Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Review

October 11, 2017 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 is a hybrid analogue and digital camera, giving you the ability to shoot digital images and print off the best ones. As the name may indicate, it uses a square format of instant film - which is new to the market, and with its shape, is reminiscent of the Polaroid type film of old. Inside the SQ10 is a 1/4-inch 3.7 megapixel CMOS sensor. It is joined by a fixed lens, which has an equivalent 35mm focal length of 28.5mm, with a maximum aperture of f/2.4. Packs of film are available to buy for around £8.99 / $16.99 at the time of writing - this gives you 10 shots. At the time of writing, the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 costs around £230 / $279 (excluding film).

Ease of Use

The Instax Square SQ10 is quite a large camera, which is not surprising considering that it has to house a printing mechanism, along with the pack of film inside it. Don’t expect to fit the SQ10 into a tight jeans pocket - you might just about get away with a large jacket or coat pocket though.

It uses a rounded edge square design, which looks quite stylish, if not a little unusual. You may find you get some curious looks when using the SQ10 in public.

Designed to be simple to use, that may or may not be a plus point depending on your point of view. There are very few controls you can take yourself as the shooter. Although the lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.4, you can’t select aperture yourself - nor can you choose shutter speed or ISO.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Front of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

To switch on the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10, you twist the metal front lens element from the off to the on position. It’s quite quick to do this, with the camera booted up and ready to go in around two seconds. Also found on the front of the camera are two buttons - one or both you can use as the shutter release. You can also set one of the buttons to control shooting mode - you can set up how the buttons work in the main menu, and you’ll also be prompted to choose how they work when you first set-up the camera.

When it comes to shooting modes, you have three options. You can shoot in Standard, Bulb (which means you can create long exposures), or Double Exposure - this allows you to take two photos in a single exposure.

Also on the front of the camera is an autofocus assist light, which will automatically activate should you be shooting in low light. You can switch this off in the main menu, which is handy if you happen to be shooting somewhere discreet. Autofocusing is generally pretty quick, and a green square will display to show you that focus has been achieved. You may find in some low light conditions that the camera struggles to acquire focus - in such cases, the square will be displayed as red. You can’t move the AF point from the centre, meaning you may find the need to do some focusing and recomposing from time to time. There’s a flash unit on the front of the camera too, which is one of the only things that you get control over when using the camera. You can choose between Auto Flash, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro and Red-Eye & Slow.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Moving to the back of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10, and there’s a 3-inch, 460k-dot screen. This isn’t touch-sensitive or tilting, but it displays a bright enough view of your image. Since there’s no viewfinder on the SQ10, you’ll be using this to compose your shot. On the screen as standard, you’ll see the mode you’re working in (Manual or Auto - more on that later), how many prints you’ve got left (represented by dots - one per shot left), and, if you get down to fewer than 10, how many spaces you’ve got left in the internal memory. The internal memory has enough space for 10 shots, but you can also add additional memory via a Micro SD card - the slot for which is found on the side of the camera.

Underneath the screen is where you’ll find all the buttons you’ll need to operate the settings of the Fujifilm SQ10. These buttons are organised around a centralised circular menu button, and are fairly self explanatory. There’s a button for adding a filter - which you can do either before you take an image, or afterwards if you prefer. There’s also an exposure compensation button - again you can dial this in before you take the image, or afterwards as a way to edit the shot. A vignette can be added via another button, again pre- or post- the shot.

There’s also a playback button, a back button and the all-important print button, which you’ll need to use if you’re using the camera in Manual mode. The Auto / Manual modes referred to earlier, do not refer to camera settings as you might expect. Instead Auto means that the camera will act like a traditional instant camera, and spit out the developing film as soon as you press the shutter button. In manual mode however, you can shoot purely digitally, only printing exactly what you want - and once you’re sure you’ve got the shot right.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

To choose between Auto and Manual modes, there’s a switch on the side of the camera. Simply flick between Auto and Manual, when it’s Manual mode, you’ll see a green strip at the top of the switch. It’s worth double checking which mode you’re in before you start to shoot, so you don’t accidentally waste film.

As for the film itself, as with all other Instax cameras, the SQ10 is incredibly simple to use. The film door is opened via a latch towards the top of the camera. Once you’ve removed the film pack from its silver foil container, simply line up the yellow mark on the camera with the yellow mark on the film pack, close the door and you’re ready to go. The camera will automatically eject the black protector piece of film without you having to do anything - once you’ve done that, avoid opening the back of the camera or risk exposing and ruining the film.

