In an age of digital, there is something refreshing about printed material. While ebooks are great, nothing quite beats the feeling of reading an actual book. With smartphones and digital cameras, you can take as many pictures as you want without having to worry about printing costs. The instax mini 8 camera has taken a step back and is the opposite of what we’re used to. This makes it a funky, no nonsense camera that is perfect for capturing memories.
Choose a colour, any colour.
The instax mini 8 from Fujifilm comes in a variety of colours. I’m of the Henry Ford school of thought, in that I can have it in any colour as long as its black. I decided to break tradition and get purple or grape.
My boyfriend and I bought each other Christmas gifts but we each chose our own. I chose the grape instax mini 8 and even though I knew what Santa was getting me, I had to wait until Christmas day to open it.
We were on a family holiday in a quiet place with no shops and signal. I opened my gift and realised we had forgotten the batteries at home. I was going to take the batteries from the TV remote, but luckily the clever folks at Fujifilm thought of people like me. It comes with 2 AA batteries. No charger necessary.
Take a picture, it will last longer.
The camera needs film, which comes in packs of 10 or 20 and starts at about R135. Make sure you don’t open the back of the camera once the film is in, or else your film will be ruined. The first photo was a family picture, which I then left somewhere. You don’t have that with digital unless you accidentally delete it or lose your phone/camera.
The camera prints credit card sized photos and to help you get the perfect picture, flashes a light to let you know which setting to adjust it to. You can also zoom.
Once you have taken the picture, the photo pops out of the top and you wait. As fun as it would be to shake it like a polaroid picture while saying it in tune to Outcast, this doesn’t work. It actually makes it worse.
The day before New Year’s Eve, a couple of us got together for a braai and boardgames. It was an amazing summer night and the wine flowed. After we had eaten, we sat down to play Pictionary. My camera happened to be lying around. Fiona, Hillary and I have been friends since we were young – probably going on 25 years now. We asked our significant others to take a pic of us.
One picture is never enough.
Obviously one picture was not enough. Here is a series of our close ups. And yes I took a photo of photos (inception).
My sibling and friend each took a photo of their choice. They didn’t let me decide. “And I’m not paying R13 for a photo either”. True friends. (a pack of 10 costs R135).
A picture is worth a thousand words, now what do I do with it?
1. You could put them away in a photo album but why would you want to. The polaroid like pictures look great on the fridge and will make you smile every time you open it.
2. Place all of the pictures in a bowl and keep it on your coffee table. This serves as a keepsake and is a fun way to take a trip down memory lane.
The important stuff: what’s rad and what kind of sucks.
- takes and prints credit card size photos
- doesn’t need a charger, although it does need batteries
- comes in funky colours
- is pretty sturdy. The plastic case seems to protect it.
- great price, RRP R889
Sort of sucks
- shaking it like a polaroid picture actually damages the film
- need to buy film, about R130 for 10, which is about R13 per photo
- if you lose a photo it is gone, unless you take a photo of your photo
- can’t take selfies
There is no preview screen, or flip camera mode and a selfie stick can’t handle the curves of the instax. On New Year’s Eve we tried to take a group selfie and it failed. Horribly. On about the 10th try we just used a smartphone and set the timer.
While the instax mini 8 is not a substitute for your phone or camera, it is novel and a great way to collect memories. And at such a reasonable price, why wouldn’t you?
And then there was this…