Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Review

fujifilm-instax-mini-90Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Review

The Instax Mini 90 by Fujifilm is the newest camera in their credit card sized instant photography range. The Mini 90 is a follow up to the almost forgotten Instax Mini 50 series.  What separates the Mini 90 and 50s before it from the colorful Instax 7(s) and 8 is the ability to customize your shot with advance settings while still being point and shoot. Included on the camera are multiple flash settings, basic lighting options, more shooting modes, a timer, and a tripod socket. New to this version alone however are the bulb and double exposure mode and a rechargeable battery which makes this camera the best they come up with for mini instant photography. The 90 also give offers instead of the bright colors and oddly shaped body of the 7 & 8’s a plastic and leather combination that holds and feels more like a camera (a design they’ve termed Neo Classic). Shoot modes include: Standard, Marco, Party, Kids, Landscape, Double Exposure and Bulb with 4 lighting modes of Normal, Light, Lighter, and Dark. As well you have Flash modes: automatic, forced firing, suppressed, and red eye reduction with option to turn on a self-timer for 1 or two shots.

Now for example photos and my review, you can also check out my Instax Film Guide.

Portraitinstax mini toronto (10)

Self-Portraithamicat instax mini film (1)

Catsinstax mini toronto (12)

Group Shotinstax mini toronto (2)

Landscapelomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (15)

Still Life
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Double Exposure
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Motionfuji-instax-mini-lake-ontario

Macromacro fail(I have not good example macro shots because they are all fails)

Sunnyspring instax mini film (14)

Cloudyfuji instax mini film lake ontario (3)

Duskhamicat instax mini film (9)

Sunrise/Sunsetfujifilm instax mini film

Direct Sunfall in instax film (5)

Shadefall in instax (2)

Nightfuji-instax-mini-film-15

Flashhalloween instax mini film (5)

Review

At the time I bought it last summer I was really wondering if it was worth it, especially as I really had my eye on the old Mini 50S in piano finish which was the same price as the Mini 8 and had almost identical features to the Mini 90 besides being the older model. However if shoot often with instant film and enjoy having a new camera with accessibility to film – ­­this camera will make you much happier than its contemporaries. Before I start reviewing and dissecting the Instax Mini 90, I want to state that I emphatically believe that it is the best camera option for mini instant film, even beyond the range of Fujifilm’s own cameras (hello Lomo’Instant) and the price is worth it. The only opposition to buying it over the others is personal preference for how it looks , not wanting to buy the higher price point (I bought mine for $60 more than the Instax Mini 8 but slightly cheaper than the Lomo’Instant) and the biggest one, no accessories (additional lens types and colourful cases). Like with any Instax film camera there is plenty of faults you can find with all of them including manual options, ability to use in all situation, and the viewfinder in name a few. If you want my opinion the best instant camera would be a vintage Polaroid camera compatible with current FujifilmFP100-C film but we are talking about cameras that use mini Instax film so I will digress. In my experience the Instax Mini 90 is the strongest out of them all and there is no element to it that is weaker or inferior to any other model when it comes to its technology.

Modes

The modes works well and allow you to use the camera in almost any situation. My favourite modes are the Party, Landscape and standard which I use constantly and get great results. My least favourite is Macro which I’ve never successful gotten a clear shot with despite trying various distance and subject matter. My second least favourite is Multiple Exposure, I know it might be hard to believe that someone who posts bi-weekly double exposures doesn’t enjoy this mode but I don’t. The results it gives me are easily over exposed with little details and I just can’t get behind it. I also not one to do typical multiple exposures so maybe the average person would still love this (I know it’s why I decided to buy the camera in the end). The other modes, Kids and Bulb I never use – I don’t know why I just don’t. One thing I will mention while I’m talking about the modes is the fact that Party and Kids for some reason do not allow you to shoot with no flash on. It infuriates me because unless I’m indoors or its night I mostly shoot with no flash and for them to arbitrarily not allow you, pisses me off especially since I use Party mode a lot. Although it can be said that the Mini 7/8’s don’t even have real modes so my negatives comments you have to take into perspective anything is better than nothing.

Lighting

The automatic Normal lighting is really good and versatile although it can be tricky as I’ve noticed at certain times in the afternoon you tend you get blue tinted photos for some reason. On bright sunny days when you are not shooting in shadows I recommend Dark as Normal will always be too bright. As for Light it’s good to use when shooting in shadows, but I haven’t had good experience using it in the afternoon as the sun is going down as it tends to make images more blurry and oddly have little contrast. Lighter is useless and blurry and has over exposed all dark situations I’ve used it on. Keep in mind I am referring to shooting by the hand as most people I am assume are not shooting with tripods. The two lighter options would drastically improve if used on a tripod as my biggest concern is the how blurry they are (I haven’t not tried this so I might be wrong). Lastly DON’T point at the sun; you will always get a black hole that ruins the shot.

