Do you long for the old days when film cameras ruled? When people needed to know how to frame a phone without depending on the burst mode to get one of them right. Well, the rise of DSLRs and now smartphones has killed all of that. Most of us don’t print our pictures anymore, other than perhaps wedding albums.
We are used to instant pictures, instant viewing and in most cases Instagramming them right there and then. Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 8 is like an antithesis to the smartphone obsessed generation, but it is also a redux of the original instant photo, the Polaroid cameras.
This colourful little camera lets you take photos which it prints instantly like with the Polaroids.
So does this colourful fun camera deliver? Here’s what we thought after using it.
What is good
This camera is a conversation starter, no doubt. We got the pink version and pretty much everyone in the office wanted to get their hands on it.
It runs on two double AA batteries and you need to purchase a separate special film pack. Fujifilm is selling these in a pack of ten and you need to open the back cover of the camera to fix the film set. It’s all pretty easy and that’s good since a lot of people might just give this camera to their kids. Easy using and set-up is always good, especially since a lot of people who buy this might not want a camera that requires too much work.
The camera has a bunch of settings on the bottom near the lens based on light conditions. These are indoors, cloudy, sunny cloudy and bright sunny. You can tinker with these based on lights, but don’t expect accurate results.
Once you’ve set-up, you can just focus by looking through the view finder and just click. The print will come out a couple of seconds after that and yes it will be a blank in the beginning. But don’t panic, your picture will soon start to appear.
What really works in favour of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is that it is pretty easy to use and when you get the right settings, the pictures have this Instragram-filter quality, which I liked. However, there are issues.
What doesn’t work
The light settings decide how the picture will come out and the results are not very good when you are clicking pictures inside, especially in the night, even with the right setting. The flash tends to darken everything in the background and it is really not the best result. I don’t see why I would use this inside, and many might just prefer to stick to their smartphones.
The other problem is that sometimes the whole picture comes dark, even when you have the correct light settings on the camera and sufficient lighting in the room. I’m really not sure why this happens and given that there is such
a basic camera setup, you don’t know what else you can really fix to get the correct results.
People who might not know photography would find such results frustrating and will give up on this pretty easily.
If you’re looking for some old-school fun or want to gift this to a child in the family, then sure consider this. It is available online for R5,500 and above. Of course keep in mind you will have to keep spending on extra strips. Fujifilm also other higher versions of Instax cameras, which might offer more features but the next model starts R8000 and above.
In my view, the image quality is really nothing to boast about and while I love the old-school charm, I don’t see myself buying this.
Estimated street price: Rs 6,441
(Photo paper: Rs 1,000 for 10)