12 Best Cameras for Macro Photographers: Buyer’s Guide

By Tati Taylor 20 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

How much to pay for a camera to take professional macro images?

top 3 cameras for macro photography

If you decide to purchase a macro photography camera, you must clearly understand its functionality. First of all, this type of camera should be used for shooting at short distances. Such models allow you to focus on the object and be very close to it.

If you are planning to photograph small items at a size equal to a 1:1 ratio or more, a specialized camera for macro photography will be an excellent choice. I offer you a list of the most suitable cameras for this genre.

Top 12 Cameras for Macro Photos

  1. Olympus TG-5
  2. Fujifilm X-T10
  3. Canon EOS Rebel T6i
  4. Nikon D500
  5. Nikon COOLPIX 300
  6. Nikon D850
  7. Olympus PEN E-PL8
  8. Canon EOS 77D
  9. Fujifilm x100f
  10. Olympus OM-D E-M1
  11. Sony RX10 Mark IV
  12. Nikon D7500

Macro photography gives you an incredible opportunity to explore and capture the tiniest details of the surrounding world. Using the Macro Mode available in digital cameras you can get good focus even if your lens is not far from the object. Some macro cameras allow you to shoot less than one inch from an object. Others require you to keep the lens a little further.

However, it’s important to understand that inspiring macro photos taken by professional photographers are heavily processed. Photographers make colors more saturated, adjust contrast and perform other manipulations with colors. If you don’t have any editing experience, you can always order FixThePhoto services.

1. Olympus TG-5

Our choice
olympus tg-5 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: motorized zoom | Sensor: 12.7 MP | Focusing: manual | Screen: 3.0 LCD monitor | Weight: 0.55 lbs

  • ✚ Durable body that is perfect for travelers
  • ✚ RAW files support
  • ✚ Allows recording 4K video
  • ✚ GPS/action tracking
  • ✚ Bright daytime shots
  • Confusing interface
  • Poor battery life
Rating

With this camera for macro photography, you can take high-quality pictures with a high level of detail. JPEG images look a little bit blurry and softened when you zoom in. Perhaps, additional layers of glass cause this effect. However, photos look great when they are at normal size. A 25-point contrast-detect AF system works perfectly. It is fast and reliable.

I’d also like to draw attention to the impressive autofocus capabilities that make this camera perfect for macro photography. The range of focal lengths allows you to focus on the object at a distance of up to 0.4 inches (1 centimeter). Besides, it features a "microscope" focusing mode. Using it, you can bring the focus closer. However, you will compromise on the image quality.

The disadvantage of its 4K video mode is that the image is too soft while viewing it on the big screen. You can record amazing 1080p video in slow-motion mode at the speed of 120fps.

2. Fujifilm X-T10

Affordable
fujifilm x-t10 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 1.00x | Sensor: 16.3 MP | Focusing: Intelligent Hybrid AF | Screen: 3.0 LCD monitor | Weight: 13.4oz

  • ✚ Wonderful build
  • ✚ Stunning pictures
  • ✚ Various manual controls
  • No weather protection
  • Advanced Filter option and sensitivity expansion are available only for JPEG files
Rating

This Fuji camera is great for shooting the smallest objects. JPEG images feature high contrast mid-tones. Thus, the pictures are film-like, bright, and sharp. Unfortunately, the dynamic range could be wider. This macro photography camera has a general-purpose multi-zone metering system which helps take quite bright pictures. However, be careful and watch the histogram not to miss the brighter areas.

You can also restore some highlight details from RAW images. This macro digital Fujifilm camera has several options of color modes. You can use them to make the image look like classic film shots (for example, Astia and Velvia). As a result, this digital blend gives incredible results. Your photos look natural and more attractive. Finally, the single AF mode impresses with its sharpness and speed.

3. Canon EOS Rebel T6i

A perfect choice for beginners
canon eos rebel t6i camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 1.00x | Sensor: 24.2 MP | Focusing: 19 AF points| Screen: 3.0| Weight: 1.22 lbs

  • ✚ 24MP APS-C format sensor
  • ✚ Amazing touchscreen and button/dial control mix
  • ✚ Wi-Fi and NFC
  • ✚ A variable screen angle
  • Only 95% frame coverage
  • Takes some time to set an AF point
Rating

Pay attention to this Canon model if you are looking for the best DSLR camera for macro photography. Aluminum alloy and polycarbonate resin with a fiberglass chassis make it pretty solid for an entry-level DSLR. This camera is comfortable and safe due to the textured covers with a deep grip on the front and a small thumb on the back. Following the design of other inexpensive Canon cameras, this model has a quick menu, accessed by pressing the Q button.

