For some time, the only affordable camera category that hasn’t been in alarming decline for ordinary home users is the retro-tech of instant print models.
They’re fun, they’re simple and they give you immediate results.
Fujifilm unquestionably owns the segment, with a long line of Instax models in recent years. Its newest version is the Instax mini 40. Whereas some of its instant cameras aspire to more control with screens and onboard memory, this is a stripped-back, basic proposition. Put the film in, point it, shoot, get the print.
It takes normal AA batteries.
In fact, there’s very little that’s electronic on the gadget. Switching it on is a case of the plastic lens extending out.
The instant prints are small, at 2.4 by 1.8 inches. (Replacement film costs €20 for 20 shots or €40 for 50 shots.)
The Instax mini 40 looks quite nice, with a trendy trim and shiny silver bits (including the shooting button).
Its built-in flash can’t be turned on or off, which takes some time to getting used to; several shots I took were badly overexposed. To be fair, this can be regarded as part of the instant photo ‘look’. You’re not buying one of these for 50-megapixel sharpness, after all.
The same might be said about its focus. It mostly works fine, but you’ll definitely run into the odd blurry shot.
Fujifilm Instax mini 40
Pros: simple, easy to use
Cons: focus and exposure levels are hit and miss