For selfie lovers, a reasonable assumption given who this camera is primarily targeted at, there’s a self-timer mode which can be set to either 2 seconds or 10 seconds. With no way to see what you’re framing, it may be a little hit and miss - another good reason to shoot in digital only until you get the framing you want.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 In-hand

When you’re in playback mode, you can look through the images you’ve already taken, choosing to print any that you particularly like, or perhaps a copy of something you’ve already printed.

On the bottom of the camera is a standard tripod thread, while on each side of the camera you’ll find a door which conceals either the battery or the memory card and charging port. The battery can be charged via Micro USB, and in practice lasts a very long time - it is rated for printing 160 shots from fully charged, but unless you go on a printing spree, it’s likely to take a while to get to that point.

There’s no connectivity options with the Instax SQ10, so if you want the digital photos from the camera, you’ll have to wait until you get home or to a computer. Additionally, you’ll need to copy the photos from the internal memory onto a Micro SD card, before then plugging that into your computer somehow. All in all it’s a very long-winded process for something which is so squarely aimed at the Instagram generation - however, as we’ll see, image quality of JPEGs is perhaps not worth the effort anyway. It’s also worth noting that there doesn’t seem to be a way to get a digital copy of images with a filter or vignette applied.

Image Quality

The printed images from the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 are very pleasing to look at - displaying a good level of warmth and depth, and enough detail as is necessary for what is ostensibly a very small print. They also display a familiar retro vibe, which will remind you of using instant cameras of old - especially if you’ve applied one of the filters or a vignette to the image.

This camera however is a hybrid digital and analogue camera, so you can work with the digital files if you so wish. Unfortunately, being a 3.7 megapixel sensor - a figure surpassed by even the most basic of modern smartphone - the images are not the best quality, certainly when viewed bigger than the 86mm x 72mm print size they are designed for. JPEG images look a little flat when viewing the images on a computer screen, and it’s not likely to be a camera you’ll be wanting to take the majority of your digital shots with. Detail is also a little smudgy - certainly don’t be expecting to print these images at A4 size.

Images are best when you’ve taken them in good light, as is often the case with small sensors. That’s not to say you can’t use it in low light - the flash is on hand to help illuminate the scene should you need it.

The fact that you can alter your shots before you print them, or choose not to print them at all, is great for saving shots. It also means you can experiment with different filters down the line should you want to. The filters available are good fun, and certainly worth a look - especially if you’re a big fan of Instagram. Adding a vignette also goes some way to add to the vintage or retro feel of images from the Fujifilm SQ10.

Overall, it’s fair to say that the digital files exist merely as a way to ensure that you’re printing something you’re happy with - rather than something you’ll want to use for other purposes.













Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 camera, which were all taken using the 3.7 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

Product Images

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Front of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Front of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Rear of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 / Print

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Top of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Bottom of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Side of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10


Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Side of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Front of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Front of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Film Compartment
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Memory Card Slot / Battery Compartment


The problem with the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10, as with other instant formats, is the high running costs. It’s likely to be quite a novelty to be able to print your shot straight from the camera at first, but how long that appeal is kept up once the initial film pack runs out is another question. That may be fine if the camera is an impulse purchase to be used at parties, events and other fun occasions, but considering the SQ10 currently retails at over £220, it feels a little on the expensive side. That’s before you’ve even bought any film - at the moment, it’s around £9 for 10 shots - hopefully both the price of the camera, and the price of the film, will come down. 

On the major plus side however, bearing in mind the desire to save shots (and therefore money) is the ability to only print once you’re satisfied you’ve got the shot you want. Reserving prints for only those special shots is a much better way to use expensive instant film. 

Now for one of the other problems here - the SQ10 camera itself just isn’t that great. It’s not that surprising considering it has a 3.7 megapixel 1/4 inch sensor, but the digital files are barely worth keeping beyond your decision to print it or not. The files work just fine for printing them on an Instax film, but you’re definitely going to have at least one other camera at your disposal for the majority of your shots (your smartphone probably outdoes it). 

Those who are more advanced photographers will probably be disappointed to learn that you can’t alter any settings with the SQ10, but it helps to keep things simple for those that want to use it as a simple point and shoot. 

