Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Review
Pros: Easy to use, convenient size, reliable, budget friendly
Cons: Limited creative controls, non adjustable flash
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Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
$73.50 at Amazon
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$49.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Easy to use, convenient size, reliable, budget friendly||Lots of creative options, convenient size, great image quality, can save photos and view before printing||Durable, comfortable to use, creative options||Durable, user friendly, adjusts well to different lighting||Small, budget friendly|
|Cons||Limited creative controls, non adjustable flash||Mild learning curve to ensure prints come out well in different lighting situations||Learning curve, heavy for its size, super contrasty prints with dark lighting||A slight learning curve, tends to shoot dark, on the heavy side||Inconsistent, noisy, poor print quality|
|Bottom Line||A reliable and simple to use option that's great for all ages||A hybrid that utilizes the best parts of digital and film, all in one convenient little package||A nice mid-sized option with lots of features that adapts well to different lighting conditions||A visually pleasing blend of modern instant camera tech with old-fashioned film appeal||A low stakes buy that you can pass around a party guilt-free|
|Rating Categories||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Fujifilm Instax Squ...||Fujifilm Instax Wid...||Kodak Printomatic D...|
|Image Quality (40%)|
|User Friendliness (30%)|
|Specs||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Fujifilm Instax Squ...||Fujifilm Instax Wid...||Kodak Printomatic D...|
|Film Cost Per Photo (approx)||$0.95||$0.85||$0.95||$0.85||$0.50|
|Film Capacity||10 shots||10 shots||10 shots||10 shots||10 shots|
|Battery Capacity||Claimed: 10 Instax Mini film packs of 10 exposures each
Tested: Batteries the camera came with died after a few packs, not 10. The camera lasted longer with different batteries but continued to die before hitting 10 packs.
|Claimed: 100 prints per charge depending on conditions
Tested: Accurate; camera was used in a wide variety of conditions (cold, indoor/outdoor, near a heater), and the charge was never drastically affected.
|Claimed: 30 Instax Square 10-pack
Tested: Accurate; the same batteries it came with were used throughout all of testing
|Claimed: 30 Instax Square 10-pack
Tested: Accurate; the same batteries it came with were used throughout all of testing
|Claimed: 40 prints per charge
Tested: Around 20 prints
|Power Supply||Two AA-size alkaline batteries (LR6)||Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)||Two CR2/DL CR2 lithium batteries||Four size AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries||Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)|
|Dimensions (as per manufacturer)||107.6 mm x 121.2 mm x 67.3 mm||82.5 mm x 122.9 mm x 36.7 mm (excluding protrusions)||118.7 mm x 128.1 mm x 58.1 mm (excluding protrusions)||167.8 mm x 94.7 mm x 120.9 mm (excluding protrusions)||25.4 mm x 122.69 mm x 79 mm|
|Weight (as per manufacturer)||10.4 oz (without battery, strap, and film)||8 oz (without fiilm pack and memory card)||10.4 oz (without battery, strap, and film pack)||21.6 oz (without battery, strap, film pack, and close up lens)||7.04 oz|
|Picture Size (as per manufacturer)||62 mm x 46 mm||62 mm x 46 mm||62 mm x 62 mm||62 mm x 99 mm||50.8 mm x 76.2 mm|
|Image Settings||Autofocus||Multiple filters (stylish, B/W, sepia, fish eye, vivid), 10 in-camera frames (antlers, color stripe, light bar, wings, speech bubble, photo inside a photo, comic strip, etc.), 30 frame options through the app, ability to put a time stamp on prints||Double exposure, light or dark mode, macro, landscape, portrait||Light or dark mode, djustable focal zoom dial||Autofocus|
|Focus Distances||0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m)||3.94 in / 10 cm to infinity||Macro Mode (0.3 m - 0.5 m/1 ft - 1.6 ft)
Normal Mode (0.5 m - 2 m/1.6 ft - 6.6 ft)
Landscape Mode (2 m/6.6 ft and beyond)
|Motor-driven 2-range switching (0.9 m - 3 m / 3m - infinity) Normal Mode (0.9 m - 3 m) Landscape Mode (3m - infinity)||5MP sensor|
|Focal Length||60 mm||28 mm (35 mm fiilm equivalent)||0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m)||95 mm||8 mm|
|Film or Digital||Film||Film prints, digital camera||Film||Film||Digital|
|Film Development Time||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||Around 90 seconds to develop, 12 seconds to print||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||Automatic digital print|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The newest model in Fuji's Instax Mini series, the Mini 11, keeps the simplicity of the previous versions in mind but adds some subtle updates. Running with the basic point-and-shoot functionality, the Mini 11 is extremely easy to use and performs best in low-light situations, making it great for passing around an event or night out with friends. With its nice color depiction and being one of the most budget-friendly cameras that we tested, it should come as no surprise that it won an award for value. Even though it lacks the creative features offered by many of its competitors, the simple nature of this camera makes it possible for even the most amateur photographer to get some fun and memorable shots.
