Even though the iPhone SE 3 doesn’t officially include Apple‘s macro capability, it is still possible to capture a macro with the help of third-party solutions. This clearly won’t be as convenient as using a feature that’s built-in, but the huge price difference between the third-generation iPhone SE and the iPhone 13 Pro means that spending a little extra to add a new type of photo mode is worthwhile.
Apple added some exciting camera updates to the iPhone 13 series and, in particular, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. Besides getting a longer zoom range and brighter main camera lens, the ultra-wide camera gained autofocus and a macro mode. With Apple‘s macro, objects can be brought to within an inch of the camera lens and still focus. This opens up a new world of exploration of fine details and tiny textures that are difficult to see with the eye.
Related: How To Screenshot On iPhone SE 3: All The Tips You Need To Know
The iPhone SE 3 has the potential to take macro photos even though this isn’t a feature that Apple built into its lowest cost smartphone. Made possible with some help from a third-party app called Halide, the iPhone SE 3 can get closer by using its neural macro mode with a magnification of up to three times the standard size. This is achieved by combining multiple photos, using an artificial intelligence technique known as super-resolution to digitally zoom in and reveal greater detail. It can’t beat an iPhone 13 Pro but it provides a way to get a closer shot from the third-generation iPhone SE without any lens accessories. The app has a free seven-day trial to test out, after which a subscription cost of $2 each month or $10 a year keeps the macro and other advanced features available. There’s also an option for a one-time purchase of $50. To get a true macro image with the iPhone SE, an attachment, such as Moment’s Macro Lens is needed.
iPhone SE 3 Lens Attachments
By using an attachable lens accessory designed for the iPhone SE 3, it’s possible to get sharp photos at a closer range than what’s normally possible. While three inches is the closest possible focus range, a secondary macro lens works a bit like a magnifying glass, altering the path of light enough to allow the third-generation iPhone SE to focus much closer. There are dozens of options and while some are very inexpensive, those will have more blurring around the edges.
The best lenses cost more to manufacture and really are worth the extra expense. Since the iPhone 13 Pro costs $570 more than the iPhone SE 3, a $130 accessory might not be out of the budget if looking for more than what’s possible with Halide’s neural macro. Accessory maker Moment sells the top-rated macro lens for the iPhone SE 3, allowing the user to get within one inch of the subject.