How to Change Camera Settings on Instagram

Table of Contents

Instagram's in-app camera offers various settings to control your photos and videos. Tweaking these options allows you to shift to different lenses, adjust resolution and aspect ratio, enable gridlines, and more.

In this guide, we'll walk through all the camera settings available on Instagram and how to change them on both iOS and Android devices. With the right adjustments, you can capture high-quality content optimized for sharing on Instagram.

Accessing Camera Settings on Instagram

To modify camera settings on Instagram:

On iOS:

  • Launch the Instagram app and swipe right from your feed to open the camera
  • Tap the settings icon (shaped like a gear) in the top left corner

On Android:

  • Launch the Instagram app and swipe right to get to the camera
  • Tap the down arrow icon in the top left to open camera options
  • Tap "Settings" to adjust available camera settings

This will open the camera settings menu where you can customize options. Now let's look at each setting you can tweak.

Rear/Front Camera

This lets you switch between using Instagram's rear or front-facing camera.

graph TD subgraph Rear Camera A((8MP)) -->|Standard quality| A1 B((12MP)) -->|Large, detailed images| B1 end subgraph Front Camera C((7MP)) -->|Typical selfies| C1 D((12MP)) -->|Maximum quality selfies| D1 end A1 -->|Rear Camera| Camera B1 -->|Rear Camera| Camera C1 -->|Front Camera| Camera D1 -->|Front Camera| Camera classDef cameraNode fill:#f9f,stroke:#333,stroke-width:2px; class Camera cameraNode;
CameraPhoto ResolutionUse Case
Rear8MPStandard quality
Rear12MPLarge, detailed images
Front7MPTypical selfies
Front12MPMaximum quality selfies
Table comparing photo resolution options
  • The rear camera is best for capturing high-quality photos and videos of external scenes.
  • The front camera is good for selfies, vlogs, and video calls.

To change, simply tap the camera-switching icon in the settings menu (shaped like opposing arrows).

Use the appropriate camera for your needs. The rear camera offers more megapixels and controls.

Video Resolution

This setting determines the quality and size of videos recorded through Instagram's camera. Higher resolution means clearer, sharper video.

The options include:

Video ResolutionQualityFile SizeUse Case
720pStandardSmallerSocial media sharing
1080pHigh DefinitionLargerSharp HD video
4KUltra HDLargestExcellent clarity
  • 720p (Default) - Standard definition. Smaller file size but reduced quality.
  • 1080p - High definition at 1080p resolution. Sharp HD video for social media.
  • 4K - Ultra HD quality of up to 4K resolution. Largest files but have excellent clarity.

Change as needed for your connectivity. Higher resolution drains storage space more quickly.

Photo Resolution

Similar to video resolution, this controls the photo quality from Instagram's camera. Higher megapixels equal sharper images.

Options for the rear camera:

  • 8MP (Default) - Standard HD photos.
  • 12MP - Large, detailed images for printing/editing.

For the front camera:

  • 7MP - Typical for selfies.
  • 12MP - Maximum quality self-portraits.

Use higher resolution for professional results suitable for further editing or sharing in high quality. Lower settings are fine for casual posts.

Story Dimensions

This setting dictates the aspect ratio and size of photos/videos captured for Instagram Stories.

Options include:

  • Story - Fullscreen vertical 9:16 aspect ratio fitting Stories dimensions.
  • Square - Classic 1:1 square crop for portraits and logos.
  • Original - No crop applied. Saves full-sized capture.

Choose based on where you plan to share the content. The Story and Square options create sizes optimized for Instagram.

Capture Outside the Frame

Having this setting "On" allows the camera to capture content outside the frame edges. This gives you flexibility when editing the composition later before sharing.

With the setting "Off", no media outside the visible frame is recorded. This saves storage space on your device.


Turning on the grid overlays guidelines on the viewfinder while capturing photos/videos. The grid helps with alignment and composition.

Options include:

  • 3x3 - 3 horizontal and 3 vertical lines. Handy for general alignment.
  • Golden Ratio - Grid following the golden ratio principles for aesthetically pleasing shots.
  • Square - Grid with clear square boundaries, good for perfect squares.
  • Off - No gridlines shown.

Use whichever grid style helps you frame the best shots, or disable if you find it distracting.


The timer allows you to delay capturing a photo or video by 3 or 10 seconds after tapping the shutter/record button.

This gives you time to get ready for the shot. Use it for group pictures, vlogging intros, or other hands-free captures.


This controls the camera flash to illuminate scenes when needed.

Options vary by device but generally include:

  • On - Flash always fires when you take a photo
  • Off-Flash never fires even in low light
  • Auto-Flash only fires automatically in dark conditions

Keep it on Auto to let Instagram judge when extra lighting is required. Only use On/Off when you specifically need Flash or no Flash.

pie title Flash Usage "Auto" : 60 "On": 20 "Off": 20


You can opt for a zoomed-in view from Instagram's camera at 1x (no zoom), 2x, or 5x magnification. Useful for distant subjects.

The maximum optical zoom depends on your device's camera hardware. Digital zoom above that may degrade quality.

Focus Mode

This changes the focus behavior of the camera when capturing photos/video:

  • Fixed Focus - Locks focus at a set distance. Useful for static scenes.
  • Macro - Focuses on extremely close subjects like flowers or insects.
  • Auto Focus - Dynamically adjusts focus continuously. Best for moving subjects.

Auto Focus is generally recommended for most shooting scenarios. But Macro opens creative possibilities that use Instagram's camera in unique ways.

Try Out the Settings

Play around with the various camera settings on Instagram to see how they impact your photos and videos. Find options that work for your content goals and style.

The customizing resolution, gridlines, flash, and other available settings give you more creative control when using Instagram as a camera app. So tap that settings gear and start experimenting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about changing Instagram camera settings:

How do I switch to the rear/front camera on Instagram?

Tap the camera-switching icon (shaped like opposing arrows) in the camera settings menu.

Can I capture photos in RAW or Pro mode on Instagram?

No, Instagram's built-in camera does not support shooting in RAW or offer manual Pro camera controls. Those require third-party camera apps.

Does video resolution affect the storage space used?

Yes, higher-resolution video takes up more storage per minute recorded. 720p uses less space than 1080p or 4K.

What aspect ratio is best for Instagram feed posts?

Square 1:1 or portrait 4:5 ratios work well for the feed. Landscape images will be cropped.

Can I change the camera settings before recording a video?

Yes, adjust settings like grid, zoom, and flash before you hit record to apply them to your video.

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