Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo Is Attractive And Fun!

I’ve recently begun integrating instant film into my photoshoots. My clients love the fun nostalgia and walking away with a tangible image from their sessions. Instant film is the magical ingredient that users of all ages and skill levels enjoy. Fujifilm Instax cameras have become a staple over the years, and their smartphone printers have been instant hits. The Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo is the next evolution within the lineup and aims to bridge the gap between its cameras and printers. Is this the hybrid digital camera and smartphone you’ve been waiting for? Keep reading to find out.

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Too Long Didn’t Read

Fujifilm has created another fun Instax Mini camera with a beautiful retro vibe. The camera has modern buttons that intuitively mimic those found on old-school film cameras. A smartphone app allows users to send digital versions of printed images with the Instax border to their phone. It also doubles as a smartphone printer. Photographers will enjoy the option to integrate this into their workflow. Users of all ages will appreciate the fun factor. It’s too bad the battery doesn’t last long because this camera is designed to be used all day.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • It’s a great hybrid instant camera and smartphone printer
  • Exposure compensation from -2 to +2
  • Macro function
  • The built-in optional lenses and filters are fun
  • User-friendly app works well
  • Ability to transfer printed images with the white frame to your phone

Cons

  • Battery life isn’t great
  • No optical viewfinder
  • Cannot edit in-camera before printing
  • The app doesn’t have the stickers feature that the Instax Link Wide printer has

Innovations

The Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo is an evolution of the Instax LiPlay if anything. It boasts a new, retro design. But it’s not innovative.

Gear Used

I tested the Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo with Instax Mini film on an iPhone 11.

Tech Specs

Tech Specs are from the Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo website.

  • Image sensor: 1/5-inch CMOS with primary color filter
  • Number of recorded pixels: 2560 x 1920
  • Storage media: Internal memory, microSD/microSDHC memory card
  • Storage capacity: Approximately 45 images in internal memory, approximately 850 images per 1 GB in microSD/microSDHC memory card
  • Focus distance: f = 28 mm (35-mm film equivalent)
  • Aperture: F2.0
  • Auto focus: Single AF (with AF Illuminator)
  • Shooting distance: 10 cm to ∞
  • Shutter speed: 1/4 second to 1/8000 second (automatic switching)
  • Shooting sensitivity: ISO100 to 1600 (automatic switching)
  • Exposure compensation: −2.0 EV to +2.0 EV (1/3 EV step)
  • Metering method: TTL 256 split metering, multi metering
  • White balance: Auto, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Incandescent
  • Flash: Auto flash / Forced flash / Suppressed flash, Shooting range with flash: Approximately 50 cm to 1.5 m
  • Self-timer: Approximately 2 seconds / approximately 10 seconds
  • Image effects: 10 lens effects, 10 film effects. Total of 100 effects by multiplying above

Ergonomics

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Evo is a lightweight instant camera that fits comfortably in your hands. One of the first things you will notice is the large LCD screen with four control buttons on the back panel.

You will find the print lever, film dial, accessories shoe, an effects reset button, and the shutter button on the top panel. Slide the film lock door to insert film.

The front of the camera is home to the 28mm f2 lens, power switch, selfie mirror, built-in flash, and another shutter button.

On the bottom, you will find a small flap that houses a Micro SD and battery charging port. The film prints from the left side of the camera.

Build Quality

The Instax Mini Evo is built primarily of plastic. Fujifilm’s use of leatherette and textured dials keep the camera from feeling lackluster and cheap. It is not weatherproof, although it can perform well in cold, snowy weather.

Autofocus

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Evo is center-focused. It can achieve focus from as close as 10cm to infinity promptly. Press the shutter button halfway down to focus.

Ease Of Use

The retro-inspired Instax Mini Evo is a basic digital camera that doubles as a smartphone printer. Fujifilm’s Instax Evo takes inspiration from the old film camera dials and intuitively assigns newer intuitive functions. Turn the dial that looks like the shutter speed dial to achieve ten different film effects. A turn of the lens dial reveals seven varying lens options. Pull the film advance lever to print an image. If you choose, you can upload the digital files from the micro SD card to a computer.

You can send a digital file of a printed image with the Instax Mini border to your smartphone with the app. This is an excellent feature for sharing photos. I no longer need to scan instant film if I want to add them to my website. What isn’t so great is the inability to edit pictures from the camera prior to printing. The only options you can control are crop, either normal or rich print mode, and how bright you want it to print. That means that users may have to print the image, transfer it to their smartphone, adjust it within the app, and reprint it to get it to their liking.

As simply a smartphone printer, the Instax Mini Evo is pretty great. The straightforward smartphone app is easy to use.

Exposure adjustments are simple to navigate. Remote shooting is also possible within the app.

A basic analog menu allows users to enable face detection and choose from normal and rich print quality.

Press the round button down to access exposure compensation, white balance, self-timer, flash, and macro settings. Selfie lovers will appreciate the built-in timer paired with the selfie mirror.

Fujifilm states the battery can last for up to 100 prints. I managed to deplete the battery while indecisively choosing what 10 images to print for a single pack while utilizing it as a smartphone printer. The timer was activated to turn off after two minutes and I found it annoying to keep toggling the power switch on and off. The Instax Mini Evo lasted the afternoon when shooting around town. Battery life could be improved upon.

Image Quality

The image quality of the Instax Mini Evo when printed on Instax Mini film is very good. The finished results with the plastic lens are a testament to just how good Instax is. Ironically, that consistency is why some opt for unpredictability of competitors like Polaroid.

Fujifilm has added ten different film effects and Seven lens options to add a bit of the fun and nostalgia back into its instant film prints.

Viewing images on large computer screens are less impressive. The sensor is less than 5mp and is not meant for large scaled pictures. The photos remind me of what I used to get with my very first iPhone.

If you’re looking to use this camera as a primary digital camera, I think you’re missing the point. It’s a great accessory that is meant to bring a sense of joy and nostalgia. Photographers will enjoy implementing it within their workflow. It’s also simple enough that anyone can use it.

Conclusions of The Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo

Likes

  • It’s really fun
  • Hybrid camera and smartphone printer
  • Straightforward smartphone app
  • You can save printed images with the Instax Mini frame to your phone
  • Lightweight to shoot with all day, if only the battery would last that long

Dislikes

  • Battery life should be better
  • The missing optical viewfinder makes for a less immersive experience
  • I wish it were possible to edit the images from the camera before choosing to print them

The Instax Mini Evo is a fantastic next step for the Instax evolution. Fujifilm has successfully integrated modern functionality within a beloved retro design. I wish they would opt for either removable power or a longer-lasting battery. As fun as the selfie mirror is, I miss the immersive experience of an optical viewfinder. It would also be great if Fujifilm would allow images to be edited within the app prior to printing.

Fujifilm has created another product that will sell very well despite its caveats. It is an excellent option for photographers of all genres to add to their client experience. The evolution of an instant camera that doubles as a smartphone printer will entice the selfie generation. I hope they introduce Instax Square and Instax Wide iterations in the near future.

We’re giving the Instax Mini Evo four out of five stars. Want one? You can pick one up for $199 over at Amazon. Alternatively, you can get it at Adorama as well.

Brittany Smith

Brittany is a commercial fashion and portrait photographer working in Montana and NYC. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local artisan coffeeshop, writing for photography education sites and publications, teaching fitness classes, or baking something fabulous.