Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Review
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 takes on the company's mantle as its budget friendly choice for instant photography, replacing the three-year-old Instax Mini 9. (Yes, there is an existing Instax Mini 10 from yesteryear.)
Thankfully, Fujifilm has introduced a couple of key improvements in the Instax Mini 11 that will increase your hit ratio of usable pictures; auto exposure and a built-in 'selfie' lens setting.
No longer is it down to the user to select the exposure mode. No longer are separate attachments required to adjust the close focus distance for selfies. It's all down to the camera. Phew.
Because while instant photography has never been about technical perfection, be it accurate composition, sharp focus or exposure in your shots, it is particularly disappointing to see an unusable picture emerge on a sheet of paper that set you back the best part of £1.
Those two key improvements alone are enough to elevate the Instax Mini 11 above its predecessor and cement Fujfilm's position as the go to choice for instant photography newcomers.
And the big step up from the Instax Mini 9 to the Instax Mini 11 is not reflected in the price, with a £69 RRP that is only £10 more than before.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is available for £69.99 / $69.95 and comes in five pastel colours; Blush Pink, Sky Blue, Charcoal Grey, Ice White and Lilac Purple.
It uses the readily available Fujfilm Instax Mini paper which comes in a cartridge containing 10 sheets. A single pack of 10 sheets typically costs £8.99, but you can usually buy multi-packs for a lower cost per unit. For instance, a two pack is usually £14.99 each and a five pack of 10 sheets will set you back anything from £29.99.
Also, if you shop around there is a range of paper frame designs in addition to the standard white, such as Blue Marble', 'Candy Pop' and 'Rainbow'.
Ease of Use
|Front of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11|
Being a budget-level instant film camera, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a doddle to setup and comes with a concise instruction manual to follow for a smooth experience.
To get going, you'll need to load the camera with two AA batteries and, of course, the instant film. Before popping open the large Instax embossed rear door, you'll need to check the two small windows.
If the window by the rear door's catch is yellow, then there is film already loaded. If it's black, it's empty. The other window displays how many sheets remain in the pack of ten cartridge and when S is displayed it is safe to load a cartridge.
|Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11|
With the rear door open, the yellow mark on the cartridge lines up with one inside the camera. Slot in the cartridge and close the door. Simple.
Before you get started, you'll need to take a shot to eject the safety sheet from the cartridge. To switch on the camera, there is a button next to the pop up lens which it into position ready to take photos. Now you're good to go.
A second extension action of the lens barrel puts the lens into 'selfie' mode, which changes the close focus distance to 0.3m. Otherwise, the focus range is from 0.5m to infinity.
|Selfie Mode On|
You'll notice that the lens is labelled with a 60mm focal length, which in this format translates to around 35mm - that's a moderate wide angle.
With a subject around a metre away, you'll get a good amount of surroundings in the shot. For a selfie from around 0.4m, you can comfortably fit in two people, but if any else jumps in it's a real squeeze. Landscape format is more accommodating.
Shots can be composed using the basic optical viewfinder, although you won't want to rely on its accuracy down to the T, especially for close up subjects. Also, you really have to press your eye in close in order to see through the finder in the first place.
|Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11|
The Instax Mini 11 is primarily designed to be used in portrait format with the built-in flash at the top. For accurate framing, the 'O' seen in the middle through the viewfinder should be positioned slightly up and right of centre to your subject. If you switch to landscape format with the flash still on top, then the 'O' should be slightly to the upper left of centre.
On the lens itself is a mirror that can be used as a guide for selfies. The selfie mirror is a surprisingly helpful aid, but again because of the lens position you'll consciously need to tweak of angle of the camera to frame yourself in the centre. And with the camera turned on you, those tweaks are reversed as you look at the camera.
Guidance regarding composition can be found in the instruction manual - it's possibly the most tricky aspect of the camera to consciously remember.
When taking shots, you'll need to be aware of where your hands are holding the camera because you will not want to obstruct the built-in flash or crucially the auto exposure (AE) light and Flash Light sensors - both found above the lens.
It's worth noting that the automatic flash fires every time a photo is taken. If we had a choice, the flash would be on by default but with an option of deactivating it for the picture you are about to take.
The Instax Mini 11 is a fun looking camera, available in five colours, and we liked the Sky Blue version we had for this test. There are also different border styles available on the sheets of paper. Clearly, Fujifilm wants people to enjoy this camera.
|Front of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11|
Style-wise, there is not too much change from the Instax Mini 9. We'll leave it to you whether or not you like the style.
You get a couple of colour-matching accessories supplied with the camera. Our Sky Blue sample has a blue wrist strap and two clip-on buttons to customise the shutter release - one a matching colour and another that glows in the dark. Party time!