Despite not having any way to alter the camera's settings, the Instax Mini 11 produced some great images and came in toward the top of the pack in our image quality tests. Indirect outdoor lighting and ambient indoor lighting are the ideal conditions for this camera, displaying contrasting colors and an eyecatching blend of haziness and clarity. Any scenarios with bright/direct light or backlighting usually resulted in a blown-out shot, but there were consistently rich colors and an interesting distortion effect around the perimeter of most prints. The film used by this camera is quite small, which can cause a loss of clarity (especially with smaller details) and causes close-up shots to come out rather blurry. That said, we found the overall image quality of the Instax Mini 11 to be impressive, especially for not being able to adjust the exposure or flash.
As one of the most basic cameras in the bunch, it was surprisingly refreshing to see that the strictly point-and-shoot Instax Mini 11 could produce such nice photos. If you don't want to think about anything more than framing what you see through the viewfinder, the automatic settings of the exposure, focus, and flash will serve you well.
This is another area where the Instax Mini 11 performed well. Having only two buttons — power and shoot — this camera is simple enough to be used by just about anyone. It can easily be passed around a party or family gathering and doesn't require much of any explanation; just frame your subject and shoot. Our one complaint is that the shot counter was sometimes off, which was a bummer as this meant that some shots were lost forever since reloading the film pack would ruin the moment. Aside from that, this camera is fun for the whole family and creates nice keepsakes to remember good times.
In terms of its user-friendliness, the Instax Mini 11 is one of the most simple to operate because it doesn't give you the option of adjusting any settings, and it does all of the heavy lifting for you. There are only two buttons, eliminating the need to check the settings before shooting. Still, the Instax Mini 11 is reliable and consistent with both its printer and image quality. Even though this camera doesn't offer the same creative controls as higher-end models, it still fared well, proving that Fujifilm has an instant camera to fit any budget or skill level.
With most of the settings being automated, the Instax Mini 11 doesn't have many features or provide much control, resulting in a lower score in this metric. There is a "selfie mode" (and a small mirror on the front) to help with taking self-portraits and close-up shots, but other than that, the only additional features are a wrist strap and two decorative covers for the shutter button. The body's design is round, plastic, and rather toy-like, which increases its appeal for a younger audience, but decreases its durability. It's also somewhat unfortunate that the body is bigger than the digital hybrids but produces similar wallet-sized photos. Although the lack of controls makes the Mini 11 easy to use, it doesn't encourage creativity and is inconvenient for finicky lighting situations. But, if you'd prefer not to mess with settings or you're the type to find beauty in small imperfections, this camera will be a great fit.
Even though the Mini 11 is an improvement compared to previous versions, the lack of adjustable features still limits its performance. However, this camera takes higher quality photos than similarly simplistic models while also being easier to transport than products like the large, vintage-inspired Polaroid.
The Mini 11 is the only camera in our lineup that uses replaceable batteries, which didn't last and needed to be switched out during our testing period. This is likely because most of the camera functions automatically, and the flash goes off every time you take a picture. Also, the other cameras that use AA batteries require four of them, whereas the Mini 11 only uses two. The manufacturer claims that this camera can shoot ten packs of film (each containing ten prints), but we never got anywhere close to this before the batteries died. The first set of batteries that we used only lasted a few packs, and the replacement batteries did slightly better but still failed to reach near 100 prints.
As one of the few models that use replaceable batteries, it was surprising to find that the Instax Mini 11 burnt through its batteries so quickly. The other models in our review lasted all the way through our tests. And, even though the other cameras that use replaceable batteries had longer lives than those with rechargeables overall, the Instax Mini 11 was the exception, as several of the rechargeable cameras outlasted it too.
Seeing as how most instant cameras cost over a hundred dollars these days, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a bargain, especially when compared to others in its price bracket. Even though it lacks the creative settings of many of its competitors, this camera is reliable, portable, and takes great photos, covering the most important aspects of an instant camera. Being the second least expensive camera we tested, its price tag is definitely fair. It doesn't have the printing issues of the cheaper models, and its image quality is just as good if not better than many of the more expensive options. Instax Mini Film is also reasonably priced at about a dollar a print, but it's a bummer that the batteries don't last very long, as replacing them will result in additional spending. Still, the Instax Mini 11 is a great budget-friendly camera that takes beautiful pictures and is sure to become a beloved member of any family or group.
If you're looking for something that's as easy to use as a disposable camera but with the added benefit of instant gratification, look no further than the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11. Its thin and compact design makes it easy to toss in a bag or purse, and its automatic focus, exposure, and flash eliminate the need for anything other than framing up your shot and snapping the pic. This camera is great for sharing with friends or family at a gathering, and it's so simple to use that everyone from kids to grandparents can get some fun shots. And, at a price that's easy on the wallet, the Instax Mini 11 delivers a lot of bang for the buck and is guaranteed to preserve some cherished moments in time.
— Adam Yee
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