This is my first instant camera and I have to say that it’s left a very good impression on me. The Instax Mini 8 takes dreamy-looking credit card sized photos that develop in less than 15 minutes and can be popped into a wallet or given to a friend anytime you want.
Looking at the box, you can definitely tell who this camera is targeted towards. I chose the white color for its classic style but keep in mind that it is very susceptible to scuffs and scratching when you put it in a bag (which is why, wanting to keep it in good condition, I later bought a case for it.)
Right off the bat when you unbox it, you see that batteries are included (yay!) as well as an instruction manual and a wrist strap:
Loading the Instax Mini film is easy peasy. Just open the back, slot the film cartridge with the yellow strip on the top right, close the back and click the shutter so the dark side comes out, making the Instax ready to shoot. The camera turns on simply by pressing the side button on the front and the lens pops out! A handy little window keeps track of the shots you have left.
My first cartridge (or roll) turned out quite well although there were a lot of mistakes made in terms of exposure. Remember, when turning on the camera, ALWAYS CHECK YOUR APERTURE DIAL. It resets back to the ‘Home’ setting every time you close the lens, meaning that when I opened it again, I often forgot that my settings weren’t the same as last time.
That results in unfortunately overexposed photos. It happens especially when you’re in a hurry to take a picture but don’t be like me – always choose the right aperture for the job before you press the shutter button. The orange light that indicates which aperture is recommended is extremely helpful for this, especially if you’re a beginner.
But, all in all, the pictures for which I used the correct settings for turned out very well – they were exposed properly and had a slightly faded, dreamy look to them which I find quite appealing. If you’re looking for sharper pictures, the Instax Mini 8 probably won’t give you that but just take a look at some of the photos I took – doesn’t the softness just melt your heart?