Today I’ll go through the most exciting topic for me and that is photography, cameras, light, background, etc. So I’m going to talk about FUJIFILM Instax mini 8.
I’ll try to be realistic about pros and cons of the camera. Then I’ll give you some tips how to improve the quality of your photo.
I badly wanted to have this camera some time ago and was about to buy it actually, but I happened to win it in a photography contest one day A delivery guy brought my prizes and handed them to me personally. I was so happy to open the box and try the camera first. It was raspberry and so stylish, but there was no films, so I couldn’t use it that day. After a while my friend presented me with a pack of films and that is the moment when things got crazy…
FUJIFILM Instax mini 8. Details.
1. Price: about $ 70
Country of origin: Japan
2. Available in the following colors: black, white, blue, yellow, pink, grape and raspberry. Love them
It looks like a toy for a kid with little buttons and settings. Besides, it feels super light after my professional digital camera
3. The camera comes in a brand paper packaging and a bubble wrap. The quality of the material is great. The body is matte and lightweight enough.
Instant Film: Fujifilm Instant Color Film "instax mini"
Picture size: 62 x 46mm
Shooting range / Focusing range : 0.6m - ∞
Shutter: Shutter speed: 1/60 sec.
Exposure control: Manual switching system (LED indicator in exposure meter)
Flash : Constant firing flash (automatic light adjustment)
Recycle time: 0.2 sec. to 6 sec. (when using new batteries), Effective flash range: 0.6m - 2.7 m
Power Supply: Two LR6/AA-size 1.5V alkaline batteries
Capacity: 10 film packs (based on our company research)
Others: Exposure counter (number of unexposed films), film pack confirmation window
Dimensions & Weight : 116mm x 118.3mm x 68.2mm / 307g (without batteries, strap and film pack)
5. The kit contains: camera, wrist strap, 2x AA batteries and a user manual.
My thoughts. Pros and cons. Tips.
The camera is user-friendly, so that you can learn literally everything in a few minutes here. You should insert the batteries before turning it on. The battery slot is on the right side of the camera and above the wrist strap.
Moreover, you need to load the film pack. There is a slot on the back for that purpose and a small confirmation window showing the number of unexposed films.
I have FUJIFILM films, which are a little bit pricey by the way.
The films are available in different versions. They can be standard with white borders or of any other color, pattern, etc. In addition, you can find an abundance of accessories for your camera, like picture pins, frames, or specific pens designed for you to write something under the photos, and photo books to tape the pictures as keepsakes and so on.
Every film comes in an individual packaging. Pay a special attention to the expiring date, because you picture quality depends on it.
Picture size is 62 х 46 mm, which is equal to the size of a credit card.
To turn on the camera you should press the trigger that is near the lens. After that you see the red lamp, Instax determines the lighting and recommends a suitable mode for your picture, indicating with the same flashing LED. You may take the advice or set the mode you want, but I personally advise you to choose what is says
The camera has an autofocus and a built-in flash that works every time you press the button and take a picture. You can’t turn it off, therefore photos look overexposed sometimes.
A viewfinder is placed at the top left side of the camera. You should know about the picture composition beforehand, as there is no room for error The viewfinder is entirely inconvenient for me after my digital camera. It’s all about its position. However, I got used to it over time. I would also like to tell you that the picture you see in the viewfinder and the result photo are not always the same. I’ll tell you how to improve your pictures below.
The manual provides some pictures, showing how to hold the camera the right way, so keep that in mind
There are 4 main modes, plus one new exposure mode. As I’ve said already, the camera sets the particular mode according to the lighting situation.
You may variate the brightness according to the lighting. You just turn the dial and choose whatever mode you like. If you want to get a brighter picture, set the Hi-Key mode.
Yeah, instant shots are somewhat special They are so great for trips, by the way.
Picture quality. It’s quite a challenge to nail the picture on the first try, so be ready for that. Moreover, they lack clarity sometimes. To take a nice shot you need the right lighting and white background. Plus, use your camera within 6-7ft from the subject, otherwise the quality of the picture will not be sharply focused.
So, you can press the button after you’ve thought over every detail in your future photo, chosen the mode and … here we go
The shots come out from a film slot at the top of the camera. You should carefully take out the exposed photo and let it fully develop, which usually takes 5-10 minutes. The picture is white first.
When you want to turn it off , you just push back the lens.
If the camera is inactive for more than 5 mins, it will go into energy saving mode, turning off all the indicators. Turn your camera off to use it again or press the shutter button.
My opinion about the camera. Now that I know how the camera works, I’m not impressed. There is no sense to spend big bucks on it. The quality of the camera itself is great, but photos leave much to be desired. The film pack is expensive, so I’m not sure if I want to shell out my money for pictures that can turn out to be bad.
Some of you may say that such photos are beautiful memories that won’t get lost on a computer, but I assure you, it will get lost somewhere in your room or bag.
The tricks I learnt via trial and error
1. Hold the camera the right way and do not place your fingers on the two windows near the flash, otherwise your camera won’t be able to assess the surrounding light.
2. Move your camera just a teeny bit upwards before pressing the shutter button to get more real shots.
3. Take pictures in good lighting and cover the flash with a tape if you want to. Choose a light background.
4. Use your camera within 2m from the subject. I guess the camera is perfect for portraits and landscape.
5. Buy a case for your device. I personally forgot to do that, so now I have some scratches on my camera.
FUJIFILM Instax mini 8 is perfect for:
1. For people who travel a lot. But the camera is good only as an additional device, given that the film packs are so pricey.
2. For those who love posting photos on Instagram.
3. Just for fun! However, you may get tired of constant films purchasing.
4. For creative and romantic people
5. To capture certain experience in your life, like pregnancy, for instance.
6. Use it at a party or wedding. But again, 10 shots won’t be enough and 50 films are pricey.
Let's talk about its pros and cons.
- bad photo quality. Only 5 shots are OK out of 10.
- expensive films.
- dark, washed out and whited out pictures.
- you have to think about the photo composition properly.
- The flash has a range of 2m.
- instant shots
- picture size
- stylish design along with a case adds something special to your look.
- Brings fun to any bachelorette party or any other occasion.
- You may take beautiful pictures if you get creative.
Overall thoughts. You better think twice before buying this camera Are you sure you need this? You can safely buy it, if you are 13-20 yo, but I’m almost 30 and it’s practically useless for me
Yep, I’m going to use it further on, but how often, that is the question. Would I buy this camera myself? My answer is no. Some people think such photos look vintage and old school, but I see them as pricey and over- or underexposed shots.
Well, I recommend to give FUJIFILM Instax mini 8 a go, if you have no money issue.
Thanks for your attention!