Size-wise, the Instax Mini 11 fits in the hand comfortably. There's not a single right-angle on the curved plastic body, which has a smooth and slippy surface.
|Front of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11|
As such, we found ourselves needing to concentrate a little to avoid dropping the Instax Mini 11 and certainly appreciated the wrist strap as a back up. The camera is of course made from plastic, so ideally you won't drop it, but it is robust enough if you do.
For a secure hold and to avoid obstructing those light sensors, we found placing both hands on the underside of the camera best and comfortable. However, there is no intuitive way to hold the camera properly in landscape format.
With Instant photography, there is the compulsive nature to it. Capture a moment and enjoy it together there and then. Take your keepsake with you. Give one away, share the joy.
|The Final Print|
Of course that enjoyment factor is tarnished if the camera is spewing out pictures that appear too bright or too dark, blown out by flash or with off-kilter framing. You don't want photos that go straight in the bin.
Thankfully, with auto exposure now on board, good photos are a more regular experience in this, Fujifilm's budget friendly Instax camera. Of course, you never know exactly what you will get, especially when it comes to framing, but you at least get something close enough. This all comes with a caveat that is painful to say - we strongly recommend reading the instructions!
So long as you have a supply of paper and those moments to enjoy and share, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a camera you'll want to have at your side.
We have mostly ignored the critical element of image quality because that is largely irrelevant in instant photography. Instead, we have focused our attention on how the Instax Mini 11 fares as an instant camera and how it improves on its predecessor.
Like a number of Instax cameras, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 uses the Instax Mini Instant Film. 'Credit card'print sizes measure 62x46mm (or 86x54mm including the border) and take about 90 seconds to develop once the paper is ejected after a picture is taken.
If we had to choose between the Instax Mini print size or the Instax Square size (62x62mm), we'd go for the latter. In the hand, mounted to a wall, stuck in an album, the larger square format gives subjects that extra room to breathe. (Perhaps this reviewer is swayed by the love of his own Polaroid SX-70 Instant Camera that shoots in square format.)
Exposure control is fully automatic and measured through the AE Light and Flash Light sensors next to the Instax logo - so don't cover them up when you are shooting or else the shot won't come out properly!
We really appreciated not having to fiddle between the exposure modes like in the Instax Mini 9 - auto exposure means one less thing to think about. (There really shouldn't be much at all to think about with an Instant camera!)
The auto exposure control method in the Instax Mini 11 is through a fixed f/12.7 aperture lens and a variable shutter speed range. Conversely, the Mini 9 has a fixed 1/60sec shutter speed and those four exposure mode settings to adjust aperture depending on the scenario.
In the Instax Mini 11, there is a variable shutter speed range of 1/2 sec to 1/250 sec, with a slow synchro for low light and a built-in flash that has an effective 0.3m to 2.7m range.
The paper itself has a sensitivity of ISO 800, which at a basic level is a multi-purpose paper. The sweet spot for this paper and shutter speed range combination is outdoor overcast conditions or in the shade.
In bright light, the minimum 1/250 sec, fixed f/12.7 aperture and ISO 800 combination is still too fast for exposures not to blow out in the highlights. For example, sunlit bright white clouds lack detail. Extending the fast end of the shutter speed range to 1/500 sec would for the best part solve this problem.
One other factor regarding blown out bright highlights is 'metering'. If there is a range of shadows and highlights in a scene, the AE light sensor seems to favour the shadows. In general, you'll want to capture scenes that feature a similar brightness level all throughout.
We strongly feel that an instant camera should at least be able to take well exposed photos in a range of scenarios - including bright light! Hopefully blown out highlights can be addressed next time around.
On the opposite end of the spectrum in low contrast light, the 1/2 sec maximum shutter speed with slow synchro flash is a big improvement from before.
In the Instax Mini 9, whenever the flash came into play, the background around the subject would be virtually black. With slow synchro in the Instax Mini 11, more detail is revealed in those darker areas outside of the flash range. We much prefer the look of shots in low light here.
An always on flash can be a limiter. If you have more than one subject at various distances within the 0.3 to 2.7m flash range, the closest one will likely be too bright. That would be true of any flash, but here you don't have a choice to turn the flash off.
The Instax Mini 11 minimum focus distance is 0.3m, which again is an improvement over the 0.35m in the Mini 9. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a big difference especially for selfies. While images are never going to be critically sharp, at least pictures using the selfie mode are more likely to be in focus than before. Just make sure you stretch your arms as far as they can go!
Technically, the selfie mode works well for close up shots because what it does is narrow the focus range to 0.3m to 0.5m.
Overall, those handling improvements in the Instax Mini 11 result in a much more reliable camera - there will be far fewer throwaway prints. Auto exposure, an exposure range more capable across a range of scenarios (thought not totally), a more useable selfie mode, it all adds up.
