First Impressions: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Photo Plus Expo 2013 Fujifilm XE2 XQ1 Mini90 Instax product images (18 of 18)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 2.2

It’s the rise of analog–or at least that’s part of Fujifilm’s marketing campaign with the Instax Mini90. Indeed, the Mini 90 is the highest end camera on the Instax lineup of cameras and its design and functionality is meant to appeal to the retro-conscious and creative folks that want something with a lo-fi aesthetic but with a classic feel.

With that said, The Instax Mini90 is indeed quite a beautiful and interesting camera–but its price point may hinder its success.

Tech Specs

• Stylish and premium body design

• Automatically detects the brightness of the surrounding and adjusts the amount of flash and shutter speed to optimize photo quality

• A variety of shooting functions:

• Uses INSTAX Mini Instant Film

o Double exposure mode – 2 images are produced on 1 film sheet by pressing the shutter twice

o Bulb mode – the shutter remains open while the shutter button is depressed (10 seconds maximum) and a light trail can be photographed

o Macro mode – short-distance photography as close as 30-60cm

o Kids mode – suitable for photographing kids, pets and other fast moving subjects due to a fast shutter speed

o Party mode – the subject and background can be photographed brightly and clearly

o ISO 800 film speed

o Sharp, clear reproduction

o Vivid color and natural skin tones

o Film size: 2″ x 3″ image area: 1.8″ x 2.4″

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Photo Plus Expo 2013 Fujifilm XE2 XQ1 Mini90 Instax product images (14 of 18)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 2.0

 

When you hold and look at the Instax Mini 90, you’ll immediately fall for its curious good looks. On the front, the camera sports the massive lens for the larger than 35mm film, along with the on/off switch, shutter release and viewfinder right next to the flash.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Photo Plus Expo 2013 Fujifilm XE2 XQ1 Mini90 Instax product images (15 of 18)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 2.0

When the camera is turned on, you’ll have this big lens pop out to shove into someone’s face. It’s quite interesting to see it pop out as you wouldn’t think for a second that something this big would be waiting inside the body.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Photo Plus Expo 2013 Fujifilm XE2 XQ1 Mini90 Instax product images (16 of 18)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 2.0

On the back of the camera, you’l see a couple of controls and two small LCD screens. These buttons will set the camera to different shooting situations.

The back is also where you’ll peer into the viewfinder. But besides that, it’s where you’ll load the instant film for the camera. The back pops open for you to load a cartridge.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Photo Plus Expo 2013 Fujifilm XE2 XQ1 Mini90 Instax product images (17 of 18)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 2.0

Along the top/side of the camera is where you’ll find another shutter button. This button is great for landscape use or just as a different ergonomic option.

Build Quality

While the camera is quite beautiful, it is also very plastic. And the plastic build quality surely showed its colors when we held it. The Mini90 is very light in the hand.

Focusing

The Mini 90 works with zone focusing and essentially should be used with your subjects a couple of feet away from the camera.

Image Quality

When we saw the prints, they didn’t look too different from other Instax cameras. With that said though, Instax film is quite sharp and when scanned can resolve an amazing amount of detail.

First Impressions

While the Mini 90 is a cool camera, we’re not sure who else it may appeal to besides the hipsters, wedding photographers, and a handful of creatives. If Fujifilm really wanted to create a classic, they should have added full manual control.

However, we could be incredibly wrong about that statement.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.