A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
Over the past year or so, I’ve seen a serious resurgence in instant cameras — especially in the bullet journal community. The appeal is obvious. Instant cameras like the Fujifilm Instax make it easy to snap quick photos and put them immediately in your bullet journal, art journal, or scrapbook. And the nostalgia factor for the 80s and 90s kids is definitely part of the attraction, too! I decided to buy the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 and take it with me on my month-long road trip down the west coast of the US. In this Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 review, I’ll go over how I think this little camera fared on our journey and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
My Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Review
When I first bought this cute little camera, I could tell it would be totally different from all my other photography experiences. This camera was built for fun, not for work. It definitely was a neat accessory to have on our big road trip, though it wasn’t exactly great in every aspect. There are a few things to note before jumping in and buying the Instax Mini 9.
Where to Find a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
I have seen these cameras out and about while shopping, but I can’t specifically remember any particular retailer that has them. I’m sure that the standard big tech box stores likely have them. Once, I did see the film for the Instax cameras being sold at a clothing retailer, which was totally unexpected. If you want to get a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 (or one of the other models, for that matter), I’d suggest you check them out on Amazon. It’s always a sure bet and Amazon will certainly have all the accessories you might want to go along with the camera as well!
Remember as you shop for your Instax camera that the camera often doesn’t come with film. Sometimes you can buy the package with a few boxes of film and other accessories, but you need to be sure to check what comes with your camera when you buy it. Otherwise, you might receive your camera and realize too late that there is no film! You can always be sure and buy a few packs of film separately so you know you’re covered. Either way, remember to check before you submit your order!
After using the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera for a few months, I can definitely spot some perks to this product.
These cameras are just too cute. Honestly, they make me squeal a little bit every time I look at mine. They are tiny and bubbly and round, and they feel almost like toys. The Instax cameras are just so freaking adorable that it’s worth pointing out as a positive.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as snapping a photo, waiting for it to print out into your waiting hand, and watching it develop before your very eyes. It makes me feel like it’s the 90s again. And let’s be honest — 90s kids go freaking nuts over a dose of nostalgia. I mean, look at the movies coming out lately that are totally appealing to our nostalgia. Something about the Fujifilm Instax minis caters to that feeling in a very real way.
How many times do you take a lovely picture on your phone only to literally never look at it again, let alone print it out? The Instax Minis help you get past that dead zone of pictures and instantly print out any shots you want to save.
You can adjust for your settings a bit using the light dial on the lens. That way, you can make sure you’re getting the best flash possible for your situation, whether you’re outside or in a dark room.
They’re just fun to use, okay? It’s just that simple.
Perfect Sized Photos
The photos that come out of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 are only about the size of a credit card, which is excellent. If you want to use your prints in a bullet journal or scrapbook, you can be sure their small stature will let you fit them in.
While the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 makes my inner child ugly cry tears of joy, this camera has a few flaws that are worth noting before pulling out your wallet.
As much as this camera feels like a toy, the price definitely will make you think twice about treating it as such. The camera itself is decently expensive, but that doesn’t account for the film, which you will need to replace again and again. You might also be tempted to buy some of the adorable accessories for the Mini 9, but it’s just more cost to consider. Overall, this wasn’t a cheap camera.
Bulky and Awkward
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is not slim, nor is it super compact. I kept struggling to find the right place to put this camera as I traveled. It was too big for either my proper camera bag or any pockets on the outside of my backpack, so it ended up floating around loose in the main compartment of my backpack. I could shove it in my purse, but it would definitely take up quite a bit of space in there. I wish it were a bit smaller or at least a bit thinner so it was easier to carry.
Let’s talk about the picture quality for a second. When you get an instant camera, you don’t expect to take masterpieces. The type of photo you’re usually going for is casual, fun, and spontaneous. So it should come as no surprise when many of the photos come out way overexposed, underexposed, or just a bit grainier than you expected. Maybe that’s a style you want or you don’t care much about image quality, but it’s something to bear in mind before you purchase the camera.
Writing on the Photo
When I tried to write on the bottom border of the photo, the ink didn’t always want to absorb into the photo paper. It seemed to be a hit or miss on whether the writing would stick or try to smear off. Perhaps my issue was that I wasn’t using a permanent marker, but it was a bit annoying either way!
Selfie Mirror is Eh
The Mini 9 comes with a “selfie mirror” which is less of a mirror and more of a tiny square of reflective material. I suppose you can use it to make sure you’re somewhat in frame, but it really isn’t all that helpful when it came to selfies and I wouldn’t rely on it.
This little camera isn’t a piece of photography equipment. In fact, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is to a camera as an Easy Bake oven is to the oven in your kitchen. I enjoyed bringing it along for the road trip, and it brought a level of spontaneity and frivolousness to my photo taking experience. I will say that I would have loved this camera back when I was still in school, so I think it would make an excellent gift to someone in high school or college. It could also be a fun gift for yourself to create some killer scrapbook or bullet journal memories pages! Don’t have high expectations of this camera and you will surely have lots of fun with it.
I hope you have found this Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 review helpful! Let me know in the comments section what product you want me to review next, and head to the My Supplies page to see some of my other favorite materials!
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