In Macro mode, the camera uses its minimum focus distance to keep small objects or details that are close to the lens in sharp focus. Our test pictures provide some clear-cut examples of why you should delve deeper into your camera’s settings when taking up-close shots. We used a tripod for all of our macro photos.
The camera’s Macro mode improved the shot dramatically. Our S90 adjusted its focus properly and kept the same aperture setting, but it reduced the ISO setting to 320 and slowed the shutter speed to 1/125 of a second. The results looked far better than what we saw in the shot taken in Auto mode.
We then attempted to outdo the Macro mode results using manual settings. In our full-manual shot, we used the focus controls to lock in more sharply on the brushed-metal faceplate. We were able to close the aperture to f/8.0 and shoot with a much lower ISO sensitivity setting of 80; that allowed us to slow our shutter speed to 1/13 of a second.
The combination of a low ISO setting, a narrow aperture, and a slow shutter speed let us capture a more detailed, evenly exposed shot with less visible noise in case we wanted to resize the image. It’s important to note, though, that the manual settings we used here are appropriate only for still-life macro shots. Since we used a relatively slow shutter speed, any objects in motion would have appeared blurry. If we had been shooting a moving subject, the Macro mode’s settings would have done a better job than our manual choices.