Our first trip to Disneyland we got Evie one of the photo and autograph books you can purchase in the park. This time though I knew I wanted something different, something to instantly save her memories. I knew exactly what I needed… a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera. My idea turned out better than I could have imagined and now it’s a wonderful keepsake.
With the help of my Mom, who has much more scrapbooking knowledge than I ever will, we created a mini binder with pages that could hold a signature and the Instant Film prints. I actually had to escape a couple evenings after both of my girls went to bed so that I could make this without Evie knowing. She still had no clue at this point that we were even going to Disneyland. I love all the little details in the book we made because we used Disney themed paper and made Mickey Ears to help with turning the pages.
I knew immediately that a pink Instax Mini 8 was the one to get, Evie has a love for all things pink. The camera is nice and small, and not too heavy. We were able to pop it and the film packages into our carry-on bag. We have a black stroller, so I also loved that I could easily spot this colour in our stroller and grab it quickly while we wandered Disneyland.
The characters ooo-ed and awww-ed over Evie’s book each time we met them. This made it even more special to her. She was so proud to show off her book and then have them sign it and get a photo with them. The princesses especially took note and made sure to ask her all about it.
Each time a photo was taken we patiently waited the couple of minutes needed for the photo to develop and then we put the photos in a safe spot in the stroller. When we had some down time in Disneyland or when we were back at the hotel we put each picture into its spot with scrapbooking glue dots.
Now the book sits on Evie’s dresser in her room and is often flipped through. I can tell she is thinking back to our family vacation and everything she experienced. I love that this time her photo book was instant. No waiting for photos to print and picking them up from the photo studio. The memories were right there!
Overview and Features on the Instax Mini 8
Brightness adjustment dial: The Instax mini 8 is able to automatically determine the best brightness for taking a picture. It tells you what setting is most suitable for the lighting by flashing a light at the corresponding indicator on the dial. Turn the dial to that mark. This helps you in trying to get the best image possible.
You can take a high-key photo easily.
Setting the brightness adjustment dial to the high-key mode mark allows you to take pictures with a softer impression.
- Auto Flash/Focus Free
- Brightness Adjustment Dial (indoor, cloudy, sunny, very sunny)
- High-Key Photo
- Take Instant Photos: use Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant colour film (5.3cm x 8.4cm – the size of a credit card)
- Electronic Shutter: 1/60 sec. shutter speed
- Built-in Lens Cover
- Fujinon Lens
- 2 AA batteries needed
- 0.2 kg weight
Our Pros and Cons for the Instax Mini 8
– Fun design and multiple colour options. The Instax Mini 8 is available in 8 different colours. It is a very rounded design out of plastic with a large off-centre lens.
– Ease of use. This camera is incredibly easy to use. The film cartridge is marked with indicators for which way it goes in that you line up with the indicators inside the camera body. Then when you turn the camera on by pushing the button to have the lens pop out the brightness indicator lets you know what setting you should use. Click the button and your photo will come out. If it’s a brand new cartridge of film the first thing to come out is the black backing of the packaging. Even my preschooler knows how to use it!
– Reasonably priced. The Instax Mini 8 body runs around $99 but keep an eye out they sometimes go on sale. Others like it are priced at a higher starting point.
– Makes you slow down. When using the Instax Mini 8 I find myself slowing down and thinking about the photo before I take it. Remember your parents taking pictures with film and not wanting to waste it? I found myself having that mindset. I wanted to capture moments I truly wanted to save.
– Film cost. The film is around $21 per twin pack of 10 exposures. So a photo is just over $1 each. I consider this expensive when I pay 10 cents per print image when I order prints. I would love to see this cost for the film be brought down if at all possible.
– Image quality varied. I found that the clarity and quality were different from photo to photo. While it did improve as I figured things out and good used to the camera, I was not a fan of the learning curve. I found sometimes the brightness indicator for what setting to use was sometimes off or did not give me the result I wanted so I would end up taking a photo over. When everything is right the image is amazing, when its off it results in some crazy blown-out lighting.
– Changing colour. The body of the camera picked up dirt and the blue form denim very easily due to the matte plastic. It does clean very easily, but it can be frustrating to have your once pink camera suddenly be baby blue. I would strongly suggest getting a case or some sort of holder for the camera.
Overall it has been a very fun camera to use and it’s one that my preschooler often asks for us to bring with us. She loves that she can take a photo easily with it, all on her own, and have it to keep right away. We’ve actually created a little gallery in her room with a string and some mini clothes pegs for her to hang her photos.
The film may be pricey, but I like that it’s taken me back to the mindset my parents had when taking photos with film camera. I am capturing moments I truly want instead of just taking 100 photos of one moment and not truly liking any of them. A lot more thought goes into it.
The photos have become specialy little keepsakes and our Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 will continue to capture memories for our family.
Stay tuned… you are going to want to check out our Discovering Parenthood Facebook Page later because we will have a giveaway up there for you to win a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8!
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Disclosure: Fujifilm Canada provided us with a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 and film for it in order for us to do this product feature and review. All opinions and views on this post are 100% my own.