In the market for a camera to take high quality photos for Instagram, which one should I buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hieveryone, May 20, 2019.

  1. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #1
    I've been using my iPhone X camera, but now I want to really upgrade my hardware.

    I need a really good camera to take photos for Instagram.

    Which one should I buy?

    Thanks
     
  2. crf8 macrumors regular

    crf8

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  3. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #3
    I don’t have any experience at all so I need the best camera to make up for that.

    My budget is 3000 USD but obviously the cheaper the better. Would prefer spending less than 1000.
     
  4. tizeye macrumors 6502

    tizeye

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    #4
    Never thought I would see "high quality" and "Instagram" in the same sentence. First of all, save your $5000. Reality is, virtually any camera will work but a entry level consumer interchangeable lens camera will provide more flexibility to develop your skills with experience as you try different techniques. Look at the 4:3 cameras from Panasonic and Olympus, and crop sensor cameras from Nikon, Canon and Sony as those are the most popular. Your budget should be less than $1000 with any of those. As you gain skills (and branch away from Instagram, Facebook and other online venues which don't require or even permit high resolution) then the $5000 comes into play.
     
  5. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #5
    Ok thanks. I was going on a private jet and fancy cars and was going take pics to post on Instagram and needed a camera for that.
     
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #6
    Maybe rather than plunging right into shooting with an interchangeable lens camera, you might want to check out “bridge” cameras, too — while they have many features of a DSLR or a mirrorless camera they also are less expensive, have a smaller sensor (but still larger than most P&S and your iPhone) and there is no need to purchase and swap out lenses. The Sony RX10 M4, for instance, runs about $1700.00 USD and has a fixed lens with a range of 24-600 mm (35mm equivalent), which is great for capturing a variety of scenes from landscapes to closeups to near-macros to portraits. The thing handles much like a DSLR, has many of the same sort of controls so that one can begin to learn with this camera.

    Too big for you? OK, go down to its smaller sister, the Sony RX100 M6, which has a fixed lens with range from 24-200mm (35mm equivalent). I think it is around $1200.00 USD. It’s small, will fit in large pockets, has a viewfinder and all the controls — this is not your basic P&S — and can produce nice images. Like the RX10 it has a 1” sensor. Unlike many P&S cameras it has a viewfinder, which can be really useful in many situations.

    Either of these will be just fine as learning tools and also as instruments to get your images on Instagram.....

    Oh, and one more thing..... Most images are improved by a little editing rather than just being posted straight out of the camera, so you also might want to be thinking about that, too, what post-processing/editing software program would meet your needs? Apple’s own “Photos” or something else?
     
  7. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Before spending megabucks you might want to define what a "good" camera is. Does it mean that it has 50 megapixels so you can do incredible crops? Is it for shooting fast motion, such as sports? Or is for shooting at long distances, such as wildlife? Or macro photography such as flowers, bugs? Or are you looking to take great handheld shots in very low light? Or you want great dynamic range. Or do you want to hold it in a pocket so you can get in a shot as you are rushing on the tarmac to board a 787. ...

    If you are going on a fancy jets and cars, do you want to take any videos? Of take-offs? The winding roads of Monte Carlo? 4K?

    No camera is going to be best at everything. You have to prioritize the things that are important, then chose a camera that best fits that specification.

    My best solution was an RX10-M3. My first priority was the long lens (600 mm), then the ability to change from a long to a close shot without having to take the time to change lenses, then the sensor size (20 Mpixel), then the 4K video capability, then low light shooting. I ditched my DSLRs with all of their lenses due to their weight (the 400 zoom alone weighs more than my RX10) and the fact that it takes too long to change lenses.
     
