Should You Post Photos on Instagram that Were Shot with a Digital SLR?


posted Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM EDT

Dslr-banOne of the more contentious debates to spring up from the increasing popularity of photo editing and sharing app Instagram concerns how people are capturing their images.

On the one hand, you have a group you might call Instagram "purists," who believe the whole point of the app is to shoot and share images captured with the adequate but still limited cameras in iPhones and, now, Android phones. If your smart phone photos aren't perfect, run them through one of Instagram's funky filters and you just might create something interesting, the thinking goes.

On the other hand, take a look at some of the photos people are posting on Instagram and it's clear many of these shots were captured with professional cameras with high-end lenses and then formatted and posted on the app.

Is this a form of Instagram "cheating"? Some people certainly seem to think so.

InstagramDaring Fireball alerted us to this post by freelance photographer Nate Benson who was alarmed by the trend of professional photographers uploading images to Instagram that were clearly shot with DSLRs and edited in Photoshop.

Benson thinks Instagram is no place for these photos.

"There are dozens of professional photography apps and services in the market today that are specifically suited for professionals to share. Professional photographers have Flickr, Picasa, and 500px just to name three of the more popular services…Instagram is called Instagram because the service is suppose(d) to represent the photography you took in….wait for it….an instant. To be blunt, just because you are able to upload photos from your iOS photo library doesn’t mean you should."

Photographer Jorge Quinteros concurred in this post:

"At first I puzzled about how I felt with photographers uploading their processed dSLR photos onto Instagram but I’ve concluded that I dislike it. I use Instagram to share photographs taken exclusively with the iPhone because there’s a level of authenticity to the process as oppose to bypassing the limitations the iPhone may have when shooting with it and replacing it with a dSLR. The purpose of an app like Instagram is to celebrate the increasingly mobile culture. There’s no right way or wrong way to use the service but sharing dSLR photos on Instagram seems almost like violating the spirit of the app."

Instagram-smallPersonally, I enjoy Instagram for its spontaneous, low-fi and occasionally artful fidelity and am annoyed when I see images shared on the app that were clearly taken with a more professional camera. At the same time though, it's a free country and if someone doesn't like the images that someone else is posting on Instagram, they're free to "unfollow" them.

More importantly though, what do you think? We recently launched a new commenting system in our news feed and would love to hear feedback from our readers.

Is Instagram really no place for digital SLR photos or do you not care either way? Please weigh in below.