Best Travel Camera for Instagram on a Budget
So you’ve decided it’s time to take your Instagram game to the next level. Finding the best budget camera for Instagram can be overwhelming considering all the options and price tags. DSLR’s can be very pricey but that’s no reason for giving up on high-quality photos.
After an extensive research, I decided on the Sony a6000 and was one of the best purchases I’ve made to date. I’ll share with you an honest review of the camera, why I think is so great for Instagram when you are on a budget and what is not so great about it.
If you are looking for a high-quality camera that doesn’t break the bank, chances are that you are upgrading from smartphone photography. I used to shoot on my Galaxy S5 (RIP), so yeah, I was using ancient technology for 2018. I have to say that after editing, photos didn’t look THAT bad, but I could still see the many more options a DSLR could offer. I was missing out.
I started looking at what cameras others were using. People with travel photography and quality I admired. When looking into it, I found out the cameras were around 5000 – 6000 USD. HOLY SHIT. By all means, if you can afford it, go for it, because I’m sure the investment is worth the money (if you really need professional looking photos). But my peasant pockets were very far from that budget, so I read every review and watched every youtube comparison out there.
The Sony a6000 mirrorless camera was the winner and here’s why.
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I’m not sure if this is a high selling point to some people. But if your Instagram includes travel photography, you’ll be super comfortable moving around with this camera. It’s not bulky nor heavy. Mirrorless cameras nowadays can achieve the same quality without the huge camera bodies of other DSLR’s. I even take my Sony A6000 in my regular bag. It doesn’t need an extra bag.
For the same reason, you can feel a lot safer in cities with a high crime rate. Its size doesn’t attract attention and you don’t have to wear a special bag that yells “hey, here’s my expensive photography gear!”
Best Autofocus in Town
I haven’t owned other DSLR’s, but I’ve tried a few of the best in the market (for a day, so I’m not reviewing them). Let me assure you that the Sony a6000 has the best autofocus system I’ve seen. It is fast and reliable. Some people claim is the world’s fastest autofocus system of any interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C image sensor.
It can reach focus speeds of just 0.06 seconds. Also, the continuous shooting mode tracks the subject and can shoot at 11 frames per second. That’s insane for a budget camera. I love to use this feature when shooting unpredictable subjects like animals. See the example of the seagull above.
If you are looking for the best budget camera for Instagram, rest assured that you don’t need an insta-husband with this camera. Isn’t that a big relief? The Wi-Fi support allows you to connect the camera to your phone and use the latter as a remote. You can set up your tripod and take as many pics in flower baths as you want ;).
Also, after taking some pics I like to use the Wi-Fi capabilities to send them immediately to my phone, edit on the Lightroom app and share them with the world on my Instagram stories.
Wide Variety of Lenses
One of my favorite parts about this camera is that it has room for growth. As your travel photography skills get better, you can experiment with different lenses and styles. This is an E-mount camera, so you have a wide variety of compatible lenses.
The Sony a6000 can be bought bundled with a Sony 16-50 f/3.5 – 5.6. This lens is good enough for starting but you can upgrade for other sharper options, depending on your preferences.
Also, if you already own lenses from other brands, or just love the options other brands offer, there are many adapters that will let you use these lenses in your Sony body (as oposed to a Canon for example, which is not possible to use with Sony lenses).
Check the links below for getting an example of where this camera can take you. The first 2 lenses have wide apertures and allow you to shoot ‘portraits’, with a blur or bokeh effect in the background. The third one is an affordable adapter for Canon lenses.
Disadvantages of the Sony a6000
It’s never all rainbows and butterflies, so let’s take a look at the main disadvantages I’ve experimented with this camera.
This feature actually has some advantages, but I won’t say is super impressive. I use it a lot when I need to shoot from near the ground to get those tricky angles. It’s useful but it would be better if you could also turn the whole screen to see yourself on it.
So what I’m saying is that it’s a good feature but it could be better. If you also vlog frequently and want to see your own face in frame while holding the camera, the screen doesn’t help.
I can use the camera the whole day without a problem if I take photos or short videos. However, if you want to take long videos, like for a time-lapse, the battery isn’t the most efficient for this.
Having a small body also comes with a small battery, and therefore, less durability. If you plan to shoot lots of videos, I’d recommend you get an extra battery to be safe. Get a charger and/or the batteries here:
Wireless IR Remote
Having a wireless remote allows you to shoot in different ways that the app in your phone doesn’t. In my experience, this remote has longer reach than the phone. It is compatible with the bulb mode, so you can do your art at night.
Another good thing is that it costs a fraction of what sony remotes cost, and achieves the exact same. Get it here:
If you don’t like to be carrying extra bags while traveling, you can safely put your camera in your regular bag. However, it is important to have it inside a pouch or case to protect it from the rest of things inside your bag. I mean, you don’t want to find scratches caused by your keys.
This little camera case doesn’t take a lot of extra space and gives excellent protection. Just make sure your lens fits as well. Get it here:
The photos above were all taken with my Sony a6000, and 16-50 mm lens, under different light conditions. Hopefully this can give you an idea of what you can expect by buying only the camera. I truly think this is the best budget camera for Instagram or any other platform where you want to showcase your photography.
Have you tried the Sony a6000 before? Do you have more recommendations? Let us know in the comments!
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