  8. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #8
    After years of using DSLRs and having a bagful of lenses, one day last summer I bought a Sony RX10 M4 because I was going into a situation where I knew I did not want to be swapping lenses and also where I wanted a fairly long reach.....and it fit the bill perfectly, although I was concerned about that small 1 inch sensor. I figured, "well, I'll use this thing for this trip and maybe once in a while around home afterward...." Heh! I have not touched my DLR since and and have pretty much exclusively used either the RX10 M4 or the RX100 M6 or my iPhone for making images..... This really surprised me, but I really love that RX10 M4, even with its 1 inch sensor. The thing takes great photos!! Yes, there are some limitations but I have figured out how to work around those and someone would have to pry it from my hands now..... I haven't given up on DSLRs, though, and still have my Nikon gear as I am still trying to decide where I want to go next with regard to all of that. Regardless, if and when Sony ever announces a new RX10 M5, I can pretty well guarantee that I'll be one of the first to snatch one up!
     
  9. NoBoMac macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Gonna agree with @tizeye. Lots of cameras out there that take quality photos.

    But for Instagram???

    That said, I have an Olympus EP-L5 and love it! Compact, can pocket it in khaki shorts with stock lens. Great travel and hiking camera. Same sensor in top Olympus cameras, fast AF. Sure, not full frame or APS sensor size, but for most every one, imo, heck of a better sensor vs phone, P&S (ie. Better for low light, much bigger sensor) and will provide great photos that can be enlarged to 8x10 and better with no real loss.

    That said, now getting some really nice mirrorless cameras with full frame or APS sensors, so, can get a nice common person rig (body, couple of lenses) without spending too much coin.

    ADD: Olympus love from me, I had old school 35mm film cameras from them in the past, and loved the quality then, and happy with current digital lenses, cameras.
     
  10. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #10
    If you are expecting throwing money at a camera to improve your pictures then I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. I have personal experience that having one of the finest cameras in the world doesn't stop you from taking dismal pictures. I have taken some of the worst pictures you can imagine with some very expensive cameras.

    A good photo is created by a combination of the subject, lighting and technique. A good camera just gives the photographer greater ability to use their technique to create a better picture. 'Power is nothing without control' as they say.

    If you want to learn about photography and how to make better pictures then join the endless ladder that we are all on here and start with any camera that gives you some basic manual controls. It doesn't really matter what.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #11
    If instagram is the target for your images, then save your money. The images are going to be scaled down and/or compressed. Even if they were not, the image quality will be largely lost on the audience who will be viewing them on a phone.

    Keep using your phone.
     
  12. tizeye macrumors 6502

    tizeye

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    #12
    I previously looked at it in terms of new photographer, learning and expanding and intentionally didn't name specific cameras. There have been some very solid models mentioned as well as type of photography - macro, wildlife, sports, etc. From your description, it appears to be "travel photography". Probably two things want to look for - portability, and wi/fi or Bluetooth transfer of specific photos/video to the instrument (i.e. phone) used to transmit to Instagram or other social media without having to go back to wherever your laptop is.

    The other issue, this is high end travel where personal image may have a factor. In that case, be aware that Leica and Panasonic have twin cameras marrying Leica's glass and of course image with Panasonic's electronics. Leica's $1000 C-Lux is the same as Panasonic's $497 ZS/200 (or TZ200 in some markets) and Leica's $1100 D-Lux is the same as Panasonics $595 LX100. The major differences between the two the C-Lux has 1" sensor, 24-360 zoom, 4k video and pocketable while the D-Lux has a larger 4/3 sensor, "regular zoom" 24-75 f1.8-f2.8, improved 4k, larger but still pocketable.

    I travel quite a bit and meet you $5000+ budget lugging one of the more compact but still non-pocketable DSLR's - Sony A7RIII- with a variety of lens. For travel and day outings, I usually don't pack the 70-200 zoom but rely on 24-70 range primes (sold my 24-70) and 16-35 zoom which cover a wider area below 24mm of the two Leica/Panasonics above. If you want interchangeable lens, most pocketable would be the $5000+ without lens Leica M - but no video and more complex as rangefinder lens focal length markings rather than through the lens. Coming back using Leica's TL-mount Lens are the $3100 CL and $2100 TL2 neither of which are Panasonic twins, with a larger crop sensor and like the full frame M, pocketable depending upon which lens is attached.
     
