Buying Guide: The best instant cameras
Published Jul 9, 2018 | Dan Bracaglia
Fujifilm Instax SQ6
Instax Square format | ~38mm equiv. F12.6 lens | Auto exposure control with exposure compensation
What we like:
- Easy to operate
- Positive and negative exp. comp. modes
- Motor-driven focus
- Creative modes like double exposure
- Tripod socket
What we don't:
- Bulky compared to its Instax Mini counterparts
- No way to turn off flash except in infinity mode
- Uncomfortable to handle
- Difficult to frame close-ups
- CR2 batteries can be hard to find
The Fujifilm Instax SQ6 is a mid-range instant camera that looks an awful lot like the old Instagram logo. It is one of just two Instax Square cameras Fujifilm makes. The other is the SQ10 which is not a true analog camera, but rather a digital/instax hybrid sporting a tiny cellphone sensor (in our opinion it's less fun than it should be).
It should come as no surprise that the jump from Instax Mini to (the larger) Instax Square means a larger camera. The SQ6 is about 1.5x larger than the Mini 70, its most similar Instax Mini cousin, and 1.4x heavier. It may look like a child’s toy, but the plastic build quality is good and it does not seem to be easily broken. The shutter button is located on front and finding it takes some getting used to with your eye to the finder. The camera is powered by two CR2 batteries which should be good for up to 300 shots (that's about 30 film packs).
The Instax Square camera market is still young and of the models available, we feel the SQ6 offers the best balance
Features include a front-facing selfie mirror and dedicated selfie mode as well as a ten-second self timer. There’s also a Macro, Landscape and Double Exposure mode. The camera ships with three flash filters - orange, purple and green - which can be used for a fun effect, but are easily lost. There's no info LCD, but there is a small frame counter located on the back.
The SQ6 has automatic exposure controls with a variable speed shutter. The only manual override is to select either the Lighten or Darken mode which will bias the exposure by 2/3rd-stop. The camera has three motor-driven focus positions, with one for Macro mode - which gets as close as 0.3m / 1ft - one for the normal shooting modes and one for landscape mode that focuses at infinity. The flash has a maximum range of 2.7m / 8.9ft and always fires, except in landscape mode.
The Instax Square camera market is still young and of the models available, we feel the SQ6 offers the best balance of features and build quality for the money. But the camera’s larger size compared to Instax Mini models has us wondering if the SQ6 will end up left home instead of being taken along for the ride.
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