Has technology ever scared you? To the point where you thought a lot before buying a new gadget, especially in case of cameras that can be tough to understand? The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 isn’t that camera. Launched in September, the Instax Square SQ1 is the latest entrant to the Fujifilm line up of instant cameras, priced at Rs 10,999. If the name isn’t enough to explain, the camera produces instant images with the press of a button, helping you print and preserve precious moments.
More of toy, less of gadget
A successor to the Instax Square SQ6, Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 is cuter and can easily be mistaken for a plastic toy. It has a minimalist design with a single shutter button and a lens with a ring on the front. The ring can be twiddled twice – once, to turn on the camera and if you spin it further, the camera is set to click self-portraits.
Even though the traditional cameras are not meant to click selfies, Fujiflim has tried to address that by integrating a selfie mode. The idea is great, execution isn’t. The users can take selfies by looking into a tiny reflector sheet placed on the lens barrel. It isn’t the easiest way to click images and only solves the issue partially. The company should either include a better screen for front-facing pictures, or remove it (if the idea is to keep the camera really basic).
There is also a flash on the same side of the camera which the company is calling a “constant firing flash”. Again, as the name suggests, it is always on. Next to the viewfinder, there is a small flash charging lamp as well. If it is lit, the camera is ready to take a photo. If it is off, the camera is off. When it blinks, the photo is being captured which usually takes between 3 to 10 seconds. If the lamp flash starts blinking rapidly, there is an error.
This could be because of two reasons -the battery is low or, the film is jammed.
A major cost factor you need to keep in mind is that you will have to separately order film packs. A pack of 10 sheets can cost you around Rs 600. Also, the film has to be handled very carefully. I got an error the first time I used the camera because the square film wasn’t inserted properly.
While I was reviewing this camera, I additionally received two packs of film with 10 sheets each. Users will need to order Fujifilm’s square film separately to get the camera working. It isn’t included in the box. Anyway, as soon as I inserted the film pack, my camera got stuck. It couldn’t take pictures and the film was badly jammed.
So, here is a suggestion: Read the instructions in the manual VERY CAREFULLY before you put in the film pack at the back of the camera. Make sure you are very careful because once it is stuck, you will end up paying half the camera cost for repair.
Click on the go
In order to take a picture, turn on the camera by rotating the lens ring to ON. Next, look through the viewfinder, frame your shot, and press the shutter button. When the sound of the film being ejected stops, hold on the ejected film from an edge, and pull it out. It will take around 90 seconds for the picture to appear on the film.
The quality of the images is decent. The best photos are the ones clicked in good light. Otherwise, the pictures look washed out. The pictures that I clicked with the camera were quite flat. It felt as if all the elements in the images are compressed together. Also, the photos lack colours. The camera failed to make bright greens and yellows look lively in the images. Look below:
Should you buy or not?
There is definitely some room for improvement in the camera. This doesn’t mean that Fujifilm Square SQ1 isn’t a good buy. Here is everything you need to keep in mind before making the buying decision:
++The camera is available in three adorable colours: Chalk White, Terracotta Orange, and Glacier Blue. I really liked the orange and blue variant, and there I received the white one for the review. I smell conspiracy!
++You get a free of cost strap within the box. It is a very small thing but useful at the same time. Users can wear the strap on their wrist while shooting which reduces the chance of dropping the camera, especially when you are travelling.
++It is an easy gadget to use. There is no hardcore technology involved to click a picture. You just have to point your camera at a subject, hit the shutter button and get an instant photo.
–A fly in the ointment is the additional cost of the Instax films. The pack of a square film which contains 10 sheets is priced at Rs 685. I believe if a user is spending around Rs 10,000 on a camera, they deserve to operate it immediately once it is out of the box. So, there should be at least one square film included with the camera.
–As mentioned earlier, the selfie mirror is unlikable.
–The colours in the images should have been brighter.
To conclude this, Fujifilm Square SQ1 is a fun camera to play around with. It produces fancy-looking photos instantly for great memories. The cost of films also makes these luxury images but they are totally worth it. It is an easy-to-use gadget which also makes this camera a great gifting option.
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 review
- Instant images
- Additional cost of films
- Dull image colours