Its autofocus system is also available when composing images with the viewfinder. It is fast and accurate even in fairly low light conditions with a lens kit installed. When using Live View mode, I found that EOS Rebel T6i/EOS 750D can quickly shoot objects while you are holding the camera in your hands. I recommend using this macro camera for beginners in close-up photography.

4. Nikon D500

Great focusing capabilities
nikon d500 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 1.00x | Sensor: 20.9 MP | Focusing: multi cam 20k, 153 point AF system| Screen: 3.2 | Weight: 1.90 lbs

  • ✚ It has 100% optical viewfinder
  • ✚ Tilting screen
  • ✚ Excellent controls
  • ✚ Memory card slots are dual
  • APS-C format sensor
  • Its screen isn’t articulating
Rating

This camera produces great JPEG images. If you adjust the low sensitivity, you can take photos with high details. The sensor allows you to get clear photos with fine details throughout the frame, which makes this model the best macro camera for those who work in different light situations. Working with high ISO values you will not be disappointed either. If you are attentive and accurate, then even at ISO 12,800-51,200 you can observe some kind of image smoothing in the pictures.

All the details are preserved even at such high ISO settings when you are viewing in A4 format or printing in normal form. You will get JPEG images with reduced noise. Earlier I saw it in RAW photos. This macro camera provides accurate exposure thanks to universal metering which requires almost no exposure compensation. If you are on a tight budget and don’t have much money to spend on photography gear, take a look at my review of inexpensive full frame cameras that will help you take pictures with perfectly saturated colors.

5. Nikon COOLPIX w300

5x optical zoom
nikon coolpix w300 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: 5x optical zoom | Sensor: 16 MP | Focusing: manual | Screen: 3.0 | Weight: 8.2 ounces

  • ✚ Durable and waterproof
  • ✚ Easy operation
  • ✚ Integrated GPS
  • ✚ Nice picture quality in good light
  • RAW format isn’t available
  • Poor performance in low light
Rating

This macro camera has a 16MP CMOS sensor capable of showing excellent results when shooting in good light. Photos that were taken on a sunny day stand out with low noise, brightness, and precise detail. Unfortunately, you can shoot only JPEG files. The RAW format is not supported. It is worth noting that some photos slightly lack clarity around the edge.

In general, this cheap macro camera succeeds in daylight shooting. Macro mode is activated by simply pressing a button on the bottom of the controller. You can take close-up shots in Smart Portrait, Auto Shot, Pet Portraits, and Underwater shooting modes. With enough daylight, autofocus works quickly and accurately.

If you are shooting at dusk or outdoors, then the AF system may need a little more time to focus on the subject. Besides, it costs no more than other professional cameras under $500, which makes it a perfect option for newbies.

6. Nikon D850

High-resolution sensor
nikon d850 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 1.00x | Sensor: 45.7 MP | Focusing: 153 focus points, 99 cross-type sensors and a dedicated AF processor | Screen: 3.2 | Weight: 2.02 lbs

  • ✚ Detailed and large photos
  • ✚ Reliable AF system
  • ✚ The viewfinder is bright and wide
  • ✚ 19.4MP DX crop mode
  • ✚ Awesome battery life
  • Expensive
  • Supports lower Live View focusing speed than other models
  • SnapBridge remains clunky
Rating

The Nikon D850 has an impressive level of detail which is achieved thanks to a 45.4 million pixels sensor. This feature makes this model one of the best macro photography cameras. You can create large prints with many clear details. However, to get such amazing results, you need to use the appropriate lens.

Taking focus-stacked photos is often a challenge. This macro photography camera has a special focus shift feature that allows you to take a sequence of up to 300 shots. The focus position gradually moves from the starting point to infinity. You can adjust the shutter interval from 0 to 30 seconds.

However, keep in mind that this is a pro-grade model. If you are on a budget, make sure to take a look at my list of entry levels DSLR cameras.

