As a girl who enjoys taking photos, it seemed odd to me that I’d never invested in a Polaroid-style camera. SO GUESS WHAT’S COMING… I finally did it. I purchased an Instax Mini 8 (Fujifilm) from Amazon for a really reasonable price- £64.95 for the camera and 10 shots. I did contemplate more expensive cameras, but settled on this as I’ve never tried my hand at instant photography before so it’s a great starting point. After over-coming the initial dilemma of colour choosing (oh, it was tricky); I opted with yellow. I have always loved the colour yellow (I think it’s a happy colour) and it seemed to me that the pastel blue and pinks were the most popular, so yellow is a little different. And I like different. I am happy with my choice-just look at it- it’s so pretty!
One thing I would say is that it takes a few shots to get used to the flash settings and what they mean. There is a little dial with a light indicator that takes into account the current lighting and recommends a setting, but straying from this can either be a disaster or really quite arty. There are five settings to choose from; indoors, cloudy, sunny, very sunny, and hi-key. In general I’d say stick to the recommendation. As my camera came with 10 free shots I sort of used them up on playing around with it, and I think that’s needed in order to get the best out of it in future.
I love everything about this camera. The sizing of the photos are small (62mm x 46mm image size. Print size is 54mm x 85mm- around the size of a credit card); but that in my eyes is what makes them such cute keepsakes. It’s NOT something I would use at every occasion, purely on the pricing of the film. Currently I am using it more often than I will, as it excites me. But in general I will use it for special events, holidays, day trips etc… moments I feel deserve to join my ever-growing photo wall.
From what I can see, bulk buying film works out slightly cheaper/better value (e.g 100 shots on Amazon is currently priced at £72.20, working out at £0.722 per photo. 20 shots is priced at £14.95, which is £o.7475 per photo). There’s not much in it honestly (approx 2p per shot) but it’s worth taking into account.
As for quality, it’s pretty good. I’m no camera expert, but the pictures are very clear; I’d say 8 times out of 10. You’ve got to allow for a couple of dodgy lighting mistakes etc with an instant camera. You cannot pick out what prints, so just like you’d get with any average iPhone picture, some will work out better than others but the difference is you have to stick with it. The quality isn’t iPhone standard of course, but I am extremely chuffed with it. Practice makes perfect, and I’m still learning but my prints are turning out really very well.
It runs off of 2x AA batteries. I have taken over 40 shots now; and I have not had to replace them yet. The initial package I received my camera in included 2 batteries, as well as a hand strap which I have not yet attached but I know will come in handy when I start travelling further with it. I also purchased a couple of extra bits, shown below.
First is the Instax selfie and close up lens. I have tried this out a couple of times, although entirely freaked the first time because it got ‘stuck’ to the lens and I panicked. Upon reading other reviews I realised this is common and if the lens comes off it can simply be placed back on, but it was still a rather frightening experience. It does help to check aim due to the little mirror but I’ve become used to taking them without and the snaps have all come out well so I don’t really use this much. It was priced at £8.99 from amazon, but is definitely not a necessity to have.
The case I’d recommend more, just as a safety precaution. It creates a handy little home for it, which prevents scratching when in a bag for example. They, much like the camera, come in all different colours so you could opt for one differing to the camera, however I chose to entirely stick to the yellow theme. Themes make me happy. £12.99 from Amazon and 100% worth it.
A few of things to take note of:
- The first shot of every new film inserted serves to remove the film cover, so no photo will be taken and you will have 10 to take from this point.
- The photos will come out of the top of the camera blank at first, and then will start to develop.
- You cannot choose what prints- anything you take WILL print.
I’ve found the camera to be one of my best purchases of 2016, and am excited to take it with me to capture memories in 2017. I may do further updates and more in depth reviews in the future as I get more used to taking photos and experimenting with different shots. If you have the Instax mini 8 or any of the other models, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
THE INSTAX MINI 8 IS A YES FROM ME.
*All prices above were what I paid at the time of purchase; these obviously could and may have changed*