If you're after one of the best cameras for Instagram, chances are you want something that is easy-to-use, outputs great quality photos and videos and is portable. These days, Instagram is as much (if not more) of a video-sharing platform as it is a photo-sharing platform so you'll want a camera that can do both really well. The new algorithm is rumored to favor content creators who post Reels and IGTV over those strictly posting images.
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Once upon a time, the best camera for Instagram would have been your phone but now it's used by professionals to promote their business using high-quality images and video. If your main income is from content creation you might not mind splashing the cash and investing in more advanced kit but if you're just starting out chances are you'll want to go for something cheaper.
Some of the best mirrorless cameras are great for Instagram as they can take high-quality photos and videos. However, when you factor in all the extra bits you need such as lenses, memory cards (opens in new tab) and spare batteries, the cost quickly adds up. It's also worth noting that whoever you upload photos to Instagram it massively degrades the quality so while having a high-resolution camera such as the Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab) would be nice, you won't get the most out of it if you're just sharing on Intsa.
That being said, you wouldn't necessarily want to buy a point-and-shoot camera (opens in new tab)either as they can often be a little too basic. Some of the best compact cameras (opens in new tab)would suit shooting for Instagram as they have larger 1-inch sensors and more advanced features which often include improved video capabilities.
Lots of Instagrammers will want to shoot all their content using their smartphone. The cameras on the best phones (opens in new tab) are so good these days you can absolutely get away with doing that. Some of the latest models even have the ability to shoot Raw images and 4K 60P video. The front cameras are also getting much better so if you need to record selfie-style videos it's really easy to see what the end result will look like.
If you're picking the best cameras for Instagram, we’ve identified four major criteria for our choices:
Portability: It’s safe to say that much of what we see on Instagram falls under the genre of “travel” photography. Gleaming white sands, exotic food and epic landscapes are what fill our feeds anyway. In which case, it stands to reason that you don’t want to be lugging around a great big heavy camera – especially if you’re traveling “hand luggage only”. See our guide to the best cameras for travel (opens in new tab).
Connectivity: It’s all well and good taking an amazing picture that will surely go down well with your followers, but if you can’t get it off your camera quickly and easily, it’s all for nothing. You don’t have this problem with smartphones, but cameras need to have decent Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options – as well as intuitive smartphone apps. If you use a smartphone for your photography you're already a step ahead because you can share your images straight away... though to really stand out from the crowd you also need top-drawer image quality.
Image Quality: This is the biggie, of course. If there’s one sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd on Instagram, it’s by taking something with superior image quality than the average dinner-sharer. Smartphones are good and getting better, but if you want quality to be your calling card, then a mirrorless camera is the best choice.
Unusual camera features: This one applies more to smartphones. We’re keen to suggest smartphones that offer something special – such as wide-angle lenses, telephoto lenses, special modes, or professional level controls.
Let’s see what’s made it on to our list…
Best cameras for Instagram
The original LX100 won a lot of fans thanks to its large sensor, great handling and high degree of portability and was designed for keen photographers willing to pay a little more for a pocket-sized camera with the class of a full size mirrorless model. Although the Mark II version represents a relatively small upgrade (you now get a touchscreen, better 4K Photo options and the very handy ability to charge via USB), it still makes it on our list of Insta-friendly cameras. In many ways this is the perfect travel and street camera. It produces great images, with a limited but still flexible zoom lens, and it can just about fit in your jacket pocket. Some neat handling touches, like an aperture ring and shutter speed dial also make it very nice to use, too, but that fixed rear screen could prove a deal-breaker for some – it does limit the angles you can shoot from.
