Fujifilm’s line of Instax products are a fun and incredibly easy way to create tangible prints that you can watch slowly develop before your eyes. Although there are a few different formats of instant film currently on the market, Fujifilm’s Instax film line offers the widest variety of formats, the most cameras and smartphone printers to choose from, and in our opinion the best quality. In this guide we will be taking a closer look at the Instax cameras and printers that use Fujifilm’s three formats of Instax film: Instax Mini, Instax Square and Instax Wide.
|Image size||Shots per pack||
Average cost of twin pack
|Instax Mini||46 × 62 mm
(1.8 × 2.4 in)
|10||~$13 / 20 exposures|
62 x 62 mm
|10||~$20 / 20 exposures|
|99 x 62 mm
(3.9 x 2.4 in)
|10||~$15 / 20 exposures|
Instax Analog Cameras
Fujifilm currently makes Instax cameras for all three formats of their instant film: Mini, Square and Wide. In recent years the company has started offering digital Instax cameras that end up performing as a hybrid between printer and camera, using a digital sensor. That said, Instax currently sells several strictly analog cameras: six that use the popular Instax Mini film and one each for the Square and Wide formats. While they won’t give you digital backups of images, these simpler cameras maintain the tradition of purely physical instant analog photography.
Instax mini 11 – $76.95
The Instax mini 11 is extremely easy to use, making it our pick for best entry-level instant camera. It has excellent auto-exposure and a dedicated selfie-mode, runs on two AA batteries and comes in five fun colors. In regular shooting mode it has a focus range of 0.5m – infinity. Selfie mode is activated by pulling on the front of the lens, which gives the camera a focus range of 0.3 – 0.5m. A tiny mirror on the front of the camera lens lets you compose those selfies. Shutter speeds range from 1/2 to 1/250 sec and the flash always fires. This instant camera is best suited for someone who wants a true point-and-shoot that’s straightforward to operate.
Instax mini 40 – $99.99
From a spec perspective the Instax mini 40 is identical to the mini 11, but with a design aesthetic that makes it feel aimed at a slightly more mature crowd. It’s black and silver with a faux leatherette detailing, making it feel more like an old film camera than the candy-colored hues of the mini 11. You will be paying more for those style points though; the Instax mini 40 retails for around $20 more than the mini 11.
Instax mini 90 – $188.99
The Instax mini 90 is the top-tier analog camera shooting Instax mini film, with more advanced features like exposure compensation and a number of creative modes. Creative modes include: Double Exposure, Bulb, Landscape, Macro mode, Kid mode (for fast-moving subjects) and a Party mode. It has an NP-45A rechargeable battery that provides approximately 100 shots per charge. It lets you completely disable the flash and also offers three modes of exposure compensation. Although it’s slightly more complicated to use than other analog Instax models, for a certain style of instant film photographer the additional controls will be appreciated.
Instax mini 9 – $84.95
The slightly older Instax mini 9 has a chunkier design and less-sophisticated auto-exposure than the mini 11 or mini 40. It has a fixed 1/60 sec shutter and flash that always fires. While it lacks exposure compensation, it has four shooting modes for stopping the lens down, and a high-key mode that will slightly overexpose the images. It has a focal range of 0.6m – infinity and a focal range of 35cm when paired with its close-up lens attachment – which is the accessory you will want to use for taking selfies as there is no-built in selfie mode with this one. It runs on 2 AA batteries, which should be enough for approximately 100 shots.
Instax Square SQ1 – $119.95
The Instax Square SQ1 is an entry-level Instax that shoots the slightly larger Square film format. This easy-to-operate camera has a bulkier build than the cameras that shoot Instax mini film and runs on two CR2 batteries, good for up to 300 shots. The flash always fires and it includes two shooting modes – closeup/selfie and standard. Focus range is 0.5m – infinity in standard mode and 0.3 – 0.5m in close-up/selfie mode. There’s a small selfie mirror that sits beside the lens. Operating the SQ1 is extremely straightforward, but for shooting in dimly-lit scenarios we do wish there were some exposure-compensation controls on the camera.
Instax Wide 300 – $190.06
The Instax Wide 300 is the only Instax camera (digital or analog) that uses the brand’s Wide format film. The flash always fires, there’s no built-in selfie mode and it lacks the creative modes found in other Instax cameras; however, it does offer exposure compensation with Lighten or Darken modes. It’s powered by 4 AA batteries which should provide power for approximately 100 shots. It’s much bulkier than the other analog Instax cameras, but that’s simply because the film format it uses is so much larger. The camera includes two focus positions: 0.9 – 3m and 3m – infinity. It ships with a close-up attachment that allows you to shoot as close as 40cm.
