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It’s time to upgrade your equipment. No longer will you be tied to your I-phone camera or your Dad’s old point-and-shoot.. If you want to take Instagram seriously, you’ll need to get yourself a serious camera. One which will make your Instagram look good, and will make our social media life so much easier. However, for the not-so-tech-savvy of us, figuring out which camera we need to buy can be tricky. With so many features, abbreviations, and technical terminology, finding a camera that works for us is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. While every camera is different, there are a three things that you need to look out for to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth. A quality Instagram begins with a quality camera - so when you need to go looking for your upgrade, here are the most important things that you need to consider.
ISOAll cameras operate according to one thing: light. And the ISO describes the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO means a higher sensitivity, and a lower ISO means a lower sensitivity. On most digital cameras, this is an adjustable feature, allowing you to take photos regardless of the light quality in the room. However, the quality of your pictures in lower-lighting settings will vary depending on the ISO capabilities of the camera. For instance, if you use a cheap camera to take a picture in a dimly lit room, and you raise the ISO to make the image clearer, you run the risk of making the photo look grainy and distorted. If you know that you are going to be shooting in a dimly-lit area, or you want your Instagram to have a night-time/gothic aesthetic, finding a camera with a high baseline ISO will help reduce the risk of a grainy photo. However, if you’ve got lighting equipment or have a lighter tone to your Instagram, then a lower ISO will help avoid the risk of over-exposed photos.
ApertureThe easiest way to describe an Aperture is to compare it to the human eye. When the pupil is large, more light enters into the eye; when the pupil is small, less light enters the eye. And the Aperture of the camera works the same way. The size of an aperture is measured in f-numbers: the larger the f-number, the smaller the Aperture of the camera. The size of the Aperture will greatly affect the sharpness of your photos. A smaller aperture will bring the foreground and background images into sharp, clear focus. A larger aperture will isolate the foreground from the background, making the foreground sharp and the background blurry. So, if you want your images to all be crystal clear, sharp, and easy to see, then a smaller aperture camera is the way to go. However, if you want an artsy, product focused Instagram, then a camera with a larger aperture is the best choice.
Shutter SpeedTo return to the human eye metaphor, the shutter is can be considered as the eyelid of your camera, opening and closing to allow light inside. Shutter speed, therefore, is how fast your camera is able to do this. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds, and the speed can greatly affect the capabilities of your camera. A high-speed shutter is fantastic at capturing bodies in motion, avoiding motion blur, and is often used by nature photographers to capture high-action scenes in the wild. However, that’s not to say a low shutter speed is bad. On the contrary, low shutter speeds are better for low-light conditions, especially night-time, and in effective hands can capture motion blur to make an image feel more alive. So, if you’re looking to freeze-frame special moments on your travels, or want to cover your Instagram with high-action shots, a high shutter speed is the thing for you. However, if you want to take photos in the dark, or want to add a natural blur to images without the aid of Photoshop, then a lower shutter speed might be the best course of action.