Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 Review
Compare to Similar Products
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1
$123.99 at Amazon
$149.29 at Amazon
|$199 List||$150 List|
$135.00 at Amazon
$72.97 at Amazon
|Pros||Easy to use, stylish aesthetic, selfie mode||Lots of creative options, convenient size, great image quality, can save photos and view before printing||Gorgeous prints, lots of creative features, simple user interface||Vintage appeal, creative controls, user-friendly app||Easy to use, convenient size, reliable, budget friendly|
|Cons||No timer button, inaccurate film counter||Mild learning curve to ensure prints come out well in different lighting situations||Prone to jamming, expensive, on the heavy side||Expensive film, awkward size, muted colors||Limited creative controls, non adjustable flash|
|Bottom Line||Easy to use and easy on the eyes, this point-and-shoot camera is the best choice for those looking for a simple and fun film experience||A hybrid that utilizes the best parts of digital and film, all in one convenient little package||A beautiful machine that produces stunning wide-format images with a vintage appeal||This classic instant film staple is updated with the option to enhance the experience via a creative app||A reliable and simple to use option that's great for all ages|
|Rating Categories||Fujifilm Instax Squ...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Lomography Lomo'Ins...||Polaroid Now+ i-Type||Fujifilm Instax Min...|
|Image Quality (40%)|
|User Friendliness (30%)|
|Specs||Fujifilm Instax Squ...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Lomography Lomo'Ins...||Polaroid Now+ i-Type||Fujifilm Instax Min...|
|Film Cost Per Photo (approx)||$0.90||$0.50||$0.85||$2.10||$0.85|
|Film Capacity||10 shots||10 shots||10 shots||8 shots||10 shots|
|Battery Capacity||Claimed: 30 film packs
Tested: never had to change batteries
|Claimed: 40 prints per charge
Tested: About 5 packs or 50 prints; camera lasted a surpisingly long time when it read as "out of battery"
|Claimed: 30 Instax Square 10-pack
Tested: Accurate; the same batteries it came with were used throughout all of testing
|Claimed: 15 packs (or up to 60 days)
Tested: 1 charge lasted throughout testing
|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.
|Power Supply||2 CR2 batteries||Built-in rechargeable battery (Micro USB)||Four size AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries||Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)||Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)|
|Dimensions (as per manufacturer)||130.7 mm × 118.6 mm × 57.5 mm||122 mm x 79 mm x 23 mm||167.8 mm x 94.7 mm x 120.9 mm (excluding protrusions)||150mm ×111.2mm × 94mm||82.5 mm x 122.9 mm x 36.7 mm (excluding protrusions)|
|Weight (as per manufacturer)||13.8 oz||16 oz||21.6 oz (without battery, strap, film pack, and close up lens)||15.7 oz||8 oz (without fiilm pack and memory card)|
|Picture Size (as per manufacturer)||64mm x 64mm||54mm x 86mm||99 mm x 62 mm||88.9 mm x 107mm||62 mm x 46 mm|
|Image Settings||Autofocus||In-camera filters (monochrome, vintage, aqua), an option for prints to be framed, photobooth option which prints 2 photos on the same sheet||Light or dark mode, adjustable focal zoom dial||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|
|Focus Distances||Zone focus||Fixed focus||Motor-driven 2-range switching (0.9 m - 3 m / 3m - infinity) Normal Mode (0.9 m - 3 m) Landscape Mode (3m - infinity)||0.55m-1.3m, 0.6m-infinity||3.94 in / 10 cm to infinity|
|Focal Length||65.75 mm||27 mm||95 mm||94.96 - 102.35mm||28 mm (35mm fiilm equivalent)|
|Aperture||f/12.6||Max f/2.2||f/14||f/11 - f/64||f/2|
|Film or Digital||Film||Digital||Film||Film||Film prints, digital camera|
|Film Development Time||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||Automatic digital print||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||10 to 15 minutes||Around 90 seconds to develop, 12 seconds to print|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The biggest advantage of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 is how easy it is to operate. Most people look to instant cameras as a way of capturing moments on the fly, and the SQ1 excels at this with its simple interface and point-and-shoot readiness. Having only two modes for shooting: standard and selfie, the autofocus helps the user take great pics, regardless of the time of day or whether they're indoors or outside. The SQ1 produces beautiful photos with vibrant colors and sharp contrasts in situations where others can often get washed out or muddy. This user-friendliness, paired with quality pictures, makes this model a great option for parties or social gatherings, as anyone can pick it up and come away with a fun physical reminder of the event.