7. Olympus PEN E-PL8

3x optical zoom
olympus pen e-pl8 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 3.00x | Sensor: 16.1 MP | Focusing: AF| Screen: 3| Weight: 1.10 lbs

  • ✚ Pleasant dimensions
  • ✚ 7.3fps burst rate and fast focusing
  • ✚ Built-in stabilization
  • ✚ Tilting touch LCD screen
  • ✚ EVF and Wi-Fi
  • Flash isn’t built-in
  • There is a single control dial
  • While tracking action, the shooting rate is slow
Rating

The Olympus camera impresses with its performance in good light conditions. You can take bright, crisp, well-exposed images with this macro camera. However, in poor light conditions, you may observe a slight underexposure of images. As a result, you have to adjust exposure compensation more often than you would like.

However, this may have a positive side. There are fewer threats of blown highlights and, accordingly, the details are preserved better. To cope with a mixture of multiple lighting conditions, this macro camera has a good white balance adjustment. You get warmer tones in your pictures if you shoot in unnatural lighting conditions.

To get higher accuracy, you can adjust the white balance manually by choosing more specific settings. Even if you take pictures with poor lighting, your photos will look great at up to ISO 6400.

8. Canon EOS 77D

Lightweight
canon eos 77d camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 1.00x | Sensor: 24.2 MP | Focusing: AF | Screen: 3 | Weight: 1.2 pounds

  • ✚ Good 45-point autofocus
  • ✚ Convenient AF button
  • ✚ Handy touchscreen
  • ✚ Solid Live View autofocus performance
  • Doesn’t offer 4K video support
  • Plastic body
  • Average continuous shooting mode speed
Rating

When shooting at smaller ISO values, you can take clean and nicely saturated pictures. Once I increased the sensitivity, the image sensor impressed me with its performance even more. RAW pictures retouched in Camera Raw looked amazing, even those taken at ISO 6,400. Of course, you can notice some luminance noise, but it’s fine-grained and doesn’t affect the overall image quality.

Chroma noise is practically invisible, and photos are slightly less saturated. However, if you increase the ISO value more, the pictures will lose a lot of detail and saturation, while the amount of noise will become excessive. I highly recommend you not to shoot with such camera settings, although the photo quality is still usable if you have to work in poor lighting conditions. The JPEGs produced by this camera for macro photography look amazing and have accurate, rich colors.

9. Fujifilm x100f

Digital teleconverter
fujifilm x100f camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: digital teleconverter | Sensor: 24.3 MP | Focusing: 8 way focus lever + 325 focusing points | Screen: 3 | Weight: 1.03 lb

  • ✚ Stylish design
  • ✚ Hybrid VF
  • ✚ Impressive picture quality
  • ✚ Long-lasting battery
  • ✚ Vintage film modes
  • Changing ISO with a dial isn’t convenient
  • Supports only 1080p recording
Rating

The X100F is a macro lens camera fitted with a highly efficient 24.3MP image sensor that captures an amazing amount of detail. Photos become slightly less detailed as you increase the ISO value, but even at 6,400 they still look impressive. If you’ll stick to shooting at the lower ISO values, you’ll take very clean photographs with great color accuracy.

I was also pleased with the camera’s dynamic range. At lower ISO, it’s possible to capture a lot of details in shadowed and highlighted areas (if they weren’t clipped) and recover them during the photo retouching stage without damaging the picture’s quality. In addition, this camera has 4 latitude stops and Fujifilm’s own Dynamic Range mode.

10. Olympus OM-D E-M1

Stunning quality even at high ISO values
olympus om-d e-m1 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 1.00x | Sensor: 16.3 MP | Focusing: AF | Screen: 3 | Weight: 1.10 lbs

  • ✚ Amazing digital viewfinder
  • ✚ Convenient and accurate autofocus
  • ✚ Satisfying image quality
  • ✚ Reliable build
  • Non-articulating LCD screen
  • Finding several features is very hard
Rating

Whenever I need the best macro camera that can handle shadows or highlights, I can rely on E-M1’s two HDR modes that help me make images more detailed. One of them makes subtle adjustments with the other being harsher. The automatic White Balance offers amazing accuracy that boosts the picture quality and provides a coherent color palette regardless of the shooting conditions, which makes it the best macro camera at this price range.

Unedited images also have nice colors. You can use some of E-M1’s customized color settings if you want to achieve a distinct look for your photographs. Regarding the amount of noise on higher sensitivity values, I must note that this camera has surprised me.

The noise is barely visible at lower ISO settings (up to 1600), after which it becomes more noticeable in the darker parts of the shot. That being said, the image quality remained satisfying all the way up to ISO 6,400.