Read more: Panasonic Lumix LX100 II review (opens in new tab)
The Fujifilm X-S10 is probably the best all-rounder in the Fujifilm stable right now and is therefore our strongest pick for the majority of users. It's got a fully-articulated screen which makes it ideal for self-shooting content for Instagram. It handles extremely well and even though it has fewer external controls than other X-Series cameras, the dial setup in more conventional. It has in-body stabilization which makes its low light performance better as you can shoot hand-held at lower shutter speeds. If you can't quite stretch the X-S10, the Fujifilm X-T200 (opens in new tab) is another great option but the downside is it doesn't have a flip-out screen.
Read more: Fujifilm X-S10 review (opens in new tab)
Nikon's first mirrorless cameras were full frame models designed for experts and professionals, but the Nikon Z 50 is pitched firmly at amateurs and enthusiasts – and especially the new generation of content creators. The Nikon Z 50 is a much smaller camera than the Z 6 and Z 7, but clearly shares the same design DNA. Despite its small size, it has a good grip and good external controls, and the retracting 16-50mm kit lens is remarkable not just for its pancake lens dimensions but for its overall performance. Nikon may have come to the APS-C mirrorless market comparatively late, but it's come in with a camera that has so many good points it's hard to know where to start – but we will highlight the 4K video, 11fps shooting... and the fact that its Z mount is identical to that on the larger cameras, so you can use dedicated Nikkor Z DX lenses, full frame Nikkor Z lenses and regular Nikon DSLR lenses via the FTZ adaptor. It also has a flip-over screen for selfies and vlogging. Best of all, the Z 50 is terrific value, especially when bought as a twin-lens kit.
Read more: Nikon Z 50 review (opens in new tab)
While the new Sony ZV-E10 (opens in new tab) spiritually supersedes it, the ZV-1 remains a great option that doesn't require you to faff with lens changing. Some might dismiss the ZV-1 as yet another Sony RX100 variant, but it’s much more than that. The sensor and lens might be familiar, but the body, the controls, the audio and the rear screen are all new and different and optimized brilliantly for vlogging. There are a couple of niggles. The huge change in the minimum focus distance when you zoom in is annoying and the SteadyShot Active stabilization didn’t work too well for us, but the autofocus is exceptional and the ZV-1 is a joy to use, not least because here at last is a vlogging camera that really is designed specifically for vlogging, right down to that fully vari-angle rear screen and the supplied mic windshield, which really does work brilliantly. It's also a LOT cheaper than the flagship Sony RX100 VII (opens in new tab) camera, despite offering a better proposition for vloggers.
Read more: Sony ZV-1 review (opens in new tab)
We haven't always been impressed by Canon's EOS M mirrorless cameras, but this one is rather good. It's small, portable and rather cute with its mini-DSLR styling. It's also easy to use for non-experts. Best of all, it has an electronic viewfinder (so that you're not just reliant on the rear screen for composing pictures) and a full vari-angle screen for rotating in any direction. Hobbyists might want a wider lens choice, but if travel is your thing and a couple of lenses is all you need, the EOS M50 Mark II is great. Another great benefit is that it's ready to go as a webcam making it perfect for live streaming on Instagram. If the budget is tight, take a look at the original Canon EOS M50 (opens in new tab) which you can now pick up fair cheap, especially secondhand.
Read more: Canon EOS M50 Mark II review (opens in new tab)
Providing a superb, enviable balance between price and performance, the Olympus Pen E-PL10 is any fashion-conscious photographer's dream. It's a smart, capable mirrorless camera, as capable at shooting stills as it is 4K video thanks to its 16MP MOS sensor, so you can swap between types of content with ease. The Micro Four Thirds lens mount gives you a huge variety of options to choose from when it comes to glance, meaning you're free to get creative with fisheyes, telephotos and more. It also has brought manual mode to silent shooting, so you can fine-tune your exposure while also staying stealthy – perfect for street shooting. It's everything an Instagrammer could want, all wrapped up in a stylish veneer that will also look good for your behind-the-scenes Stories.
