The Fujifilm Instax Mini11 sneaked up on us during Lock down and you might have missed it, which is a shame because it is arguably one of the best Instax cameras I’ve had the pleasure of trying out. It’s a gorgeous new addition to the Instax family and very well suited to so many of my friends who cover their fridge in Instax selfies. I had a chance to get hands on with the Mini11 and wanted to share a few thoughts:
Out the box you get the camera, a hand strap (ideal for selfies), Shutter Accessory Set, AA Batteries and the instruction manual. You’ll need to grab the film separately. Instax Mini film is relatively easy to buy online and they’re now offering up fun new instant print options which include coloured frames. The camera itself is pretty cartoon-ish looking. I much prefer the sleeker look of my Instax SQ6, but the Mini11 is far more compact and easily to carry around in a decent sized handbag if you’re heading to a party and want to snap some memories (though, right now, during lock down, you probably shouldn’t be doing this). I received the Sky Blue camera to review but it is also available in Ice White, Blush Pink, Charcoal Grey or Lilac Purple.
Click and Shoot
Instax cameras are pretty straight forward. You drop the batteries in, load up the print paper and you’re good to go. It’s still a giant bug bear of mine that Fujifilm hasn’t found a way to make sure these cameras can be charged via USB instead of AA batteries. However, I’m sure it has something to do with keeping the cost down. There’s a few additions to the Mini11 to try help you get the best out of the camera:
To turn the camera on, you need to extend the lens, which is done by clicking the button next to it. Once that lens is extended the camera is on. I’m going to be honest, for some strange reason it took me a long damn minute to figure that one out. Awkward. Once on you’re good to go. The usual Instax stuff applies – the back has a counter to show you how much of the paper you’ve gone through (10 prints a pack), loading up paper is relatively simple and then the photo prints out the top of the camera. The Mini11 has a very rounded feel to the design but I definitely found it far easier to hold for selfies than in the past, which may have been the plan.
Talking about selfies
The idea with the Instax Mini11 is that they’ve put effort into the selfie. The lens allows for closer focus to ensure better selfies, or so the marketing says. I didn’t feel that so much in terms of quality, the selfies I took look much the same to selfies I’ve taken with other iterations of an Instax. The biggest change I saw was definitely on the exposure side. The pics I snapped in good light were more blown out than usual. The idea is that night time pics will then have better backgrounds. There’s also an automatic flash. I presume Instax cameras have become more of a social thing, so makes sense. Though it did mean that when I used the Mini11 for a project I’m working on (I’ll share that on the blog soon) the colour in those pictures was somewhat distorted and lighter than I expected.
Biggest bug bear?
The Mini11 has a cute little mirror square right next to the lens to try help you better line up your pictures and get an idea of what your selfie will look like. This addition has been on a few Instax cameras and is a life send. However, I didn’t find it completely accurate on the Mini11. I think it chopped off a bit more than shown. I also found the focus on the lens misleading. I took one picture which properly blew out and it bugged me a bit. It also over exposed a bit with the close focus.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini11 is the perfect polaroid camera to start with. It’s cute, easy to use and can slip into your purse without an issue. It’s also extremely well priced, coming in at R1199 or R1349 if you want a pack of 10 photo paper prints included. That’s not a huge number to swallow and you’ll definitely get a decent polaroid camera for what you’re paying for. I like this little guy. I’d happily suggest it to my friends.
Disclosure: I was sent a Fujifilm Instax Mini11 to review. It isn’t mine to keep and will go back now that the review has been published. Photo print paper was also supplied.
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