FujiFilm’s Instax range of products saw instant cameras make a comeback a couple of years ago.
Last year FujiFilm announced the Instax Share SP-1 smartphone printer, which has since made its way to South Africa. I’ve been playing with it and it should come as no surprise that I love it! It uses the same film as the instant camera – the credit card sized Instax mini.
We’ve become so obsessed with taking pictures of everything and with functions like burst mode and self-timers, etc, it’s no surprise that it’s actually refreshing to print some memories off our devices.
Whereas instant cameras should be saved for special occasions (you still have to get it right in one shot – and mistakes get expensive), the Instax Share printer is great for printing images afterwards, without worrying too much about composition, as you would with the Instax Mini.
The Instax Share SP-1 printer is 253g on its own (minus film and battery), with dimensions of 101.6mm x 42mm x 122.5mm, which fits nicely into a medium-sized handbag, portable enough to take anywhere. The printer comes with 2x CR2/DL CR2 lithium batteries but the AC power adaptor (AC-5VX) is sold separately. And of course, film is sold separately.
The printer is compatible with Android (2.3.3+) and iOS (5.1+) devices and connects through WiFi. You need to download the app from either the App Store or Google Play Store. Your device then needs to be linked to the printer via a password (1111 default) and you’re ready to print.
The app has its own filters and lets you edit, crop, rotate etc. It’s very simple to get your first print out. You can pull images from your device, social networks, take a pic immediately or go back to your history of printed pics and reprint. The whole process takes about 16 seconds. The quality is as good as the print you are using. If you crop it too much, it won’t be that great. And make sure the film you are using is not close to expiring or the print may appear washed out.
The only downside to buying the printer is that the film isn’t very cheap. It uses the same Instax Mini film used on FujiFilm instant cameras (not the wide format). Online you can pick up packs with the fancy borders at Takealot.com for R139, and certain Makro stores sell them for R99 (plain ones). Other online stores like Outdoor Photo, Superbalist and Kalahari also sells. I tend to buy film when there is a sale.
The Instax Share printer has been priced differently online with Takelot coming the cheapest at R2389. However, I came across the printer at Fotofirst in Fourways for R1999. You just need to shop around for the best price. And make sure the little credit card sized prints are worth the ±R13 price tag each.