Instax Mini 40 camera
Cool factor 5/5
Value for money 3/5
Fujifilm has had success with the revival of instant cameras through its wildly popular Instax brand. Various cameras, printers and hybrids make up the range and are standalone or can be paired to a smartphone.
The newest Instax Mini 40 is the third model in the past year, along with the Mini 11 and SQ1. This makes it tricky to decide which model to go for as they all share the same technology.
The Mini 40 looks like a vintage camera, with a leatherette finish and silver accents that feel sophisticated. It looks like an "adult" version of the Mini 11, which is more pastel and plastic-like, suitable for a younger crowd. It is battery-operated, with two AA batteries included, and has a wrist strap.
It features a viewfinder with a target spot, flash, selfie mirror and thumb grip. On the back is a film counter, which ticks off from a 10-pack film. It shoots in two main modes: automatic exposure and selfie mode.
With automatic exposure you don’t have to worry about the flash or shutter speed as it uses the environment to determine the best shot. This is great if you want a fuss-free instant camera where you don’t have to fiddle with the settings.
The selfie mode includes a selfie mirror to frame your face. My testing at night in a well-lit spot turned out great.
The credit card-sized film takes 90 seconds to develop and has a thick strip at the bottom to write a caption or date.
The picture quality tends to have a soft finish, as expected from an instant camera. It’s never going to be a pin-sharp image. But in a digital photo world it’s tough to beat the nostalgia of an instant print.
The appeal of the Instax Mini 40 is its retro look; it does the job well, without bells and whistles. It has the same features as the Mini 11 but does not look like a toy and that’s the key differentiator.
It costs R1,399 and film is available for R169 a pack.
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