It is available in a variety of pale shades, and not just black or white; with something to suit everyone. I was loaned the white one, after requesting a colour that wasn’t pink.
LOOK AND FEEL
After seeing images of the Instax Mini 8 online, and when I received the actual product, it was slightly bigger than what I was expecting. Not in a bulky/chunky way, but not as small as I imagined it to be, which is understandable as it is an instant camera.
Inside the box with the camera is a strap; instruction manual; and 2x AA batteries (film sold separately). The matte-finish camera weighs 307g with dimensions of 116mm x 118.3mm x 68.2mm; has a tiny viewfinder on the back right; and works in vertical mode.
When I carried it around while on holiday, I was concerned about it knocking up against other items in my bag, so I kept it in the bubble wrap that it came in. If you are buying one, buy a protective cover to go with.
HOW TO USE IT
The Instax Mini 8 is fairly simple to operate. It is powered by 2x AA batteries, which is provided (remember the film isn’t – so don’t forget to buy a pack!). Switch it on by pushing the lens button; then rotate to the exposure you want (if you’re not sure, the camera preselects for you); look through the viewfinder to focus and take a picture; your image will then come out immediately, which takes a few seconds to develop.
The quality of the photos are good. Also, due to the size of the picture (62mm x 46mm) you’re not going to scrutinise the image, especially not if it’s displayed on fridges, frames or desks. There’s a little counter on the side so you can see how many pics you can still take. Photos are credit card sized, and easily fit into a wallet. The border of the picture allows for writing personal messages, or dating photos.
If you want to manually select the exposure, you can choose from the following modes – indoors; cloudy; sunny & slightly cloudy; and sunny & bright – but it can be tricky (the first time I used it, my picture came out over exposed). Playing around initially means you may end up wasting precious film. If you’re happy with the camera preselecting it and how your photos come out, then don’t change the mode. Once you get the hang of it, the fun begins!
SHOULD YOU GET ONE?
I found that the Instax Mini 8 is great for taking pics of friends, or any scene that is brightly coloured, but not objects that are too far away. It’s more for creating memories, rather than using it everyday. You also need to remember that film is not cheap – R150 a pack of 10. So for R15 each for a credit card size photo, you can’t really afford to waste them. If you enjoy scrapbooking, then you’d love Instax Mini 8.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 will go on sale soon (once stock of the Instax 7 is cleared) at a recommended retail price of R799. Instax Mini Instant Film is available in packs of 10 for R150 from Orms Direct.