About a month ago my husband bought me this adorable Instax Mini 8 in pink!
It's a pretty straight forward camera. Easy to use and super fun and cute!
Separately, I got a selfie lens and a few polaroid albums ^ -^
How To Use:
If you look in the picture to the left, the bottom right button of the camera turns on the camera and pops the lens out. Above the lens are the settings which the camera itself automatically chooses by the little light. You have to turn the wheel to put it on the chosen setting. To take a picture, push the circular button beneath the peephole. The two little dots on the top center of the camera is where the pictures are actually taken so don't cover that up!
When taking a picture, don't cover the top of the camera because that's where the pictures come out of. Don't pull it out before it's completely out either. The flash is automatic and can't be turned off. There are no brighter or dimmer settings for the flash.
This is the back of the camera. The peep hole is to the top right of the pictures. You can look through it but what you see isn't what the picture will be like since the parts that take in the picture are in the center of the camera.
It's battery operated with AA but it lasts a very long time. If it's left on for more than 5 minutes, it turns itself off.
It's not recommended to change the film in bright light but for pictures I wanted to show how it all looks and works with an empty film pack.
If you look at the picture to the right, there's a yellow strip on the film pack and a tiny yellow rectangle on the camera. You line that up together when putting the film in. When it's in and you close it up, the little circle to the bottom right that has an S in it will turn to 10. It counts down how many pictures you have left as you take them. However, when you're done putting in new film, turn the camera on and press the button to take a picture. It will pull out the little cover of the film inside the pack that doesn't become a polaroid.
Only use the film made specifically for this camera!
This is a selfie lens made for the Instax Mini 7 and 8 and it's sold separately. I got it from ebay for about $5USD. What it does is it makes closer pictures clearer, like a macro lens, but it has it's limits. On the lens itself it says to keep a 40-60mm distance for clear pictures. It's considered a selfie lens because of the mirror attached to it so you can see yourself when taking the picture!
Time to talk about...
Firstly, as an example, I took a selfie with the lens. Without it, my face would be very blurry. The actual quality and clearness of these polaroids in general aren't for professional standard. They're good enough for quick pictures but if you want beautifully colored pictures with lots of detail, skip out on this. I'm not photographer and I've had little experience with fancy cameras but I'm going to go ahead and assume this camera is basically a toy in the photography world.
Out of all the pictures that have been taken so far, these are the best of all of them. They're bright and clear compared to the others. There was enough lighting and there wasn't too much of a difference in darks and lights so the camera was able to take more detail and color in.
Here are some polaroids that will show the camera's limitations.
The picture to the left was in a dark room with a very large golden statue with lots of lights pointed at the statue. The picture in the middle was taken in a theatre. I was sitting in a very dim corner and the stage was very bright but as you can see, the flash overwhelmed my area thus making the stage dark. The picture to the right, the sun was setting but the sky was still somewhat bright. The close range of our hands and the flash whited us out and the camera couldn't take in the sky. Had our hands not been there, I don't think the camera would have been able to take much detail in anyways.
When it comes to color quality and sharpness, if you look at the polaroid to the left, too many light colors can blend in together. I have fuzzy cat paws below the pink turtle and they're almost gone! There are no details on them.
As for the polaroid to the right, the colors are pretty exact in person and the detail is really good in that one. I'd say the only problem with it is that the flash was too harsh at the end of the green ukulele, making the end of the brown ukulele darker, so I have to keep that kind of thing in mind if I want to take pictures of color evenly. Lighting takes into play as well.
These are good pictures in terms of lighting and color but as you can see, it doesn't pick up too much detail. It gets a general shape which I think is good enough for memories.
First let me explain these pictures. The cake, my best friend made it. The drawn ones were things we said during our visit with her. "Brown People Can Kiss My Baby" is what my best friend was thinking when I declined kissing her baby good night by saying, "I'm brown." in reference to my makeup. I didn't want to smudge my makeup on the baby, hahaha.
"A real stripper pole in the laundromat." came from the night my best friend and I went to the laundromat cause her washer broke. They had poles in there and I was joking around and dancing on them but they're too thick for standard dancing poles. When we got back to her place, we were talking to my husband about what we were talking about and what we were doing and he got confused about me dancing on a pole cause you know dancing pole and laundromat doesn't make sense so I said to him sarcastically that there was a real stripper pole in the laundromat. My best friend was drinking milk at the time and spit it all over the place.
Now the point of these pictures in this review is to show the off centeredness!
The birthday cake one was taken by me or my best friend. Between her camera and mine we probably took about 4 pictures cause they were all always off center. The other pictures that look pretty centered were taken by my husband. He has the patience to get it done right, haha.
It seems the further away the more likely it will look centered but the closer the more you have to concentrate on getting everything in the picture. Then between the lighting, the distance, the flash, what you're taking pictures of, and how much you understand how it will come out will depend on how the picture will look.
Would I recommend this camera?
Like I mentioned, it's a pretty straight forward camera and toy-like. As polaroids go, you have to be okay with what you get. I like that there are different settings but there are many limitations to this camera that my phone's camera can do hundreds of times better without having to pay for it and I can take several pictures.
HOWEVER, I would recommend this camera because it's a lot of fun! I didn't grow up taking pictures and saving them. This is making my inner child happy being able to do that now and so instantly. It's fun with friends and super cute and nice to have around in general.
The price can range anywhere between $60-$120USD from what I've seen online. I think it also depends on popularity of color cause I would see deals for whites and yellows but the pinks were so high in demand that they were usually $20USD more expensive. The film is 10 per pack and it's basically $1USD for each picture. I don't mind spending the money, especially if it's for memories.
I don't know how well the pictures will hold up through the years so I may scan and save the ones I really love.
I hope you enjoyed this review!