Ease of Use: 1 / 5
Pricing: 1 / 5
Video Quality: 0 / 5
Photo Quality: 1 / 5
Features: 2 / 100
Fujifilm has been carving out a niche for itself the last while, with a big push toward being the cool and hipster photography brand. Their X and XF series cameras have had some good success and the cameras were well-built and clever concepts. Taking the hipster idea even further, the only logical solution is to go film. Old-school isn’t old-school if it isn’t shot with film. And the hero of this little show is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8.
Spoiler alert! If you are looking for review of a real camera, then go look at any other camera review we’ve got. This one isn’t it. For what it does, the Instax Mini 8 cannot be seen as anything more than a hipster toy.
This camera literally embodies the “point and shoot” philosophy. It cannot be simpler to operate a camera than this one. There is no zoom no autofocus and only a few different automatic modes.
The camera body is huge and chunky, and comes in black, white and a few other candy colours. It’s all plastic and at least its build quality is good. I was lucky enough to get a baby blue unit. That should be a good sign that this isn’t something to take seriously.
To get going, you load a photo cartridge into the back of the camera; press the power button located next to the lens, aim, shoot, and wait for the result. That’s it.
The resulting photos are nothing more than little snapshots captured on small Polaroid-like photos no bigger than a credit card.
And don’t think that a camera this simple can take consistent photos. The different exposures were shocking. I took almost 10 photos before I got one to expose properly. It seems daylight is too bright for it. This is what an outside shot looked like:
Now, from the second shot, you can clearly see that this was not a tricky shot by any means.
Although a more tricky shot, it still looks terrible coming from the Instax.
It wasn’t even a hit and miss affair. It was miss after miss after miss. Then finally, after having it a week, I finally found this camera’s point. It’s a vanity cam. You either take a photo of your friend/friends/yourself – and it has to be closet than about 2 meters. If you can stick to that, then it’s an interesting, if not useless concept.
You know all those photos above, where I showed you what the photo should have looked like. I took those with my cell phone! A two generation old Galaxy S2. This begs the question whether there’s any point to this camera. For me? None. It can do what any cell phone can do – just worse. Way worse. And it will become a very expensive exercise in pointless devices, as a cartridge with 10 photos will set you back almost R150, whereas your cell phone is essentially free.
And sharing is another problem. There essentially is one photo for every exposure. No online sharing and sending to multiple friends. The only way you could see the photos taken by the Instax, was by taking photos of the photos(!!) with my cell phone.
If there’s a hipster inside you waiting to get out, or if you just want something different, and money isn’t a problem; then go for it. This is the camera where Fujifilm pushed the whole hipster idea too far. I mean, we’ve already got Instagram and Hipstamatic, don’t we?