The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 takes the fun, nostalgic shooting experience of an instant film camera, combines it with the safety of shooting digital and adds the appeal of a new square print format that's familiar to both Polaroid and Instagram users.
Fujifilm's other Instax cameras are fully analog, which means every time you press the shutter release you get a film print. While this can lead to some great one-of-a-kind shots, you won't always get perfection and the costs of those goof prints adds up. Plus, since you get just the one print, it means to share a picture online you'll have to take a digital picture of it or scan it first.
The Square doesn't shoot straight to instant film, though, but instead uses a very small digital image sensor that captures 1,920x1,920-pixel images (about 3.6 megapixels). With a flip of a switch, you can choose to have every picture you take printed -- like an analog instant film camera -- or you can capture a shot and decide if you want a print after the fact. And, since all shots are stored straight to internal memory (it'll hold up to 50 photos) or an optional microSD card, you have a digital copy to share with friends and family (though Fujifilm doesn't make this easy to do without a computer).
As a digital camera, its image quality doesn't come close to your average point-and-shoot or your phone. That is difficult to accept considering its price: $280, £249 and AU$399 (though it sells for less). It is, however, capable of doing things Fujifilm's other Instax cameras can't like take close-ups as close as 4 inches (10 cm), crop in on your subject and shoot with 10 different filters, vignette control and brightness adjustment.
The Square also trades in an optical viewfinder for a 3-inch LCD for framing and editing pictures before you print. And instead of Fujifilm's 2x3-inch film, the SQ10 shoots new square Instax film that measures 86 mm by 72 mm (3.4 by 2.8 inches) with the actual picture portion measuring 62 mm square (2.4 inches).
That's not a big print size, but the square format lets you easily fit more in. Unfortunately, it also costs more: $17 per pack of 10 photos (£9 in the UK and AU$35 in Australia). Like the camera, you can find the film for less at about $14 a pack. That's still not cheap, but considering you can pick and choose what you print, it's better than a pure analog camera like the rest of the Instax line or.