Macro photography is an art form that captures the beauty of small objects and details that often go unnoticed in our day-to-day lives. From the intricate patterns on a butterfly’s wings to the delicate textures of a flower petal, macro photography opens up a world of wonder and amazement.
Many people believe that you need an expensive dSLR or mirrorless camera to take stunning macro shots. However, that is not entirely true. There are plenty of excellent macro point and shoot cameras that can capture phenomenal images without breaking the bank.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best macro point-and-shoot cameras on the market. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting, you’ll find options that cater to different budgets and skill levels.
So, let’s dive in and explore the world of macro photography together!
|Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Sony RX-10 Mark III||VIEW ON AMAZON → VIEW ON ADORAMA →|
|Ricoh WG-50||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Olympus Tough TG-6||CHECK BEST PRICE →VIEW ON ADORAMA →|
- Ricoh WG-50: a rugged and waterproof camera with a 16MP sensor and a macro mode that focuses from 1cm to 30cm. However, it doesn’t support RAW format.
- Olympus Tough TG-6: another waterproof and rugged camera with a 12MP sensor that captures both JPG and RAW images. Its macro mode focuses from 1cm to infinity and is specially designed for underwater photography.
- Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B: a budget-friendly point-and-shoot camera that has a macro mode with a minimum focal distance of 4.8cm and a maximum aperture of f/3.2.
- Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70: a high-end point-and-shoot camera that boasts a 20.3MP sensor, focus stacking for macro photography, and a 30x optical zoom. It also has a control ring for manual adjustments and image stabilization.
- The Nikon COOLPIX w300 is another tough camera with good macro capabilities, and it also has a built-in GPS, altimeter, and depth gauge.
- The Sony RX10 Mark III has a larger sensor than the other cameras on this list and can produce excellent image quality. It also has a great zoom lens and can shoot slow-motion videos.
- The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 is a compact point-and-shoot camera with a large sensor and a fast lens. It also has focus stacking technology for sharp images and the ability to extract 4K still images from video.
- The Panasonic Lumix DC-Fz80 looks like a DSLR but is a point-and-shoot camera with an incredible 60x zoom lens. It also has good macro capabilities and can shoot 4K video.
- The choice between a point and shoot or a dSLR/mirrorless camera for macro photography depends on how much space and flexibility you need.
- dSLR cameras offer the most customization and better sensors than point and shoot cameras, but point and shoots are easier to use and often have features to rival dSLRs.
- Budget-friendly point and shoot cameras may not have very large sensors, and the difference in quality will be evident at some point.
- Mirrorless cameras are a good alternative as they are almost as compact as point and shoot cameras but still have the flexibility of changing lenses.
- The sweet spot for buying a rugged camera that can capture nice photographs is $300-400.
- Focus distance is crucial for macro photography, and most cameras listed in the blog post have small focus distances in macro mode.
- Several cameras on the list are all-terrain/all-condition cameras that are waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, making them ideal for shooting off the beaten path.
Best Macro Point and Shoot Camera: 9 picks
1. Ricoh WG-50
The Ricoh WG-50(and its newer brother the Ricoh WG-60) are two compact point and shoot cameras that sport really awesome specs.
The Ricoh WG-50 has a 16 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can capture JPG images. There is no capability to capture RAW images, unfortunately.
Macro mode is available on this camera which decreases the focus distance down to just 10cm to 60cm, and you can even get into super macro mode which decreases the focal length further to 1cm to 30cm.
Think about that! Just 1 cm is amazing!
For regular shooting, the zoom distance is 28mm to 140mm, and the lens will come out up to 20mm from the body of the camera. In normal conditions, the focal distance is 50cm up to infinity.
Finally, the build of the Ricoh WG-50 is super rugged and strong, as it is both shockproof and waterproof. There are also six built-in lights that will let you take better photos in lower light.
2. Olympus Tough TG-6
The TG-6 by Olympus is a rugged waterproof point and shoot camera that can take great images in whatever conditions you can imagine. Take this camera skiing, scuba diving, into the desert, heck, you can even climb a mountain through a blizzard and get good shots with this camera!
The guts of the camera contains a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can capture both JPG and RAW images, which is a step above the Ricoh camera above.
Of course, this camera made our list thanks to the amazing macro mode, which allows you to focus from 1cm to infinity.
This camera is also specially designed for underwater photography and has a variety of underwater modes as well as specialized white balance for underwater photos.
Video quality is OK, but I feel like that is more than compensated for by the superb photo quality in nearly all conditions. If you are the adventurous type, this camera is perfect to take with you into water, snow, sand, or whatever else you can imagine.
And of course, it shoots superb macro photographs.
3. Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B
The third choice in our list, the Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B is slightly different from the first two cameras we reviewed as this camera is much more budget friendly. However, the cheaper cost is due to the fact that this camera is nowhere near as rugged as the Ricoh and Olympus.
However, if you’re not planning on taking it into extreme weather or geographic conditions, then this point and shoot camera really shines for everyday use.
It has a built in macro mode that can take respectable macro photographs(minimum focal distance is 4.8 cm), though not as close up as the Ricoh and Olympus. Still, considering how much more budget friendly this one is, we recommend it.
