“A HIGHLY CAPABLE DEVICE THAT PRODUCES PLEASING QUALITY PRINTS, BUT IT’S NOT EXACTLY A BARGAIN BUY”
Features 34mm-equivalent lens with two focus settings, inbuilt flash, lots of creative shooting modes and settings Visit www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk
In the last couple of years instant photography has come back into fashion in a huge way, something that Leica, arguably the most coveted of camera manufactures, have embraced with its latest product, the Sofort. While the device’s design is a little boxy, its refined build, retro styling, trio of available colours (mint, orange and white) and visible red dot are optimised to appeal to discerning hipsters.
Shooting Fuji Instax Mini Film (roughly 75p per shot), as well as Leica’s own mini film (£1 per print), it transforms fun moments into memories that can be held in the hand, while managing to keep them cheap enough that you may even consider giving them away.
As seen previously in Fuji’s own cameras that accept this type of film, print quality from the Sofort is highly competitive with good definition and strong colours, albeit with photos looking much softer than what most digital shooters will be used too.
The Sofort’s lens is a fixed 60mm (34mm full-frame equivalent) optic that provides an angle of view not too dissimilar to the human eye with an f/12.7 aperture, while there are two focus settings selectable by a ring on the barrel, one for standard distances and one for close-up work. Alongside its optical viewfinder sits a flash for use in tricky light conditions, while there’s a raft of shooting modes including creative options like multiple-exposure, bulb and macro.
Other advanced features are a self-timer and a rear LCD that displays the current battery level and remaining shots. More intuitive to use than Impossible Project’s recent I1, and much smaller, the Sofort keeps handling simple and portable.
At £229, it’s the cheapest way to pick up a new device from Leica, but with many similar products available under £150, the Sofort is one of the more expensive options within its niche. In fact, this camera is similar in terms of look and function to Fuji’s own Instax Mini 90 priced at £119, something that may give pause for thought before shelling out for it.
All in all, we found the Sofort to be a highly capable device that produces pleasing and quality prints, but it’s still not quite the bargain you might hope for.
An LED indicator on the back displays the remaining shots available
A mirror on the front of the Sofort is designed to make taking a selfie easier.