Most helpful positive review
61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Very happy with this camera! Fun, easy to use, instant hit at get togethers...Nostalgic!
on June 8, 2013
As a gadget geek, I can really appreciate when something different with personality comes along.
This camera is one of the smallest and most compact instant cameras that you can buy. It is also the smallest Fujifilm Instax model that is offered (to my knowledge). Of course it is still sort of chunky by today's compact camera standards, but if you have some experience with instant cameras in the past, this camera is a huge improvement in form and size.
I am able to hold and operate the camera with one hand, taking pictures easily both vertically and horizontally. The battery compartment protrudes slightly from the body creating a nice area for you to firmly grip the camera. Small nubby grips strategically located all over the back further assist you with gripping. There are two shutter buttons, one on front and one on side/top. Great for small hands or self-portraits. An LCD keeps track of how many photos are left as well as flash/timer status. Additional buttons for flash, timer, and lightening/darkening of photos are located on side.
Pictures come out about as expected for instant photos. A picture with good lighting come out the nicest - sharper and more vivid. The camera performs well outdoors in sunny weather however, I agree with other reviewers and have also noticed a tendency for overexposure - particularly when it's overcast. I also don't know if the camera has any sort of auto white balance but it's not very good.
Indoor photos a Flash is a must - I have found that indoors even with good lighting the picture will come out underexposed. Always use the flash and use the light/dark setting to fine tune your picture. The depth of field is mediocre at best. Not that it matters since this isn't being used for anything important...but it is worth noting that it is very difficult to get anything beyond my subject to appear clearly in the background sometimes. Hard to explain but it's not bokeh, it's just so washed out that it's non-existent. I took a picture of my car outdoors in cloudy daylight and none of the houses or even the street behind my car really showed up in the picture - it was very faint and "ghostlike"...though my subject was just fine. This was less of a problem indoors. As long as there was good lighting, indoor photos showed up clearly from the front of the room to the back. I'm not an expert and don't want to speculate what the issue may be, but I can say that if your background is more than, say, 10- 15ft from your subject it's probably not going to show up in your picture well (though your subject will still come out nicely). It's not very surprising to me as I have had similar difficulties in the past with other instant cameras. Perhaps it could be corrected with additional lighting if available or repositioning somehow, but it's not usually feasible since you don't get a lot of shots to a cartridge to reshoot every photo...not to mention the cost.
One more thing worth mentioning is camera shake...To be honest I am so used to shooting spur of the moment digital photography with all kinds of "assists" and vibration reduction that it's been some time since I've shot an "unassisted" camera...I had to re-learn to hold this camera still (and breathe out as I engaged shutter) like the old days. Another reviewer mentioned "fuzzy pictures", well, I can almost tell you for certain that it was because of vibration. Is this a good camera for young children? Probably not. Nor is it great for catching action shots..unless of course you want the blurred effect! I know it sounds like there are a lot of negatives about this camera but it's not unusual for an instant camera to have these issues in my experience. The quality of instant photos look about the same as they did 30 years ago and I don't know if manufacturers never bothered to improve the technology or if it's just inherent to it. Nevertheless instant photos with all of their flaws are the distinguishing characteristics that make them special from its gazillion megapixeled counterparts. There is always going to be a sentimental feeling behind every instant photo...something you just don't get from viewing the thousands of digital photos we all have that no longer seem....well...interesting. With anyone and everyone armed with a cell phone taking professional looking, yet homogeneous, photos nowadays I happily welcome any change.
This camera comes with a 60mm fixed focus lens with a minimum distance of 0.6m. Mine came with a macro lens attachment that clips onto the front of the camera lens. I have yet to experiment with it since film is not exactly cheap - averaging about $1.00 per photo. Speaking of costs, I'm not happy that it uses 2 CR2 batteries but they seem to last a while. I'm sure like many these aren't the type of batteries we keep around the house like AA and AAA.
With that said I still highly recommend this camera. For the price range, this camera exceeds my expectations for value. I took this out the other day and it was a hit. It's rare to see someone shooting something other than a digital/mobile phone/ipad camera and even rarer to see an instant camera. Plenty of people have never seen one before and many haven't seen one in years. In a way an instant camera provides the same "instant gratification" as a digital camera only you get to have a one of a kind keepsake (or gift) in the end. And the excitement of watching the picture develop before your eyes is priceless.