Fujifilm has just announced its newest Instax camera, the Instax Mini LiPlay. Just like previous Instax Mini cameras, the Mini LiPlay lo-fi takes rectangular images that were developed immediately. It also has the ability to simultaneously capture digital images and audio, which you can view on the LCD screen or transfer to your phone via the Mini LiPlay app from Fujifilm. It is like a smaller version of the Instax Square SQ10 from two years ago, with a new added gimmick. It will be available from June 14 for $ 159.95.
Fujifilm & # 39; s Instax cameras & # 39; s, synonymous with influencers and the occasional sweet 16-party, have never been known for their impressive image quality or advanced features. They exist to make aesthetic prints with a high contrast directly in a classic white frame. Everything this camera & # 39; s do beyond that is an added bonus, and the Mini LiPlay is full of it.
Instead of the viewfinder found on all other Instax cameras, the Mini LiPlay has a 2.7-inch LCD screen for framing and reviewing, which proved extremely useful and reminiscent of a Kodak EasyShare item from 2005 and recordings. It is not a very high quality screen, but it is good enough to see framing and lighting. I missed looking through a small viewfinder for about two minutes when I first picked up the camera, but it was worth seeing the photos from above and the exact exposure. Once I knew where everything was in the menus, navigating the screen was easy. Above all, you can choose which photos & # 39; s you want to print on the screen. And when you have a maximum of 10 prints on your camera at the same time, this is the most convenient function.
The other new feature is the ability to record audio. Press the microphone button on the front of the camera and the sound will be recorded 10 seconds before and after the shutter release button is pressed. A QR code is then available to be printed on the photo while a copy of the photo and QR code is uploaded via Bluetooth to the Mini LiPlay app. I love it when I'm kidding myself that I'm really going to use a feature like this, but a QR code that links to mine that inevitably yells at my friends to smile or look at the camera is not convincing.
You can use a microSD card slot to store photos from the 1/5-inch CMOS sensor and upload them to a computer if you do not want to use the app. As expected, the digital images are not great: the photos have a high contrast and they blow out the whites to create the instant film aesthetics that Instagram loves. Loading the Fujifilm Instax Mini film is easy, and I actually prefer the mini size as opposed to wide or square, just because it fits in my wallet.
Like other instant cameras, the Instax Mini LiPlay is fun to use, and on the screen I was happy as a shutter speed because I wanted to make the perfect shot without wasting a lot of film. The audio function, on the other hand, is a complete waste of time. Fujifilm claims 100 prints on a single charge via the camera's Micro USB port, and I thought this was true.
The screen is a nice addition to the instant camera experience, but for $ 160 you really have to be committed to the instant movie lifetime, since you still have to buy movie to support it.
Photography by Becca Farsace / The Verge