When doing macro and close-up photography convenience is number one… well, a good subject is number one actually and quality is a given, but you get my drift…
Any digital camera and smartphone of the last few years can give you quality results… much better than anything from 10 years ago. What matters are other aspects of the image making equipment.
The closer you get the more difficult it is keeping all the important parts of your subject in focus because depth of field decreases with magnification. Here is that smaller sensors have an advantage: You don’t need higher magnifications I order to fill the frame.
Occasionally you want the opposite though: minimum depth of field to achieve subject isolation from the background but this is more important for larger subjects such as groups of flowers or portraits. Once you start dealing with individual flowers, insects, or details on the millimeter scale… you start needing more depth of field.
Smartphones are great for flower-sized subjects but not all of them allow you to fill the frame with smaller things. Some of the classic 2/3 inch compacts are much better here but they are a nearly extinct breed and many models only allowed for macro focusing at their wide-angle settings.
These days, 1-inch, but especially micro four thirds sensor cameras are probably the sweet spot for photographing anything smaller than a flower. The Olympus and Panasonic micro 4/3 Cameras have a lens selection range second to none, extension rings, close-up diopters and macro flash systems that can tackle any macro and close-up shooting situation with ease… and need far less magnification to fill the frame. In addition, being mirrorless cameras the viewfinder image is always bright and allows for enlarged viewing critical focusing.
So, with all the hype and marketing surrounding full-frame (which I also own and sometimes prefer for landscape images) I find myself grabbing my small and light Olympus camera every time when I want to get real close… Have you tried to handhold at arm’s length a heavy dSLR with a 100 mm macro lens and maybe a flash on your knees while trying to get the right angle for a flower or a bug within the branches of a bush?
This is what I mean when I say convenience is number one.
What do you think?