The Best Instant Film Cameras with Manual Controls

Few things are as fun as instant film cameras! For the most part, they’re carefree and let you simply capture the most fun moments that you can. Sometimes though, you want a bit more control. And lucky for you, we’ve reviewed pretty much every instant film camera on the market. In this post, we’re ethically rounding up the best instant film cameras that give you manual controls in some way. Take a look at out favorites below.

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The Best Instax Cameras for Your Next Party

Is there anything as fun as Instax cameras? Probably not. They give you the instant gratification of digital and the analog fun of film. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes. We think Instax cameras are wonderful, and we think you’ll love these at your next party. Take a look at this roundup!

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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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3 Small Instant Film Cameras You’ll Love to Shoot With

If you like shooting with instant film, then you probably know how large the cameras can be. Not everyone wants to tote around an elephantine camera. Luckily, there are lots of small instant film cameras out there. And better yet, we’ve reviewed a bunch of them. Some are much better than others. So we’re rounding out some of our favorites in this list.

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The Most Modern SLR of 2021. NONS SL42 Mk2 Review

A few years ago, we took a very hard stance on SLR gear. We told manufacturers we wouldn’t review them. We also said we probably wouldn’t report on new news about DSLRs. That’s one of the factors that’s put a strain on a few manufacturer relationships we have. But the industry itself also decided to pivot. The DSLR, in 2021, is for the Luddite. And depending on what side of the table you’re on, the NONS SL42 Mk2 is totally new. It’s the successor to the first SLR-style camera to specifically shoot Instax Mini film. The Mk2 gets a few upgrades from the original. And if you really want full control over your Instax shooting, this is the best chance you’ll have.

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The NONS SL42 Camera: Everything You Wanted to Know

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“The process of shooting film is fascinating”, says Dingsheng WU, Business Development Manager of the NONS SL42 camera line. Having successfully launched their first SL42 camera with Instax film support last year, NONS is back with an updated camera in 2 different colors in 2021. They now support EF mount lenses, which can further be adapted with a plethora of other lens mounts using manual adapters. Backers can get ready to use M42, Nikon F, Contax/Yashica​ C/Y lens and more. Plus, they’ve almost eliminated the heavy vignetting issue that was a mainstay of the 1st release. Our Editor in Chief Chris Gampat bought one of these cameras. He’ll be writing about his experiences with it in a future post.

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Is Polaroid Actually Real Film? Comparing Polaroid, Instax, and Zink

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Instant film is fun in so many different ways. You can shoot a photo of someone and give them the print. You can capture fun memories with it at parties. And you can just plain out have fun while shooting with it. But it’s not all created equal. In fact, some instant film is better than others. So we dove into our archives of reviews to compare Polaroid, Instax, and Zink. Some of it is real film. And some of it is pretty awful and mixed in with terrible marketing. Instant film can make you feel great. But it can also let you down. Here’s some of the truth about it.

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Beauty on the Outside. Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Review

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is another camera from Fujifilm that shoots the Mini film format and doesn’t do much else.

Sometimes I really scratch my head at Fujifilm’s cameras. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is a great example of this. Granted, they made one of the most stylish Instax cameras I’ve ever seen. However, the Instax lineup feels a lot like what Canon used to do. Years ago, Canon used to recycle the same parts over and over again. Some of their cameras felt like they were just phoning it in. (The Rebel series is a great example.) And for Fujifilm, Instax very much feels like that. Fujifilm, by all means, could surely do more! They could give it glass lenses and manual controls, but choose not to. What I’m about to say may sound harsh, but using the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 felt like eating durian with ice cream on top. I hate durian.

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A Love Story: The Instant Film Photowalk for the Dating Photographer

“I didn’t even know what that was, but it sounded fun,” is what she told me.

