Monday, July 15

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 – All you need to know

Who doesn’t want to capture moments of their life on polaroid? Fujifilm is a name known to everyone. The pastel shade camera that releases instant, retro-style photos. There is certainly some sort of appeal to hand-held, physical photos. Why else, would in the digital era, such a retro-style camera still be famous? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is yet another easy-to-use, aesthetic and pleasing model released by the company. In terms of the various models, it might actually be the most user-friendly one released to date!

The Instamax Mini is certainly a camera that starts conversations. It fulfils all our basic desires – a small, accessory-like hobby camera to capture moments on film. But what else does it do? We’ve broken down the camera into its basic essentials components so that you can compare how it works. So, let’s begin the short tour through the filters and films of the Fujifilm instant camera.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 – Design and Aesthetics

Fujifilm has worked on creating a unique and easily recognizable design. Hence, the look of the Instax Mini 9 was no big surprise. It is carefully crafted in matte finish plastic and available in many pastel shades. The corners join seamlessly and there is a small niche for attaching the strap. LED lights on top are present to show the current status of the film.

The cartridge can be inserted on the back, which is clearly indicated by the groove running around it. There is also a numerical counter showing the number of frames left. There is a slot at the top. If you’ve seen any movie with an instant camera – then you know that this slot is from where the finished photograph is ejected. Beneath the lens is a clearly visible power button to switch it on and off. There is also a black coloured viewfinder through which you can set the view. In many ways, it is quite similar to the older cameras and can bring about bouts of nostalgia if gifted!

FUJIFILM Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera

To insert batteries, there is a curved slot on the side. The grooves on the slot are smoothly finished, even more so that the film slot. Overall. The design has no sharp edges and feels quite lightweight and easy to handle.

There is also a flash present in front and a shutter key on top. An instant camera is, of course, not meant for customisation. So, it is not expected that one can change things like ISO, brightness, or contrast on it. But, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 works well enough with its own customisations like flash and exposure. The only other customisable key present is the Hi-Key which we will get to soon enough!

Accessories and Add-ons

Like all Fujifilm instant camera series, this one comes with a matching strap in the box. If you’re a lover of cute prints, then you’ll be glad to know that the trap comes with prints on it. There is an extra set of batteries, changing lenses, and of course some extra cartridges. It uses regular AA batteries which thankfully, you can find in almost any convenience store. The price tag is also quite affordable though the actual price tag is not on the camera itself but on the total films that end up being used! Buying in bulk before events could actually help you save up on some cash.

Usage and Dexterity

This is without a doubt the easiest to-use camera. whether you are new to cameras or Fujifilm, the clearly labelled and minimalist functions make it something that anyone can use regardless of age. The shutter button on top automatically clicks a picture with the best customization. In case you are in a dark place with low light, you can opt for the Hi-Key. This sets the flash on the highest possible setting so that you can get maximum light.

You can change the exposure of the film as well. To do this, simply rotate the lens along the lines marked. However, most other options are simply left up to the camera customizations. The photographs come out quite nicely, so there’s little to complain about in this regard.

Colours and Photograph Quality

The prints are vibrant and can handle a wide range of colors. The film it uses comes in slots of 6.2 cm by 4.6 cm. To get a rough idea, this is about the size of a debit card, or a small computer mouse. Along with that, there is also a thick white frame so the original image output is quite small. This white border can be edited to any color such as fuchsia, caramel, orange, etc. So overall, it’s an extremely quirky and happy instant camera to have!

The LED lights on top all have different functions. If the battery is low or you’re running low on film, it’ll be sure to flash on and let you know. So you don’t have to be worried about keeping in track the various usages. Working on a fully analogue camera might be difficult for those who are used to a completely digital media to date.

A Fujifilm instant camera does not show any input or output feedback and the only thing you can see is the final photo output. As users of Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 will know, pictures might not always turn out to be the way you wanted them to be. It certainly takes some time to understand in which light and angle it works best since the customized output might be different from your expectations.

Speed

Now, this is certainly what a lot of people are worried about! We know that the Fujifilm instant camera is notorious for taking time. This is, in fact, one of the things that make it different and “retro”. After clicking a picture, one typically has to wait for around 30 seconds for the entire image to be ejected. But even after that, it takes anywhere from two to four minutes for the entire film to form and all colors to be visible. Overall, the colors once formed are quite bright and clear.

The shutter speed for the instant camera is one-sixtieth of a second. This is fixed and you cannot change it. However, since the exposure can be changed by rotating the lens as mentioned earlier, it indirectly changes the opening size of the aperture. This, by default, changes the focal length as well.

While film enthusiasts might be quite intrigued by such features, it is still very basic customization. The focal length works best for subjects close to the lens – within a distance of 2 to 3 meters. In the distance, the film starts to darken and even lighted indoor spaces assume a darker, retro look. There are also certain customizations like a cloudy day, sunny day etc. which basically act like filters. In general, the camera smoothens out skin tones and is great for portrait photography. The colors and matte finish add a whole new allure.

In general, beware while using the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 in bright sunlight since you could end with a really bright image. It certainly takes time to find the right balance. But that is also why people love this camera – it’s a hobby to explore, learn and master!

The Special Selfie Camera

Now, coming to the most awaited feature on the camera. Fujifilm recognized that selfies are a world-wide rage that is not going to die anytime soon. We have become so used to using the selfie cam on our digital cameras and phones all the time. Fujifilm certainly made the right choice in deciding to include a selfie cam as well. This is present on the front and allows users to take images while holding the camera from the opposite side.

Of course, since there is not digital feedback, the selfie cam is mostly based on guesswork but it is still a good addition and creates films just as good as the regular cam. When taken from too close, some might notice a blurring or blowing up effect, but again – these can be easily fixed with practice.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 – Hit or Miss?

Based on these features, we’re sure you can form your own conclusions on whether this retro-style technology is worth a dip in your purse or not. It is certainly a really cool camera to own and take to events. It is compact, stylish, lightweight and makes for a great fashion accessory. Fuji also released it in multiple shades so you can definitely find one to suit your wardrobe. It is a great beginner-friendly camera.

The device requires little maintenance other than the changing of films and batteries. Both are easily available both online and offline. But, the best part certainly are the unique, physical photographs. Customize the borders, write your name, write your friends names, write the date, the event, the moment. Capture the second and save it, because isn’t that what cameras were made for in the first place?

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