In an age where most people have a camera in their phone as standard, Fujifilm’s Instax range of instant film cameras has been a smash. And now, the company has sought the blend the best of both digital and analogue formats with a hybrid extension to the line.
The Instax Square SQ10 adds a 1/4-inch CMOS image sensor to the existing Instax system, one that records at a 1920 x 1920pixel resolution.
Not only that, but it's the first model to work with the new Instax Square film format that was announced last year. This measures 85.6x72mm, with the image itself resulting at 62x62mm.
The combination of both digital and film technologies is said to allow images to be captured better in low-light conditions than would otherwise be the case. Autofocus and face recognition, both found as standard in the vast majority of conventional digital cameras, are also possible.
The camera has been designed with a fixed-focal-length lens, with a focal length that equates to 28.5mm in 35mm terms and an aperture of f/2.4. On the back there’s a 3.0-inch LCD with a 460k-dot resolution, together with a dial and collection of buttons for camera operation, while left and right shutter-release buttons are found on the top plate.
Instax cameras are all about fun and the SQ10 provides this by the bucketload. Through the screen and aforementioned controls you can adjust filters, vignette styles and change brightness, and it’s also possible to zoom, crop and apply filters before you print images straight from the camera.
Set the camera to its Micro mode and you can get 10cm away from the subject, while a separate Division function gives you the choice to place up to nine individual images onto a single print.
Furthermore, as on other Instax models, it’s possible to create double exposures. Not only that, but thanks to a bulb option and a tripod mount on the base of the camera, you can use the SQ10 to create long exposures.
All images are captured in the JPEG format and around 50 of these can be stored on the camera’s internal memory, although a slot for microSD / microSDHC cards expands this storage space further.
The battery, meanwhile, is a rechargeable lithium ion cell with enough juice to last for around 160 images, and you can power this through the camera’s micro USB port.
There’s no word on pricing or availability in the UK as of yet, but the camera is set to go on sale in May in the U.S. for $279.95. The new Square format film will be available in packs of ten sheets at $16.99.