If you’re looking for a cheap point-and-shoot upgrade from Fuji’s last cheap point-and-shoot Instax camera, the company will gladly cover you as of just a few hours ago with the brand new, two-button-two-setting Instax Mini 40 camera.
Added to that, if you happen to be missing the darkroom in today’s purely digital photography age, you can also pair this exciting new camera with the equally exciting Instax Mini CONTACT SHEET (the alternating colour is from the box, not my own design).
A toddler could wear this camera round its neck all day and only cry when they realised their arms are too short to take an in-focus selfie on account of their arms being too short.
The new film — technically frame design — harks back to a simpler time when photographers added ‘ILFORD HP5″ borders to colour photos, or “Portra 400” borders to black and white shots processed to within an inch of their lives. Those days were awesome.
The film — not likely to be released in Wide, Square or Monohrome versions — is available to purchase now from all stockists. Not selected stockists, I mean all of them. I buy my Instax at the stationery store (this is not a joke and to be fair, quite awesome).
On to the camera!
The Instax camera naming convention, while seemingly impenetrable for the most part shows us a brief glimpse into the logic of this Japanese medical services company that was once one of the largest and most innovative producers of photographic products in the world:
- 2 settings + 2 buttons = 4
- 4 x 10 sheets per box = 40
Instax Mini 40. Genius.
An homage to the digital Holga, the Instax Mini40 arrives housed in a state-of-the-art plastic body — and has been referred to as a “toy” by some mainstream news websites. Seemingly draped in faux leather, the pebbled surface reveals itself to be moulded into the shell itself. The savings on glue and leatherette being passed onto you the consumer: this camera retails for less than $100.
Don’t let the cheap body fool you, however, where savings have been made with a plastic body/moldedleatherette, the decidedly vintage-looking metal rails are indeed…well, ok they’re also plastic. Check out these promotional photos of the camera in use.
(Note: All photos used in this article were obtained from Fuji’s dedicated mini 40 mini-site and are obviously credit: Fujifilm).
The camera is to all intents and purposes the same as the Instax 11 that came out in 2020: push one button to turn it on and pop out the lens. Tug on the lens a bit to trigger selfie mode and give it a push to switch the camera off. It has a 35mm lens on 35mm full frame film equivalent 60mm f/12.7 lens and the shutter runs from ½ second to 1/250 second.
Complicated it ain’t but light it IS.
A toddler could wear this camera round its neck all day and only cry when they realise dtheir arms are too short to take an in-focus selfie on account of their arms being too short.
The only control you have over the camera is as follows:
- When you insert or change the batteries.
- When you add more film.
- When you turn it on.
- When you enable selfie mode.
- When you take a photo.
In terms of what the Instax Mini 40 brings to the table over the Instax Mini 11, its model number is a whole 29 integers higher, the added visual refinement and finesse of the camera body at a distance of more than 100cm (its minimum focus distance) is sure to turn heads. Finally, as Fuji points out on the Instax Mini 40 website, it has a dedicated logo plate …like a Hasselblad.
Note: Emphasis and comparison are mine.
Will I be buying one? Probably not but that’s only because I recently upgraded to the SQ8 from my aged Mini 90 — an older Instax Mini format camera that has a name 50 integers higher and looks a little like the Goonies’ Sloth equivalent of a Leica M.
The Instax Mini 40 is available everywhere right now for less than the price of 10 Big Mac meals in New York City. How’s that for value you can eat?
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