Macro photography is now available with all iPhones using the latest Halide 2.5 update, so even if you don't have an iPhone 13 Pro, which recently introduced a macro feature built-in, with Halide, you can now take macro shots on any iPhone model!
What is Halide though and what is the catch? Halide is a premium iPhone and iPad camera app, which means it is a paid app. Halide used to be a one-off purchase cost but around a year ago, it became subscription-based.
This I know will rule it out for many people, who think any app using a subscription, is a money-grab and is unfair. Some of the comments I have seen about this release have shown indignation towards a developer who just wants to be sustainable and be able to release new updates and innovative features for years to come.
If you are only just hearing about Halide now and are annoyed with a subscription, we went through all of this when Halide Mark II was released. It was explained why this change was made, how Lux, the makers of Halide, needed to do this and they went out of their way to accommodate existing users, who got a free year of updates at no cost, including this month's new macro capabilities.
Going forward existing users, pre-subscription, will not receive major new features without a subscription or a one time purchase. That's not to say the Halide app will suddenly stop working if you paid for the app more than a year ago, you'll keep all the existing features but just not receive any major new features.
Of course, it would be nice if the one time purchase was a bit less, in the UK it's £44.99 ($49.99), that's not cheap but overall if you are interested in photography, wishing to learn more and have more creative control, that's not a bad deal. With macro specifically, if you want to try it out without a subscription there is Camera+ 2 which has a Macro Mode and is currently £6.99.
For all the details on Halide 2.5's Macro Mode, in great depth, check out their blog post - iPhone Macro: A Big Day for Small Things. Here is a snippet:
Today, we’re launching Halide 2.5. It’s a big update with one of the coolest features we’ve ever packed into the app. We were close to just calling it Mark III, as with our huge update last year — it’s just that significant.
What makes Halide 2.5’s Macro Mode so special? For one, it brings Macro capabilities to all iPhones. Let’s dig in.
You also learn about the Neural Macro option, to create better detailed macro shots which are supported on any iPhones made in 2017 or later.
I haven't yet tried Halide Macro yet myself but I am looking forward to giving it a go soon and I'll hopefully come back with another post on my thoughts on it. The featured image at the top is taken with the built-in Macro feature on the iPhone 13 Pro that I have written about plenty in previous posts, edited with Dramatic Black & White from JixiPix.