Earlier today, Fujifilm announced the newest addition to their Instax lineup, the Instax Mini 40. And for anyone wondering, whoa, when did I miss Instax 12-39? Don’t worry, the 40 appears to reference the Mini 40’s vintage design, imitating that of a classic 40mm camera. Perfect for beginner photographers, or anyone looking for a cutesy instant memory-maker, the Instax Mini 40 touts the same popular features you’d find with the Instax Mini 11. The main selling point here is the stylish, vintage body, and the “selfie-mode” feature for close-up shots or, funny enough, selfies. See below for more info on how you can score what’s sure to be the summer’s hottest accessory.
Instax Mini 40: more than just a pretty face
I’ll be the first to admit I am a straight-up sucker for a cute, vintage polaroid. (Is that still just a brand name? Or has English finally consumed the trademark.) Either way, the Instax Mini 40 is sure to work its ways into the vintage apparel hall of fame. The Instax Mini camera has been a popular choice among young people all over the world, for its nostalgic feel as well as its power to turn any situation into a cherished memento. Seriously, I still have the “tester” pictures I took of my kitchen floor, they’re so darn pretty. But with the high-cost associated with the camera, including refills, is the Instax Mini 40 really worth the dough?
The iconic design isn’t the end-all for this toy camera, (and it is a toy camera, so if you’re looking for some of Fujifilm’s more professional grade stock, check out our coverage from earlier this year.) It touts quality pictures even in the darkest settings, (hello post-pandemic house shows,) with its auto exposure function. This means that your camera will automatically seek out the optimum exposure for your lighting situation. So, no more old friends missing from your memories because they couldn’t be bothered to pose all goofy with the rest of us.
There’s also the additional selfie mode, which you can activate by pulling out the front edge of your camera lens. All this really does is adjust the lens focus to give you clearer up-close shots, but hey, it’s nice to know even the photographer gets to be in on the fun too.
Pricing and availability
Being the very newest model in the Instax lineup, the Mini 40 isn’t going to be cheap. In fact, it’ll run you a full $30 more than the previous-generation model, totaling a $100 price tag. It comes standard with a 10-pack of film cartridges, and of course there are all but a million cases and accessories you can pile on. All in all, a relatively steep increase considering the only significant change is a retro redesign. Of course, you can judge that for yourself when it becomes available on April 21.
If you’re trying to decide whether the continual expense of one of these cameras is worth it, I’d say probably skip it for now. This is a delightful item – it’s joyful, stylish, easy to use, a conversation starter, a memory-maker, the list goes on. But if you’re already on the fence like me, then you’re probably not looking forward to dropping $15 every time you need another 10-pack of film.
Alternatively, if you have $100 to throw around on a toy camera, this really is an excellent pick, and I can tell you firsthand it makes an impressive gift as well. Same goes for if you just have a genuine love for insta-print cameras or vintage accessories. Whatever sparks joy for you is what you should follow, and for me, I’d rather skip the price tag and just take pictures on my phone. Of course, you can always save some cash on an older model, getting one used, or going truly vintage and picking up some disposables.
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