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Hello recently I went to best buy and played with a Nikon B500, it was great. I was able to focus on the smallest things, close or far, zoomed all the way in and all the way out. So I went on the internet and found out that the B700 shoots in raw so I got it instead thinking it was better. Only I cant get it to focus on anything close up, weather in macro or not after like 25% zoom it no longer focuses on anything no matter what settings I put it on leaving me to think that I should have gotten the cheaper B500. It may not shoot in raw but at least it would be usable. I am fairly new to photography I had a friend with much more experience come over and try to figure it out. He told me that my camera has a range that it is able to focus on. Only the cheaper B500 focused on things way more zoomed in and with the camera much closer to the object so it doesn't make much since to me. So my question is why wont my camera focus on macro shots (weather in macro or not)?

  • How close are you trying to focus? – John Feb 8 at 0:31
  • Realistically I am trying to get an object that has a diameter of about 2 inches to fill my frame almost completely. – Christopher Robles Feb 8 at 17:22
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Just because one camera is more expensive than another does not mean that it will be "better" at every conceivable metric. Especially with fixed lens compacts, the camera is designed around a purpose that may or may not include what seems to be most important to you: macro capability.

In the case of the B500 vs the B700, the greater "zoom" of the B700 makes it harder to design a lens that can shoot at close distances than the B500. Compare the two lenses:

  • The B500 has a 35mm "equivalent" 23-900 mm F3.0-6.5 Zoom Lens that can focus as close as 11.8 inches
  • The B700 has a 35mm "equivalent" 24-1440 mm F3.3-6.5 Zoom Lens that can focus as close as 19.7 inches.

So although the B700 costs more, has more megapixels, more "zoom", a higher max video resolution, faster frame rate, can save raw files, etc. it doesn't focus as close as the B500 does.

  • Thank you, that makes complete sense, at the store I was zooming in at around 12-13 inches from the object. But even at a further distance with the B700 I can never get the object focused in to where it fills most of the frame. Another friend of mine told me to keep playing with the settings so I guess that's what I will do for now. – Christopher Robles Feb 8 at 16:49
  • @ChristopherRobles It is possible that the minimum focus distance increases as the focal length increases. If that is the case, you will not be able to make your subject appear larger in the frame and be in focus. – Michael C Feb 9 at 1:01
  • @ChristopherRobles I would say not to "play with the settings". Check the manual. – osullic Feb 12 at 11:35
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I looked at the specifications on the Nikon website.

The B500 focuses:

  • from 30cm to infinity when zoomed out (i.e. wide-angle setting)
  • from 3.5m to infinity when zoomed in (i.e. telephoto setting)
  • In Macro mode, with the lens zoomed out, it will focus from 1cm to infinity

The B700 focuses:

  • from 50cm to infinity when zoomed out (i.e. wide-angle setting)
  • from 2m to infinity when zoomed in (i.e. telephoto setting)
  • In Macro mode, with the lens zoomed out, it will focus from 1cm to infinity

"All distances measured from center of front surface of lens."

Your camera should match these specifications. If not, it might be faulty, or maybe you are trying to focus on an object that doesn't exhibit enough contrast or you are using it in lighting conditions that are too dim.

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Some possibilities:

  • Your camera may be broken, especially if you bought it used.

  • Your camera can't focus closer than about a cubit (as Michael C notes).

  • The minimum focusing distance increases from baseline when zoomed in.

Bridge cameras look impressive, but pair tiny sensors with superzoom lenses that often don't resolve well. Consider returning the camera and selecting a different one.

  • Compact camera with less zoom and better macro capabilities. Image quality would likely be about the same or better than the bridge camera you have. It would also be more portable.

  • Mirrorless camera with lens suitable for the type of photographs you wish to take.

  • My friend has more experience, I didn't say he was an expert. Besides he ultimately told me to go ask around because he is not used to coolpix cameras. – Christopher Robles Feb 8 at 16:52

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