Macro Photography on iPhone 13: What It Is and How to Use It

How to take ultra close-ups with macro mode on iPhone

What to Know

  • Move close to an object, and the iPhone will turn on macro mode. When you move away from an object, macro mode turns out.
  • The camera auto-switches to macro mode by default when your phone gets within 5.5 inches of a subject.
  • Starting with iOS 15.1, you can turn this default behavior off.

This article explains how macro mode works on iPhone 13.

Only the iPhones 13 Pro and Pro Max have macro mode built in.

How to Use Macro Mode on iPhone 13 Pro

Unless you turn off the setting (see below), the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will automatically enable macro mode when the phone detects you are close to an object. So, if you see an interesting flower (for example), open the camera app and move closer to the flower. The phone will detect you are close and switch to macro mode. When you move away, the phone will go back to regular camera mode.

Where Is Macro Setting on iPhone 13?

Some find the automatic switch to macro mode jarring, so iOS introduced a new setting to turn off the auto switch to macro mode.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and tap Camera.

  3. Scroll down and toggle Auto Macro.

    Settings > Camera > Auto Macro on iPhone 13

    Note: If you turn off that option, you'll still be able to use the ultra wide lens for photography, but it won't switch automatically. Just tap .5 in your camera's viewfinder and you'll switch to the ultra wide camera lens.

What Is Macro Photography?

Macro photography is basically taking super close-up photos of small things. They're often an artistic choice. Some examples include a bug on a leaf, or a water drop, or the inside of a flower. Macro photography can give you a really close-up look at the intricate detail of an object that is normally too small for the eye to see.

How photographers go about taking macro shots varies by style ranging from telephoto lenses to fisheye lenses. Apple's method is closer to the latter. The ultra wide camera offers a pretty shallow depth of field, which is a fancy way of saying objects in the background will be a little blurry and make your foreground subject really stand out.

Does iPhone 13 Have Macro Mode?

Despite both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini having an ultra wide lens, macro mode is not available on those phones. Only the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have the specific lens which can use this feature.

FAQ
  • How do you take slow motion pictures with iPhone?

    You can take a "slofie" or a selfie video recorded in slow motion on iPhone 13 by opening the camera app, switching to the front-facing camera, swiping along the menu at the bottom to the Slo-Mo setting, and recording as usual. Alternatively, you can record slow-motion video using the rear-facing camera.

  • How do I use the HDR on my iPhone camera?

    Using the phone's HDR feature, you can capture dramatic images with excellent shadows and highlights. iPhones take photos in HDR automatically whenever it is most effective. iPhone 13 models record video in HDR, as well.

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