11. Sony RX10 Mark IV

25x optical zoom
sony rx10 mark iv camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 25x | Sensor: 20.1 MP | Focusing: high-density tracking AF technology | Screen: 3 | Weight: 2.32 pounds

  • ✚ Great 24-600mm lens with an amazing speed
  • ✚ Top-notch performance on higher ISO
  • ✚ Articulating LCD
  • ✚ Impressive photo and video footage quality
  • AF performs poorly on larger focal lengths
  • Can be too big and heavy
Rating

This Sony camera has a 1-inch image sensor that allows you to take incredibly detailed photographs with high sharpness. While the pictures are a bit softer on the far end of the telephoto optics, that doesn’t impact their quality unless you’re planning on printing them in large sizes.

The zoom functionality of Mark III deserves a special mention. It has a 25-times optical zoom that has an electronic “Clear Zoom” function, which offers nice performance and is perfect if you need to get a closer shot but can’t approach your subject.

12. Nikon D7500

A minimal noise level
nikon d7500 camera for macro photography

Zoom Type: optical zoom 1.00x | Sensor: 20.9 MP | Focusing: manual and auto | Screen: 3.2 | Weight: 1.66 lbs

  • ✚ Nice image sensor
  • ✚ Amazing performance on high ISO
  • ✚ Continuous shooting mode with up to 8fps
  • ✚ Tilting display
  • Poor rear display resolution
  • Has a single SD card slot
Rating

This macro photography camera allows taking highly detailed pictures at low ISO values, but this model’s true strength is revealed when you increase the sensitivity. Even if you increase it up to 12,800 and there is a bit of chromatic noise, the results are still good.

As you can guess, luminance noise is a serious issue when shooting at 25,600 and 51,200 ISO, but photos look better than other cameras can produce at these settings. I don’t advise you to go any higher though, because images will be too murky and soft. The dynamic range is great. It allows you to capture shadow details and take a decent quality photo even if it was underexposed by 5 stops.

If you are still wondering, which model suits your needs best, make sure to check this list to select a professional camera under 1000 dollars.

IMAGE NAME FEATURES
olympus tg-5 camera for instagram
Olympus TG-5
OUR CHOICE
  • Compact size is perfect for long shooting
  • Motorized zoom
  • Manual focusing
CHECK PRICE
fujifilm x-t10 camera for instagram
Fujifilm X-T10
BUDGET
  • Perfect price
  • 16 MP CMOS-sensor
  • Several modes of macro shooting
CHECK PRICE
canon eos rebel t6i camera for instagram
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
FOR BEGINNERS
  • Aluminum alloy
  • 19 AF points
  • 3-inch screen
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose a Camera for Macro Photography?

You have to consider several aspects when choosing the best camera for macro photography:

1. Lens

best camera for macro photography

The lens is probably the second most vital choice you have to make if your goal is to take great macro photos. A must-have characteristic of a macro lens is 1:1 magnification that allows you to capture objects in their lifelike size. The minimal focus distance is also an important factor since it determines the distance you can have from the subject and still focus accurately.

2. Display

best camera for macro photography

If you’re leaning towards purchasing a DSLR close up camera, you should give preference to models that have a Live View feature that allows you to use the display as a viewfinder. It’s also great if the camera has an articulating screen since it will help you avoid many uncomfortable situations when taking macro shots.

3. Focal Length

best camera for macro photography

Lastly, there’s one more thing you need to think about when choosing a macro lens. Even though they are mostly designed for one specific purpose, a lot of photographers use them for general needs too. Thus, if you want to find a universal lens that can shoot good macro, a 50mm model can be a great pick. As long as you remember these things when searching for the best camera for close ups, you shouldn’t experience any trouble finding the perfect option for you.

F.A.Q

  • • Which camera lenses are the most suitable for macro shooting?

It’s better to use a camera lens with a 50mm focal length or a macro lens. Select an option that suits your budget best. You should be able to zoom in from 1:1 to infinity. If you are wondering what lens suits you best, take a look at this list of macro lenses for any budget.

  • • What option is better, AF or manual focusing?

High-end cameras, such as the Nikon D850, have advanced AF systems known for their high precision, which makes them perfect for macro shooting. However, if your budget is limited, it’s better to select a camera that supports manual focusing. You can turn this option on in the settings.

  • • Which camera settings should I use when taking macro photos?

Select manual focusing, set aperture to f/11 (to achieve a better depth of field, set the aperture to f/16 or f/22). Then, adjust the exposure depending on the lighting situation and set ISO to 100. The focal distance should be 50-100mm. It’s better to adjust the WB depending on the light source.

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