  13. mollyc macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Stick with your iPhone. You aren't planning to actually learn photography. No one on Instagram will ever know or care what camera you use.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #14
    Somehow I have the feeling that changing lenses and occasionally cleaning the sensor and all the other things associated with using interchangeable lens cameras is not going to be something the OP would really want to be involved in. Doing real photography requires time and commitment and a learning curve; it's not simply doing "selfies." There's a lot to it, from learning to use a camera itself (technical stuff) to learning composition and what makes creative, interesting photos, to then processing the images afterward in editing software on the computer. It is time-consuming as well as rewarding, but not something for the person who just wants to snap selfies and travel scenes to post on Instagram to show where he or she has been. Either just stick with the iPhone and its camera, which isn't all that bad, really, or if you really feel that you need a "real" camera in order to impress the folks on Instagram, go with a high-end P&S or camera with a fixed lens.
     
  15. Lee_Bo macrumors regular

    Lee_Bo

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    Mar 26, 2017
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    Greenville, SC
    #15
    Look, I'm taking photos with my 7+ that rival some of my Canon and Nikon photos. Now, I've also spent maybe $15 in camera apps over the past couple of years but I finally have some that I use regularly. Do some research on camera apps. The camera on your smartphone is a very powerful device.

    And yes, I am a photographer. Been doing it since the late 70's. Processed film in darkrooms. THOSE were the days.
     
  16. mpfuchs macrumors 6502

    mpfuchs

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    #16
    Interested to see if the OP returns to this thread to inform us on their purchase and how they like it.
    Seeing some pictures (or link to the Instagram profile) would help to determine, if the new camera made a noticeable difference.
     
  17. mollyc macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Have you read any threads by hieveryone? :eek:
     
  18. mpfuchs macrumors 6502

    mpfuchs

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    #18
    Yes I have, that's why I can't wait to read the detailed report! :rolleyes:
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #19
    I wonder if he has also realized that along with the purchase of the camera itself, he'll also need a camera bag or pouch, an extra battery or two, at least two memory cards, a memory card reader, and software in which to edit his images (unless he chooses to go with "Photos", which is bundled with a Mac, of course). If he chooses a camera with interchangeable lenses he needs to choose carefully, because in essence he is not just buying a camera body, he is buying into an entire system.....and each brand has its own distinct quirks, features, plusses and minuses. Also, buying lenses can become addicting!
     
  20. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #20
    The biggest variable is you and sounds like you may have a lot of no cost improvement left.
     
  21. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #21
    I was kinda thinking our little sub-forum is being punked by Beyoncé.
     
  22. dwig macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    +1

    W. Jerome Harrison expressed it perfectly some 130+ years ago. Simply replace "chemistry" with "digital image tools" to update it to today's environment:

    "But with the practice of photography came the sad knowledge that there is no royal road to the taking of good pictures. Although money might be lavishly spent in the purchase of costly apparatus, yet it was soon found that some knowledge of chemistry, and some artistic taste, together with practice in manipulation, and neatness and accuracy in working, were indispensable to success."
    History of Photography - W. Jerome Harrison, 1887
     
  23. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #23
    That's not how it works. ;)

    As mentioned above, the Sony RX-100 is a fantastic camera. I just used it for a documentary class and took a few thousand pictures with it. It gives you full manual control with a top notch sensor. I picked up the Mark V instead of the VI because it has a faster lens. For my typical photography the speed is more important than the reach (24-70 vs 24-200).

    If you feel the need for big bodied camera because that's what a photographer is expected to have then a Nikon D800 might be worth looking at. The D800 is my daily shooter. It is an older generation but still a fantastic camera. It has the size to look like a photographer.
     
