Fujifilm’s Instax instant film cameras are fun to use, but since the cameras are completely analog you get one print for every shot you take. Not only can it get expensive (a single picture costs about $0.50 to $1) but it’s the only picture you get — there is no digital version.
The Tokyo-based imaging company’s solution is the $200 Instax Share SP-2 mobile printer (about £150 or AU$270), which lets you transform any photo on your smartphone or tablet to an instant film print. To use it, you just need a smartphone or tablet with the company’s updated Share app for iOS or Android installed. The printer creates its own Wi-Fi network that you connect your device to and from there you just use the app to pick, edit and send photos to the printer.
A 10-print cartridge of instant film sits inside, the kind most commonly associated with Polaroid cameras. It’s the same film used for Fujifilm’s Instax Mini cameras and can be found for about $20 (about £18, AU$30) for a two-pack. The prints are small at 3.4 by 2.1 inches (86 by 54 mm), though the actual image size is 2.4 by 1.8 inches (62 by 46 mm).
That’s not exactly cheap, but the benefit here is that, unlike using one of the Instax Mini cameras, there are no wasted prints since you’re using shots from your smartphone. And the app has been updated with new filters and templates including the ability to create your own. You can also adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of prints.
Fujifilm says it used a new laser exposure system to drop the print time to 10 seconds. That’s not a huge increase in speed from the SP-1 — it took about 16 seconds for one of those to go from photo print — but, you know, faster is faster.
The SP-2’s design is also completely new, making it look more like a modern mobile accessory and not a bland, utilitarian photo printer.
Look for the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 in mid-July.