Fujifilm has announced the latest addition to its Instax Mini line of instant cameras, the Mini 40. Just like the Instax Mini 11, which was released last March, the Mini 40 is an entry-level instant movie camera with only two button settings. But what sets this camera apart is its classic, cinematic look, complete with a synthetic leather body and metal-look plastic rods. It’s a $ 100 game camera that instantly creates printed memories – and of course, it’s a blast to play with.
In addition to the look of an old camera, the Mini 40 has the same mechanics as the Mini 11. Pressing the large silver button under the lens compartment will eject the lens and turn the camera on. Portrait mode is activated by pulling the outside of the lens an additional half-inch. And when you’re ready to pack it away, push the lens back into the camera to turn it off. The fully plastic camera housing makes it very light and easy to take anywhere.
There are two shooting modes in the Instax Mini 40: normal and selfie. Selfie Mode adjusts the focal length of the camera to allow subjects closer to the lens to focus on them. Beyond that, you have very little control. The flash will fire with every shutter press, and the Instax Mini film sheet will turn into a mechanical hum. Results cannot be predicted other than knowing that the printed image will be slightly smooth with high contrast and bound within the Polaroid icon frame. The magic comes when you place the print on a table, forget about it, and are reminded of a wonderful memory after at least a minute and a half.
When using any Instax camera, I can’t help but notice the amount of plastic used in each of these 10-photo film cartridges. Although there is a recycling logo on the cartridge, it is in Japanese, and I cannot identify the number of plastic it is made of. In the United States, many municipalities have specific plastic numbers that they can recycle and cannot recycle, and without that number clearly labeled on these photo cartridges, I couldn’t tell if I would be able to recycle them here in Brooklyn, New York. I have reached out to Fujifilm for more information and I will update this article if I get it.
Both Play informs my creativity and relieves stress – which, as a person tasked with reviewing cameras, is always picky when using the camera. But the Mini 40, like the Mini 11, has very few options, feels very lightweight and, at times, such unexpected results that I can just sit back and enjoy when using it. Any additional thinking on photographic theory while using the Mini 40 is excessive and seldom yields better results.
At $ 100, the Mini 40 is slightly more expensive than the Mini 11. Along with its new classic look, there wouldn’t be a good reason to spend an extra $ 30. But if looking for the filmmaker part is important, the design of the Mini 40 will be highlighted. Once Fujifilm takes up the amount of plastic used in each of the ten film packs for shots, I will truly be able to have a carefree experience with this camera.
Photo by Becca Versace / The Verge
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