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Fujifilm’s new Instax Pal camera is fun, but pricey

INSTAX Pal Promotional Video "Making small moments feel big"/FUJIFILM

Fujifilm has just unveiled the Instax Pal camera, a diminutive digital device targeted at teens who might want to print their pictures, too.

The Instax Pal is about the size of a golf ball and can hold around 50 4.9-megapixel images. It also includes a microSD card if you want to increase the capacity.

Snaps can be wirelessly transferred to a smartphone for editing and sharing, and the camera also pairs with Fujifilm’s bundled Mini Link 2 printer, making it easy to knock out physical prints as well.

Fujifilm released a couple of promotional videos (top and below) on Wednesday positioning the Instax Pal as a versatile piece of kit that’s fun and easy to use.

INSTAX Pal™Tutorial video/ FUJIFILM

As the video shows, the camera also lets you add pre-shutter sounds for timer shots. The feature offers its own selection of sounds, but you can also record your own, such as “smile” or “cheese,” which will blurt out from the camera’s speaker just before the shutter snaps.

The app appears to be pretty versatile too, with lots of editing options, plus features like animations that let you put together a series of shots that rapidly appear one after the other, and which can then be shared online.

The Instax Pal comes in five colors — pink, blue, green, white, and black — and includes a detachable ring on a string that lets you link it to things like backpacks for quick access.

Fujifilm’s Instax Pal bundle is available in October and includes the camera, printer, and app, and costs $199. That’s quite a bit of money, especially when you could just get the Mini Link 2 printer for $99 and print images from your smartphone instead. But Fujifilm hopes that it’s a compelling enough package to win over fans looking for a more entertaining photography experience. It could certainly make for an enjoyable gift.

The Instax Pal camera is Fujifilm’s latest Instax camera, a long-running brand that launched in 1998. Sales of its Instax cameras tanked as the digital market grew two decades ago, and the arrival of smartphones squeezed the brand even further.

But about 10 years ago the company sensed renewed interest in analog technology, and Instax camera sales started to take hold again, prompting it to put out a number of new devices offering prints straight from the camera.

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Trevor Mogg
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