Fans of fun cameras and instant photos have a new toy to play with — the Instax Mini 40 from Fujifilm.
Squint through a pair of scratched goggles and the Instax Mini 40 kind of resembles Fujiflim’s stylish X100V camera, though the features on its latest device are of course way more basic.
The Japanese camera company’s latest Instax instant-print camera includes auto exposure so you don’t have to waste time twiddling knobs and turning dials, and also comes with a selfie mode activated by pulling out the front edge of the camera’s lens.
As with all of Fujifilm’s Instax cameras, when you hit the shutter button, the device churns out a small print that takes around 90 seconds to develop. And that’s it. No enhancing and no cropping (unless you want to take a pair of scissors to it, that is).
The camera gets its power from a couple of AA-size batteries that should be good for around 10 Instax Mini film packs, each one offering 10 exposures.
The Instax Mini 40 lands in stores on April 21 with a $100 price tag.
Fujifilm released its first Instax device in 1998, long before digital cameras showed up and way before smartphones and photo-sharing apps like Instagram came along.
Sales of Instax cameras grew to almost a million by 2002, but several years later, as digital cameras started to make their mark, Fujifilm only managed around 100,000 Instax shipments. The arrival of smartphones in the 2000s put Instax camera sales under even more pressure.
Fujifilm appeared to lose interest in the product, focusing instead on its high-end X-series mirrorless digital cameras, which have proved hugely popular.
But then around 2012, the company detected renewed interest in analog technology, and Instax camera sales started to take hold again.
The fact that Fujifilm is continuing to add to its Instax range — last year it also launched the Instax Mini 11 — shows that folks are still happily snapping them up as a fun alternative to digital photography.
Interestingly, the camera has also been playing an important role during the ongoing pandemic. After noticing that some coronavirus patients felt uncomfortable at not being able to see the nurses treating them because of the abundance of protective gear, health care workers started taking smiling selfies with instant cameras and pinning the prints onto their medical gowns.
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