And as for the overall feel and colour rendition of the images, we are big fans of the Instax Mini film. Colours are truly and simply gorgeous.
Of course our rating reflects where the Fujfilm Instax Mini 11 is positioned, as a budget-level instant film camera. When considered in this way, you'll struggle to find a better alternative.
At £69 and using a comparatively low cost/ high quality paper, which is about the easiest instant paper to find in the shops, the Instax Mini 11 offers very good value.
It's a no brainer to go for the Mini 11 over the Mini 9. There's not too much different going on styling wise, but it's in the prints that are churned out that the improvement is enjoyed.
Auto exposure and indeed wider exposure brightness parameters means more shots across a range of scenarios come out right.
Ultimately, the exposure range is still not fully there in bright light - we'd like an even faster shutter speed - but in low light things are much better. It's those slower shutter speeds that enable more detail to come through outside of the flash range.
A slightly closer minimum focus distance and easy to use built-in selfie mode improve close up shots too.
Where the Fujfilm Instax Mini 11 truly shines is the look and feel of its prints. Provided the picture has an accurate brightness level, the colours in prints are divine.
It's simple really - if a camera doesn't work the way that you hoped it would (or if it's running cost is prohibitive), you won't use it and the dust soon gathers. If we owned a Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, we would want to carry it around. That's about the best complement to extend to an instant film camera.
If you are on the lookout for a budget-friendly instant film camera and like the style of the Fujfilm Instax Mini 11, look no further.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4.5|
Listed below are some of the rivals of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11.
The new Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay pairs a digital camera with an Instax mini printer to enable you to take photos and make instant prints. It also offers the ability to record sound clips for the first time on an Instax. Read our in-depth Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay review, complete with downloadable sample images, to find out if this is the best ever Instax device...
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 is a new hybrid instant camera that blends the digital and analog together, capturing 3.7 megapixel images and printing out 62mm square prints, all from the same device. Does it offer the best of both worlds? Read our Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 review to find out...
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ20 is a hybrid instant camera that takes digital pictures and makes instant prints. Does it offer the best of both the digital and analog worlds? Read our in-depth Fujifilm Instax Square SQ20 review to find out...
The Instax Square SQ6 is Fujifilm's first ever camera to use the square Instax film format. Is it better than its main rival, the Lomo’Instant Square? Find out now by reading our Instax Square SQ6 review...
The brand new Leica Sofort is the German manufacturer's first ever instant film camera. Entering a market dominated by Fujifilm, the Sofort (German for "instant") can take both colour and black & white pictures, and features a small mirror for easier selfies. Read the World's first Leica Sofort review now to find out what it offers...
Born out of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Lomo Instant is the most advanced instant camera on the planet. Using the widely available Fujifilm Instax Mini film, the Lomo Instant offers advanced features like manual aperture control, a built-in flash, and a bulb mode for long exposures. Read our Lomo Instant review now...
The new Lomo Instant Wide uses Fuji Instax Wide film, which is twice as wide as Instax Mini film. The Lomo Instant Wide offers advanced features like three different shooting modes,a fully programmatic shutter, a built-in flash, and unlimited multiple exposures. Read our Lomo Instant Wide review now...
As its name suggests, the new Lomo'Instant Automat Glass is a fully automatic instant camera with a glass lens. Read our Lomo'Instant Automat Glass review now to find out it delivers the best image quality from an instant film camera ...
The new Lomo'Instant Automat is a fully automatic instant camera that promises to take perfectly lit mini shots, anytime. Does it succeed? Find out by reading our Lomo'Instant Automat review now...
The new Lomo'Instant Square is a fully automatic instant camera that's the first ever analog model to use the square Instax film format. You can also use Instax Mini film by changing the camera back, increasing its versatility. Is this the best instant camera on the market? Find out by reading our Lomo'Instant Square review now...
Reviews of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 from around the web.
It doesn't look all that different from the outgoing Mini 9, but Fujifilm's latest instant camera is also its best. Auto exposure and a variable shutter speed help it take better pictures and avoid wasting shots, while the adjustable lens makes all kinds of close-up photography possible – not just selfies. If you're just getting started with instant film, there's no better place to start.
Read the full review »
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is fun, inexpensive, and a selfie machine. If you're looking for an instant camera and don't want to spend a lot of money, it's the one to get.
Read the full review »
The INSTAX Mini 11 is a no-brainer if you’re after a low-cost instant camera, but I’d say the biggest decision is whether to go for it or one of Fujifilm’s INSTAX Square models.
Read the full review »
There was a time where I wouldn’t be caught dead with the Fujifilm Instax Mini series of cameras, but the Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 11 is part of what’s winning me over fully through the line.
