With its round body, excellent lens and the basic feature set, this instant camera offers the user affordability and acceptable usability.
image from camerapedia
I purchased the Instax mini 20 from a friend because I felt that my Mini 10 was going to be declared beyond repair by the Fuji Technicians after having just bought it second hand. Good thing I did because when the Fuji guys said my Instax was gonna stay dead, I had already reserved the last unit that my friend was selling. Like other Mini’s this edition produces credit sized prints. I use it mostly for special occasions as cartridges are a bit costly by any standard. It’s really a party cam more than anything else. An attention grabber, people always want to pose and see what this round camera can do. Polaroids were never really the rage in my country and familiarity of the technology sort of skipped a couple of generations. So in a way not only is it a fancy old-school camera but a teaching tool to initiate people to the wonders of analogue. I love having friends doodle on the print but in some cases I just add captions digitally for convenience.
It has a built-in auto flash and has two shutter speeds at 1/30 and 1/400 sec. Fuji released a couple of editions released for the 2002 World Cup and some for Sanrio and Puma and some Cheki editions also. It has an LCD for the film counter, long range shooting mark, flash status indicator. There’s a little LED light that confirms changes that you put in via the easy to manage control system. Which comes in handy when shooting in really dark places.
My biggest gripe about the camera is the form factor. Of all the Instax Mini cameras it is the bulkiest. It’s really chunky, the round shape and lack of a dedicated grip to hold the unit makes handling a bit awkward. There were even some cases that there were misfires because I accidentally tripped one of the trigger buttons. I always make sure to use the strap as my stubby fingers might drop my precious camera unintentionally.
For people just wanting to try an instant camera this a good balance between cost and camera capability. It’s one of the cheapest in the line of Mini’s but not any less capable.