The best way to describe Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 9 camera is with one word: Delightful.
Tech features aside, the camera is just plain adorable. When I opened the box for the first time, I quite literally squealed with excitement (and I’m not a squealer). It’s small, it’s retro, and it comes in an array of fun colors — mine was a minty blue-green called ice blue.
It’s so eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing, I was actually stopped on the street by someone who found it just as exciting as I did.
So what’s it like to actually use the camera? Dead-simple and lots of fun.
Here’s what I mean.
What sets the Instax Mini 9 apart from previous iterations of Fuijifilm’s Instax line of cameras is three key features: A tiny mirror next to the lens for selfies, a lens attachment (not pictured) for macro close-ups, and high-key mode, which adds a bright, faded look to your photos.
Like most other Instax cameras, the Mini 9 uses credit-card-sized film that prints instantly. The camera can hold 10 sheets at a time.
The Mini 9 is super straightforward to use. A button next to the lens turns it on, while pressing the lens back into the body turns it off. A twist of the dial around the lens changes the brightness, and the shutter button on the right-hand side takes a picture. Wait a few seconds, and that photo pops out of the top of the camera. It runs on two AA batteries.
Here’s my very first photo, taken of my colleague Kif Leswing. One thing to know about the Mini 9 is that is will flash every time it takes a photo, regardless of the lighting conditions (if you’re trying to be subtle, this is not the camera for you). But it’s helpful in low light: the Business Insider newsroom can be pretty dim on cloudy days, but Kif is lit perfectly.
I’ve shot with film, pinhole cameras, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, smartphone cameras — you name it. While I’m mainly taking photos with my phone these days, I got a kick out of using the Instax because I remembered how beautiful film photos are, even if they’re tiny, instant ones.