Read more: Olympus PEN E-PL10 review (opens in new tab)
With plenty of fierce competition in the vlogging market, Panasonic came out swinging with the Lumix G100. It's a camera pitched at beginners and relatively new users, designed to offer everything you need in one package without needing to buy loads of extra accessories. One of the big draws is the on-board OZO audio, designed by Nokia, which uses three microphones to assure far greater quality than any basically other camera's on-board mic. Happily, Panasonic didn't neglect stills capability, and the G100 can shoot great-looking images and make use of 4K Photo modes to extract them from video footage, which effectively gives you a burst rate of 30fps. With Instagram becoming more and more about stills and video, getting a hybrid camera like this is a sensible move.
Read more: Panasonic Lumix G100 (opens in new tab)
Canon’s dinky G7 X cameras have long proved popular with social-media lovers, thanks to their fantastic video features. The G7X Mark III builds on that heritage, adding a range of specifications which make it even more tempting. Top of the list is 4K video recording, which is uncropped. You can use the tilt-up touchscreen to frame your vlogs, while LiveStreaming to YouTube is also built-in. For fans of Instagram stories, a special vertical record mode has also been added. The icing on the cake is a new external mic input socket. It’s not just video-lovers that should consider the G7X Mark III. With a very flexible 24-100mm (equivalent) lens, and a large one-inch sensor it’s also capable of capturing some striking stills, too.
Read more: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III review (opens in new tab)
Best phones for Instagram(opens in new tab)
Google’s first flagship in years has a lot to prove. The Pixel 5 was great, but definitely wasn’t a top-end smartphone, and the Pixel 4 missed the mark for us, with rehashed camera hardware and overheating internals. With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google hits the target.
Its triple rear-facing camera system has had a full hardware refresh: the main (26mm wide-angle) camera features a 50MP 1/1.31 sensor with 1.2-micron pixels, omnidirectional phase-detection autofocus, laser autofocus, and OIS. For a wider perspective, there's also a 12MP 17mm ultrawide camera module.
But arguably the most impressive camera in the Pixel 6 Pro is its new periscope zoom camera. Utilising a 48MP sensor with an f/3.5 aperture, 104mm lens, the telephoto module gives you roughly 4x zoom. The sensor itself is tiny at 1/2 an inch, but thanks to Google’s software know-how matched with OIS, it’s still a cracking addition to the handset, and really makes the 6 Pro worth choosing over the regular Pixel 6.
While Google’s Tensor chipset gets hot on first setup and with intense gaming, day to day, we found everything from performance to photography to be impressive on Google’s top-tier flagship – a hands down win for Google.
In full: Google Pixel 6 Pro review (opens in new tab)
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the largest of the latest iPhones with a big screen, a larger 1/1.28-inch 48MP sensor plus a front camera that has autofocus and handles depth perception much better. It's the same weight as its predecessor, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (opens in new tab) at 240g but it is considerably more powerful thanks to the new A16 Bionic chip. It also comes with an active mode and cinematic mode when shooting 4K video so you can shoot really high-quality Reels!
While the larger screen is great for viewing content, editing photos and creating reels, it does make the phone much harder to hold so anyone with smaller hands might want to opt for the iPhone 14 Pro (opens in new tab) instead - it has all the same features but a smaller, more manageable screen.
You’d be forgiven for being a little worried about buying into the Huawei system with relations a little frosty between the Chinese company and the US administration. If therefore you’re looking for the flexibility of several lenses, along with a very well-featured native camera app, the Samsung S10+ (opens in new tab) has to be the recommendation of choice. Here you got a super-wide-angle, a “normal” lens, and a 2x optical zoom lens. OK it doesn’t offer you the 5x optical zoom of the Huawei – but we’ll wager that 2x will come in more handy in normal situations, anyway. A range of different shooting modes should mean you can find something to suit every situation, while a Pro mode gives enthusiasts the extra control they desire. On the front, selfie lovers will welcome the dual-front-facing cameras, giving you the opportunity to create impressive portrait effects.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy S10+ review (opens in new tab)
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