Fujifilm Instax Instant film cameras are fun little toys to have around. They’re easy to use and you get a printed photo on the spot with that iconic retro look that we try to recreate in our social apps. However, this trend hasn’t really caught on in India despite Fujifilm’s range of instant cameras being available here for a while now.
The company hopes to turn things around with its latest model, called the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. It has an improved design, and what better way to target millennials and the teenagers of today than with the addition of a selfie mirror.
For Rs. 5,999, you get the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera, a matching strap, a set of batteries, and a close-up lens attachment. You’ll have to buy the instant film separately. It retails for about Rs. 1,020 for a pack of two cartridges, with 10 film sheets in each cartridge.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is built entirely of plastic, but the fit and finish is good with no crude edges or misaligned joints. Around the back, we have a little compartment for the film cartridge, an optical viewfinder, and a counter which shows you the number of unused film sheets remaining.The batteries slot in on the side, and there’s a loop for the wrist strap on either side of the camera.
In the front, we have the flash and light metering sensors which automatically adjust the exposure. There’s a shutter button here and a power button beside the lens. The ring around the lens can be used to switch between different exposure modes, but the only one you can actually force the camera to use is Hi-Key, which sets the flash to go off at its maximum intensity for low-light situations. The rest of the time, the camera will automatically determine the best exposure and switch to it, which is indicated by the different LEDs around the dial lighting up.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9’s instant film sheets give you 62 x 46cm photos.The way this works is that each film sheet contains chemicals in little pouch at the bottom, and when it is exposed to light, the chemicals are pushed into the frame with the help of rollers, as it is ejected from the camera.
The film pops out only a few seconds after you press the shutter button, but it then takes about two minutes for it to develop fully. Just like with traditional Polaroids, you can personalise the white frames with messages, drawings, etc.
The camera features a two-element lens with a fixed shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. The aperture varies depending on which exposure mode is selected, and can range from f/12.7 to f/32. The flash always fires, no matter the light conditions. The close-up lens clips onto the front of the main lens and lets you shoot objects as close as a foot away from the lens. There’s really isn’t much to this camera other than turning it on and shooting.
The final output is printed onto the film sheets, and that’s that. The credit-card sized photographs make for fun mementos, but the output quality isn’t always predictable.The Fujifilm Instax Mini film that we used has an ISO 800 rating so it’s up to the camera’s light sensor to adjust the aperture, but even at the narrowest setting, it’s tough to get a detailed shot in sunlight.