Flash

For the flash modes as I’ve stated I solo try to shoot with the flash off. However I have used it at night and indoor and the default flash and red eye flash work great. It’s powerful and doesn’t wash out too much if things are at a good distance. However you want to make sure your subjects are not too close, I’d say anything an arm reach away (sorry all selfies will be over exposed ghosts). As for Non-flash I love, I do not trust any camera to know when the lighting is okay for flash or not, one reason why the Mini 90 is amazing because you can turn that off. But by default the automatic flash will be on and if you accidently leave it on, or are in the two modes that you can’t turn off the flash it will be a drunk fool and shoot in the middle of a sunny day just because. Automatic flash is the worst thing in any camera, full stop. Another peeve of mine is that I have to reselect the flash mode anytime I change the shooting mode, it’s annoying and it leads to that automatic flash being on when I didn’t realize and blinding someone during the middle of the day.

Normal mode – flash went of automatically fall in instax flash

No Flashfall in instax film (4)

Viewfinder

The viewfinder for me is the most frustrating part of the camera. I feel like I have a better time shooting if I ignored it completely. However when you are spending so much money per shot, it’d be nice to actually be able to frame it and what you see in the viewfinder is never what you’ll get. I’ve even started to try and figure out how to compensate for it and that just ends me up with worse shots. Now I’ve used the other versions and they are worse but I have to point it out because I’d love a true viewfinder and it’s a sour point in all the Instax cameras.

Other Features

One thing on the camera I cannot fault is the battery. For starts it has a rechargeable battery which I could just stop there as that’s already such an improvement. However not only do you no longer have to buy and carry around replacement batteries that weigh down you and your camera but the battery is amazing. I’ve owned the camera for a year and a half and charged it twice; once when it arrived and again a second time this summer. Now I don’t use the flash that often but it blows my mind that it lasts that long. The camera also has ‘selfie’ mirror on the front which is just the highly reflective shutter button that I didn’t even notice was there (I now no longer wonder why all mine turn out framed so badly). Speaking of things I didn’t notice, there are two shutter buttons on the camera. The top shutter is in the convention shutter button area and the second is on the front acting as the mirror and with the power switch around it – who knew? I use the one on the top exclusively and forgot the other even existed until now. Holding the camera now to test it I don’t know what position I’d be holding the camera in where that button would be more useful and comfortable that the other one. Luckily for me I’ve never accidently used it so it’s still a good design in my books as it’s there for people who want it but it doesn’t get in the way either. Other random features are the back mode screen and the film counter which do their job well. Only thing I can note is the film counter has on occasion told me the incorrect number of film available but that was after the camera was jammed in my bag and took 5 shots of the inside and one other time when I opened the back while having power on the camera. There is also a tripod mount that I have not used but it’s one of those musts and not enough toy cameras have one so I appreciate it. It also came with a very nice, fashionable and long leather neck strap that I love, and you can change it out for any other type of strap like a hand one. It’s also really light which probably in part has to do with not using batteries for power, and being the smallest of Instax camera. The size of it also makes it easy to fit into any of my smaller bags, you can load up with packs of film and still have plenty of room.

10 More Instax Mini 90 Photos:

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Lomography Wednesday: Toronto in Instax Mini

instax mini toronto (4)It’s been forever since my trip to Toronto last month and I’m just getting around to sharing my Instax mini photos from there. Sitting down and spending an hour or two scanning photos is always the part I am least enthused about when it comes to instant photography. However I’m glad I did finally scan these as it was a walk through memory lane last night. I had such a great time hanging out with my friends Derek and Erin. The highlights of the trip beside all the ramen me and Victor consumed was meeting their two brand new kitties and watching them both dj at Detour bar. Most of the photos are from our random walk around Toronto and on Derek’s birthday. My favourite photo outta the bunch is one of Victor with Derek’s best friend Victor, it’s kind of the crazy but they are both obviously Victor’s and both from Chile. So strange. I loved capturing all these shots, can’t wait for my next trip outta town!

instax mini toronto (13)instax mini toronto (17)instax mini toronto (16) instax mini toronto (10) instax mini toronto (12) instax mini toronto (9) instax mini toronto (15) instax mini toronto (11)instax mini toronto (5)instax mini toronto (1)instax mini torontoinstax mini toronto (3)instax mini toronto (6)instax mini toronto (7)instax mini toronto (4)instax mini toronto (2)instax mini toronto (3)I’m loving the cute fun film from Japan for my Instax Mini 90 – can’t wait to grab more for Spring.

