In the Lab: Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera (Product Review)

Product Note: I received this camera to provide a real-life product review. The evaluation is based on my own experience photographing in different settings. 

In this digital camera age, instant photography seems to often be a distant memory. Plagued by the 20-take epidemic, followed by "my right eye looks funny, do it again" reactions after reviewing the playback display screen - its no surprise that the resurgence of candid and film-based photography is knocking the door down and reintroducing itself to Millennials and an unsuspecting Generation Z.

I received the Raspberry Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 to accompany me on my road trip around the USA. Was the modern instant camera a match for my mom's vintage one? Here's my review:

Raspberry Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

Things to know:

  • Requires 2x AA batteries
  • Weighs about .6 pounds
  • Provides 10 photos per film pack
  • Features an automatic brightness adjustment dial that lights up to indicate which setting to use 
  • Fujifilm offers an array of films to choose from (for this review I used the rainbow film)
  • Photo sizes are 3.5 X 2.3 inches (image is 2.5 X 1.8 inches)

Pros:

  • I love how cute this camera is; it is so quirky and bubbly.
  • The camera works surprisingly well indoors and doesn't need to focus.
  • The adjustment dial is quite helpful, sensing the surrounding light and suggesting which mode to set it in before you take the photo.
  • It is durable as heck! A lot of products are really cool but fall to pieces (or get extremely scratched up) upon collision with anything in its way. This camera can stand its ground.

Cons:

  • The camera was a lot bulkier than I expected. At 2.69 x 4.66 x 4.57 inches, it was definitely not small enough to carry in my crossbody purse so I found I had to bring a larger bag whenever I wanted to bring it outside. This led me to leave it at home many times.
  • One must pay close to the adjustment dial when, well - adjusting. Sometimes when lowering the camera chest-level to adjust the brightness dial, the sensor will recommend one setting because the camera is looking at a different angle. When I raised the camera back to my face, the dial recommendation changed based on new lighting. Most of the time I caught this but the few times that I didn't resulted in blown out photos. Slight bummer.
  • The instructions indicate not to use below 40 degrees. But at one point we had to visit Denver so... it was cold. When using it outside, the photos would look more blown out. When using it inside, however (after it warmed up, I guess) - they looked just fine. 

Recommendation:

  • I enjoyed this instant camera the most when using indoors. The flash works wonders.
  • If you like to travel light and don't want to carry a heavy-ish device (it is .67 pounds --- think: an iPhone is .2 pounds) this camera may not be ideal.
  • While the rainbow film was fun and festive, I'd recommend white film if you're looking for something more sophisticated.
  • At around $75 retail, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is a great gift and performs quite well.
  • From my mom: "The flash is great and the colors are so fun! Reminds me of when I was your age." (Insert "uh oh, not another story" moans...)
  • From Millennial me: "So vintage. Dope for moody indoor shots."
  • From my GenZ little sister: "Can I have one?"

Share this review with your friends and if you already own the camera, let me know what you think!

Video Source: Fujifilm Instax Mini 8