Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 instant camera is one such device which excited me to get my hands on it because this is something unique and looks cool for fun photography. The Instax Mini 8 is basically a point and shoot camera that allows you to click and develop instant photos within a couple of minutes.
An ideal camera for family and travel pictures, the Instax Mini 8 comes in 7 attractive colors: Raspberry, Grape, White, Pink, Blue, Yellow and Black.
Let’s have a look at some basic feature of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8:
- Exposure/brightness adjustment dial with 5 different modes
- Prints instant photos
- Fixed shutter seed of 1/60 sec
- Focus range of 0.6m to infinity
- Dedicated Sensor to identify light and subject distance
- Flash always ON by default
- Separate viewfinder
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8: Design and Handling
The camera body has matte plastic finish and comes in 7 different colors, as mentioned above. Though it looks bulky and big in size, it weighs only 300g approximately and is light to carry.
On the front side of the camera, you will find a lens which has a fixed focal length of 60mm. There is also a button which allows you to extend the lens, this is the only way you can switch the camera on. To switch off the camera, you simply need to push the lens and it will collapse. Around the collapsible lens, you will find the exposure/brightness adjustment dial which you can switch to choose from 5 modes.
On the right-hand side of the front of the camera, you will find the viewfinder which I think could have been bigger in size to give a better view of the scene.
Nest to the viewfinder is the flash which triggers every time you click a photo, there is no option to switch it off. But I think the higher models of the Instax series have the feature to adjust the flashlight. At the top centre of the camera is the sensor which identifies the light and subject distance.
If you are a regular DSLR user, you might find the shutter release button placement a bit odd, but with time you will get used to it. The grip of the camera is good and comfortable too.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8: Camera Features and Functionality
The first thing that I would like to tell you is that this is not a professional camera, it is just for fun clicks. The Instax Mini 8 has a sensor which detects the amount the light entering the camera and it then suggests a preferred exposure mode to be used by lighting up the LED light of that particular mode. Basically, the shutter speed is fixed at 1/60 sec and only the aperture changes as per the mode you choose by moving the exposure mode dial.
Talking about the five exposure modes, here is a list of modes and respective aperture values:(1) Indoors, Night F/12.7, (2) Cloudy, Shade f/16, (3) Sunny, Slightly cloudy f/22, (4) Sunny and bright f/32, (5) High Key.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8: Results
As the viewfinder is placed at some distance from the lens (unlike the DSLR cameras), you can end up clicking non-aligned photos. This requires some practice after which you will get a fair idea as to how you should frame the scene.
I had only 10 films with me to try this instant camera, first 3-4 films were wasted as I was not able to get correctly exposed photos by using the suggested exposure mode. This could be because my frame included 50% of the monument and 50% sky, so there must be some metering issue which resulted in underexposed photo. As I practiced, I was able to get well-exposed photos by choosing the next mode as to what the camera suggested.I used 3 films to click some family photos indoors and they turned out to be perfectly exposed and focused.
All in all, this is a great instant camera if you wish to use it indoors and for selfies or family photos. If you wish to click photos outdoors while you are travelling, do keep the viewfinder placement in mind and adjust your frame accordingly. Also, make sure to keep your subject at the center of the frame to get correct exposure metering.
Would also be waiting to get my hands on the higher models of the Instax lineup of instant cameras such as the Instax Mini 70.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8: Price
If you are a frequent traveller or like clicking family photos of selfies with your friends, you should go ahead and purchase this instant camera which costs around Rs. 5000 online (Amazon/Flipkart). You would have to purchase the films separately which costs around Rs. 800 for a pack of 20 films, in my opinion, Fujifilm should look at reducing the price of the film to increase their customer base.