UPDATE: We’ve created a much larger and more comprehensive guide with lots more videos on this page here. The new guide also contains, all the updated models of the cameras.
Fuji Instax cameras are a blast – they shoot instant film, immediately giving you a printed photo that you can share and enjoy. We’ve taken our Instax all the way to Peru, and it has been at the heart of some of our most treasured photography experiences.
But the Instax line of cameras can sometimes confuse me! There are lot of different models, with different features, and it’s hard to know which one does what, and which might be right for you!
So check the video above for a look at all the major cameras (plus an Instax printer!).
Now, a write up of all the details for those who like to skim!
Instax Mini vs. Wide
First up, there are two types of Instax film.
• Instax Mini Film: This film is the size of a credit card, and you can get a pack of 10 exposures for about $8 USD. If you buy multiple packs at once you get a bit of a discount. This film was the most popular item on Amazon.com this past holiday season!
• Instax Wide Film: The wide version is the size of two mini films together. One pack of 10 exposures is about $10 USD.
Both types of film develop really quickly – about a minute! Fun!
Now, we’re going to cover 3 cameras and a printer that use Instax Mini film, and two cameras that use Instax Wide film! Let’s do it!
Instax Mini Cameras
Around $60 USD
This is the entry level camera for the Instax line. There are 7 different colours, so that’s pretty rad! This guy is pretty basic. There’s an automatic flash that always fires, it remains on 1/60s, and you can compensate the exposure for different lighting scenarios by adjusting a dial on the front. It takes 2 AA batteries. BOOM. That’s the deal here.
The thing about this camera is that it’s super easy to use. We handed it over to our 3 year old son, and he had it sorted out in a minute, including turning it on and off himself. He can frame the shot with the easy viewfinder, and the shutter button on the front of the camera works well for his teeny tiny child hands.
- Trying out the Instax line
Around $115 USD
This guy is the new kid on the Instax block, and it has a bunch of additional features over the Mini 8. Sidenote: it has a sleek new design, and three color options: yellow, white and blue.
First off, this guy is built for selfies. It has a selfie mode to ensure your beautiful face is in focus, plus a front button to make shooting easy, and a front selfie mirror to get your framing right. All very handy!
Other features include built in macro and landscape modes, brightness control, fill flash, tripod mount, high key mode, and automatic exposure control. That last one will look at the lighting in the scene, and balance the exposure and the flash to give you a brighter background. The Mini 8 can tend to give you black backgrounds indoors, and this setting attempts to fix that! It can slow the shutter speed down a bit, so keep your hands steady!
Around $140 USD (Currently appears to be on sale for around $110 USD!)
Now we come to the top of the Instax Mini line – the 90 Neo Classic. It has some slick retro styling, and comes in brown and black. And it has all sorts of nifty features.
Like the Mini 70, it has built in macro and landscape modes, brightness control, and a tripod mount. Then it has some really awesome extra features.
First up, my favorite, the double exposure mode. This exposes two images on the same piece of film, and can give some really creative and unexpected results! A ton of fun.
There’s also bulb mode, up to 10 seconds, kids mode (to ensure that your photos aren’t blurry), party mode (for low light), a self timer, two shutter releases to make horizontal and vertical shooting easier, a rechargeable battery and charger.
And a high performance flash that you can turn off! Yep, this is the only Instax where you can turn the flash off, and I love that! I’m not a big flash fan so having the control over it is tops.
Now to change modes on this camera you need to press a button, and then turn the front dial to move through the modes. I found this a little unnecessary, and cumbersome. I’d have preferred just pushing a button. It’s not a game changer, but certainly not ideal.
- Creative instant photography
- Serious Instax enthusiasts
Around $105 USD
Love the look and fun of instant film, but don’t want to use an Instax camera? That’s where the SHARE smartphone printer comes in! You can print any photo that’s on your smartphone (including those that you’ve transferred there from any other camera) onto Instax mini film. You can even connect multiple phones to the same printer, and everyone at a party can print their shots. Pretty nifty!
- Instant photos without the instant camera
Instax Wide Cameras
Around $70 USD
This is the entry level Instax Wide camera, and the one that got us into the Instax line. We took this guy to Peru, and shared the photos with people we met and photographed. Some of our best photography memories ever!
That said, this guy is pretty simple. There’s lighten and darken modes, two focusing distances options (portrait and landscape) and a close up attachment with a self-portrait mirror, letting you shoot macro shots.
This camera is big, heavy, and, well, a blast. Instax Wide film is substantial, and perfect for sharing with others.
- Getting into the Instax Wide line
- Travel photography (if you don’t mind the huge size!)
Around $100 USD
This is the newer version of the Instax Wide camera. It has a sleeker design, the power button on the finger grip, an advanced optical viewfinder, a tripod mount and the lens ring dial to change the focus mode. It also has a fill flash mode.
Like the 210, it includes a close up lens for macro shots, and exposure compensation to lighten and darken the shot.
Now I think this guy looks better than the 210, and is a bit thinner, but otherwise I am not totally blown away by the upgrades over the 210. I wear glasses, and found the new viewfinder harder to look through. The power button also tends to be triggered quite easily, and I’ve read of people having the camera turn on in their bags and even break as a result. So be careful, you may want to take the batteries out if you have it in a bag!
- Instax wide with a few more features
Phew, that was a lot of features. Hopefully this has cleared them up a bit! If you want to get into instant photography, there really is an option for everyone here. Mini or wide, simple or packed with features, the bottom line is that instant photography is fun. Give it a shot!
P.S. There is another “instant” film company on the block called The Impossible Project, which makes film for Polaroid cameras. Unfortunately their film takes forever to develop (like 45 minutes) making it not really that instant. You can check out our comparison of the two here.