The biggest aperture this camera can manage is f/3.2 which is not too bad. If you zoom all the way, it falls to f/6.4.
As a simple point and shoot camera with a respectable macro mode, you can’t really go wrong with the Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B.
4. Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70
I don’t even know where to start with how amazing the 20.3 megapixel Lumix DC-ZS70S is. If you were to ask me to summarize in one phrase, I would say that this camera is a dSLR in a compact camera body.
Even though it is a point and shoot camera, it has a special system called focus stacking which lets you take really nice macro photos(this generates a larger field of view than usual to make focusing easier), letting you focus as close to 3mm to infinity.
That’s for shooting up really close, and if you’re really far away, the optical zoom magnifies up to 30x! In dSLR terms, thats 27-720mm.
Here’s where things get really cool: on the lens, there is a control ring which lets you manually (!) change the zoom, aperture, and a variety of other settings. There is also an image stabilization system which comes really handy when you shoot in low light conditions or when you’re making use of the 30x zoom.
At such a high zoom, even very tiny shakes will start becoming really visible, so the stabilization goes a long way.
Aside from the regular LCD screen, there is also a viewfinder(not optical, but digital) which comes in super handy when the sun’s glare prevents you from seeing the screen. You can still compose your photos using the viewfinder.
Finally, did we tell you that you can shoot 4K videos at 30fps?
5. Nikon COOLPIX w300
Number 5 on the list is another tough, rugged, all-terrain camera sporting a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor.
You can zoom all the way from 24-120mm(translates to 5x), and the image is quite clear on the LCD screen. There is a small stabilization system built in as well.
As far as macro photos are concerned, the focus distance starts at 1 cm so you can get really up and close to your subject. There are also built-in lights for a little extra boost in low light conditions.
You can also shoot timelapses and stunning 4K videos.
It’s waterproof up to 100 feet, shockproof, and dustproof, making it a very viable competitor to the Olympus and Ricoh cameras above.
Finally, there’s a GPS chip built in, as well as an altimeter and depth gauge which will help you track your progress during your adventures!
6. Sony RX10 Mark III
Departing from the typical point and shoot design, the RX10 Mark III by Sony looks like a dSLR camera but is in fact a point and shoot system.
Sporting a 20 megapixel sensor that shoots RAW and JPG images, it can take some really fantastic photographs. A really useful focusing feature is called digital focus, which actually lets you make small adjustments to the focus after the photograph has been taken.
The lens is quite impressive at 24mm to 200mm. You can’t zoom manually, though, so you’ll have to use a toggle on the camera body to zoom in and out. In macro mode, the focus distance is about 2/3 cm, which is really respectable.
There’s also a high quality LED viewfinder you can use if you don’t want to use the screen(which can tilt, too).
If you’re into videos, you can take slow-motion videos up to 960 frames per second.
7. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10
The Lumix DMC-LX10 is a spectacular point and shoot camera that has a large 20.3 megapixel sensor. Focus stacking technology allows you to take much sharper pictures, and you can even adjust the focus points right on the camera after shooting the image.
For low light photography, the F1.4-2.8 aperture will let you really open the lens wide and let a lot of light in.
You can focus up to 3cm away for amazing macro photographs.
A really cool feature the Lumix has the ability to extract 4K still images. Suppose you are shooting a 4K video(max is 30fps). You can shoot the video and pull out the exact frame from the video which you want to use as a photograph, and in an instant, you’ll have a 4K photograph.
The lens has an aperture ring you can use to adjust the aperture manually, giving a really tactile feel. You can also use the ring to adjust shutterspeed.
For the slo-mo fans out there, you can shoot up to 120fps for dramatically slowing down footage in post-processing.
Overall, the Lumix DMC-LX10 is a compact point and shoot camera with features that rival many leading dSLR cameras.
8. Panasonic Lumix DC-Fz80
Like the Sony camera we reviewed above, the Lumix DC-FZ80 looks like a dSLR but is in fact a point and shoot camera. It has an 18.1 megapixel sensor and you can compose your photographs using the LCD screen or the electronic viewfinder.
Like most Panasonic cameras, this camera sports focus stacking, letting you shoot really crisp images.
By default, the minimum focal length is 20mm and goes up to 1200mm. If you turn on macro mode, you can focus down to 1 cm. When you’re up so close, the optical image stabilization does a great job of keeping the shot steady for you, negating any shakes in your hands.
Like the Lumix we reviewed just before this one, you can spot focus an image after capturing it.
For the distance photographers out there, the 1200mm focal length means you can zoom all the way up to 60x! That is ridiculous and greater than most consumer telescopes!
In fact, if you mount this camera on a steady tripod, you could probably take great photos of the moon and planets, too.
The videographers amongst you will enjoy shooting 4K video at 30fps.
As far as ergonomics go, the camera is very comfortable to grip, easy to handle, and you won’t get tired even after carrying it around all day.
