Apparently the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera ($65) is all the rage these days. The youngsters buying them all up don’t even remember the original Polaroid style instant cameras of yesteryear. Either way it is really neat to see gadgets of my youth getting recycled. Enough about my nostalgic memories and on to the Instax Mini 8 Review…
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera Review
The first choice to make is the color. The Instax Mini 8 comes in blue, pink, white, black, and yellow. Prices vary a bit, but tend to be around $65. Film costs about $35 for 50 film sheets here. Inside the box you get the Instax Mini 8 Camera, a manual, warranty card, 2 AA batteries, and a wrist strap. Keep in mind this camera is more for goofing around and isn’t going to replace your digital camera, or otherwise.
Look and Feel
The camera ha a big and bulky solid, vintage feel. To get started, open the back of the camera and load the instant film cartridge. Next, press the switch next to the lens, this will cause the lens to pop out. The first time you press the shutter button you will get a black piece of plastic (one side of the film cartridge) that comes out instead of a photo. The next shot will be a photo.
When on, the Instax Mini 8 will light an LED letting you know what it thinks the best lighting setting is… if you agree you can set the dial to match. The light settings are; indoors, cloudy, sunny/cloudy, and sunny/bright. To turn the camera off simply push the lens back in.
The viewfinder is on the top right of the camera (from the backside) which takes some getting used to. When in doubt aim a bit to the right when shooting closer photos. There is also a tiny indicator which lets you know how many pictures you have remaining.
Lens and Exposure
Again, this camera is mostly for fun… don’t expect DSLR quality shots. The Instax Mini 8 has a 60mm wide angle lens. The focus is fixed at a range of .6 meters to infinity. The lens does a pretty good job in most settings with the main weakness being close up shots. I wish that the cameras lighting system was automatic instead of suggesting the right exposure. I often forget to check the exposure setting before snapping. This leads to some wasted film.
The flash is always on so don’t go looking for an off setting. The best way to turn off the flash is to cover it with some black electrical tape.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is a fun little camera that is well built. Perfect for parties, weddings, etc… for some casual pictures. I thought the camera was just for kids until I watched the old folks hogging the camera from time to time. Funny.