Go square or go home
FUJIFILM instax SQUARE SQ10
FUJIFILM’s instant cameras – particularly the instax mini series – have been around for almost two decades, but it was in recent years that they saw a boom in popularity among female users, youth, and partygoers. After all, it’s a fun and easy way to have your impromptu moments captured and printed on the same device. The rise of Instagram and Snapchat soon swayed that very same audience in favor of upping their selfie game with face-changing effects and mood-altering filters. Sensing an opportunity to bridge the divide between print and digital once more, FUJIFILM released the instax SQUARE SQ10, which also led to the introduction of an all-new ‘instax SQUARE’ film format.
Like the instax mini and instax WIDE, the films are sold in a pack of 10. Each of the 72 x 85.6 mm film houses a 62 x 62 mm image that mimics 1:1 Instagram ratio. In keeping with the square theme, the camera is squarish in shape and comes with rounded edges and strategicallyplaced indentations for a comfortable hold. It’s possible to sit it upright during photo printing, and there are two designated holes to securely attach your camera strap. Look below and you’ll find the battery compartment on one side, and the Micro-USB and microSD card slots on the other. Naturally, the film dispenser slot sits on top, while the tripod hole can be found at the base of the camera.
We should probably mention that the camera body also underwent a small, but significant change. This time around, the flash and lens are centered, the latter which makes for a more accurate composition, while two shutter buttons are positioned where the user’s index fingers typically rest. The lens exterior – dressed in a circular spunmetal finish – doubles as a power ring that activates the camera in just two seconds. Between auto and manual shooting, we’d prefer to go with the latter, as the photos are saved into internal memory (or microSD card should one be inserted), to be printed at your leisure.
There are 10 filters to choose from, along with brightness and vignette controls. Interestingly, you can still make changes to the saved images, combine multiple images into a collage of four or nine sub-photos, or experiment with doubleexposure and long-shutter captures. Our test photos turned out well, very much in line with the Instagram aesthetics, though some may balk at the price of the camera and film packs.
CONCLUSION An interesting hybrid camera that’s pricier than its mini siblings.
Controls are self-explanatory.