Review: Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

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In some ways, I expected a lot more from the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300–but in other ways I totally get it. It’s a camera that shoots Instax Wide film, allow you to have a bit of focusing control, a bit of exposure control, and almost no real flash control. For most of the people who buy Instax products, that makes a lot of sense. Indeed, this a product designed for them.

And for that audience, you’ll have soooo much fun with this camera.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Nice build quality
  • Instax Wide is awesome
  • Focusing is simple
  • Really nice grip
  • Simple to use

Cons

  • I wish more control was given like with the Mini 90

Gear Used

The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 was tested with Fujifilm Instax Wide film.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from the Fujifilm product listing page

Instant Film Fujifilm Instant Color Film “instax WIDE”
Film size 86 x 108mm
Picture size 62 x 99mm
Lens Retractable lens, 2 components, 2 elements, f = 95 mm, 1:14
Viewfinder Real image finder, 0.37 x, with target spot
Focusing Motor-driven 2-range switching (0.9m – 3m / 3m – ∞) Normal Mode (0.9m – 3m) Landscape Mode (3m – ∞)
Shutter Release Programmed electronic shutter release, 1/64 sec – 1/200 sec.
Exposure control Automatic, Interlocking range (ISO 800) : LV 10.5 – LV 15 Exposure compensation (Lighten-Darken Control) : ± 2/3EV
Film Feeding Out Automatic
Flash Built-in, automatic electronic flash, Charging time: 0.2 sec – 6 sec (using a new battery), Flash charging indicator (LED lights in red), Fill-in Flash Mode, Effective flash lamp range: 0.9m – 3m
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Exposure counter (number of unexposed films), Lighten-Darken control, Fill-in Flash Mode
Power Supply Four size AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries (LR6), Capacity : 10 film packs (Based on our test conditions)
Others With film pack confirmation window, close up lens, and tripod socket included
Dimensions & Weight 167.8mm x 94.7mm x 120.9mm (not including protrusions) / 612g (without battery, strap, film pack, and close up lens)

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 product images (6 of 6)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 is a camera that look very much like a standard Instax wide camera. For the most part it is. It’s also quite minimal with very little on the front with the exception of the len, the flash, the shutter release and the grip.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 product images (2 of 6)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

Around the lens, what you’ll find is grippy plastic material. This is all around a ring that can be turned to set the focusing to one of two settings.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 product images (3 of 6)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

What you’ll also find on the top of the camera is the ejection port for the film as ti comes out. Always remember not to pull it out and instead to let them image just come naturally.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 product images (5 of 6)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

Turn to the back and what you’ll find is very little. Most of it is dominated by the door that is used to lock the film into the camera body. On top of this are some controls which are displayed via te LCD screen. then there is the odd viewfinder on the side. Trust me, it’s very odd but it can help to some degree.

Build Quality

The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 is very plasticky; but so are most Instax cameras. For $99 though you honestly can’t complain. The camera is also pretty simple to use; but I honestly wish that more were capable.

Focusing

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 product images (4 of 6)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

Focusing the camera is pretty straight forward: set it to one way and it will be focused further away. Set it to the other setting and what you’ll have is the lens focusing closer. It’s all in an effort to focus more on shooting rather than getting everything into perfect focus.

Metering

The camera meters pretty well though I can’t exactly measure it. You can tell it to go brighter or darker but there is no manual control on the camera. I honestly wish that there were. What’s even more unreliable is telling the camera to not trigger the flash. It only has two settings: forced flash or automatic flash.

Image Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 sample photos (2 of 2)

The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 has a plastic lens and to that end the images that it will create will be pleasantly LoFi. If you’re alright with that, then you’ll really enjoy what it can do. If not, well, you’ll hate it.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 sample photos (1 of 2)

What is indeed very nice is the fact that the medium format quality can really thin a person out–as per the capabilities all medium format cameras. For the most part though, you should use it and expect very LoFi results. If you want anything more, then you’ll probably be disappointed.

Conclusions

I can totally understand why so many people love the Instax Wide 300. Not only is it super affordable, but it’s also very fun. To that end though, Instax film can be pricy and if you’re not only with shooting and being fine with some images that may not be perfect, then look to the Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide. Personally, I’d rather reach for that.