Nothing says fun quite like an instant camera. Creating great prints in less than two minutes, they bring the kind of immediate joy and gratification that digital photos can’t deliver. Perfect for those yearning to get more creative with their photography, as well as anyone wanting to take instant snaps of memorable moments or social events, these cameras are seeing a rise in popularity right now. Fujifilm says it sold five million of its Instax instant film cameras last year, proving that even with the dominance of the smartphone, you can’t beat having a print in your hand.
The Instax Square SQ6, with its unique retro aesthetics, jolly features and colour range, is being heralded as one of the best new instant film cameras out there, and will particularly appeal to fashion-conscious snappers and selfie fans.
With simplicity in mind, the SQ6 offers a fixed lens, just a few shooting modes, and not a whole lot else. It retails for a reasonable £124.99, while ten-packs of film can be picked up for about £9 each.
We asked two Jessops customers to give us their opinions:
Taimen Zlattner, 24, from London, says:
'I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new Instax Square SQ6 and test out all the features. With the camera’s selfie mirror and retro filters, the element of fun and surprise is magnified. I must admit my first attempts were a disaster – it took several takes to get the hang of the extreme variations in exposure. But once I did, it was a lot of fun. It worked best if I kept the flash on and focused on darker areas. It’s not so great in bright light – I found I took the best quality prints in shade or indoors. The camera is a bit bulky because of the size of the prints it makes, so I’d recommend using it as a key accessory at an event – it’s not quite a handbag essential. It would make the perfect gift for anyone who likes to have fun, from kids to adults.’
Stan Kavanagh, 19, from Birmingham, says:
‘I had fun using this camera with my uni friends – it provided lots of entertainment. Rather than snapping the usual selfies with our individual phones, it made it a more social and shared experience. I like the retro look of the camera and the images it produces – they feel warmer and more “real” than digital photos. The fact that you don’t have the option to preview your photo before it prints might be seen as a drawback but I found it was a novelty: the element of surprise is heightened. There’s always a bit of excitement once you’ve taken your photo, waiting for it to develop. I found I had to experiment with settings to get decent shots. Because you have to pay for the film, you think more about your pictures, and only take photos of things that are meaningful. It slows down the photography process, which is interesting – it’s a completely different experience to taking photos with your phone.’
Is it easy to use?
Taimen: ‘Yes. It’s just a matter of switching it on and firing away. The photo pops out instantly and takes about 90 seconds to develop. The instructions are pretty clear.'
Stan: ‘Anyone can use it! The instructions are clear. Choosing the right setting is key to getting the best quality pictures.'
What are the best features?
Taimen: ‘The size of the prints is great. The square format makes them easier to use in albums or as decorations.’
Stan: ‘The option for the colour filters is pretty cool, especially with the ’90s photo trend making a comeback.’
What are the drawbacks?
Taimen: ‘The focus is not incredible, especially when shooting in light areas outdoors.’
Stan: ‘The film is pricey.’
Who would you recommend it to?
Taimen: ‘The Instax Square SQ6 is a great novelty camera. It would be perfect for social events that you want to share and remember, and it would make a great gift for anyone. If you like retro, vintage style photos, this is for you.’
Stan: ‘This would suit anyone who likes having prints to put up on their walls or cork boards. It’s fun for couples, people on a day trip, at a party – anyone, really!’
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