Abid Hussain Barlaskar

Smartphone brands push 'macro' feature for cameras

Motorola's latest model even has 'macro' in its name.

After exploring dozens of megapixels, branded lenses, multiple cameras, zoom and selfies, smartphone brands are now exploring a new proposition, ‘macro’. Macro photography involves taking pictures of tiny subjects, usually insects, with the help of specialised camera lenses. Motorola just launched its Motorola One Macro, a smartphone in the sub 10k price segment, which is equipped with a dedicated macro camera for extreme close up photos.

The ad for the newly launched phone features three scenes. First, the user takes an extreme close up photo of a tiny ladybug. Next, the phone finds it's way on the dining table where a girl proposes to her boyfriend and uses the Motorola phone to click a picture of the ring. This then leads us to a Diwali scenario where family members use it to click pictures of rangoli art. Insect and food photography are among the most practical usages of macro cameras or lenses.

The ad has been crafted by 21N78E Creative Labs.

Shivam Ranjan, head of marketing, Motorola Mobility India, says, “Motorola aims to put the focus back on the consumer by constantly democratising premium features to enable mass access. The Motorola One Macro with its dedicated macro vision camera reflects that commitment.”

The brand is targetting a young TG by providing a rather newly explored feature in the sub 10k price segment.

Navin Kansal, chief creative officer, 21N78E Creative Labs says, “The main intent was to showcase the feature of the phone without turning it into a 'demo' sort of an ad. The ad targets an age group of around 18 to 26 year olds, which includes the likes of college goers and first jobbers.”

Navin Kansal
Navin Kansal

Kansal adds, “The story is about what more one can unleash with a phone camera available at the price point. The visuals would be relatable to someone who is around the age of getting engaged without making it cliched. Also, the ladybug visual highlights the camera's ability to capture detail.” The Diwali shot was more about making the communication relevant for the festive season.

However, Motorola isn't the only one exploring 'macro'. realme's realme XT positioned in the sub-20k price segment was launched with a claim that the phone can shoot images from as close as four centimetres from the subject.

Xiaomi released short 'how to' videos around the 'macro' capabilities of its new Redmi Note 8 Pro. The video features a tiny damselfly.

Expert speak:

Sandeep Budki, founder and managing editor of The Mobile Indian, a tech news and mobile reviews website, says, “Players today are betting big on the camera proposition since the rest of the features such as storage, processor, price factors have been normalised. We have already seen features such as telephoto lens, wide angle lens, megapixels and brands just added one more feature, macro.”

Sandeep Budki
Sandeep Budki

“The mass usage of phone cameras is limited to taking landscape photos, selfies and at times using the zoom features. The macro feature is more for creating curiosity and experimentation. Brands are now betting on the curiosity factor since at the end of the day, phones today have a shelf life only two to three months. That is, each new model is phased out in three months and the brand comes up with a new model. The recall value of a model diminishes really fast. The brand gets a window of around 45 days to capture the consumer and another 45 days to sell out the remaining stock via steps like discounting prices,” he explains.

Budki further clarifies that a professional macro photographer will stay away from investing in a phone and would rather invest in a more professional setup with DSLR cameras with special lenses.

“Motorola has been trying to catch up with competition and has almost matched the pricing with its competitors. But the brand is yet to match the feature game,” he signs off.