Producing rich colors and crisp clarity throughout the testing process, the Square SQ1 outperformed most of the competition in this area. With its ability to shoot in any condition, the autofocus on the SQ1 creates accurate depictions, whereas many others can only achieve this if their settings are just right.
Even in dim light, this camera picks up colors and keeps the primary subject well-lit. At the other end of the spectrum, in bright direct sunlight, the SQ1 consistently produced great images with accurate skin tones and colorful skies without any part being blown out. This is a fairly rare feat for an instant camera, so it's even more impressive since this model doesn't allow the user to adjust the settings. It was very refreshing to use the SQ1, as its images were consistent and reliable, requiring little effort. No other camera produced such high-quality imagery by simply pointing and shooting.
Possessing the power to take a great photo at a moment's notice and in any situation, it's obvious why the SQ1 received the highest score in this metric of any camera tested, as it's incredibly easy to use. The camera is powered on by simply twisting the lens barrel to the "ON" position, offering a truly point-and-shoot experience. The square shape of the body is comfortable to handle, and the texturized rubber of the battery column adds to the comfort while shooting. While the size of this camera is too big to fit in a pocket, it can fit easily into any bag or pack. The only real downfall of the SQ1 is that the film packs would occasionally get jammed, which caused some film to be wasted and the shot counter to display an inaccurate reading. However, even though we encountered film jams with two separate packs, this camera is extremely user-friendly, with its intuitive interface and a learning curve that's almost nonexistent.
The point-and-shoot functionality and reliability of the SQ1 make it the easiest camera to operate that we've tested. Simply set the lens barrel to either standard or selfie, frame your shot, and push the shutter button. As mentioned above, the film packs getting jammed can be a slight annoyance, along with the shot counter, both of which can cause film to be wasted if you open the door thinking that the pack is empty when it actually has some shots left.
Simplicity is the name of the game with the Instax Square SQ1. Its lack of additional features is meant to be a strength, but it may be seen as a weakness, depending on the level of control that you desire. For instance, this camera does have a mirror on the front to assist with taking selfies and the option to add a wrist strap, but it doesn't have a timer, filters, or the ability to adjust the flash or take multiple exposures. The design is stylish and functional, with a good amount of durability to withstand normal wear and tear. It is also available in three color options, adding some personality and providing an opportunity for some personalization.
Despite not having the creative controls offered by some of the competitors, every bit of the design serves an intentional purpose. The textured cylindrical grip on the right side of the camera, where the battery door and shutter button are located, makes it very comfortable to shoot with. But, the location of the shutter button makes it possible to accidentally snap a pic while handling the camera when it's on. The shot counter malfunction and jamming of the film packs are also unfortunate, leading to the SQ1 scoring toward the bottom of the group in this metric.
Another aspect of the SQ1 that performed well was the battery life. The camera uses two CR2 batteries, which are included, and they lasted throughout our entire testing process without affecting the function or needing to be changed. It's nice that the camera automatically shuts off after five minutes of inactivity, helping to conserve power and extend the battery life.
According to the Fujifilm website, the SQ1 can shoot through thirty packs of film before the batteries need to be changed. Although we didn't go through quite that much film, we found the manufacturer's claims to be accurate since all of our tests never seemed to have any effect on the power of the camera.
Should You Buy the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1?
The Instax Square SQ1 is a great option for all ages and skill levels, as it is incredibly easy to use and consistently takes great photos with accurate color depiction and crisp clarity. However, even though this camera creates beautiful images in a matter of seconds, it may leave more experienced photographers wanting more, as it lacks the creative capabilities of some of the competitors, like multiple exposures or an adjustable flash. The simple interface and design of the SQ1 allow it to easily be shared with friends or family during get-togethers, and its ability to shoot in any amount of light helps the user to shoot with confidence, regardless of their level of experience. All in all, we were very impressed with this camera's performance, especially for how simple it is to use.
What Other Instant Cameras Should You Consider?
If you like what the SQ1 has to offer but want more control over the outcome of your photos, some of the other Fujifilm models, like the Instax Mini LiPlay or Instax Square SQ6 would be worth considering, as they also take excellent pics but offer more room for creativity. Or, if you are drawn to the simplicity of the SQ1, you may want to check out the Instax Mini 11, which is a similar point-and-shoot that's easily shareable but at a lower price point.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More