I’ll start this off by saying that I have been thinking of buying the Fujifilm Instax Mini for SO LONG. One of my friends has the camera and the photos have always turned out fantastically and look like they have a perfect Instagram filter on them. I think they’re fab, and I love the novelty of having a photo straightaway. There were a couple of things that put me off (which I’ll go into later in this post) but overall, every time I’ve been in duty free, I’ve dragged whoever I’m with to literally just look at the camera and tell them I love it – in the hope someone would get the hint.
Luckily my boyfriend put more research into the new age style of instant photos than I have (I didn’t even really know there were others) and I opened the Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera (in white) on my birthday. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now so I thought I’d talk you through my thoughts in case you were thinking of buying one.
Simply, I love how it looks. It’s so sleek and minimalist and fits in my small bags perfectly and I love it. I definitely prefer it to the Fujifilm version in this regard which I’m pretty sure is bulkier, and the overall shape I’m just not so keen on.
The back of the camera is dominated by the area to put the photo paper in, which is fine because all of the controls are on the top. Again, these look minimalist and there are as few buttons as possible, but it is still easy to use (once I googled actually how to use it).
However, the magnetic lense cover isn’t quite strong enough and does come off a little too easily for someone as clumsy as me…
Overall, in case you couldn’t tell – I am a huge fan of the way this looks. It seems to me that it’s as small and compact as it can be and has no added fuss.
Like I just said, I had to google it because it didn’t seem to come with instructions(?) Luckily the instructions were really easy to find on Polaroid’s website as I was a little confused to be honest.
There are three colour settings: colour, sepia, and black and white. I would have preferred to have more of a filter-y looking one rather than sepia, but I like the other two.
I also like the option of having the choice of the classic Polaroid border, and I tend to choose to not have the border as I usually take landscape photos.
One of my favourite features that my sister accidentally found was that if you press the shutter button for three seconds, the camera takes ‘photo booth’ style photos (one photo every 4 seconds, printed on one sheet) which I LOVE. It means I now also have four pictures showing me getting increasingly frustrated with my sister for taking so damn long. I think it’s a great feature that I definitely wasn’t expecting. Although the photos are obviously quite small I think they’re great.
There’s a 10 second timer feature that I haven’t used yet, but it’s nice to have the option. Since the shape of the camera means it stands up, it means that it is actually feasible to use the timer without constructing a makeshift tripod – which is always helpful.
ALSO there’s an micro SD card holder?! I love that I can save the photos I take and have a digital copy of them too. It’s handy for posting them online and sharing them with friends (the obvious downside to not having digital photos)
So this is my only little problem with the camera, although since this is the whole point of the camera, it may be a bigger issue to you depending on your photo preferences…
There isn’t the filtered look you get with the Fujifilm camera. The Polaroid takes the photo and prints it like any other film camera your parents (or you) had 20 years ago. I don’t mind this, because if I want filters, I’ll apply them using the digital versions on the SD card, but they do look a bit less cool.
The other side of it is that I literally don’t know how to use a non-digital camera. I have grown up with being able to immediately see the photo I’ve taken on a little screen in 4MP brilliance when I was a kid, and now I’m used to iPhone cameras and seeing myself as I’m taking the photo.
I am not used to having to make sure that I’m not stood in front of a window.
I’m not used to the frame that you see through the viewfinder not being exactly what’s printed.
It’s also definitely not for close ups. This may just be my not used to looking through a viewfinder for the photo, but I tend to chop half the photo off by being too close / pointing the camera down too much / I haven’t figured out what yet. This hasn’t been an issue when taking photos of people though, just test shots of close up objects.
It’s something that I can figure out and I am figuring out with every photo I’m taking, but it is definitely something to get used to. Other photos I’ve seen using the Fujifilm camera seem to come out perfect every time, but my first ones have been blurry and dark at times – but it’s all a learning process!
The main reason I never bought the Fujifilm camera was honestly, the cost of the paper refills. I didn’t want a camera that I would buy one pack of paper for and then not use until I had the spare cash again. There is also so much more pressure to not waste paper on practice photos and shots where someone is moving or you’ve caught their bad side.
The paper for the Polaroid is so much cheaper that it doesn’t bother me that I messed up the first few photos I took because I don’t need a mortgage to buy more. I am happy to practice by taking pictures of flowers because why the hell not when I don’t feel like I am wasting money? (I also love the photos I took of the flowers, even if they are a little messed up) This is by far one of the biggest pluses for me with this camera. It makes it something so much more usable than the Fujifilm, which I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t dare to use half the time.
(Note: The Fujifilm camera does cost less than the Polaroid depending on colour choice, but the long term cost is greater)
(And I’m not just saying this because it was a present)
As I’m learning how to take photos non-digitally I’m getting better and the photos are getting better. I don’t mind taking bad photos because the paper price takes the pressure off. I think the settings are nifty and although the photos don’t have the super edited filter look which I do actually love, I like seeing the moment exactly as it was and not in high contrast.
I definitely recommend this camera if your thoughts are along the same lines of mine, and you want an instant camera that has a lower ongoing running cost, which is a huge plus in my book.
However, if you like the filtered look of the Fujifilm camera, then this one quite simply just isn’t for you.