Full Fujifilm Instax Review: How to choose the right Instax Camera for me?
As introduced in 7 must-have for an enriching relationship, every couple needs a Fujifilm Instax Camera at least. “But there are so many models out there. I don’t know which one to choose. They all seem very similar, just to produce instant films…” Don’t worry regarding your doubts, this review is going to give you all the necessary information you need to make the best decision for yourself in buying Fujifilm’s Instax Camera. I’m not going to simply list out the features. I’m going to seriously evaluate the pros and cons and give you the best recommendation. So keep reading and look for my recommendations 🙂
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The 2 Main Categories
Instax Cameras are classified into two categories – those use Instax Mini Film and those use Instax Wide Film. These are just films with two different sizes.
Instax Mini Film has a credit card size and it’s packed into 10 exposures per pack.
Instax Wide Film has the size of two mini films side-by-side. They are also packed into 10 exposures per pack.
Both of them develop very fast in about a minute for the film to appear.
(There are many frame designs for the films to make it more fun and creative.)
Now, I’m going to review 3 cameras and 1 printer that use mini films and 2 cameras that use wide films… Ready?
Instax Mini Cameras
1. Instax Mini 8
Mini 8 is the entry level to Instax Cameras. It is suitable for everyone, includes toddlers. Yes, you didn’t see wrongly. Toddlers are able to handle Mini 8 too!
- 7 colours (pink, white, blue, black, raspberry, grape, yellow)
- Automatic flash that cannot be turned off
- 2x AA batteries
- Dial – adjust the dial at the front to compensate the exposure for different lighting scenarios
- Cute & compact design
Personally, my girlfriend and I have one mini 8 and we always use it when we meet up. We safe keep our films in an Instax album and it looks pretty beautiful!
Despite this is the most basic with the least amount of features, it is very easy to use. You simply need to adjust the dial when necessary and that’s it. When we were using it, we didn’t need to worry about all sorts of settings. We just took the photo whenever we want so that it won’t spoil the mood while testing out different settings.
So…the quality is definitely not the best. One disadvantage is that the background of the film will be quite dark sometimes when taken indoors. The advantage is that it’s cheap and very easy to use.
Oh yes, mini 8 does not come with selfie mode so we bought a front selfie mirror to take selfies 🙂
2. Instax Mini 70
Mini 70 is the advanced version of mini 8 with a bunch of additional features.
- 6 colours (white, yellow, blue, red, black, gold)
- Built for selfies – self timer, selfie mode (ensure face is in focus), front button, front selfie mirror
- Built in macro & landscape modes
- Brightness control
- Fill flash option
- Tripod mount
- Automatic exposure control
- Automatically balance the background with the subject (Solves the problem of dark background in mini 8)
- 2x CR2 lithium batteries
- Same as mini 8, cannot turn off the flash
- Balancing background with subject slows down shutter a bit to expose for the low light. So there may be a bit of motion blur. Remember to keep your hands steady!
Mini 70 has a sleeker design than mini 8. It looks more fashionable while mini 8 looks cuter. I love the design for mini 70 a lot. It simply looks pretty cool to me.
It’s made for selfie, so it is definitely suitable for couples. I’m sure most of the couples are just like me and my girlfriend – take a lot of selfies. This is especially memorable. It’s good for reminiscing the good times in a long distance relationship.
3. Instax mini 90 (Neo Classic)
Mini 90 is the top of the Instax Mini line. It has the most features and definitely it’s the most expensive.
- 2 colours (brown & black)
- Slick retro styling
- Built in macro & landscape modes
- Brighten control
- Tripod mount
- [highlight type=”yellow”] Double exposure mode! [/highlight] This is the feature that I like the most. It exposes two images on the same piece of film. This makes instant films a lot more fun and creative.
- Bulb mode (up to 10 seconds)
- Kids mode (ensure photos aren’t blurry)
- Party mode (low light)
- Two shutter release to make horizontal and vertical shooting easier
- Rechargeable battery & charger
- High performance flash that CAN BE TURNED OFF! (Finally)
- Serious Instax enthusiasts
- People looking for high quality instant films
Mini 90 is the highest level in the mini series. The only con would probably be its higher price compared to others. It’s like an “All-in-one” camera. You have everything you need to shoot a perfect instant film which is a really good momento for any events.
Short Summary for the Mini series + My Recommendation
As you can see now, the level of the camera and it’s prices increases from mini 8 to mini 70 to mini 90. But which one should I really choose? Here’s my recommendation…
If you have a really tight budget, then mini 8 is good enough for you as it is for me. If not, I would really recommend you to try out mini 90 because it is really the camera that will get you much higher quality films. It’s only $25 to $30 dollars more than mini 70. The price gap is actually quite small between 70 and 90. Why not spend just a little more to get a lot more additional features?
(Note: The 3 new colours of mini 70 – red, black & gold, are more expensive than mini 90. I have no idea why either.)
Now, let’s move on to a special gadget by instax…
Instax Share Printer
This is a instant film printer that you can print your smartphone photos into instant films by simply connecting using Wi-Fi.
- Family gatherings
This is a really great gadget for you to get instant films without the camera. But this is more suitable for events. I won’t really recommend this for couples or small families because taking films with Instax Cameras can bring a lot more fun and joy in the process. It’s also not worthwhile for couples and small families to spend up to $200 just to print instant films.
But for bigger family gatherings and parties, this thing is a blast. People can instantly get their films as little souvenirs.
(Click here to check out the difference between SP-1 and SP-2.)
Hoo~ We’ve actually covered quite a lot. Thanks for reading thus far. We are left with the Instax Wide series. Let’s go…
Instax Wide Cameras
1. Instax 210
Instax 210 is the entry level to the Instax Wide series. Black is the only choice.
- Lighten & darken modes
- 2 focusing distance options (Portrait & landscape)
- Close up attachment with a self-portrait mirror for macro shots
- Big & heavy
2. Instax 300
Instax 300 is the more advanced version than 210. Same thing, black+silver is the only choice.
- Power button on finger grip
- Advanced optical view finder
- Tripod mount
- Lens ring dial to change the focus mode
- Fill flash mode
- Close up lens for macro shots
- Exposure compensation to lighten and darken the shots
- The power button can be easily triggered. For example, it can be accidentally turned on when put in bags.
Instax 300 has a lot more functions than 210 so it is great for those who really likes wide films.
For more detailed comparison between Instax 210 and 300, click here!
Conclusion + My Recommendation for you
Back to the context of my website, I would recommend couples to use Mini series because they are more portable and great for taking selfies. Wide series are more for family events and taking scenery photos.
Among the Mini series, like my recommendation above, mini 90 will be the best choice. But if you have a tight budget, mini 8 is good enough.
(These 5 cameras are the most common ones and there are more and more models coming out.)
I hope you find this article helpful. I’m sure you’ve probably made your decision. I would like to hear your choice, so do comment below 🙂 If not, I would like to know what is the problem and I may be able to help.
If you like this article, please share it with your friends so that they can make the best decision.