A common sight at weddings, outdoor BBQs, and house parties, Fujifilm's Instax Mini instant cameras are insanely popular.
Available in a wide range of colors, the Instax Mini 8 is the most affordable model in Fujifilm's instant camera range, and despite being replaced by the Instax Mini 9 in 2017, is still available today. Question is, should you buy one?
Easy to use
If you're looking for something easy to use, then the Instax Mini 8 is ideal. All you have to do is press the button beside the lens to turn it on, then the Instax Mini 8 will automatically determine the best brightness for taking a picture. All you then have to do is adjust the dial round the lens to the position (mark) of the lit lamp.
Frame up using the little optical viewfinder, press the shutter button to take the picture, then the film will pop out and all you have to do is wait for a minute or so for the photo to appear. Simple.
What about film?
The film for the Instax Mini 8 is credit card sized and measures 54 x 86mm, with the image size at 46 x 62mm.
A 10 sheet cartridge of film is quick and easy to drop into the camera and start shooting. With the Instax Mini 8 powered by two AA batteries, expect to get around 100 shots (so ten packs of film) before you need to replace them,
While the camera itself is cheap, if you're planning to shoot a lot of instant prints, consider the cost of the film. A pack containing 20 sheets (two packs of 10) is about $ 15 / £15, though the more you buy, the cheaper it can be.
If you fancy shooting black and white photos, then there's Instax Monochrome film (10 shot pack) for around $ 10 / £10, while should you want something a little more colorful than the white borders your photo appears on, there's the rainbow film pack, again around $ 10 / £10 for a pack of 10 sheets.
Instax Mini 8 vs Instax Mini 9
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 sports a few new features and colors compared to the Instax Mini 8. The new shades include Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue, Lime Green, Cobalt Blue and Smoky White.
The Instax Mini 9 adds a selfie mirror near the iris to help you get the perfect angle, as well as a closeup-ready lens and a high-key mode for brighter photos — ensuring you spend more of that precious, finite film on good memories than wasted, botched shots.
The bottom line
If you're looking for something a bit fun and a change from you taking snaps with your smartphone or camera, then the Instax Mini 8 is a great buy. Easy to use and pretty cheap, this is a camera that any member of the family can take photos with.
Like the idea of instant prints, but don't want to buy an instant camera? Fujifilm also makes Instax printers, allowing you to print photos from your smartphone or camera via a dedicated app.