The new Instax Mini 11 has launched in South Africa and is the upgrade to the best-selling Mini 9. I got my hands on one to play with and while it has since been collected, I do have one to giveaway to one of my readers.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’m a fan of Instax and have owned (purchased) a few of their cameras. I currently have the SQ20. But first, a quick review of the new model.
LOOK AND FEEL
The Instax Mini 11 has the same retro look and feel we’ve come to love from the Instax range. Not a lot has changed physically from 9 to the 11, but there are some design tweaks to tell them apart. The 11 is a bit soft and round with minor changes in shape and location of parts.
It is smaller and lighter but still compact at 293g versus the 307g (Mini 9). The new range comes in blush pink, ice white, sky blue, lilac purple and charcoal grey; a differentiator to the colours of the 9.
Inside the box you get two shutter button accessories and a wrist strap. The former is jewel-shaped and matches the camera colour, which I didn’t use; and the strap is great because the clip-on location is on either side, which factors right and left-handed individuals. It also comes with two AA batteries to operate the camera.
The shooting range is now from 30cm onwards (selfie mode), and has a programmed electronic shutter of 1/2 to 1/250 seconds for low light. It has automatic exposure (more below) and reaches ISO 800. It has a 60mm f12.7 lens; same as Mini 9.
The Mini 11’s new features are the automatic exposure and selfie mode. It now lets you shoot straight from any condition without changing the scene, thus automatic. Previously, the Mini 9 used to have five different exposure settings.
Secondly, in selfie mode, you pull the lens out further to shoot from 30 to 50cm away. There is a tiny mirror next to the lens to see the framing before shooting, similar to the Mini 9.
USABILITY AND PRINTS
The new camera is easy to use because you’re shooting instantly, and you simply pull the lens out further to go into selfie mode. You can take pics in any light setting as the exposure will be automatic. You can shoot at night without worrying too much about underexposed shots. I do miss the option to override the automatic setting in certain instances.
The result is still a cute credit card sized print out that is 62x46mm in size. The camera comes with one pack of film (additional cost) but as always with instant cameras, they can get costly. Unlike the hybrid range, you cannot shoot, edit and then print.
The Instax Mini 11 is proper old school in that it prints instantly. According to Instax, it takes up to 90 seconds to print but if you leave it a bit longer, the darker the colours get darker so rather wait a few minutes more.
Instant cameras are best for special occasions or just a reminder that all photos don’t have to be taken on our smartphones where they end up living forever. It’s great to see Instax constantly improving their products and the Mini 11 is the best yet in the range.
I think it is perfect for someone who has never owned an instant camera before or owns an older model before the 8, however I don’t think it’s worth upgrading from the 9. Be mindful of the cost of the film as they could become expensive mistakes.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Instax Mini 11 has gone on sale mid-July in South Africa and costs R1199 on its own or with a pack of film (10 prints) for R1349. Film is available separately from R159 for plain and slightly more for various patterned ones. It also comes in a twin pack for R299 (20 prints).
WIN AN INSTAX MINI 11
I have a camera to give away to one lucky Wired to the Web reader. We’ve all been stuck indoors since the lockdown started, and created special memories in our own way. Simply leave a comment below sharing one special memory since lockdown began in March. It could be between you and your partner, child or pet… or ones you created via video calling friends and family who are not with you.
You could be creating more permanent memories with the Instax Mini 11…
1. This competition is open to anyone who follows me via social media.
2. Only one entry per person via the comments section below. No social media entries.
3. The competition will run until Sunday, 26 July at midnight.
4. This competition is open to South African residents only.
5. Winner will be selected on Monday, 27 July by me and announced on this post.
Winners details to be passed on to FujiFilm SA who will arrange delivery of the prize.
UPDATE: Winner – Zeenat: https://www.nafisa.co.za/review-instax-mini-11/#comment-11380
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org