Read the full review »
|Film||FUJIFILM instax mini instant film|
|Photo Picture Size||62 mm × 46 mm|
|Lens||2 components, 2 elements, f = 60 mm, 1:12.7|
|Viewfinder||Real image finder, 0.37×, with target spot|
|Shooting Range||0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m)|
|Shutter||Programmed electronic shutter 1/2 to 1/250 sec. Slow synchro for low light|
|Exposure Control||Automatic, Lv 5.0 to 14.5 (ISO 800)|
|Film Developing Time||Approx. 90 seconds (varies depending on the ambient temperature)|
|Flash||Constant firing flash (automatic light adjustment), recycle time: 6.5 seconds or less (when using new batteries), effective flash range: 0.3 to 2.7 m|
|Power Supply||Two AA-size alkaline batteries (LR6), capacity: approx. 10 instax mini film packs of 10 exposures each|
|Auto Power Off Time||After 5 minutes|
|Other||Includes film counter and film pack confirmation window|
|Dimensions||107.6 mm × 121.2 mm × 67.3 mm|
|Weight||293 g (without batteries, strap, and film)|
The Fujifilm instax mini 11 is the successor to the mini 9 , adding an “Automatic Exposure” function, Selfie Mode and custom shutter buttons.
The instax mini 11 instant camera will be available from 5th March 2020 priced at £69.99 / $69.99.
FUJIFILM unveils its next-generation instant camera
London, 26 February 2020 – FUJIFILM is pleased to announce the launch of instax mini 11, the latest innovation in its long line of popular instax instant cameras and Smartphone printers.
The instax mini 11 has been designed with portability in mind along with a fresh, stylish look. Available in five colours, the new mini 11 boasts the following new features and benefits:
Automatic Exposure function for better pictures day or night
The “Automatic Exposure” function instantly senses the level of ambient light when the shutter button is pressed, and optimising the shutter speed and flash output according to the condition. It allows even inexperienced users to take photos that are automatically perfectly exposed regardless of lighting conditions, producing high- quality instant photo prints on the spot.
Selfie Mode for quick and easy selfies
Users can activate the Selfie Mode, perfect for taking selfies and close-up shots, by simply pulling out the front edge of the lens after powering the camera on. The mini 11 also features the iconic mirrored panel from instax, making it super easy to take selfies and close-up pictures.
Custom shutter buttons for style and personalisation
The mini 11 comes with two stylish interchangeable shutter button stickers; a fun way to easily personalise the camera and alter the way the button looks.
Updated design with attention to detail
instax mini 11’s rounder, softer, modern and compact look is a direct homage to its mini 9 predecessor. Contrasting design elements on the mini 11 are achieved by using a different material around the lens from the rest of the camera body. The mini 11 is available in five pastel tones – Blush Pink, Sky Blue, Charcoal Gray, Ice White, and Lilac Purple.
Also accompanying the launch of this exciting new instant camera are two new instax instant film varieties: instax mini Blue Marble film and instax SQUARE White Marble film. Both have marble-patterned print frames transforming everyday photos into unique, fun keepsakes.
Product Specification – instax mini 11
Film FUJIFILM instax mini instant film
Lens 2 components, 2 elements, f = 60 mm, 1:12.7
Viewfinder Real image finder, 0.37×, with target spot
Shooting Range 0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m)
Shutter Programmed electronic shutter 1/2 to 1/250 sec.
Slow synchro for low light
Exposure Control Automatic, Lv 5.0 to 14.5 (ISO 800)
Film Ejection Automatic
Film Developing Time Approx. 90 seconds (varies depending on the ambient temperature)
Flash Constant firing flash (automatic light adjustment),
Recycle time: 6.5 seconds or less (when using new batteries),
Effective flash range: 0.3 to 2.7 m
Power Supply Two AA-size alkaline batteries (LR6),
Capacity: approx. 10 instax mini film packs of 10 exposures each
Auto Power Off Time After 5 minutes
Other Includes film counter and film pack confirmation window
Dimensions/Weight 107.6mm×121.2mm×67.3mm 293g (without batteries, strap, and film)
Package contents Two AA-size alkaline batteries (LR6), Hand Strap, Shutter Accessory set
*The above specifications are subject to change
instax mini 11 instant camera will be available at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of £69.99 and is expected to be available for purchase on 5th March 2020. UK retailers will include Fujifilm House of Photography, Amazon, Urban Outfitters, Skinny Dip, John Lewis, Currys PC World, Harrods and Dixons. For more information about the instax mini 11 visit: https://www.instax.co.uk/insta...
instax mini Blue Marble film will have an SRP of £8.99 and instax SQUARE White Marble film will have an SRP of £9.99 and is expected to be available for purchase on 5th March 2020.