Aesthetics play a huge role in Instagram. If that is entirely the case, the retro feel you get from Polaroid Originals OneStep+ will probably give you everything. There is almost no need for additional filters as the camera itself has a beautiful trademark in terms of colors and tones. However, it lacks convenience in terms of the shareability of files (which is obvious due to the nature of the cam). You can however save the prints you have scanned to your Polaroid Originals app in case you need it for uploads.
This, on the other hand, is where digital cameras excel as most of them are equipped with wireless connectivity options. Nonetheless, the best camera for Instagram doesn’t necessarily need to be a professional unit with all the bells and whistles. A good full-frame camera would certainly be a good option, but if you are a casual Instagram user or model who needs to shoot content spontaneously during an outdoor trip, convenience is what you need. This means getting a digital camera with a compact system but can tick all the boxes.
Sony ZV-1 is probably the best choice among all kinds of Instagram users out there. Starting from its Product Showcase setting to the Bokeh button, it makes the use of the system more instant. Apart from content creators who need instant functions when they need to shoot at unexpected moments, it is also a great beginner-friendly camera as its controls are extremely simplified. Even those who use the platform in presenting their business product will benefit from its magnificent auto product focus. Even better, it can shoot vertical 4K and you can easily transfer your file to your smartphone!
There are other notable options on the market that are also worth considering such as the entries from Canon, Fujifilm, and Olympus. They come with all the essentials of an Instagram camera such as the vari-angle touchscreen, 4K shooting, live streaming ability, fast AF, and more. Here they are:
1. Sony ZV-1
1" Exmor RS CMOS
There is much to say about Sony ZV-1 as it is definitely made with content creators in mind. It is a compact camera that fits in the pocket but behind this is a massive bucket of features that will check your Insta-needs.
“Sony ZV-1 will primarily attract those individuals who are using the Instagram platform for their business,” SolidSmack Photography Editor Evangeline Summers explained. “This is obvious with its Product Showcase setting that can shift the focus instantly from your face to any object you place anywhere near the camera lens. It is a big relief as it needs no tweaks and no complex settings. Very ideal for casual use.”
Even better, the AF of Sony ZV-1 employing a hybrid phase-contrast AF with 315/425 points is very effective.
“You can prove it with the Bokeh button that will instantly highlight you as the subject in front of a beautifully blurred background. Also, with just a touch of the screen, you can set your focus and the Real-Time Eye AF tracking sticks to the subject’s eyes. In terms of performance, it actually beats what EOS M50 II offers. It is fast and perfectly precise,” added Summers.
On the other hand, when shooting 4K UHD (25/30fps), you can take advantage of its 3” vari-angle touchscreen vertical shooting capability. The screen tilts up and down and can flip out on the side. It will complement most of the standards of various social media platforms such as TikTok and Facebook. The audio is also a major selling point of this model. With an included windscreen that you can attach to the MI shoe, an external mic is almost unnecessary in most cases. After shooting your content, you can easily transfer everything to your smartphone and share it on Instagram!
It also has a burst shooting capacity of up to 24fps and the stills are shockingly good. The shots come out with rich colors, and the skin tones appear very natural. There’s also an option for the Soft Skin Effect mode and though it is unnecessary if you want the texture in your shots, it’s still a good addition.
2. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
1" type CMOS
PowerShot G7X Mark III is probably the best entry Canon could offer for this category: a compact camera that offers gigantic features.
“If you are a bit dismayed with the cropped 4K of EOS M50 Mark II,” Summers started, “the G7X Mark III will satisfy your cravings with uncropped 4K/30p capabilities. Not just that: despite being a compact camera, it comes with a 1-inch 20.1 MP stacked CMOS sensor. This aids the 24-100 mm equivalent lens in shooting Insta-ready stills which can deliver rich details at an excellent level. Even the colors are truly unbelievable for a type of camera like this.”
According to Summers, its stills capabilities are also bumped up by Canon by fashioning it with the Digic 8 processor. This allows it to have the speed you need despite its compact camera system. As a matter of fact, its burst can capture up to 30fps.
Also, you get a 3-inch tilting touchscreen to compensate for the absence of the viewfinder. The LCD is also bright and for casual use, it has just the right resolution at 1.04m dots. During filming or composing stills, the 31-point contrast AF system is not at the top of the game. Yet, the overall autofocus is incredible and very responsive when you use the touch-focus ability of the screen.
Further, besides the vertical record capability of the cam for Instagram users, it can also be a handy all-around vlogging cam due to its YouTube LiveStreaming function! With this, wherever you are and as long as you have the connection needed, you can do live streams on your YT channel anytime. Even better, you can use the camera to directly send your files to your email, Google Drive, Flickr, and Twitter!
3. Fujifilm X-T200
If the sensor of the E-PL10 is a bit underwhelming for you and you are looking for something more powerful, Fujifilm X-T200 might be a good choice.
“It still has all the important attributes of an Instagram-friendly camera model including the 3.5-inch touchscreen that tilts at 180 degrees. Since this is a big vari-angle touchscreen that employs touch AF and touch shutter functions, composing your shots at different angles is easy. Using it to frame yourself on the screen is also easy since it is bright and wide enough for you to see yourself a meter away,” said Summers.
