Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

National Moth Week photos of insects and people. Here's how to add your images.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

best small, point and shoot camera for macro

Tired of googling and not getting anywhere. I would like a small point and shoot with good macro features. Currently I have a Canon A590is. I want something that will get better, closer shots than my A590. Any ideas?

Olympus TG6
I am a pro photographer but was also looking for a pocketable camera for macro and I settled on the Olympus TG6 - it has exceptional close focus and pretty good image quality - you can buy an accessory ring flash that works well. Its the only true macro point and shoot I’ve found - it will shoot very small insects (like 1-2mm) well. In addition it’s shock resistant and waterproof to 50ft! All for about $350- highly recommend it!

I'm still using my Olympus TG5 for macro and very satisfied with it.

Problem solved for me
I finally settled on the point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot
sx500is. This has a 30x zoom on a relatively small camera body. Perfect for fieldwork. It won't fit in the pocket, but it is very lightweight to wear on neck strap. Excellent macro, which is what I really want it for. It's larger the my A590, but the SX500 is a much better camera, especially for macro. Check out the specs:

Macro camera.
I have a Nikon Coolpix L810 and love it...
Here's a link about my camera:

Here's a good one that I've taken with it:

Nice photo!
It has good detail. The camera looks to be similar dimensions to the Canon S5 and SX30 (which are not pocket-sized), which can do similar macros. I checked and it appears you can attach the Raynox DCR-250 to yours as well, if you want to get even closer.

This seems the appropriate place
for me to comment - my setup is definitely not pocket-sized, but someone here expressed the wish for more DoF and better quality still in a smaller camera, so I thought I'd toss this out here.

I use a Canon PowerShot S5 IS, which can be found used for a reasonable price (the new price is ridiculous, even these years later). On it I have mounted a Raynox DCR-250 lens, which costs around $70. It has 2.5x magnification, and you use it in conjunction with the zoom function on the camera, not with the macro function. The lens can also go on many other cameras that have ways to hold it in place, including DSLR lenses of appropriate diameter.

You can see photos I've taken with this combo here, and many of my submissions to BG were shot with it. I use an off-camera diffused flash attached with a cable.

Not pocket-sized for sure, but not a big heavy expensive DSLR system, either, and I've been fairly happy with the resulting photos. Here is a photo of the gear.

Wondering About Your Current Camera
Ashley - My Canon PowerShot A2000is finally wore out. It took amazing macro pictures. I am wondering if you are still using the Canon PowerShot S5 IS in confunction with the Raynox DCR-250 lens. Since I am going to replace my camera, and I drool over your photos, I thought I'd ask what you are currently using. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Point 'n shoot macro
Without knowing the particular specs on your current camera, generally speaking, you won't find more than a couple of cameras that will give greater magnifications in the macro range (getting physically closer is of no advantage, whatsoever, and is not an indication of the camera's ability to render "closer" looking images). Using the word "macro" has become historically to mean somewhere around 1/3 to 1/4 life-size. Considering that true macro *starts* at 1:1 or life-size, that range is really inadequate for serious work with the smaller insects (less than about 15 mm in body length). Using a point and shoot will require some modifications in how the camera operates and is used. The route I took involved reverse mounting a legacy lens in front of the camera's prime lens and using it as a magnifying objective and zooming in and out to change image magnification. In this instance, the camera's built-in flash was rendered almost useless as it tended to fire too far over the subject and was blocked by the attached lens. The solution was somewhat inelegant, but very effective. I attached a long snoot from a foam coffee cup that ran from the camera body to about an inch or so in front of the lens combo that flattened out the lighting and directed it to the subject. This will not work with a pop-up flash which would require the use of some form of slave flash set-up.
Despite some of the hype used in marketing point and shoot cameras, there is no real advantage in changing camera models or brands. Outside of perhaps superior general imaging characteristics, newer models are just as lame as earlier ones when it comes to close-up imaging. There are some exceptions, but they involve some impressive price tags for what you get.

point 'n shoot macro
Here are the lens specs on the camera. Does this help in any way? I can get good macro shots with the camera, but I want to increase closeups if possible without going into a larger camera like a Canon Rebel, with special lenses, and stuff like that. I'm in the field a lot and often find myself in opportunistic situations that require quick shooting. I like the A590is small camera (that I can tuck in my pocket), but can I improve on it with those qualities without going to a bigger camera or spending a ton of money? Thanks for your comments.

Focal Length 5.8-23.2mm f/2.6-5.5 (35mm film equivalent: 35-140mm)
Digital Zoom 4x
Focusing Range Normal: 1.5 ft./45cm-infinity
Macro: 2.0 in.-1.5 ft./5-45cm (W), 12 in.-1.5 ft./30-45cm (T)

Point 'n shoot macro
The specs indicate the norm for this type of camera. In this case, as I pointed out earlier, modification of the camera and handling techniques would be required to get anything more out of it. Raynox close-up lens systems are one alternative, but I have no personal experience with them. From what you are telling me, a compact mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera may be in your future. There are an increasing number of these cameras in the marketplace, but many are still priced over $400 w/kit lens. One alternative that I ended up going with is the Olympus E-PL-1 which goes for about $250 with kit lens. A $30 legacy lens adaptor allows use of a broad range of older (and some newer) lenses made for film camera systems. My favorite lens for macro is an ancient Vivitar 55 mm f/2.8 macro lens in Konica mount. Frankly, I use the body much as I used 35 mm SLR's. However, the camera body is much smaller and lighter than any SLR I have used. The Olympus and many others have one very useful feature built-in, a hot shoe for a separate flash unit. Also, these cameras have superior image sensors and image processors that allow faster, and in most cases, better imaging. It may behoove you to at least look into these might find just what you are looking for....

I use the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS Digital ELPH, which is a little smaller than yours. It cost about $200 new. From the manual: dimensions, 3.42 x 2.16 x 0.87 in.

It also has 8 million pixels. I'm thinking of getting another camera because I want more detail in macro shots and greater depth of field if possible. However, this one does well for its handy size.

Again from the manual. Focusing Range: normal, 30 cm (12 in.)-infinity; macro, 3-50 cm (W), 30-50 cm (T). Digital Zoom: approx. 4.0x (but I find that digital zoom is worthless for bug shots).

Point 'n shoot macro
Ms.?? Berg, you also sound like a candidate for an ILC (interchangeable lens compact) camera. My personal experience using point'n shoots is colored by decades of collecting cameras and their attendant bits and pieces and modifying and/or rebuilding them to suit my needs. Not everyone can or is inclined to do this, so much of what I write about is really not overly useful. You can get much more out of what you have, but it involves serious modification of equipment and technique that you may or may not be inclined to deal with. One area that there is virtually little to no help for is the depth-of-field problem. This is inherent in optics used at a close range and affects *all* lens systems and image formats and is dependent on image magnification to a great extent. I agree that digital zoom is virtually worthless in macro work except in those cases where you will miss the shot altogether without its use.

Point and shoot cameras
I also have endured decades of heavy SLR type cameras both medium format and 35 mm, but have to say that it is hard to beat the little point and shoot cameras that have macro mode for close shots. Most all p&S cameras today have very sharp glass.

The key is to practice and learn how to use what you have. A study of lighting techniques will benefit any photographer. As the old photographers saying goes "it is not so much the camera but how you use it" With the huge mp cameras of today even heavy cropping will produce good results.

Currently using a older basic Canon sx-100 in macro mode set at f/8 (max) with the on camera flash. A simple white reflector card to balance the light and diffuser over the flash work nice.
Canon sx100 P&S

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.