“Hey, do you want a Polaroid?” This short sentence makes several people light up with joy. And though the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 doesn’t shoot Polaroid film, the Instax prints it spits out will make people beam all the same. People will adjust themselves, sort out their clothing, ask for a moment for them to freshen up in the bathroom mirror, and even shake the print. These are the moments that make old-school film photos look so much better than modern ones. The philosophy involved here is bound to help you make some of your favorite Instax photos. That’s one of the reasons we love it so much.
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Table of Contents
The Big Picture
If we’re talking about pure image quality, the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 doesn’t have a glass lens like the Lomography Lomo’Instant Square does. It also doesn’t have interchangeable lenses like the Nons SL660. But it’s also far simpler to use than all of them. While Lomography takes inspiration from vintage Kodak cameras with its folding design and glass lens, the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 keeps it simple. When you’re in the moment, you truly just want the camera to get out of the way of making a better picture. That’s when the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 will serve you best.
We’re giving the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 four out of five stars. Want one? Check them out on Amazon.
- You want to carry it with you everywhere
- Everyone thinks it looks really cool
- Instax Square film, which is the happiest medium point
- Everyone looks great with Instax film and a plastic lens
- Fuji gives you a nice strap with it
- I wish there was a bit more control. But that’s fine, I guess.
Fujifilm sent us the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 to keep along with some Instax film. We’ve got more film in the fridge.
The Fujifilm Instax SQ40 doesn’t really do anything innovative. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity or anything like that. Instead, it just spits out the photos you take.
Ergonomically speaking, the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 is more or less a square camera that only protrudes just a bit. There’s a little bit of a grip for you to hold onto, and then there’s a big lens. Overall, it’s easy to grip onto and use for a long period of time. When the lens is extended, it’s going to make shooting photos really simple and a joy to hold the camera.
The Fujifilm Instax SQ40 isn’t weather resistant and is made of plastic. So be careful when you’re using it and don’t take it out in the rain. If a friend spills a drink on it while you’re at a party or a bar, the camera will probably be all done. For the record, I’ve had exes drop my Instax cameras before. Those memories live rent-free in my head, along with the work that I’ve often done to repair them on the spot when we’ve been out together.
Ease of Use
Lucky for most of us, the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 is simple to use as long as you just look at the thing. At least, it’s simple to use for those of us who are familiar with cameras. I put this in the hands of several friends of mine, and none of them could figure out how to operate it. Thankfully, I’ll tell you how.
When you’re looking at the front of the camera, grab the ring around the lens area that’s slightly raised. Then turn it to extend the lens. The text on top of the lens tells you if it’s on, off, or set to selfie mode. Always remember to change it. If you’re not a photographer, you probably won’t remember this at all; which will result in lots of blurry photos.
Thankfully, you don’t need to focus the camera. And as far as taking selfies goes, it’s the best I’ve seen. There’s a big enough mirror on the front of the lens that you can see exactly what will be in the frame.
The light meter works well enough to know if it should fire the flash or not.
Technically, you don’t need to focus this thing. It’s always going to have a subject that’s a few feet away in focus when in selfie mode. Otherwise, subjects that are around four to five feet away will be in focus. However, note that the flash isn’t necessarily that strong, and they may come out darker. The closer you are to the three-foot range, the better the exposure might be.
Well, the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 is an Instax camera with a plastic lens. You can’t and shouldn’t expect the same image quality that you’d see in magazines and high end billboard campaigns. But it’s not designed for that. With that in mind, I rather like the photos that the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 gives me. A camera like this is more about the moment than others are.
Who Should Buy the Fujifilm Instax SQ40?
The Fujifilm Instax SQ40 is for anyone that really just wants to have fun with Instant film and that doesn’t want to take it too seriously and say things like, “look at how sharp these photos are.” Instead, they’ll care far more about the moments.