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Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 review: An instant film camera for creating perfect print memories

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The Good The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 uses a new square format that offers larger prints while keeping the camera relatively compact. It's a digital camera letting you shoot and print only the images you want, and you can add filters or a vignette before or after you shoot.

The Bad Its low-resolution digital photos are mediocre and highlights blow out easily. The camera's controls and menus are unintuitive. There's no wireless connection for sharing or printing with a mobile device. Film packs are pricey.

The Bottom Line The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 is an instant film camera married with the convenience of a digital camera, but it's not without compromise.

7.5 Overall

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). 

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Hip to be square.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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.  

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