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How to Upload a High Quality Video to Instagram

Uploading videos to Instagram is quite easy, but retaining the image quality is another story. In this video, Daniel Schiffer shows you a couple of tricks to help you out and avoid getting your footage overly compressed.

Like anyone who has posted a video on Instagram, you probably noticed how it tends to compress the footage a lot, even more than pictures. It’s quite difficult to preserve the quality when posting clips as stories or as posts. However, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure Instagram keeps your videos as intact as possible.

In the video above, Daniel Schiffer explains what he does to get the best quality possible for his videos on the social network. From what settings to use for your sequence resolution to how to transfer the files to your smartphone or even what to be mindful of when grading your footage, you’ll know everything you need to share your content without losing quality.

Interestingly, Schiffer advises to upscale 1080p footage to 4K. While it may sound weird to do this to avoid it being compressed by Instagram, I’ve personally noticed the same to be true with pictures. When uploading full resolution files from my D810, the image quality is much better than when uploading scaled down photos from the D810 or even smaller files from cameras with a smaller sensor. 

What about you? Do you have any additional tricks that you use to maximize the quality of your videos on Instagram? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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ron fya's picture

"upscale 1080p footage to 4K" >>> this is true on youtube too by the way ! Test it. You'll be surprised how sharper it is.

Lee Sechrist's picture

I've never tried this, how does it look when played back at 4k on a 4K monitor from YouTube?

Andrew Johnson's picture

Is there a premier pro version of this video? :D I’ve seen so many conflicting videos about this topic and none of them provide enough detailed information to make an accurate comparison between them. Although I will say this is the first video I’ve seen talking about upscaling footage instead of downscaling it. I just tried upscaling a photo for Insta in PS that I originally edited and exported from LR with my downscaled settings and aspect ratio designed for Instagram. I posted the image I upscaled in photoshop and it looks a million times better. Do you have any specific setting for either LR or PS for exporting super high quality images to Instagram?

Also the one thing this video doesn’t address is bitrate. I use LumaFusion a lot for editing videos when I am not in front of my computer and if you export a 4K 100mbps video from LumaFusion to Instagram it looks like crap. But if you export a 4K 6mbps video from LumaFusion to Instagram it looks a million times better.

If the community is willing, screenshots of the best export settings for Instagram on the major video and photo editing softwares would be awesome. To actually build a sort of knowledge base that people can reference would be really cool.

Anya Ivanova's picture

Thanks for the helpful tip! Unfortunately I can not airdrop .mov file to my iPhone. iPhone does not accept a .mov file and if I save it to my google drive then I can't seem to save the file locally on to my phone (the file says that its saving but does not appear to exist anywhere). Am I the only one who has this problem? Please help me out, i've been struggling with this all day :)

If I try to export out an .mp4 file format out of final cut then I can't get the resolution higher then 2k.

Waiting for a reply! Thank you!