Fujifilm's Instax camera line harks back to the days when instant photo-sharing meant passing around a freshly printed snap, and for the newest model, the company is upping that nostalgia factor. Launching alongside a retro-styled square photo format, the Instax Square SQ10 expands the shooting options, improves image quality, and adds the ability to store photos digitally and apply filters before printing them.
Unlike previous cameras in the line, the SQ10 uses a digital image sensor to capture images at a resolution of 1920 x 1920 pixels. Stored on either the internal memory or a microSD card, they can then be viewed and tweaked on the new LCD screen on the back, before being printed. Photographers can adjust the brightness and control the vignette effect (the level of light around the edges of the image) either before or after shooting, and 10 different filters can be laid over the top, including the usual suspects like monochrome, sepia, and various degrees of color saturation
To some photographers, the digital fiddling might muddy up the instant-print charm, but making sure only the best shots are printed could keep you from burning through a limited supply of newly developed square format film too fast. Those photos come out as prints measuring 86 x 72 mm (3.4 x 2.8 in), with the images themselves taking up a square of 62 mm (2.4 in), and will print in about 12 seconds.
The SQ10's lens has an aperture of F2.4 and a focus range of down to 10 cm (3.9 in) for close-ups. Photographers are able to set a range of shooting modes for better low-light capture or double exposure shots, making it a little more involved than its point-and-shoot predecessors in the Instax Mini line. The camera measures 119 x 47 x 127 mm (4.7 x 1.9 x 5 in), and with film and the battery inside, weighs 450 g (15.9 oz).
Fujifilm has announced that the Instax Square SQ10 will be available on May 19 for US$279, while 10-packs of film will run you $16.99.