For years I’ve been eyeing the FUJIFILM INSTAX instant film cameras, almost taking the plunge more than once. So when Fujifilm contacted me about reviewing the Mini 8, it was an instant yes!
The INSTAX Mini 8 is compact (but not tiny), super lightweight, and quite adorable. It is available in white, blue, pink, yellow, and black. I was able to get it set up quickly, though the instructions are IKEA-style without words. There are a selection of helpful tips included, including not shooting directly into a mirror or reflective surface.
Compared to a regular camera, the options are minimal. The flash fires automatically but compensates for the ambient light. Having once used that other brand of instant film camera in the 1980’s, it’s cool to have an on-board electronic flash.
There is a dial where you can set the aperture, from F 12.7 to F 32, with visual icons. It will light up over the recommended setting or you can stop it down to let in more light, just as you would on a camera. There is also a high key mode that boosts the brightness.
The INSTAX has a focal range of 2-8 feet and uses a center point exposure. This limits the scenarios of getting a perfect shot, but I’m not sure that’s the point here. The INSTAX is a fun novelty item for documenting life vintage-style.
Tips for Using the Instax Mini 8
I suspect the camera is best suited for outdoor photos, though the combination of flash and high-key mode allows for lower light indoor shots with ease. My friend Amy of Lemon & Raspberry commented that she definitely prefers the outdoor shots.
The limited focal range means it’s not great for getting selfies or landscape shots in focus, however either don’t need to be crisp to be beautiful. I feel like this first packet of film (10 shots per pack) will be sufficient to learn the ropes. However, I did some reading and discovered some helpful wisdom in these posts:
- Why I dumped digital for INSTAX on vacation
- 10 tips for using your instant film camera
- INSTAX Mini 8 Review, Hack & Tips (VIDEO)
My Project Plan
I knew I wanted to do something special to really give this camera a good test. I’m traveling next month and the INSTAX will go along for the ride. I’ll also be bringing an Amy Tangerine Daybook that I had been saving for a fun project.
I’m keeping it super simple by bringing just adhesive and a pen. I want to document the trip on-the-go and see the project finished before I get home. I’ll be back here with a follow-up post after my big adventure!
I’m really excited to see the world through a different lens and simplify the process by limiting the number of shots I can take.
Have you ever used an INSTAX camera?