At R1,289 retail, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is an inexpensive instant-photo option for any enthusiast.
We’re a few years into the retro range of polaroid-type cameras with the Instax range. The instant-print camera range is still a popular device and the Fujifilm brand is still pushing out new devices across various categories.
Their best seller, however, has been the Instax Mini range, which provides an affordable option for the instant-print community.
A few weeks back, the brand launched the all-new Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, an updated version of the very popular Instax Mini 9. Naming conventions aside, with the missing 10 units, the 11 is set to continue the ease of use, low-cost option with one or two new features over the previous model.
For fans of the Instax range, I doubt there would be too much emphasis placed on minor details when it comes to the build and design. Instead, what’s most likely a deciding factor in the design is what colour to choose. The has an array of four to choose from at launch, which includes Blush Pink, Charcoal Gray, Lilac Purple and Sky Blue.
More on the technical elements of the design. In comparison to the previous model, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is notably slenderer that the 9. It is 6mm taller, 11mm narrower and 0.3mm thicker. To be more specific, that’s 122x107x68.5mm. As a result of the new dimensions, the unit is also lighter, weighing 293g, some 14g lighter.
The base design of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 remains largely the same, despite the thinner build. The changes that have been made are to the frames around buttons, the viewfinder, and the likes, which now appear rounder than before, giving it a curvier aesthetic.
The new device still uses the same print packages as the previous models at 54x86mm, available in colour and monochrome packs – each of which also have a number of border styles to choose from as well. These 10-pack prints are still fitted to the rear of the device, pretty much the same across the entire Instax range.
The layout and configurations remain largely the same overall. The only major difference is the new selfie-camera adjustment, which is made by means of pulling out the lens a little further than in standard mode – the lens barrel. This is a nifty feature, especially given that the previous model required an attachment to perform the same function.
Another new feature is the fully automatic exposure. With a restriction of an f/12.7 aperture, the use of the flash and some exposure adjustments are both welcome, especially for indoor and low-lit environments.
Given the instant format and prints themselves, the quality of the photos is good. The processing of the image to resemble that of classic prints is a draw of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, especially for the price. The contrast is quite high on said prints, as well as the highlights of the objects.
The lens focus range has improved by some 30cm, from 0.6m to 0.3m – infinity focus range. This makes it very useful for selfies, as mentioned previously. It works well, especially when operating by yourself. It can be a bit tricky in terms of the always-on flash that can be very bright.
In the new features, we mentioned the introduction of the fully automated exposure, which in most cases does a good job. In most cases, I’d imagine the scene set would be indoors, most likely at a party or hang out with friends. This is the perfect scene for the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11. As a result of this, there are some photos that are rendered over-exposed, especially close-ups of white objects, or on a very sunny day outside. Being able to find this balance is key, and takes some practice.
One of the aspects I still find annoying about the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 – the same as many other units I’ve used – is that the viewfinder is off to the right in comparison to the lens.
While many modern cameras can easily adjust for this and rectify the angles, that’s not the case on the camera. This means that when aligning images in the viewfinder, you’ll have to mentally adjust that the lens will shoot slightly off to the left, which is a little trickier for closer items.
The unit is powered by means of two AA batteries, which were able to survive the few weeks I had the unit for review, as well as the 20 shots taken with the camera.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a worthy successor to the 9, offering a decent set of upgrades. It may not be the great overhaul many would be expecting – for that you can look at the Square range, although at more than double the price.
If you do have an Instax Mini 9 in your collection, the 11 may be a bit of a harder sell, but it may probably address some minor issues you may have had, if you did.
What’s great about the new device, is that it costs just R200 more than the previous model, which is a definite plus point, especially given the rand’s position in 2020 and the comparison of other products launched this year.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a worthy upgrade over the much-loved predecessor, the Instax Mini 9, with a handful of new features, some performance improves, while still remaining very cost-effective.