According to her, you also get the viewfinder you will miss in E-PL10 and the camera can cater to a considerable number of X-mount lenses.
“It means a great deal if you are someone who plans to have a shift from a smartphone to an entry-level professional camera. It offers you a good place to start with some good lenses that can improve your photos. Further, the controls of the cam are not that complex compared to X-T30, so it can definitely be considered a good beginner camera.
Also, X-T200 is equipped with 4K capabilities. Now, from the 15fps you have in X-T100, it bumps up to 30fps with an impressive AF system. It also has an in-camera gyroscopic sensor that employs a digital image stabilization algorithm to negate camera shakes during video shooting.
4. Olympus PEN E-PL10
Four Thirds Live MOS
Olympus PEN E-PL10 is designed to fit in all areas. Whether you are a vlogger, a photography enthusiast, or a beginner, it has everything to offer.
“It comes with a 16.1 MP Four Thirds sensor which should be enough for the day-to-day social media content uploads of most influencers,” started Summers. “Of course, you can always opt for something with a bigger sensor for high-resolution photography but I think the E-PL10 already makes all the cuts we are looking for. It is compact and equipped with literally all the things you need for Instagram content uploading.”
According to Summers, though E-PL10 is just relying on the slow contrast-detect AF technology (it has 121 points, by the way), it is still responsive and could still satisfy users who are looking for non-professional cam units. It doesn’t have a viewfinder but it compensates with a bright 3” 180° tilting touchscreen that is very responsive with just the lightest touch of your finger.
Further, it is also capable of 4K UHD video shooting up to 30 frames per second. Most of all, casual Instagram photographers would love its silent burst mode that can go up to 14.1fps! Sweet! Even better, it comes with great connectivity!
“Besides the USB micro and micro HDMI features, it also comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities,” said Summers. “Not only will it allow remote shooting, but you can also instantly transfer photos to your phone via the OI.Share app. You also have some art filter options available in the camera itself. That said, you have Instagram-ready content that you can post in just a beat.”
5. Canon EOS M50 Mark II
Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a mirrorless camera that feels like a DSLR model. Yet, with the grip it offers and its overall build, we could say that it has a compact design perfect for influencers who need an on-the-go, lightweight unit.
“What makes M50 Mark II more portable in design is its EF-M 15-45 mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens that can retract when not in use,” said Summers. “With this, you got a travel-friendly camera which content creators would love. In case you want to explore more lenses, M50 II can also cater to EOS M lenses and Canon EF lenses through an EF-EOS M mount adapter. This gives users the versatility they still need.
Despite its size, nonetheless, Summers said that M50 Mark II doesn’t lack all the important Instagram-friendly features. First on the list is the bright 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD with 1.04 million dots resolution. You also have the option for 2.36m-dot EVF if you happen to be shooting under bright sunlight. Most of all, it is equipped with Canon’s prestigious Dual Pixel CMOS AF system!
“The AF of M50 Mark II is everything you would expect from the technology of Canon: it is fast and can deliver instant results. Depending on the lens you are using, you can get up to 143 AF points. However, the caveat here is that the camera returns its AF to the old contrast-detect AF once you activate the 4K mode.”
Yet, according to Summers, its Full HD option offers most of the camera’s features without limit. Name it: digital image stabilization, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, uncropped videos. It even allows a 120fps frame rate which will give you a beautiful slow-mo effect in your clips.
The 24.1 MP APS-C CMOS sensor can also deliver just the right amount of sharp detail and you also have the option to remove distortions in JPEGs by activating its image correction feature. That said, it can offer you social media-ready images ready for upload, thanks to its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity features.
Best Cameras for Instagram - Buyer's Guide
While the resolution of stills can easily be identified by the number of megapixels the cam present, make sure to dig a little further with the resolution of the video. If video is your primary content on Instagram, you might want to consider uncropped 4K resolution with a nice frame rate.
A viewfinder is certainly needed in a camera, especially if you are shooting stills under bright light. The same goes for a bright and big rear LCD. Also, try to get a vari-angle screen that can tilt in any direction as it will allow you to easily compose your shots even if you are filming yourself alone.
As said, there is no need for a high-end professional camera. Nonetheless, having a huge sensor will help you ensure good quality stills and videos at all times, especially in low-light conditions.
A contrast-detect AF can work just well for most of the daily needs of Instagram users. However, it is best to find a faster AF system that can make the focusing more instant and easier on your end. This will ensure you get sharp details at all times and a favorable background that will help the subject stand out.
Best Cameras for Instagram - FAQs
There are various techniques you can do to prevent Instagram from heavily reducing the quality of your uploads. One of them is by uploading a compressed JPEG file with a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1350 px directly from your gadget. You can also use some applications that will allow you to set the export settings of the stills to the specific resolutions and quality needed.
If you are uploading for a regular post, the maximum length of the videos is 60 seconds long. Instagram Stories, on the other hand, can only be 15 seconds long.
The minimum dimension of Instagram Stories is 1.91:1 while the maximum comes at 9:16.