Buying Guide: The best instant cameras
Published Jul 9, 2018 | Dan Bracaglia
Fujifilm Instax Mini 70
Instax Mini format | 35mm equiv. F12.7 lens | Auto exposure control
What we like:
- Easily one of the best-looking instant cameras
- Simple to operate
- Small and light
- Motor-driven focus
- Tripod socket
What we don't:
- No true exposure compensation
- No way to turn off flash except in infinity mode
- CR2 batteries can be hard to find
- Difficult to frame close-ups
The Mini 70 is Fujifilm's mid-range Instax Mini camera and is among the smallest, lightest instant cameras on the market. It debuted in 2015 and though it is somewhat light on standout features, it is very simple to use.
Offered in six colors, the Mini 70 is both pleasing to the eye and comfortable to hold. It's made of plastic, but feels very well constructed. The camera is held in the vertical orientation which is convenient for portraits. The shutter is located on the front of the camera, which takes some getting used to. It is powered by two CR2 batteries which can be a bit hard to find, but should offer up to 400 shots (40 film packs).
High-key mode offers the only manual exposure override.
Shooting modes include: Macro, Landscape, Selfie, Self timer and 'High-key' mode (more on that below). A small LCD window on the back displays the active mode, as well as the number of remaining shots. Most Fujifilm Instax cameras offer a small 'selfie' mirror next to the lens and the Mini 70 is no exception. It doesn't ship with any additional creative accessories like some of its siblings.
Exposure is fully automatic: The camera uses its variable electronic shutter (1/2 sec - 1/400 sec) and flash (2.7m / 8.9ft max range) to try and dial in optimal settings. Image quality is pretty solid, the Mini 70 does a good job balancing the flash with ambient light when shooting portraits. However, High-key mode offers the only manual exposure override - increasing it by 2/3rds-stop - and there is no way to reduce exposure. The camera also has three motor-driven focus positions, with one for normal shooting, one for Macro and Selfie modes and one for Landscape mode.
The Instax Mini 70 is a well-balanced camera and probably the model that makes the most sense for the most people. It's cool-looking and light, so you'll feel inclined to take it along and the auto exposure general does a pretty good job in most settings. The only thing missing: a true exposure compensation mode, but for the price, the Mini 70 is a winner.
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