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How to use the Pixel 7 Pro's Macro Focus Mode for amazing macro-like photography

Jack Wallen shows you how to get very close-up photos with the new Pixel 7 Pro.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Although the Pixel 7 Pro doesn't actually have an official macro lens, it does have a built-in Macro Focus Mode that uses the lens to create a pseudo-macro mode that does a pretty remarkable job.

The Macro Focus mode uses the 12 MP ultrawide lens, in combination with the Tensor Chip and AI to achieve this feat and I've been quite impressed with the results so far. I don't have any other phone that is capable of getting so close up to a subject to even remotely pull off any sort of macro photography on par with what the Pixel 7 Pro offers.

Also: Pixel 7 Pro: Finally! Google fixed my biggest issue with the Pixel 6 Pro

The confusing part about the Pixel 7 Pro Macro Focus Mode is that it's not one of the modes you shift to. Instead, the built-in AI and Tensor Chip senses when you get very close to a subject. You can give the auto-sensing Macro Focus Mode a boost by zooming in with the 5x optical zoom to get very close-up results. 

With that said, how do you use the Macro Focus Mode on the Pixel 7 Pro? Let's find out.


The Macro Focus Mode is limited to just the Pixel 7 Pro, so you'll have to have that phone to make use of the feature. You'll also need a steady hand, especially when zooming in 5x on your subjects.

How to use the Macro Focus Mode

1: Open the Android camera app

Log in to your Pixel 7 Pro and open the Camera app from the App Drawer or your home screen.

2: Enable the Macro Focus Mode

You won't find a Macro Focus mode button anywhere in the camera. Why? Because the Camera app does a remarkable job of automatically enabling the mode for you. To enable Macro Focus Mode, you only need to get the camera lens very close to the subject in question. When you do, you should see a small flower icon on the display. If you tap that icon it will disable Macro Focus Mode. Tap it again to enable it. You only see that icon when you're close enough to a subject to enable Macro Focus Mode.

The Pixel 7 Pro Camera app.

The small flower icon indicates that Macro Focus Mode is one.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3: Default zoom

By default, the zoom will be set to 1x and you can get some pretty good macro shots at that level. A quick test of a cactus shows you how good the Macro Focus Mode is at 1x zoom.

1x Zoom in the Pixel 7 Pro.

A cactus photo taken at 1x zoom in the Pixel 7 Pro.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4: Even more detail

To get even more detail, tap the 5x zoom. It's at this point that you really need a steady hand. At 5x zoom in Macro Focus Mode, even the slightest movement will be greatly exaggerated. But with a little practice, you can get pretty remarkable results without having to do much work.

A photo of a nickel taken with the Pixel 7 Pro Macro Focus Mode at 5x zoom.

A nickel as seen through the Pixel 7 Pro 5x zoom in Macro Focus Mode.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Believe it or not, that's all there is to using the Pixel 7 Pro Macro Focus Mode. It might take you a bit of trial and error to get seriously good results, but once you get the hang of it, you'll impress your friends and family with the quality of up-close photos you can take.

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