Instax Mini 8 Review - Instant Camera

Instax Mini 8 Review

April 6, 2014

I LOVE instant cameras. I mean the instant gratification that you get from taking a photo and then having it in your hands is something that you miss with all the modern iPhone and digital photos that we take on a daily basis!

I treated myself to the Instax Mini 8 - got it from my local Staples for $89.99 and it came with enough film for 20 business card sized photos. Additional film comes in 2x10 packs and locally I paid $19.99 for the 20 photos - so that works out to $1.00 per shot. A little pricey, but heck - they are pretty cute, and it is fun to snap and watch the development process. Compared to using my Canon Selphy CP900 at approximately 40 cents per 4x6 shot - it is reasonable enough.

The instructions included were pretty vague, and hard to follow, but had the film in the camera and was snapping shots in a few minutes. Actually burned through the first roll of film in minutes. Here are some things I noted:

Size and Weight: The camera is compact but heavier then you would think (307g) - it comes with a wrist strap, so I would recommend that you use it.

Taking Photos: Sounds odd, but if you have long eyelashes (I do) the viewfinder is not the simplest to look through, had to blink a couple times so that I could see. Also the flash is so-so (the camera costs $69.99 if you discount the film it comes with - so really in perspective it is still pretty good), but takes some decent shots. You have to be quite close to your subject to get good colour/focus as there is no autofocus (again - the camera is $70... so what do you expect). 

Of course we tried some selfies, the BF eating lunch and ruining the nice smiley photo I asked for, some outdoor and indoor shots as well!

Of course we tried some selfies, the BF eating lunch and ruining the nice smiley photo I asked for, some outdoor and indoor shots as well!

Photo Quality: Out of the 20 photos that I took, I only tossed 3 due to poor development or due to attempts to use the other lighting options. So to me - that is decent.

The camera comes with a few lighting options - Indoors, Night (F12.7), Cloudy, Shade (F16), Sunny, Slightly cloudy (F22),  Sunny and bright (F32) and a high key mode for high levels of brightness. I wasn't successful with the high key setting, but will play some more.

Rotating the dial gives you 5 lighting options.

Rotating the dial gives you 5 lighting options.

Summary: Love it. Totally fun to pack in your bag. Great for crafting/journalling as well. Really like the instant gratification of being able to have the photo immediately, and still marvel at watching the film develop. Some additional uses that I thought of:

  • organizing boxes - take a photo of the contents and place on the outside for reference
  • adding cute notes to partner/kids lunches with photos of you etc...
  • use as clues for a scavenger hunt - each photo leads you to the next clue

Check out this great Pinterest page for more info / ideas - for more great ideas!

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