Bridge camera macro: a fun BRIDGE from phone cams to DSLRs?

I often hear/read macro enthusiasts say that ‘real’ macro can only come from expensive DSLR/lens combos (that they, not surprisingly, have heavily invested in).

But I think that one of the most exciting aspects of contemporary macro work --or should I say, play?–is the unprecedentedly low financial threshold of getting into this area because of the advances in camera tech–driven, of course, by the camera-races going on in the smartphone market.

And there truly are some awesome macro-equipped new phones out there, and of course, the ever-popular clips. But there comes a time when you start to wonder about the limits of the phone-based systems, and yet, you just don’t have the bucks to get into DSLRs, even the used ones (boy, have the prices jumped in that market!).

Admittedly, I’ve only been shooting macro for about 3 months, but I wanted to share some of my experience of using a used bridge camera/Raynox entender combo in hopes that others who are ‘financially-challenged’ (who isn’t, right?) might want to explore.

The great thing is that if you have an old bridge camera kicking about, it’s relatively easy, cheap and fun to try this out.

If you’re like me, you’ll find it much more fun NOT to drag along a big expensive DSLR/macro lens combo, especially without the heavy worry of getting dirt in the camera body, or somehow being one slip away from a multi-thousand dollar accident.

If anyone wants to try this or has any questions, please let me know here. Or, if you have some experience to share with bridge/extension lens combos, I’d love to hear more!

As for samples, I put together a free site this morning with some of my nicer shots. Have a look here.


Gorgeous shots, and a good suggestion, thank you.


Nice start. A few shots of the gear would be good too. The camera, adapters, extender lens, and how they all join together. Maybe a shot of the setup in use to give the audience a feel for working distances and lighting options.

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Thanks for the suggestions. And I’m hoping to do all that… soon!

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@treegrow took great photos with a bridge camera and raynox (plus flash and diffuser) for quite a few years, like this observation, shot with a Canon PowerShot SX40 HS. It can be a good combo. With macro, so much depends on getting good diffuse light.


I’ve used my SX40 with Raynox lens and a cheap light box as a makeshift microscope:


Thanks. Very cool! I found this video on YouTube with a jumping spider. This photographer uses the Raynox 150.

I have used phones, bridge, compact and mirrorless cameras. For me, my mirrorless cameras have given me the best quality so far. Not that phones can’t take good photos, I certainly have taken many great photos with them. However, sensor size does matter and it is just physic. And an interchangeable lens camera doesn’t have to be expensive. I have built a macro kit for just under 100 USD (Olympus EPM2+ Sigma 180mm f5.6 macro + Raynox 250). The result can be phenomenal.

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