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Old Aug 26, 2006, 2:52 AM   #1
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I was playing with a few DSLRs at the store this evening, and it appeared that every one of the (regardless of brand) has a control wheel that allows one to pick either aperture priority mode or macro mode, but does not allow one to control the shooting mode within macro mode.

I need to be able to use aperture priority with macro mode (so I can control the depth of field).

Am I missing something?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 4:26 AM   #2
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Macro mode is simply one of the 'beginner' modes to get roughly the right settings for someone who doesn't have clue what they are doing. It provides no advantage whatsoever (and is likely much worse) than using aperture priority.
This is different to some lenses where the lens itself has a macro mode switch. In this case it unlocks a mechanism that allows the lens to focus on objects a bit closer for higher magnification while at it's most zoomed.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 6:37 AM   #3
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Okay, thanks, that makes more sense.

Just to make sure I understand:

With a non-SLR, setting macro mode actually changes something in the lens.

With an SLR, the macro setting doesn't affect the lens at all (you set the lens in macro mode separately if the lens has that feature). The only thing the macro setting does with the SLR is set up some shooting parameters akin to setting parameters for taking pix of mountains.

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Old Aug 26, 2006, 7:22 AM   #4
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1. No, non slrs have macro modes exactly the same as the slrs - just a set of default settings for people who don't know how to use the manual modes. P&S make pretty good macro cameras though because the small lenses focus really close giving good magnification.
2. You got it.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 7:39 AM   #5
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Thanks very much for the help.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 3:39 PM   #6
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Jacks is only partially right.
A camera with a fixed lens (one you can't remove), that has a macro mode actually does change something in the lens.
It alters the lens elements to reduce the close focusing distance, probably at the expense of distance shooting.

So macro mode on all the non-DSLRs that I've used do more than just pick settings that make better macro pictures (probably a larger aperture so you get more depth of field, but non-DSLRs have such a small sensor they already have a fairly large DOF - at least compared to a DSLR.)

I fully agree that on a DSLR a macro mode is really like "program" mode, but you're giving even more info to the camera - you're saying youre doing macro work - and so it uses that extra information to pick the right (or at least better) settings for the camera.

There are some zoom lenses that you can put on a DSLR which have a "macro" mode to them. Many of them, actually. What these do it move some lens elements around and reduce the close focusing distance of the lens.

Eric
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