Instant film cameras - Buying guide for Polaroid / Fuji Instax

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There are a wide variety of instant film cameras available. This guide should help you decide which one is best for you. Most people associate instant film photography with the Polaroid brand. Unfortunately they no longer manufacture their own cameras. However Fuji’s Instax brand offers lots of choice for the budding instant film photographer. This guide focuses on the new Fuji Instax instant film cameras available but also has a section on the available instant films that is relevant to Polaroid users.
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Mini vs Wide (film format for Instax cameras)

The first choice to make when selecting an Instax film camera is whether you want a mini or wide format camera. Most of the cameras we stock use the mini film. These cameras tend to be smaller and more portable. They produce prints that measure 46(W) x 62(H) mm. The Wide format cameras are larger but also produce larger prints 99(W) x 62(H) mm. This large film is well suited to photography at parties and other gatherings as you can clearly photograph a larger number of people. The wide format film is twice as wide as the mini format.
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Fuji Instax Mini 8

The Fuji Instax mini 8 is a fun and extremely simple to use camera that comes in a great range of colours. This is the entry level camera for Fuji Instax instant photography as is aimed more at the casual user.
                                               
It features a brightness adjustment dial which automatically determines the best brightness setting for taking a picture, and informs you of the suitable setting by lighting the corresponding lamp. It also features the high-key brightness mode. Setting the brightness adjustment dial to the high-key mode allows you to take pictures with a softer impression. The Mini 8 allows helps save the battery life by automatically powering off after 5 minutes.
                                                                                    
There is also the Instax Mini Hello Kitty that has very similar basic specs to the Instax mini 8 but comes with amazing cute Hello Kitty styling.
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Fuji Instax Mini 90

The Instax mini 90 Neo Classic is a premium, fully-fledged camera design that sets itself apart from the "cute" image projected by some of the other Instax camera models. This model features a rechargeable lithium ion battery allowing for approx 100 photos to be taken when fully charged. It has a variety of photography modes allowing more freedom, control and creativity in your photography including:
 
  • Bulb Mode - a long exposure mode, to photograph paths of moving light. Take advantage of the tripod socket and attach a tripod for best results in longer exposure photos.
  • Kids Mode - fast shutter speed mode to capture fast moving subjects.
  • Party Mode - fill in flash, to brighten shadowed areas in the scene.
  • Landscape Mode - allows wide shots, suited to subjects over 3m away.
  • Flash Mode - force flash On/Off.
  • Macro Mode - take sharp close ups from 30 – 60cm away.
  • Double exposure mode - superimpose two different images in one frame.

 
The Mini 90 is a stylish premium alternative to the other Instax Mini cameras. If you are looking for more control over your instant photos then this model is the perfect choice. 
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Fuji Instax Mini 70

The Instax Mini 70 camera is a stylish portable model that is more advanced than the Mini 8 but not as much as the Mini 90. If you are looking for a mini format camera with more capabilities than the entry level mini 8 but do not think you would need all the functions of the Mini 90 then the Mini 70 is well worth considering.

The Mini 70 has a number of different features and shooting modes such as:
                             
  • Selfie Mode - provides the appropriate brightness and shooting distance for self portraits. You can also check your framing with the handy mirror next to the lens.
  • Landscape mode - suitable for subjects over 3m away.
  • Automatic Exposure Control - captures bright backgrounds as well as bright subjects even in dark scenes. The high-performance flash automatically calculates surrounding brightness and adjusts shutter speed accordingly.
  • Hi-key mode - you can capture bright beautiful skin tones. Engaging this mode takes photos with a softer impression.
  • Macro mode - perfect for taking close up shots from 0.3m - 0.6m.
  • Self timer mode - 1 frame/2 frames continuous shooting.
  • Fill-in Flash - will brighten darker areas of the scene.

This model is available in yellow, blue and white colour choices and comes with a tripod socket.
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Fuji Instax WIDE 210

This wide format instant camera can be used for diverse scenes like vast landscapes and large group shots as well as for business use. It features a close-up lens for shots up to 45 cm from the subject which expands the range of photo shooting. Adjustable print colour brightness adjusts the intensity of colours to make the print finish brighter or darker. Various features are available such as automatic electronic flash to adjust the amount of flash according to the distance, forced firing mode to optimize backlit shots and automatic-closing lens cover to protect the lens.

This is the cheaper of the two Instax WIDE format cameras we stock but is still packed with tons of great features to optimise your shots. If you want to use the larger wide format film without breaking the bank the Instax 210 is a brilliant camera to consider.
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Fuji Instax WIDE 300

This wide format camera is well suited to photography at parties and other gatherings. Fuji even offer a special wedding bundle version that comes complete with a bespoke wedding guest book and self adhesive photo mounts. Like the Instax 210 this model also features a close-up lens for shots up to 40 cm from the subject to expand the range of shooting and is complete with a tripod socket. Some features include:
                                  
  • Automatic flash for low-light shooting - optimizes the luminescence in accordance with the distance.
  • Fill-in flash by flash-on button - Use backlighting to enhance your photos
  • Exposure compensation (Lighten-Darken Control) - enables you to get just the right mood
  • Focal zoom dial - easy focus adjustment
  • User friendly flash and brightness controls 

This is the highest end Fuji Instax WIDE format camera we stock. Take a look at this model on our eBay shop here.
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SHARE SP-1 printer (mini)

If you fancy the option of instant print photography but don’t want to purchase an instant film camera then the Fuji Instax SHARE SP-1 printer could be just the thing for you. It turns your smartphone into an instant film camera.
                                               
Just take a photo on your phone and then send it to the printer via Fujifilm's Instax SHARE app. Then you can print photos instantly from the SHARE SP-1 printer. It takes Fuji Instax Mini film so your prints will be the same size as those taken by a Fuji Instax mini camera. This printer is small and lightweight (101.6mm x 42mm x 122.5mm 253g) so it is easy to carry around with you.
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Films for instant cameras

As explained earlier Fujifilm Instax film comes in mini and wide formats. Mini film is for the smaller Instax cameras such as the Mini 90, 70, 50, 25, 8, 7s, 7 instant cameras and the SHARE SP-1 printer. It is available with a plain border or you can choose from a selection of colourful designs. The wide format film is for the larger cameras such as the Fuji Instax 300, 210 and 200 cameras.
                                                      
Polaroid no longer manufactures instant films for their cameras but fortunately there are a great range of films made by Impossible for Polaroid models. We stock colour and black and white film for Polaroid 600 cameras, Polaroid Image / Spectra cameras and Polaroid SX70 cameras. We also have film available with coloured borders for the 600 series cameras. You will find that most Polaroid cameras are compatible with one of these types of film.

Where to find our products

You can visit our eBay shop to see our full range of Fuji Instax products and Impossible Polaroid films
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