Fujifilm Instax Mini 99 Review: An Instax Camera Photographers Will Love

Fujifilm’s New Instax Mini 99 is an Instax digicam for many who love handbook controls and inventive results. It’s not the sharpest Instax I’ve examined—that continues to be the Mini Evo—nevertheless it may be essentially the most analog and essentially the most succesful.

The $200 price ticket is effectively above the entry-level point-and-shoot Instax cameras, however right here you get publicity and shutter management, a swatch of coloration results, and even the flexibility to simulate mild leaks, like those you get with these thrift retailer cameras amassing mud in your shelf.

Manual Power

Except for the colourful and bubbly entry-level cameras, Fujifilm’s Instax design normally tends towards a retro-camera vibe, which holds true for the Mini 99. The 99 is all-black as an alternative of the silver and black discovered within the Mini 90, however in any other case bears greater than a passing resemblance to the older mannequin. Fujifilm hasn’t formally mentioned the 99 replaces the 90, however they really feel shut sufficient to one another that I’d be shocked if the Mini 90 continues for lengthy.

Overhead view of the front of a manual camera sitting on a pile of scattered film pictures

Photograph: Scott Gilbertson

The lens of the Mini 99 is similar because the Mini 90. It’s a 60-mm lens fabricated from plastic. It works out to roughly the identical subject of view as a 35-mm lens in 35-mm format (or in the event you choose, someplace between 1x and 2x in your iPhone). The shutter is mounted at f/12.7, which suggests you will be counting on the flash in all however brilliant, sunny, outside pictures. That mentioned, in contrast to fairly a couple of different Instax fashions, with the Mini 99 you’ll be able to flip off the flash for these well-lit pictures.

Perhaps essentially the most fascinating a part of the Mini 99, and one thing new for the Instax line, are the handbook focus choices. The Mini 99 doesn’t have true handbook focus the place you flip a dial on the lens to get exact focus. Instead there are three zones of focus: shut up (0.3 to 0.6 meters), midrange (0.6 to three meters), and infinity (3 meters to infinity). For these not metric-savvy, that works out to 1 to 2 toes, 2 to 10 toes, and 10 toes to infinity. While that is not as exact as a real handbook focus digicam, it is extra management than you usually get with Instax.

I discover the handbook focus to be slightly inconsistent—or slightly, the outcomes had been much less dramatic than I anticipated. Keep in thoughts that the aperture is f/12.7, which suggests the airplane of focus can be fairly vast, even with the main target zone controls. The Mini 99 is able to bokeh (the title for out-of-focus areas in a photograph), however solely in very particular conditions like a portrait, and even then it’s a must to use the closest focus, which suggests your topic’s face will largely fill the body anyway. That mentioned, having the ability to play with focus in any respect is a step up from most Instax cameras, the place focus is mounted, and the 1-foot shut focus distance of the Mini 99 is sweet for macro-style pictures. Unlike some Instax cameras, there may be parallax correction within the viewfinder in order that what you see within the body may be very near what you get.

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