INSTAX Digital Cameras
Instax mini Evo – $199.99
This unique hybrid camera combines a digital sensor with analog Instax technology to create a device that falls somewhere between camera and printer. In addition to taking photos it allows you to store images, make edits before printing and even transfer images from your smartphone for printing. Regarding edits, the mini Evo includes 10 film effects and 10 lens effect choices that make this one of the most customizable Instax cameras on the market. Film effects include: Normal, Vivid, Pale, Canvas, Monochrome, Sepia, Yellow, Red, Blue and Retro. Lens effect options include: Normal, Vignette, Soft Focus, Blur, Fisheye, Color Shift, Light Leak, Mirror, Double Exposure and Half Frame.
The black and silver body with leatherette body and shiny silver details give the mini Evo the look of a classic film camera. It has a fixed 28mm F2 equivalent lens with a lens ring for swapping between the various lens effects. A ‘film advance’ on the top of the camera can be used to make prints, while a 3-inch LCD screen allows users to preview images before printing. To the right of the LCD are buttons for adjusting flash settings, macro mode, white balance, exposure brightness, self-timer mode and digital zoom. You can add a micro SD card to increase the storage capacity of the camera. While the mini Evo isn’t quite as intuitive as Instax analog offerings, the variety of shooting modes and film effects make it one of the most versatile of the Instax cameras.
Instax mini LiPlay – $219.99
The Instax mini LiPlay is the other current hybrid Instax; it has a digital CMOS sensor and a 2.7-inch LCD screen and accepts a micro SD card to increase storage capacity. The mini LiPlay is different from the mini Evo in that it also allows you to record sound that can be played back by scanning a QR code printed on your images. You can make small edits, add digital filters and view your images before you print – which helps avoid wasted film. It has a fixed 28mm F2 lens, micro USB charging, a self-timer mode and is available in three colors.
Fujifilm’s instant film printers use a dedicated smartphone app to turn the images in your camera into tangible prints. Printers are available for all three film formats. Using the app you can make edits to images before printing, add stickers or decorative frames and in some models add additional interactive elements.
Instax mini Link2 – $99
The second generation of the mini Link, this smartphone printer includes customizable frames, color modes and a mode that lets you operate your smartphone like an Instax camera. You can make prints from videos as well. A feature called INSTAXAir lets you add custom graphics to your images by pressing the feature button and pointing the LED light at your smartphone. In addition to being able to digitally draw on a print, you can add effects like petals or glitter to images. Images can be printed in two modes: Instax Natural Mode or Instax Rich Mode for enhanced colors. It’s charged via USB and can print approximately 100 prints per charge. The Instax mini Link2 is available in three colors.
Instax Square Link – $139.95
The Instax Square Link prints the Square format film and like the mini Link includes customizable frames, color modes and the ability to edit images before you print. The Square Link also includes two unique features known as AR Print and INSTAX Connect. AR Print allows you to add special effects, doodles or additional images that can be viewed by scanning a QR code printed on the image. INSTAX Connect lets you use the SQUARE Link app to scan and share scans your Instax images. INSTAX Connect also lets you add digital specific effects to your frames. You can press a small circular button on the top of the printer to easily make duplicate versions of whatever was last printed without having to open the app.
Instax Share SP-3 – $199.95
The Instax Share SP-3 is Fujifilm’s most expensive printer and has a printing capacity of 160 prints per charge, higher than the standard 100 prints per charge found on other Instax printers. It offers a printing resolution of 320 dpi and can print images in 13 seconds. Its app offers customizable frames, the ability to edit images before printing and a collage feature for merging multiple images into a single frame. The Share SP-3 lacks some of the interactive features found inside the newer Link model of printers; however, it’s compatible with a number of Fujifilm cameras, meaning you can make tangible prints of your digital photos on the spot. The Share SP-3 is compatible with the following models: GFX 50S, GFX 50R, X-H1, X-Pro2, X-T3, X-T2, X-T20, X-T100, X-E3, X-A5 and X100F.
Instax Link Wide – $149.95
The Instax Link Wide utilizes the largest format of Instax film and is the first Instax printer to do so. As with the other Link printers, you will need its dedicated Link Wide app to use it. Within From the app you can make edits to pictures, choose customizable frames, collage multiple images together and add stickers or text or a QR code. Images can be printed in either Instax Natural Mode or Instax Rich Mode for enhanced colors. Its use of the large Wide film makes this printer particularly good at collaging multiple images together onto a single frame. Although it lacks some of the interactive features of the Square Link and the mini Link2, it’s the best option for when you want to print big.
Jeanette D Moses