There have been times where I’d bring around three cameras just for fun. One camera would be digital. But the other two were either Instax or Film. Instant film has always been a big part of my life. I remember seeing Polaroids of me and McDonald’s Grimace together. There’s a Polaroid of Goosebumps author RL Stine and I together too. But a few years ago, I decided that it would be a great way to bring women into that part of my life. The Instant film Photowalk indeed was and always will be one of my favorite activities, with a date or not.

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Han Chen Made an Awesome Instax Back for the Mamiya RZ67

All images by Han Chen. Used with permission.

“I don’t have my own Zinstax, believe it or not. If I had a spare one, I would always send it to the next customer on the waiting list”, says Han Chen. Currently a student based in Germany, Chen’s brainchild is the aptly named Zinstax – a 3D printed back made for shooting Instax film on a Mamiya RZ67. His love for photography and making new things came together to produce this unit. In 2019 he realized the lack of such a product in the photography world, so he designed and manufactured one himself. As with almost all film photography lately, the results are uniquely unpredictable. The finishing quality of the Zinstax alone has me considering the thought of getting an RZ67 someday.

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This Modified Fujifilm Instax SQ6 Is Exactly What You Want

My eyes widened with disbelief when I was this Fujifilm Instax SQ6.

I think we can agree that the cool thing about vintage camera lust is the thrill of the hunt. You’re on the lookout for something cool and unique that no one else has. When you find it, you’re thrilled. And that’s the case right now with this unique Modified Fujifilm Instax SQ6. It’s available on eBay for the bargain price of only around $450. Most importantly, it does what so many of us want: manual exposure with an Instax camera using good glass!

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MiNT’s InstantKon SF70 Is the Manual Instant Camera We Need

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Instant cameras are always a ton of fun to use. Still, we’ve always wished that more instant cameras on the market offered full manual controls. MiNT believes this is important too. MiNT has been making instant cameras with manual controls for a while now. In fact, we’ve reviewed two of their previous cameras before: the MiNT SLR670-S and the MiNT InstantFlex TL70 2.0. And we loved both of them. Now, MiNT has a new Kickstarter campaign to bring their version of the legendary Polaroid SX-70 to life. MiNT’s version, the InstantKon SF70, is a full manual control instant camera that uses Fujifilm’s Square Instax film. We have to say that it looks fantastic and we’re super excited about it. Head on past the break for all the juicy deets!

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The ZIEGEL Camera From Bonzart Looks Unique, Quirky, and Fun

The Ziegel from Bonzart is a small, take-everywhere camera that screams fun, and that’s something we all sorely need.

It’s been a long time since I have been as excited about a camera as I am about the ZIEGEL from Bonzart. There are so many identical cameras on the market these days, and honestly, it can be quite hard to get pumped up about them. Fortunately, one company out there remembers that the pure joy of photography is something everyone should experience. The ZIEGEL from Bonzart is a small, interestingly styled digital camera that’s completely customizable. It also sports some incredibly unique features that will make even the most hardened photographers crack a smile. Join us after the break to find out more about the Indiegogo backed ZIEGEL camera from Bonzart.

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KONO!RAMA: The Most Exciting Thing in Instant Photography Right Now

The KONO!RAMA plays off of a very cool, forgotten idea and adds it to Instax film.

Many years ago, photographers put color filters in front of their lenses. It delivered a fun effect if it wasn’t correcting for the lighting. And that’s what the KONO!RAMA is doing in a far more innovative way. The front lens elements of many cameras are various sizes. To get around that problem, you just place the KONO!RAMA right in front of the film pack before loading it up. As you shoot, the effect is applied to the entire pack of film. It breathes new life into your old camera, just in case it’s been in the corner gathering dust. We’ve got more on the KONO!RAMA after the jump.

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A Beautiful But Incredibly Boring Camera. Fujifilm SQ1 Review

The Fujifilm SQ1 is a lazy Instax camera using the company’s fantastic square format.

