Apple’s new iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max smartphones have a new macro photo mode that allows them to get extremely close to subjects for unique angles. Unfortunately, the mode activates automatically and can’t be turned off, but that will change.
The new Apple iPhone 13’s macro mode automatically switches from the Wide lens to the Ultra Wide lens which has the macro-capable camera when the device senses that the camera is within 5.5 inches of the rear camera, according to Input Mag’s Raymond Wong.
While handy and seamless, this function cannot be turned off, which can result in some frustration for users who want to use the wide lens for certain photos that happen to have somewhat close subjects or want to manually activate the macro mode even if they are not yet close to the desired subject.
When the camera switches to macro mode, the iPhone will display a crossfade-like visual cue, which is visible in Wong’s video below:
MacRumors notes that the viewfinder still shows the 1x framing even though the camera uses the ultra-wide lens for autofocus in macro mode.
In his review, Wong writes that he is particularly bothered by the automatic switching of lenses because he does not believe that anything that changes perspective during the composition of a photo is a good shooting experience.
“Apple says this automatic camera switching is intentionally designed to help capture better close-up details for all three rear cameras on the iPhone 13 Pros,” he writes. “I don’t agree with this… Because the framing automatically changes from what you — the person taking the shot or recording the video — might intend to capture.”
Wong reports that Apple initially told him that the automatic camera switching was intentional and designed to help users better capture close-up details without interruption. However, Apple has reportedly issued a statement to Wong and other reviewers and said that the ability to toggle the switching on and off manually will be coming in an iOS update later this fall.
“A new setting will be added in a software update this fall to turn off automatic camera switching when shooting at close distances for macro photography and video,” Apple reportedly says.
Wong reports that there is already a feature in the camera app called “Lock Camera” that will prevent the automatic macro switching in video mode, so it stands to reason that adding the feature into photo modes would not be difficult for the Silicon Valley giant, hence the relatively quick timing of the coming patch.