In essence, Fujifilm has created a great piece of fun with the Instax SQ10, which could be a great addition to parties or special occasions. However, the fact that it’s expensive to buy, and prohibitively expensive to run, means it’s likely to be another gadget resigned to the drawer for the average user. Aficionados of instant film should be delighted by the design and print quality, though. 

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3
Value for money 2

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10.

Impossible I-1

The brand new Impossible I-1 is the first new camera system in over twenty years for the original Polaroid photo format. Read our Impossible I-1 review now to find out what it offers...

Leica Sofort

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...

Lomo Instant

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...

Lomo Instant Wide

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...

Lomo'Instant Automat Glass

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 ...

Lomo'Instant Automat

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...

Polaroid Snap

The Polaroid Snap is a 10-megapixel instant digital camera which prints out photos onto 2"x3" ZINK paper. A digital copy is also saved onto a microSD card, and you can shoot new images even while the Polaroid Snap is printing. Read our Polaroid Snap review to find out it's fun or a flop...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 from around the web.

techradar.com »

The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 is a fun piece of kit, and if you'd like more control over images and the ability to adjust and edit in-camera, it's a good fit. But if you simply want fun, instant prints, the firm's cheaper Instax Wide, Mini and super-cool Mini 90 Neo Classic do just as good a job.
Read the full review »

thephoblographer.com »

The Fujifilm Instax SQUARE SQ10 is quite an interesting, if not at times frustrating, camera that packs a whole lot of fun into an oddly shaped body that you’ll either not totally understand or fall head over heels for.
Read the full review »

theverge.com »

Do you want to keep your photos for a long time, and make some of them widely available? Or do you want them to be more ephemeral, something you can give to a friend and maybe never see again? Consciously or not, we ask these questions a lot when trying to decide whether to use Snapchat or Instagram. But they're also swirling at the core of the new Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10.
Read the full review »



Image sensor 1/4-in., CMOS with primary color filter
Effective pixels 1920 x 1920
Storage media Built-in memory, microSD/microSDHC memory card
Recording capacity Built-in memory: Approx. 50 files
microSD/microSDHC memory card: Approx. 1000 files per 1 gigabyte
File system Compliant with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF), Exif Ver.2.3, Compliant with JPEG and PIM
Focal length Fixed as 28.5 mm (35-mm format equivalent)
Aperture F2.4
Auto focus system Single AF (Contrast-detect TTL, equipped with AF illuminator)
Focus range 10cm to ∞
Shutter speed 1/29500 sec. to 1/2 sec. (Auto), maximum 10 sec. in Bulb mode
Sensitivity ISO 100 to 1600 (Auto)
Exposure control Programmed AE
Metering 256-segment through the lens (TTL) metering, Multi metering
White balance Auto
Flash Auto/Compulsory flash/Suppressed flash/Slow synchro/Red-eye removal Effective range: Approx. 50 cm to 8 m
Shooting mode Standard, Double exposure, Bulb mode
Self-timer Approx. 10 sec./Approx. 2 sec.
Image effect 10 Filters, Brightness adjustment, Vignette
Playback function Trimming, Multi image playback


Film FUJIFILM Instant Film “instax SQUARE” (Purchased separately)
Photo capacity 10 prints/pack
Film size 86 mm x 72 mm
Image size 62 mm x 62 mm
Supported image size 800 x 800 dots
Printing solution 12.5 dots/mm (318 dpi, 80 μm dot pitch)
Printing levels 256 levels per color (RGB)
Supported image format JPEG (Some images saved with a photo editing/processing software may not be displayed or printed.)
Printing time Approx. 12 seconds
Print timing Printing shortly after shooting/Printing after selecting image
Printing function Images on built-in memory/micro SD card
Reprint Printable up to the past 50 prints
(Up to 50 images stored in print history)
Digital zoom Up to 2.4 X in printing (Output pixels: 800 x 800)
Film detection Yes (Automatic ejection when inserted)


LCD monitor 3.0-in. (7.6 cm) TFT color LCD monitor
Pixels: Approx. 460k-dots
Input/Output terminals Micro USB (For charging only)
Battery NP-50
Charging function Built-in
Printing capacity Approx. 160 prints (From when the battery is charged fully)
* Varies depending on the conditions of use.
Charging time Approx. 3 to 4 hours (Using 0.5 A USB port)
* Varies depending on air temperature.
Dimension 119 mm x 47 mm x 127 mm (W x D x H)
Weight 450 g (includes film pack and battery)

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