On the face of it, Instax Mini Film cameras may seem like a simple novelty, but they actually provide specific, practical value that can easily be measured. As you already may know, a smaller film size offers a difference in appearance when compared to other types of film. However, in this modern world of digital technology this quality is inherently linked to performance in order to deliver high quality images.
That being said, it isn’t always economically feasible to purchase an expensive, high end digital camera. Or one that’s also capable of producing instant photo print-outs, in order to have access to both the latest digital camera technology and this convenient feature. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 offers a higher end version of previous Instax Mini cameras that use the same compatible film, for those seeking a solution to higher demands on performance.
Ease of use is another quality consideration for the inherent applications of this type of camera. It allows greater mounting options among other features, in order to make it more fun to use in a greater variety of situations. In this review, you’re going to find an honest and factual discussion on the qualities of ease of use, performance, appearance, economy and durability that this camera has to offer.
Multiple Shooting Modes
As with any camera, it’s desirable to have the option of shooting at various zoom levels, as well as take advantage of any ease of use features available to you. In a world where digital cameras readily provide access to WiFi and Bluetooth connections as well as smart technology for remote shooting, it’s not too much to ask for comparable functionality from cameras of a less expensive class.
This mode is actually more than a simple gimmick. As you’ll find with the various settings and enhancements made available for this Instax Mini 70’s selfie mode, it goes slightly above what you might expect, besides its additional features. The first significant aspect of the selfie mode is the automatic adjustment of the settings within the camera itself.
For starters, the liquid crystal on silicon design allows the camera to switch it’s sensitivity to light, thus providing an appropriate amount of brightness for the close distance of a self-portrait or ‘selfie’ shot. Next, the motor driven focusing mechanism is optimized for a distance of between 0.3 and 0.6 meters, otherwise known as the macro focusing mode.
Another neat feature that makes taking selfies easier and more intuitive is a built in selfie mirror that’s located to the right of the lens. It allows you to view your shots in real time, even though your eye isn’t facing the viewfinder. As a result, you spend less time fiddling with your camera, making random guesses and repeating the same shot, and can spend more time socializing with people and taking more photo opportunities with better results. While this isn’t an amazing, over the top feature, the Mini 70 does a great job overall in making shooting selfies fun and effective.
Macro, Landscape and Fill In Flash Modes
With the inclusion of a built in flash unit, retractable lens, as well as exposure control and focusing technology, the Mini 70 offers many advantages over other cameras within its class. First, you can manually select between three different focusing ranges, including macro (0.3 to 0.6 meters), normal mode (0.6 to 3 meters) and landscape more (for beyond 3 meters in distance), for greater clarity from the 60 millimeter retractable lens.
Although the close up range is limited to a minimum distance of 0.3 meters, the Instax Mini 70 achieves enhanced color composition in bright settings, such as daylight, by making use of the fill in flash option. What this does is provide extra illumination to shadowy areas of the image that it’s capturing, thus providing greater clarity and detail.
High Key, Automatic and Self Timer Modes
One of the most obvious yet useful modes out of these three is the automatic shooting mode. It basically gives the camera the responsibility of setting the correct aperture, focusing, shutter speed and flash settings for a given shot.
The self-timer mode is another effective mode that allows you to set a timer, and then the camera will automatically begin shooting. One advantage of this it’s self-timer mode over other similar models is that you can select between single shot, dual shot and continuous shooting sub modes, so that you’re not relying on getting the appropriate shot on the first try.
Because it automatically prints out and develops film, there is a disadvantage. You could potentially waste a considerable amount of film. However, you’re required to remove the photo before another shot is taken.
Lastly, the high key mode is an advanced feature that provides enhanced additional lighting over the fill in flash mode. This allows you to take closer images, as well as clear, bright shots for artistic effect.
Film Development with Automatic Film Feed Out
This is one major feature that relates to all five qualities mentioned in the beginning of this review. For starters, the film size requirement is 86 millimeters by 54 millimeters. It also specifically requires Fujifilm Instant Color Film for use with Instax Mini cameras, which produce print outs measuring 62 by 46 millimeters. While this does ensure consistent high quality shots, it’s a slight hindrance to the qualities of economy and ease of use, in that you can’t replace the film with another size or brand. Although the film is priced fairly, you may not have immediate access to a local retailer.
The good news is that you can conveniently order a new supply online, and since it comes in a cartridge, it’s easy to replace and install in your camera. Once a photo is captured, a picture is automatically printed and fed out. Each print out takes approximately ninety seconds to develop, depending on the temperature of the environment it’s in, so you can view them in relatively little time. You won’t be limited on the amount of time it takes to take the shots, other than the time that between taking the shot and removing your picture from the camera.
Disposable CR2 Lithium Metal Batteries (Included)
Another feature worth mentioning is the two CR2 lithium metal battery requirement, because it provides the disadvantage of having to use disposable batteries. On the other hand, CR2 batteries are readily available in many local stores as well as for sale online. When using the latest CR2 and DL CR2 batteries on the market, you’ll be able to take approximately ten film rolls’ worth of pictures without ever replacing a battery.
Real Image Viewfinder and Liquid Crystal Shutter
While it may seem like a disadvantage that the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 doesn’t include an LCD viewfinder, it’s a significant economic increase in quality. We say this because the type of screens that provide enough dots to present high quality images can be very expensive.
You’re only limited in that you have to keep your eye in front of the manual viewfinder (unless using the selfie mirror). However, it does provide a true to life representation of the viewing space at a magnification rate of 0.37 times. There’s also a target spot to help guide you in taking precise shots, by showing you where the center of the image is.
Because the shutter has a versatile range of speeds, from half of a second to one four hundredths of a second, the amount of exposure of light that the sensor has can be set with precision, making each shooting mode easier and more effective to use. This technology is used in conjunction with the interlocking and an automatic exposure control system with an aperture rating of ISO 800. In-turn, this delivers clearer shots with regular and advanced modes, like the high key mode.
It’s not state of the art, but it’s much more than you’d expect for something competing with simple selfie cameras. It provides a lot of value for an economically priced, modern instant print out camera.
Mounting Options and Other Accessories
The Mini 70 is designed with a tripod mounting socket for taking more stable shots, especially at longer range, where focusing and motion stabilization would otherwise be nearly impossible. It’s capable of this without much more expensive and advanced technology built into it.
You can also use this to connect a selfie stick to your camera to take elevated shots and take advantage of the various shooting modes. There’s even an included strap that can be attached for carrying it around with you, featuring a film pack confirmation window to ensure that the film is installed properly before you begin capturing photos.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 isn’t like your typical camera. It’s a unique take on a rather useful innovation that enables you to take convenient and simple photos without any hassle. With simplicity and ease of use in mind, we think that Fujifilm did a fantastic job in the overall design and execution of this camera. Best of all, it’s priced affordably so it’s easy to justify, even if you’re on a slight budget.