Close-up Mode

Your guide to digital camera scene modes

Three rules apply to all close-up photos—all are governed by the unbendable Natural Laws of Physics.

Number One, The closer you get, the less “depth of field” you’ll encounter. (“Depth of field” refers to the zone of sharpness extending in front of and behind the actual point of focus.) Number two, even the slightest movement of the subject or camera will result in unsharp images; therefore, use a tripod and shoot on windless days (see “Against the wind parts I and 2”). Finally, determining the right combination of f/stop and shutter speed settings can be quite complicated--and that’s what makes the Close-up Mode, which can be found on most compact digital cameras (which are available at Adorama) so attractive.

The Close-up Mode adjusts the lens to maximize sharpness for minimum distance, and cancels the flash—which would otherwise overpower the subject. From there on, it’s the simple matter of composing the subject, waiting for focus confirmation and holding the camera still. If you’re using a tripod, use the self-timer—that way the camera won’t pick up the vibration of your hand pressing the shutter release button. (This is why some cameras have a two-second delay as well as the traditional 10-second delay for self-timer settings.)

On some cameras, including all Sony point-and-shoots and most Canon compacts, the Close-up Mode setting is selected from the jog dial, not from the shooting mode menu. In nearly every case, the setting is indicated by a flower-shaped icon, hence the alternative name Flower Mode.


Want to learn more about scene modes? Visit the Canonical List of Digital Camera Scene Settings.


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