9. Honorable mention: macro lens attachment for smartphones
- ✔ COMPATIBLE WITH ALL SMARTPHONES, TABLETS, and LAPTOPS including ALL iPhone models, Samsung Galaxy and Note, Google Pixel, Huawei and more. CONTENTS INCLUDE: TruView 0.45x Wide Angle Lens, Clarus 15x Macro Lens, TruGrip Lens Clip, GlowClip Mini Rechargeable LED Light + Charging Cable, Quick-Release Lanyard, DuraCase, EasyClip, Cleaning Cloth and LIFETIME WARRANTY.
- ✔ TRUVIEW 0.45x WIDE ANGLE LENS - CAPTURE 45% MORE PICTURE WITH EVERY SNAP: Shoot stunning photos of people, pets, travel scenery, landscapes, architecture, selfies and more. NO DARK CORNERS (vignetting) like cheaper lenses. Crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum and premium optical glass for durability and clarity. Multi-element, coated glass lenses minimize ghosting, reflections, lens flare, and other artifacts. Xenvo cell phone lens attachment is ideal for hobbyists and photography pros alike.
- ✔ CLARUS 15x MACRO LENS - MARVEL YOUR SENSES. MAGNIFY NEARBY SUBJECTS FOR BREATHTAKING, SUPER CLOSE-UP PHOTOS: Capture all the intricacies and details with precision-focus for razor crisp macro photos every time. (For best results, position macro lens approximately 1/2 inch from subject. Not designed for zooming in on distant subjects.) THE TRUGRIP LENS CLIP offers SUPERIOR GRIPPING POWER to fasten your lenses to your cell phone when you're in action mode, framing your next perfect shot.
- ✔ GLOWCLIP RECHARGEABLE LED FILL LIGHT - The GlowClip LED light clips ANYWHERE on your phone to instantly illuminate your subject and surroundings with warm continuous light. The warm and natural LED light is superior to your smartphone's built in flash—which can be blinding and unnatural—especially in darker settings and venues. FEATURES 3 BRIGHTNESS SETTINGS: Low, Medium and High. Say goodbye to frustrating photo "retakes" and hello to brilliant photos the first time.
- ✔ QUICK-RELEASE LANYARD AND TRAVEL CASE - TRANSPORT AND PROTECT YOUR LENS KIT: Perfect for taking your Xenvo lenses with you on the fly. The travel case stores and protects all lens kit components snugly and safely while the quick-release lanyard is the perfect way to carry your lenses on your next outing. Just drape the lanyard and lens around your neck. The quick-release lanyard head makes it a cinch to access your Xenvo lenses in a flash so you never miss another photo moment.
Macro point and shoot camera buying guide
With our 8 favorite macro point and shoots(and one smartphone lens) out of the way, let’s talk very briefly about some of the main things to consider when buying a macro camera.
Should you take macro photos with a point and shoot or dSLR or mirrorless camera?
When it comes to choosing a point and shoot or dSLR/mirrorless camera, it really depends on how much space you have and how much flexibility you need.
Of course, a dSLR or mirrorless is the most flexible camera as you can use the same camera you are used to and comfortable with for a wide variety of applications just by switching around the lens.
dSLR cameras also offer the most customization and often will have much better sensors than even the best point and shoot cameras.
However, if you’re at a point where if you’re not a professional photographer and you just need something that’s easy to use without having to fiddle too much, point and shoots are great, and many of them have features to rival dSLRs.
The only downside is you’re stuck with the feature set of the point and shoot and the only way to upgrade is to get a new camera altogether.
Additionally, most budget-friendly point and shoot cameras are not going to have very large sensors, and at some point, the difference in quality will be evident.
But for everyday photography for sharing with friends online? A point and shoot is perfect.
Another alternative is to use a mirrorless camera, which is almost as compact as a point and shoot but still has the flexibility of changing lenses.
There’s quite a wide price range in the cameras we’ve listed here, but it seems like $300-400 is the sweet spot where you can pick up a really rugged camera that can take a beating and capture some really nice photographs.
If you’ve got money to spare and don’t mind the bigger form factor, the two cameras with the dSLR form factors will obviously take better photos thanks to the bigger sensors and more advanced features.
Since we’re talking about macro photographs here, the main question is that of focus distance. Most of the cameras listed here have very small focus distances in macro mode so you can get really nice and up close to your shots. This is great to capture subjects like insects, small birds, flowers, and water droplets.
The possibilities are really endless. Once you get up close to your subject, there are so many more things you can highlight in the photo.
Quite a few of the cameras on our list are all-terrain/all-condition cameras that are waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof.
Indeed, some of the most stunning macro photos can be shot off the beaten path, so if you’re into the outdoors and into photography, those can certainly do the job well.
In those situations the more expensive dSLR-style cameras won’t cut it because you’ll have to worry about keeping them safe from the elements!
In conclusion, macro photography is an exciting and challenging genre that can bring out the artist in anyone. It allows us to see the beauty and intricacies of the world in a way that we might not otherwise notice. A point and shoot camera is an excellent tool for exploring macro photography without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re an experienced photographer looking for a more compact option or a beginner wanting to dive into macro photography for the first time, there’s a point and shoot camera out there that’s perfect for you.
So why not grab a camera and start exploring the world of macro photography? You never know what hidden gems you might discover in the small details of life. Happy shooting!