FUJIFILM INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 looks like it can easily find a place in a photographer’s arsenal, thanks to its compact, streamlined design.
Those who remember the instant camera during its heyday in the 1980’s will recall the many charms of this type of technology – the sound of the picture being ejected from the body, that act of shaking the picture until an image magically appeared, and the gratification of having an instant print of a subject or moment. Fujifilm’s INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 takes this experience and adds a layer of bells and whistles that is welcome, if not absolutely essential for our time. With its LCD screen and memory card slot, this camera allows users to review and filter their pictures before printing them in the classic square format (2.4” x 2.4” image); a style that has been brought back into the public conscious by social media platforms like Instagram.
According to Mr. Yuki Endo, Senior Product Manager of Fujifilm’s Imaging Division, the INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 is the result of a long evolutionary process. The first Instax Mini, released in 1998 as a niche product, really catered to fans of the unique format. However, with the release of the Instax Mini 8 in 2012 – instantly recognizable for their bright pastel-colored bodies and ease of use – it revitalized the interest of a wider base of people who love the tactile sensation of holding a printed picture, as well as appreciate the potential to produce creative one-of-a-kind images. Since then the number of Mini camera’s sold has grown from 1.6 million in 2012 to 6.6 million in 2016.
The design of the new INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 aims to find the sweet spot between instant ‘analog’ photography and the comforts of digital photography. The sleek black frame looks and feels nothing like its more toy-like predecessors. There is a heft to the camera, and the build is sturdy and durable. The front of the camera sports a wide-angle autofocus lens and a flash. The back features a 3” screen that helps you frame your picture, and a series of buttons that allow you to review and edit pictures, as well as manage settings. The printer slot at the top of the camera releases prints, either automatically or only when you choose. Finally, the internal memory holds 50 photos, but users can add a microSD memory card to store thousands more.
But it’s the camera’s software that is the biggest upgrade for the Instax. For the first time ever, instant camera devotees are now able to scroll through their pictures, pick the ones they like, and even add filters (with names like ‘Roppongi’, ‘Marmalade’ and ‘Cornelius’) and vignette borders that are almost second nature these days for those who rely mostly on their smartphone cameras. Additional features, such as being able to double expose pictures, add even more chances to create something unique. And once you’re happy with the end result, you can print as many copies as you want, which adds a new (or perhaps old?) dimension to ‘sharing’ again.
The INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 is part camera, part printer, and part artist tool. It will be fun to see how people exercise their imaginations when taking real photos again, in this age of duck face selfies and food pictures.
You can’t replicate the feeling of having a instant picture anywhere else. An analogue life has its charms.
Fujifilm’s Wonder Photo Shop is a playground for pros and amateurs. Swing by to print photos, get consultations, and browse their camera lines.
Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop
176 5th Ave., (bet. 22nd & 23rd Sts.), New York, NY 10010