  24. Freida macrumors 68000

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    Oct 22, 2010
    #24
    Not sure if you are trolling but if its a serious post then stick to your iPhone X.

    Work on your skills rather than gear because gear won't help you with anything.

    Give great photographer and iPhone X and he will do the most amazing things with it.
    Give a novice D850 and the best glass and he will produce pics that won't beat the guy above. Its that simple.
     
  25. kallisti, Jun 19, 2019 at 1:41 PM
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019 at 2:50 PM

    kallisti macrumors 65816

    kallisti

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    #25
    I think the OP is trolling, so I hate to bump this thread.

    I agree with your sentiments as they apply to the OP--good photography requires skill and experience. It is a mistake to think that better gear will necessarily result in better pics or that better gear can compensate for a lack of skill and experience.

    However, your response is somewhat hyperbolic. Better gear *will* result in better IQ for a given subject, depending on how you define "better" gear. While the iPhone X has a decent camera for a phone, the IQ of the files is nowhere near that of a D850. This spring I went on a cruise with both a D850 (and Sigma 40mm f/1.4) and an iPhone Xs. I used an app for the iPhone that lets me shoot in RAW. The RAW files from the iPhone Xs were horrible (especially in anything other than really good light). I ended up impressed with just how good a job the iPhone Xs software does in creating its JPEG images.

    The pro with an iPhone vs a novice with a D850 is an interesting rhetorical argument. It has its merits in pointing out that becoming a good photographer and creating compelling images is a skill that requires practice, dedication, and experience. But if the IQ of images produced with an iPhone were *really* as good as images produced with a better camera, then all photographers (once they reached a certain level of competence) would only be using iPhones. Which is a silly idea on any level.

    Give a novice an iPhone X and a D850 with 200-500mm lens and ask them to take moon pics. The iPhone pics will be worse. Give a novice an iPhone X and a D850 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and have them take pics of a kiddo jumping into a swimming pool (assuming they are competent enough to move the dial on the top of the D850 to continuous release rather than single release and maybe change AF to continuous). The iPhone will be worse, even with the D850 in program mode. Give a novice an iPhone X and a D850 with a macro lens and ask them to take a picture of a ladybug really close up. The iPhone pic will be worse (though to be fair, depending on how macro you need to go, the iPhone can take pics reasonably close up).

    For all of these examples, a professional with an iPhone X would struggle because the iPhone isn't a good tool for any of those applications (as well as others). It is not good for telephoto (especially extreme telephoto), it's not good in low-light (though it does an impressive job in software of making low-light JPEGs look decent), it's not good for action photography. A professional would have a better understanding of the limits of the iPhone and be able to work within those limits, but certain pics are not possible with an iPhone regardless of your experience/talent.

    I completely agree that photographer skill is much more important than gear in a general sense. "Good" photos are most often a reflection of good composition, appropriate light, and the right combination of aperture and shutter speed for a given subject. Buying better gear doesn't magically change any of those variables--only skill and experience does.

    It is silly to assume that better gear will automatically translate into better pics. But it is also silly to assume that gear doesn't matter at all. It can and does. But before buying better gear, it's important to ask yourself how *exactly* is your current gear limiting you and how *exactly* will a proposed purchase "fix" these identified problems. A novice generally can't answer either set of questions meaningfully in the way I intend them. "Making my pictures better" is not a meaningful answer in this context. What is the *specific" problem that this purchase will actually fix? Not marketing hype, but actual ability to fix.

    Is it a "you" problem (I'm not sure why my images seem to suck, but they don't get enough upvotes) vs an actual gear problem (I like shooting in low light and my kit lens with a maximum aperture of f/4 always results in either underexposed pics or pics that have such a slow shutter speed and/or require such a high ISO that they are blurry and grainy, does it make sense to buy a faster prime lens (f/2, f/1.8, f/1.4) to fix these exposure problems?)? In the former case, throwing money at the problem is unlikely to fix it. In the latter case it might.
     

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26 May 20, 2019