Melbourne photographer Ruth Woodrow usually uses a DSLR to take her award-winning shots of travel, wildlife and, lately, life in lockdown, but she was more than happy to try something different, testing out the Fuji Instax SQUARE SQ1, an instant camera that puts prints in your hands within 90 seconds of taking the photo. In this review, she lists her pick of its features, including Auto Exposure and Selfie Mode, and offers up her tips for taking the perfect Instax photo.
The Instant Camera for Fashionistas
First, let's talk about the look and design of the new Instax camera. I really love orange and I've got the Terracotta colour, which is very nice. It also comes in two other colours, Chalk White and Glacier Blue. It's also quite small and lightweight, so I can pretty much take it anywhere.
Getting Started With This Compact Camera
Using the Fuji Instax SQUARE SQ1 camera is a real throwback. And the beauty is it's really easy to use. It's just a case of putting in your batteries, then opening up the back and putting the film in. Close it up and you're good to go. All you need to do is twist the lens once to turn the camera on, then point and shoot. It’s as simple as that.
Retro Fabulous Square Photos
I love using an instant camera because it's like going back to basics. I've always loved taking a photo and watching it develop. [With the Instax,] that takes about 90 seconds; this varies depending on the ambient temperature.
The camera takes the Square film, which is really cool because it feels really retro with that classic square frame. And with the Instax SQUARE SQ1, it's now even easier to get bright photos anywhere – even in dark spaces – because of its Auto Exposure feature.
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Tips for Perfect Pictures
There are definitely some things to consider when using this instant photography camera. The images are a vintage-style instant photograph, so be conscious of that when choosing subjects. I love taking photos of old houses, and they’re an appropriate subject for this camera’s classic style.
Also, it isn't digital, so you can't just fire away and hope that one of your images is going to work. Be careful when lining up your subject or you will go through too many packets of film. I found that when I was photographing my houses, I had to make sure I was straight.
Hot Tip: It’s very easy to accidentally press the shutter release button on the Instax SQUARE SQ1, so watch where your fingers go, so you don't end up with a collection of random photos!
Point and Shoot Selfies
The Instax SQUARE SQ1 has a selfie mode, which you can activate once the camera is on by just twisting the lens again. Then you just position yourself in the small mirror on the front.
The selfie mode is also great for getting clear close-up shots of subjects between 30-50cm away. Use the selfie mode whenever you need to take more close-up images and use the regular mode for everything else.
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The Verdict: The Fuji Instax SQUARE SQ1 Camera
This point and shoot camera takes some practice, so you need to have patience and persevere. But I love how easy it is to use; it has limited camera settings to fiddle with – especially if you're not really technically minded. All in all, I think the Instax SQUARE SQ1 is a delightful little camera that is fun and great for all those creative photography projects you have on the go. 5 stars out of 5.