There’s no denying that instant film has made a major comeback in recent years. And while we talk a lot about Polaroid cameras and Impossible Project film here at Mortal Muses, I thought today we’d take a look at a different instant film camera, the Fuji Instax Mini 7S. This cute little novelty camera was given to me by a friend last year–she works in media and gets all kinds of perks and gadgets from clients (she’s given me iPods and cameras, has taken me to countless sporting events and even on some amazing trips!…but I digress…). I’ll admit I haven’t paid this little guy much mind, but recently decided to take him for a little spin.

camera and film

Although not tiny, it’s relatively compact and easy to handle. Weighing in at only 11 ounces, it’s smaller than most Polaroid cameras. And what’s really kind of cool is that it shoots out 2″ x 3″ instant prints about the size of a credit card.

credit card

{My scanner didn’t really want to cooperate for this post, so please excuse the less than fabulous scanned images!}


The Instax Mini 7S uses ISO 800 speed film, has a fixed focus 60mm lens, a 1/60-sec electronic shutter and an automatic built-in flash (nice for low-light shooting, but kind of annoying that it can’t be turned off). Now, we’re not talking major works of art here, but this is a fun camera if you just want to play around or you’re feeling nostalgic and want to watch a photo develop in your hand. I thought since we’re celebrating diptychs on the blog this month that I’d give it a whirl with my Instax Mini.

dippy 3 bike

Out on a bike ride with my hub.

Hanging out with Willow.

Hanging out with Willow.

In the park.

In the park.

There are several different Fuji Instax cameras out there–different models, colors and prices depending on your needs. The one I have–the Instax Mini 7S–can be purchased for about $60.oo these days. You can find the cameras and the film on Amazon, Photojojo or at Urban Outfitters. At $20.00 or less for a 2-pack of 10, that’s $1.00 or less per frame. Much cheaper than Impossible Film for sure. And this film develops quickly (about a minute or 2), does not need to be shielded from the light while developing and is not affected by the air temperature. Am I saying that I like this camera better than a good old-fashioned Polaroid because the film is a little cheaper and more stable? Absolutely not, that’d be like comparing apples and oranges. I think they both have their place in my camera bag 🙂

dippy 4 lighthouse

Under the George Washington Bridge.

One final note about the camera settings. There are four manual exposure settings that allow you a bit of control over the final image. Using the dial on the back of the camera you can set it depending on your indoor or natural lighting conditions: “indoor/dark”; “cloudy/shady”; “fine”; or “clear”. Below is an example of 2 shots taken a few seconds apart on a bright cloudy day earlier this week–the left image shot on the “cloudy” setting and the right image taken on the “fine” setting.

dippy 6 feet cropped

Overall I did find that, even with the 4 exposure settings, the images were a little inconsistent. But for the very first photo in this post, most times the skies were a little blown out no matter what setting I used on the camera. I think this camera is best used on a cloudy day–in bright sun the photos were definitely over-exposed.

All in all, the Fuji Instax Mini is a unique and quirky little camera to have in any collection. I think it would be especially fun to bring to a party or out to dinner with friends. I’d also guess that it would be a nice distraction for your children to play with (you know, a diversion tactic, to keep their hands off of your vintage Polaroid cameras!)

As you can see, the photos aren’t stellar–but sometimes it’s just about having a little fun.

See you soon!

Christy | Urban Muser