Ben Fraternale of the popular Instant film YouTube channel; In an Instant, recently published a video on the new Fujifilm Instax Evo and provides his take on how the hybrid instant camera performs. Throughout his video we see the camera in action as he adventures the Brooklyn Zoo on the hunt for the elusive red panda.
“A true move for Fuji,” he says. “This camera is super unusual in it’s combination of modern elements; like a screen, autofocus, and in-camera features while printing onto the 'old-school' instax film.”
If you’re a regular viewer of the In an Instant channel, you will know that Ben typically only discusses film, instant film, or otherwise analog-only topics. In this episode he switches it up because the Fujifilm Instax Evo falls into the category of what’s called hybrid instant film cameras.
The Instax Mini Evo is essentially a small digital camera with an Instax printer strapped to the back of it. Once you’ve taken your photo, it’s saved to an SD card where you can then choose to share digitally or print out the photo right away.
Ben mentions that despite it being a new instant film camera where you’re using a screen to frame your shot, it still feels like a throwback. “It’s reminiscent of digital cameras from 2004... and I mean this in the best way possible,” he says.
One of the coolest parts about the camera is the unique integration of analog controls to dial in your settings.
By using dials and levers that would typically be found on a traditional film camera, Fujifilm was able to map those interactions to digital functions - emulating a similar experience. “It’s a really good idea because you’re taking this digital camera and this digital concept, but you’re still making it feel kind of analog,” he states.
Fujifilm advertises their 100 different combinations of creative modes which gives you 10 lens effects and 10 film effects to choose from.
10 Lens Effects
- Soft Focus
- Color Shift
- Light Leak
- Double Exposure
10 Film Effects
Fujifilm provides an interesting matrix, showing off the different combinations that are possible
Unique to your typical instant camera, but expected on everyday digital cameras are your usual autofocus, flash, white balance, and quality controls - all of which are available on the Evo.
Wireless Direct Print
The feature that sets this camera apart from other instant film cameras, and where the “hybrid” really kicks in is the ability to connect your smartphone to the camera and wirelessly transfer images to be printed.
In Ben’s video he trials this feature by zooming into a photograph of a red panda on his phone, then wirelessly printing it out almost instantly. Having the ability to use both the camera and printer functions separately could seal the deal for you if you’re in the market for both.
Ben brings up an excellent point, “People just like having physical photos, it doesn’t even matter how they were captured for most folks,” he says.
Features and design aside, the last aspect to talk about is how the camera actually works in the day to day. Luckily, it does not disappoint.
For someone new to instax or instant film in general, with the introduction of the digital aspect it removes the worry about development time and is a great middle ground between the two technologies. "You can make mistakes now... as you dive into other film types," Ben says.
Despite receiving incredible results, he does make note of the clunky UX and screen functionality. When using the camera, Ben found himself fumbling through the menus and wished things flowed more smoothly. Throughout the video Ben does call out how the camera is reminiscent of cameras and cellphones from the mid 2000s, both in positive and negative ways.
The Instax Mini Evo is available today for $249 CAD ($199 USD) from most Instax retailers.
If you pick this camera up, let me know what you think! Are you a fan of the hybrid design or are you purely analog?
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