Wide Instant Cameras are Bigger and Better



Fujifilm, a Japanese camera company, released their first wide Polaroid, the Instax 100, in May, 1999. Since then, the company has released new wide instant cameras, improving the quality and functionality of the cameras. The company grew tremendously with the new trend of taking instant photos with Polaroid cameras like people did before the growth of digital cameras. Today, Instax’s newest wide Polaroid is the Instax 300, released in Spring of 2015.

The thing that sets this model apart from the others is its “massive” film size, twice the size of an Instax Mini. The film is like a landscape postcard, rather than the small portrait film. Its size makes each image sharper and it can contain more detail. It also makes a picture very unique due to its size not being as used as the other instant film cameras. Its landscape framing captures more of what is going on around the subject, making each picture more immersive. Not having to cram subjects into a small Instax Mini photo is a challenge and this camera eliminates that problem completely. This fairly new wide camera has a more retro and sleek design, compared to its past model. Unlike other Instax camera models, this version only comes in one standard color, black with silver accents. This camera also features a side grip for easy handling. The Instax Wide is quite big when placed next to an Instax Mini model. Its main features are simple but some can get tedious.

There are two buttons at the back of the camera, a lighten/darken and flash button. The lighten/darken button is extremely useful when shooting bright areas or taking pictures of light skin subjects. This brings out details that could possibly get over exposed. It’s also useful in dark situations but in my experience this is rare due to the strong flash on the camera. But if you wish to bring out details from a dark background then this will help. The way the camera darkens a photo is by quickening its shutter speed and it does the opposite to lighten. If trying to lighten a picture, be very still because a slower shutter speed can lead to blurry pictures. The flash button simply turns on or off the flash but if the sensor picks up an extremely dark scenario, it will set off its flash no matter what.

Because the camera and its pictures are bigger, the flash is more powerful. Flash overexposure hasn’t been a problem since its sensor does a really good job balancing out the photo, but overexposure can happen when trying to lighten the photo. When taking a picture, a red light will illuminate at the viewfinder to indicate that the flash is being charged. The camera will not take a picture until the red light turns off.

Overall this camera is definitely one of my favorites. Although it isn’t as easy to carry around like the smaller Instax Mini, I’d still make an effort to take it around with me just because each picture feels so special. The wide film prevents the need to hold the picture two inches from your face to see what is going on in the photo.

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