Someone was bound to say it, but it seems Fujifilm isn’t really trying with the Instax format. They’re just releasing cameras that spit the film out in various sizes. Some have Bluetooth connectivity, which is very cool. Some are just printers. But lots of them do the same thing: take a photo and spit it out. With the Fujifilm SQ1, I feel that Fujifilm is still not doing anything different. For years, I’ve asked for a higher-end Instax camera. I keep hearing the same things from them: people don’t want it. And I don’t believe that. With Lomography releasing an Instant film back for large format cameras, I have to believe that folks want a higher-end Instax camera. The Fujifilm SQ1 isn’t that camera. In fact, it barely does anything at all.

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Video: SuperSense One Instant Packfilm Is a Major Disappointment

The SuperSense One Instant packfilm is disappointing in so many ways.

Years ago, Fujifilm discontinued their peel-apart film–otherwise known as packfilm. It was instant and for years had been used by professionals shooting film to get a preview of their exposures. But, it experienced a bit of a revival when people started to get back into Instant film. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep it alive. And Fujifilm instead does Instax. But, the folks over at SuperSense decided to recreate it themselves. They’re a small team mostly working on a passion project–and it shows. I personally backed their Kickstarter a while back and received my film last year. But we were super busy, and it was frigid out, so summer 2020 just seemed like the best time to test is. So how did it do? Well, I’m pretty sad.

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Review: Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 11 (Get Excited for a Glass Lens)

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is the successor to the company’s most affordable Instax camera, and it’s better in every single way.

There was a time where I wouldn’t be caught dead with the Fujifilm Instax Mini series of cameras, but the Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 11 is part of what’s winning me over fully through the line. Though the Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is still my favorite camera in the lineup, the Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 11 isn’t at all far behind. This is the company’s most basic Instax camera. There is no digital component. There aren’t a lot of fancy switches and knobs. It just gets turned on and off and shoots Instax film. There’s a selfie mode on the lens for photos of your beautiful mug. But perhaps best of all is the glass lens that’s on the front. Instax has been doing this for a few models now and it’s great that it’s coming to the Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 11.

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The NONS SL42 is the First Instant/Instax M42 Mount SLR Camera

NONS Sl42

The Nons SL42 takes Instax cameras to a whole new level, and it’s bargain-priced too.

We all know and love Instax cameras. The ability to be able to capture and print candid moments with our friends is quite honestly, priceless. Instax cameras are great, but have you ever wished for an affordable interchangeable lens Instax camera that could use some classic vintage lenses? If so, you need to check out this Kickstarter campaign for the NONS SL42, the world’s first M42 mount interchangeable lens camera that uses Instax film. Click past the break for all of the details.

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These Three Printers Help Photographers Step Their Game Up

Looking at prints are incredibly important, and with these printers, you can make them yourself.

Fact: there are tons of photographers who have never printed and never had any serious interest in it. The truth is that, whenever anyone sees their photos printed in a large size, their jaws drop. It happens every time. One of the best gifts a photographer can get themselves is a good printer. Printers are useful for increasing revenue, creating wall decorations, and looking at your images in a different way. What photographer doesn’t aspire to have their images in a gallery in Soho? So, we went through our reviews index to find some of the best printers.


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Review: Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Instax Printer

Fans of Instax Mini prints will appreciate the usability refinements Fujifilm incorporated into their new Instax Mini Link smartphone printer.

Fujifilm’s Instax line of instant cameras and mobile printers have been dominating the instant photography market. Today, they’re unveiling their brand new Instax Mini Link smartphone Instax printer. Instant cameras have seen a massive resurgence in popularity in recent years thanks to their ability to capture moments instantly and spontaneously. One thing that sometimes leaves people wanting more with instant cameras is that most of them tend to have plastic lenses. Plastic lenses result in less than stellar image quality. With most smartphones capable of capturing photos with excellent images quality these days, smartphone printers give you the best of both worlds. We had a chance to test out the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link before it’s official launch. Head on after the jump to see whether or not it’s worth the upgrade. Continue reading…