Whenever a new iPhone is released, you should pretty much expect there to be some drastic changes to the camera hardware. For example, the iPhone 12 Pro Max introduced Apple’s Sensor Shift technology for better image stabilization. And with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, we have Cinematic Mode and Photographic Styles.
But the camera hardware has also been upgraded, along with Apple’s computational photography software. This brings improved abilities to take photos in Night Mode, along with an all-new macro mode for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
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What Is Macro Mode?
Macro photography is something of an acquired taste, as it allows you to get closer to a subject than you could possibly imagine. Just like in the example above, the details provided by the iPhone 13 Pro’s macro mode reveals details in the flower bud that you just aren’t able to discern with the naked eye.
The new lens design, autofocus capability for the first time in the Ultra Wide on iPhone, and advanced software also unlock something never before possible on iPhone: macro photography. Users can capture sharp, stunning images where objects appear larger than life, magnifying subjects with a minimum focus distance of 2 centimeters.
With Macro Mode, you can get closer than ever to your subject, and snap some pretty stunning images, all without needing a fancy DSLR and expensive telephoto lens. Instead, just pull out your iPhone 13 Pro, and take the picture that you want.
How To Use Macro Mode on iPhone 13 Pro And iPhone 13 Pro Max
For one reason or another, Apple has made a questionable move allowing you to use Macro Mode on iPhone 13 Pro. Instead of adding a dedicated toggle in the Camera app, the move into macro mode is done automatically. But before we dive too deep, here’s how you can actually use Macro Mode on iPhone 13 Pro:
- Open the Camera app on your iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max.
- Tap the 0.5X button to switch to the ultra-wide camera lens.
- Move your iPhone forward to get as close to the object as possible.
Once you reach a distance of 2cm, your iPhone 13 Pro will automatically activate Macro Mode. You can see when it is activated from within the Camera app, as the preview image goes from blurry to clear without you needing to tap anything.
There are a few disappointing aspects of macro mode with the iPhone 13. For one, despite the upgraded cameras, this is not available on the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 mini. Second, and more importantly (for Pro users), there is no toggle in the Camera app to use this.
At the time of this writing, Apple has confirmed that it will bring a dedicated button to the Camera software in a future release. The first iOS 15.1 developer beta has been released, and it is not yet available. But we wouldn’t be surprised if it arrives in an update sooner rather than later.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.