What can we say? The Instax Mini 11 improves on an already great model for entry-level instant cameras. This time though, picture quality is guaranteed clearer than you’d get with predecessors, thanks to its Automatic Exposure feature.
Also, it’s adorable! And it costs just R1,290 -- not a bad deal if you ask us.
It’s no secret that Fujifilm took over where Polaroid left off with its instant printer Instax range. Everyone said print was dead… Then why are these little instant cam/printer combos so damn awesome?
The Instax range has gone through an evolution of shapes and sizes, all the colours under the rainbow (and questionable quality at some stages). But, with the Instax Mini 11, we’re convinced it’s on a great path. Small tweaks to the great little camera have made the Mini 11 one of our favourites so far.
Positioned as a follow-up of the hugely popular Instax Mini 9, the Mini 11 now comes with a feature called ‘Automatic Exposure’, which introduces more camera smarts to give you a clearer picture every time. Previous Instax models put the responsibility on the user to tweak lighting just right. Now, the small camera senses ambient light wherever you are and adjusts its settings accordingly.
It’s almost like putting an ‘Auto’ feature into an Instax. Which makes sense in the greater scheme of things, even if it’s a little unexpected. Especially considering this one is an entry-level option priced at under R1,300.
The reasoning for getting an Instax camera will vary from person to person. Some may want to capture moments with friends, others may want to use it for a special event, or maybe you’re just a budding ‘film’ photographer who has played one too many episodes of Life is Strange.
Whatever that reason — you want to start out with a cheaper option. And that’s exactly what the Instax Mini 11 is. The newly added Automatic Exposure feature hasn’t made it to Fuji’s budget range of Instax cameras before. And let me tell you, it makes a helluva difference.
The Instax Mini 9 was great — it featured great accessibility and portability. This upgrades takes all of those good points and improves on them dramatically.
Match your personality
Physically, it doesn’t look much different from its predecessor. This includes the small front mirror used for selfies and the funky colour options, which we love. But it’s what’s on the inside that really makes a difference.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 still uses the same packs of Fuji’s credit card-sized Instax Mini film, some of the most affordable instant film around (depending on where you get ‘em). Each pack holds ten 54 x 86mm films, which have a rectangular 46 x 62mm image area.
This time the Mini 11 is slightly smaller, though not quite small enough to fit in your pocket. The front grip is narrower, and there’s now a ridged thumb grip on the rear for easier one-handed use — so no more dropping the thing while taking selfies, because for some reason we still struggle with that. Beyond the lens barrel release, which also acts as a power-on switch for the built-in flash, the only other button is the shutter release.
It doesn’t have any way to disable the flash, doesn’t feature a self-timer option and also has no tripod thread. This is really as basic as it gets when it comes to instant cameras. Or any cameras. But it’s cheap, so we really don’t mind the omissions.
Instax Mini 11 Verdict
What more can we say? The Instax Mini 11 improves on an already great model for entry-level instant cameras. This time though, picture quality is guaranteed clearer than you’d get with predecessors, thanks to its Automatic Exposure feature.
Also, it’s adorable! And it costs just R1,290 — not a bad deal if you ask us.