How to turn off Macro mode on iPhone Pro

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

by Apple iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have impressive camera setups that are a lot of fun to use. The cinematic video mode, with its dynamic focus-panning, is enough to make you feel like a creative pro.

In addition to the beautiful video mode, Apple also added the option to take Macro photos — that is, close-up shots of objects — starting with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max; it’s a feature brought forward to the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.

Also: How to take great macro photos with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max

iPhone models that can take macro photos have the feature enabled by default. That means that when you open the camera app and start framing your photo, the phone automatically recognizes that it’s getting close to something and switches to Macro mode without you doing it. It’s a nice feature to have, but it can be confusing and it’s not always what you want or how you want the picture to be taken.

Apple eventually added a button (starting with iOS 15.1) that enables or disables Macro mode on demand, directly in the Camera app.

How to turn on the Macro Control button

ago you found the new setting, make sure you have installed iOS 15.1 (or a newer version). You can do that by opening the Settings app and go to general > Software Updates.

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Make sure your software is up to date by going to settings, then general, and click on the “software update” option.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

After updating your iPhone (if necessary), you need to turn on the Macro Control button by going to Settings > Camera and scroll to the bottom of the page. Slide the switch next Macro controlling to the on position.

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Turn off Auto Macro to stop your camera from jumping around when trying to take a photo.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

How to take a Macro photo with the new Macro Control button

Now that your iPhone’s camera can no longer automatically detect and change lenses to take a Macro photo, how do you take one on purpose? Glad you asked.

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Open the camera app, make sure it’s in Photo mode, and frame the shot as you normally would. In the viewfinder you will see a new macro button (looks like a flower). If the button is yellow, Macro mode is turned on and available. If it’s not yellow, you’re taking regular photos.

Macro Control on iPhone 14 Pro Max

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

FAQ

What can you expect from the results of a macro photo?

Macro shots allow you to capture subjects as close as two centimeters away. Even macro photos, with enough light, can capture finer details like your furry friend’s whiskers to the droplets on a flower petal.

For a little inspiration, check out the finalists from Apple’s Macro Shot on iPhone Challenge.

Will the iPhone 13/iPhone 14 and iPhone 14/13 Pro have the same cameras?

While the iPhone 13/14 and 13 Pro/14 Pro offer multi-camera setups, the difference between the cameras is in their rear lenses. The iPhone 13 has a dual camera system — including an ultra-wide and a wide lens.

Also: iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Is it worth the upgrade?

Whether you’re looking to shoot from a distance or capture more candid moments, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro have an additional telephoto lens and, of course, the ability to shoot macro photography.

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