Instant cameras were all the rage in the 70’s and 80’s. However, they slowly died after the introduction of digital cameras that made capturing and storing photos easier.
Digital cameras rendered film cameras obsolete, but today instant cameras are making a resurgence. The resurgence can probably be attributed to the popularity of photo filters on social media platforms and cellphones.
One of the top manufacturers of instant cameras today is Fujifilm. The company has released a many instant camera models with the most current one being the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, which is a successor to the Instax Mini 8.
The following is a review of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 to help you determine whether it is the right option for you.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 features similar design elements to the Instax 8 that it can be hard to tell the two apart at first glance. The camera is square in shape with curved edges that make holding and taking pictures quite easy.
A large lens dominates the front of the camera. The rest of the space holds the on/off button, shutter, ambient light sensors, and the flash. The front mirror placed beside the lens opening is the biggest visual difference in the Instax Mini 9. It is for viewing yourself when taking selfies.
The back of the camera is quite minimalistic with just a viewfinder at the top right as well as a hatch that covers the in-built compartment that houses film cartridges. On the top is an opening where processed photos emerge while the right side houses the battery compartment.
The Instax Mini 9 comes in a variety of colors including Ice Blue, Smoky White, Cobalt Blue, Flamingo Pink, and Lime Green. You will love the look and feel of the Instax 9.
The Instax Mini is quite easy to use. The rounded corners make handling it a breeze. The camera also has a detachable wristband that makes handling even better. The photo cartridge and battery installation is quite straightforward. All you have to do is open the hatch and inset. Hatches are quite secure but can be easily removed.
The start button has a firm feedback. It is easy to find the capture button thanks to the indentation around it. The ambient light sensors allow the camera to make suggestions regarding exposure modes to be used.
Performance & Image Quality
When it comes to instant cameras, pixels don’t matter. Instead, the dynamic range is what matters the most since the photos are quite small. Distinguishing between different objects is critical to producing clear photos. For what it is supposed to offer, the Instax Mini 9 certainly delivers on its promise.
The ambient light sensors coupled with the manually adjustable aperture allows you to take very good pictures. The ambient light sensors offer automatic suggestions regarding the different presets to be used. To select the preset, simply rotate the light-ring to a corresponding blinking LED.
The camera has 4 main presets that you can choose from including sunny/bright, sunny/slightly cloudy, cloudy/shade, and indoors/night. The different presets are marked with a blinking LED and are quite accurate for the most part.
If you are not satisfied with the suggested preset, you can manually choose a preferred setting using the light ring. The aperture size determines the amount of light the camera allows in that you should choose depending on the ambient lighting conditions.
If you wish to capture photos with an extremely bright background, the camera has a High-key mode. The camera also has a selfie mirror that helps you adjust the viewfinder while taking selfies. The camera also comes with a detachable macro lens that allows you to capture photos at short distances.
The Fujifilm INSTAX Mini film cartridge is at the heart of the Instax 9 as it should be in any instant camera. Individual films are credit card size with the image taking an area of 46 mm x 62 mm. Photo sheets are housed within a compact plastic cartridge that holds 10 sheets.
The price per cartridge reduces as you increase the number of cartridges contained within a bundle. The small size of the cartridge means that it is quite easy to carry around. Cartridges are of different types with the basic ones having a white border. Other cartridges have colorful and printed borders.
If you know exactly what you are buying when choosing this camera, you won’t have any major complaints other than the cost of the cartridges. The cost per photo may prevent you from using the camera extensively.
The camera also does not come with even a single cartridge when you first buy it. Cartridges have to be bought separately when you are buying the camera, which will add to the overall cost. Besides this, it is highly unlikely that you will find anything else that you don’t like about the camera.
Should You Invest in the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9?
The Instax Mini 9 is quite charming in a way that only a handful of instant cameras can. It will take you back to when times were simpler and where capturing photos was as simple as pointing and shooting. You don’t have to fiddle with multiple settings or anything else for that matter. Just take your camera and enjoy the experience of using it.
Using the Instax Mini 9 will put a smile on your face and bring back forgotten memories. Here is where the strength of the camera lies and it actually delivers on its promises. If you are able to afford it, this will be one purchase that you never regret making. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are capturing memories and not photos.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is simply a pleasure to use. The quality of images will obviously never match that of a DSLR, but it is just a delight to use it. You will have a lot of fun using the camera. If you have the money to spare, investing in the Instax Mini 9 will be a wise decision.