Long before the dawn of smartphones and selfies, getting your hands onto the result of your photography was a long, tedious task. But with the dawn of instant cameras, everything changed. The instant gratification that these cameras delivered truly made them stand out and grow in popularity. Even today, in a world where cameras have gone digital, instant cameras are still popular for offering an experience that is nostalgic and makes clicking images a personal experience, rather than mechanical. If you too are keen on investing on a different way to capture memories, Fujifilm’s Instax range of cameras are reliable options and probably your best bet. But with a range of models available, which one’s best suited for you? Let’s get to know the models a bit more!

Instax Mini Lineup

The Mini range of Instax cameras make use of 2.4 x 1.8" film and are the most popular of all. The Mini 8 and 9 are the most basic of the lot and don’t offer a lot of image controls. The Mini 9 is an incremental improvement over the 8 and offers a selfie mirror, a wider variety of colours and a close-up lens right out-of-the-box.


There are some other cameras in the Mini lineup too, namely, the Mini 25, the Mini 50S, the Mini 70, and the Mini 90 Neo Classic. These cameras too make use of the 2.4 x 1.9 film" but offer much more shooting control than the Mini 8 and 9.

The Mini 25 is slightly smaller than the Mini 8 but offers more control over exposure and flash. The Mini 50S is also similar in terms of control but has support for timer and a tripod mount. The Mini 70 has a fully retractable lens and is the most compact of all. There’s a small LCD screen that displays exposure count and the mode in which the image is being shot. The Mini 90 Neo Classic has a suave retro design and has two shutter buttons for convenient shooting in portrait and landscape modes.

Instax Square Lineup

As the name suggests, the Square lineup makes use of square film that measures 2.4 x 2.4". The Square lineup consists of the SQ6 and the SQ10. The SQ6 is the more affordable of the two and offers automatic exposure control, macro mode, double exposure mode and a lot more to get better shots than previously possible.


The SQ10 is a Hybrid instant camera that features a 3" screen on which you can preview images before printing. You can also choose to apply filters or vignette effects on images shot to get personalised pictures directly. The SQ10 also supports a microSD card slot and a digital zoom of up to 2.4x.

Instax Wide 300

The Instax Wide 300 makes use of 2.4 x 3.9" film. The Wide 300 is made to look like a DSLR and offers a large handgrip with a shutter button on the top. There is a ring around the lens to control focus. Even the shutter speed and the exposure can be controlled to get the desired image. To display the number of shots remaining and other information, it also has a small LCD.
 

How to get cartridges/paper for Instax?

Instax cartridges are available on TataCliq and can also be purchased at most retail photography stores. These cartridges are pretty easy to install too. You simply need to snap the back of the camera open and insert the new cartridge in by aligning the yellow tab marked on the cartridge with the one marked on the camera itself.
 

Maintenance & Usage Tips for instant photography

  • Unlike smartphone photography, instant camera photography is much more intimate in nature. So make sure to spend enough time with the subject to frame the right shot. After all, photography is an indulgence.
  • Instant cameras aren’t the best cameras technically. Hence, it’s essential to get the lighting condition correctly. It's always great to use natural lighting as much as possible for the best results.
  • Shooting with instant cameras is a different experience altogether and it might take time to get used to. Hence, to truly make the most of the experience, experiment with the camera as much as possible to find something that’s pleasing to you.
  • Instant cameras need ideal temperatures to give the best results. When being used in temperatures that are either too cool or too hot, the colour reproduction of the images will get affected.
  • After taking a picture, allow enough time for the image to dry off. Store the image in a cool, well-ventilated environment and protect it from UV radiation. The UV radiation can dull the colours of the film over time.


Like this article? Also read: The ultimate guide to monsoon photography
Image courtesy: Shutterstock

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