The Instax Mini 8 camera review

A couple of years ago, I had a Facebook friend who had posted a photo of his new polaroid camera. Ever since I wanted to own one. I love the idea of having an actual photo that you can hold. I mean, I take hundreds of photos on my phone every month and probably have an entire hard disk of photos - but to be honest, I have no clue what's where.

Recently, my husband gifted me a polaroid. It was impromtu. We were browsing for camera accessories and I found this polaroid camera sitting on a shelf just looking at me. And before I could figure out whether to buy it, or read reviews first, or perhaps ask around, it was getting billed.

The polaroid:

The polaroid camera is called instax mini 8 and is by Fujifilm - a trusted brand in all things photography. The camera is easy to hold, has a plastic body and seems sturdy enough. It isn't as lighweight as you'd hope, especially considering it is, after all, a toy camera, but it has a vintage feel to it, which made me overlook the slighly bulk nature of the instax mini 8.

We came home and quickly unboxed the instax polaroid. It comes in 7 colours - and I chose sky blue. I always thought the decision whether to buy one would be tough - but it was challenging to actually select the colour. All the shades are nice - yellow, light pink, black, white, grape, raspberry and sky blue.

The film:

The camera doesn't come with the film - you need to purchase the film separately. I was a little bummed when I saw the price. Each box of film has around 10 credit card sized films and cost around $7 - $9 USD each time. Well, it's not expensive, but considering that the camera costs around $60 USD, I thought I was getting better value for money for the camera rather than the film.

It is easy to mount the film to the polaroid, and as such, the casing is quite sturdy. There's a tiny counter at the back showing how many photos you can still take before the film runs out. I found that extremely convenient.

Selecting the mode:

The camera comes with a 5 mode exposure selection levels - which simply means that depending on the amount of natural light available - you can select the mode. Now, this isn't as straightforward as it seems. I had to do some trial and error to get used to this feature - especially because I do not use DSLRs. The trial and error method seemed expensive - for each film I used, I was using almost dollar.

The lens comes with basic options - Home for indoors, Cloudy, Sunny but slightly cloudy, Sunny+bright and Hi Key. Hi Key allows you to take photos with a softer impression. I would recommend using the Sunny but slightly cloudy mode to start your trial and error. The camera does have a sensor indicating which mode would be best for the current set up, but you in all probability, you will still have to get used to the modes.

You best shot would be nice, not too clear though. You need to remember that it is after all a instant camera and costs lesser than an average digital camera.

Top - you can see the 5 modes.
Should you buy it?

If you have always wanted to own your own polaroid camera and appreciate the small white bordered photos, and are not too much affected by the fact that each new set of 10 films costs around $8, then go ahead - it's a great buy. You can find some great deals (including good deals on the film) on Amazon.

However, you should remember this will not be one of those 'value for money buys' but a 'nice to have' buy. One reason I wanted to buy it was that I love traveling, and I thought it's a 'nice to have' travel accessory.

When you do buy it, I would recommend not buying the cover it comes with - as this is adding to the already slightly bulky camera. And as a sling bag - it's not exactly stylish.

I hope you liked the review, would love to hear your thoughts. Also, would you buy one? Do you already have one? Leave your comments below xx


  1. Lovely read. I already have an instax, pink color, and totally loving it. However, figuring out the right exposure for a tiny toy camera is tricky. But once we've managed to master the settings it's all fun.

    1. Thanks Aswathy ! I also took a bit to understand the settings, but it's all worth it. Loving the small prints.

  2. Already have an instax .. it's soo good.. love it..
    And very well written

  3. I have one Instax and I'm such a fan of it. I like that I get to see the photo prints immediately, despite all its flaws. Thank you for a detailed review

    xoxo - C, Style.. A Pastiche

  4. Lovely article. Have been wondering whether to buy it or not.
    Sorry to be a grammar nazi which I'm not, but I just noticed and I'm just pointing them out. Spelling of "clue" on the first paragraph. Also the line "
    There's a tiny counter at the back showing how many photos you can still take before the film runs out. I found that extremely convenient."has been repeated. Sorry again.

    1. Thanks a tonne. I overlooked both those errors. I am a grammar nazi too :)

  5. which made for very interesting footage with the camera sinking slowly to the bottom and the bubbles coming out of the jets. cheap thermal camera

  6. I bought this camera for my neice and she absolutely loved it. Perfect for young teens and adults alike and I loved the color schemes offered. It made my top 10 instant cameras list thats for sure. Looking forward to trying out the Instax mini 9