a close up filter (as it is with my Canon G1X) the image quality is going to be very good, and hence usable with the close up filter in place.
Some people stack close up filters, i.e. use multiple filters, to achieve even more magnification, however I would not recommend this because the image quality takes a huge nose-dive when using two or more close up filters. Stick with a single close up filter and you will be fine and have no problems at all.
Below are some shots taken with the Canon G1X with a third party close up filter attached:
IS IT WORTH BUYING CLOSE UP FILTERS?
If you use a point and shoot camera the only way you are going to get real macro shots is to use a close up filter, so when you look at it like this then yes, close up filters are worth buying.
Macro photography is fun, and when you can take photos that show a level of detail you can’t see with the naked eye there is an instant “wow” factor. Close up filters are cheap and I think everyone should have at least one close up filter in their kit for a bit of fun if nothing else.
CLOSE UP FILTERS FOR PURCHASE
Other compact camera articles you may find interesting
If you found the above useful/interesting below are some links to other related articles you may want to take a look at.
“WHY YOU NEED A PROFESSIONAL POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA” My camera of choice is my dslr however I also get great photos using my top end point and shoot camera, therefore I am of the opinion a top end is a camera all photographers should have in their kit bag. If you can’t see where I am coming from this article may shed some light on it.
“WIDE ANGLE PHOTOGRAPHY WITH A POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA” Many people think you need an interchangeable lens camera to take proper wide angle photos, however this is not the case. Yep, you can capture proper wide angle photos using a point and shoot camera, as explained in this article.
“LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY USING A COMPACT CAMERA” Long exposure photography results in some interesting and stunning photos, and it is something you can do with a compact camera. If you want to know how check out this article.
“CAN YOU USE A TOP END POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA FOR FAST ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY?” So you want a camera for some fast action images and want to know if a top end point and shoot is going to suit your needs. This article should be of use.
“USING A POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA FOR FISHEYE PHOTOGRAPHY” As well as wide angle photography you can also use a point and shoot camera for ultra-wide angle, i.e. fisheye photography, and all you need is an inexpensive converter as detailed in this article.
“LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WITH A PROFESSIONAL COMPACT CAMERA” If you want some tips on how to capture stunning landscape shots with your professional compact camera this article may be of interest.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.