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Fall in Instant: Camping and Lake Ontario

               fuji instax mini film instant photography (8) fuji instax mini film instant photography (9)fuji instax mini film instant photography (15) fuji instax mini film instant photography (5) fuji instax mini film instant photography (3)fuji instax mini film instant photography (21)fuji instax mini film instant photography (12)fuji instax mini film instant photography (10)fuji instax mini film instant photography (11)fuji instax mini filmfuji instax mini film instant photography (1)fuji instax mini film instant photography (6)fuji instax mini film instant photography (4)

My Fujifilm Instax 90 is turning into my go-to camera anytime I’m going to hang out with friends. I had so much fun last weekend camping and being a beach bum for the last warm weekend of the year. I took with me both my Instax 90 and my vintage Super Shot Polaroid camera and it was surprising how in comparison I enjoyed shooting with the Instax more. I really noticed the difference in using a vintage camera over a modern camera when I was in the middle of cooking bacon over the fire or on a windy sandy beach and didn’t want the hassle.  I just love taking a photo with the Instax and tossing it in my bag to dry and peaking at it as it developed, plus the size and weight really makes a difference. The one thing that occurred to me on my trip though that I don’t like about the Instax 90 is how frustrating it is to frame a shot. The viewfinder is not accurate at all. I always feel like I’m adding in the correction as the viewfinder is to the left of the actual lens but my correction seems to only make it worse. Had several shots where they didn’t turn out right because the subject was either half cropped out or completely cropped (example the photo of my delish bacon on a stick, 3rd from bottom). I don’t want to have to frame my subjects to be center frame in every shot so it’d be nice to have a camera that had a proper viewfinder! I should probably do my review for the Instax 90 soon. I’ve used it quite a bit at this point, but there are a few of the ‘scene’ options I haven’t used yet. It was fun shooting in instant film, regardless of camera. It is just so satisfying and that immediacy of instant photography is something I am really enjoying right now. I’ll be showing the shots from the Polaroid next week on Tuesday as well if you want to see the different results.

fuji instax mini film instant photography (14)

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Summer in Instant – Part 3

More summer instant photography taken with my Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 today.  I love this camera so much I’ve been using it non-stop since it arrived. I  cannot wait to use it more over the next few months and work on my double exposures. This is my last bit of film I took during the summer so it’s a little all over the place. fuji instax mini film (30)My first double exposure taken with the camera. Sunrise from my front window. fuji instax mini film (31) fuji instax mini film (29)From my birthday,  the sunrise (again) but this time from the Jacques-Cartier bridge. The second one is also a double exposure.

fuji instax mini film (16)fuji instax mini film (32)fuji instax mini film (28) fuji instax mini film (27)These are from the monthly food cart event held at the Olympic stadium in July. One of Victor chillin’ out, the stadium and then the food carts and the sky.

fuji instax mini film (15)L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, taken from the Jacques-Cartier bridge.

fuji instax mini film (19) fuji instax mini film (24)Watching my favourite local band We Are Wolves play using instax rainbow film.

fuji instax mini film (20) fuji instax mini film (22) fuji instax mini film (21)fuji instax mini film (17) fuji instax mini film (18)fuji instax mini film (26)The rest of the rainbow photos were taken on our first trip in July to the beach in Jean Drapeau parc. We’ve been spending every weekend we could there since, we love it that much. I just love the rainbow film – it’s random but neat.

 Remember to let me know in the comments if there is a particular camera you want to see more photos of. I have a few rolls of film from my Disderi Robot 3 camera I got developed recently that I haven’t shared so those will be probably be the next ones!

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Lomography Wednesday: My Birthday!

Guess what I got for my birthday present from Victor?

A Fujifilm Instax Mini 90!

fujifilm instax mini 90I’m in love with this camera, it’s really lived up to my expectations and I had a lot of reservations about getting a newer style of instant camera. Even though I’ve wanted to try a Fujifilm camera for a while I have never been able to shallow the expense of the camera on top of getting film when I already used Polaroid land cameras for instant photography. The Instax 90 with its control options, retro styling (not a fan of the Mini 7s or 8s) and double exposure mode really makes the Instax series a whole lot better and higher end. It’s been hard to resist, so it was really nice that this was my birthday present. I may have known Victor was buying me this camera since he always lets me pick out my presents so I was prepared when it arrived with film, photo albums, stickers….really the complete set of accessories to go with it. He even got the camera at such a good price that he allowed me to pick out a case for it as well (usually the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is priced around $180, he got it for $140 on Amazon on sale). I picked out a chocolate leather bag that’s big enough for the camera and a few other things at the same time.

fujifilm instax mini 90 (2) fujifilm instax mini accessoriesMy first opinions on the camera are that it’s just so nice having an instant camera that I can take with me when I want to take silly, non-serious photos. Its way more reliable so far than using an older Polaroid camera and even experimenting with the double exposures you can get usable shots very often. Its way smaller than my vintage Polaroid land cameras as well this is convenient for bike rides. I cannot wait to do a review of the camera after the summer is over. It’s definitely not going to replace my vintage instant cameras with its mini photos but it’s really fun for casual photography. Here are a few of the mini instant photos I’ve taken already!

instax mini 90 film (3)instax mini 90 film (1) instax mini 90 film (2)

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