When the newest evolution of the Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 40 was announced, I knew that I had to try it out. Sure, I’ve been a digital photographer for as long as I can remember, but something about having an instant print made me excited.

Plus, the fact that I never had an instant camera made this a must-try.

After spending a couple months with it and the new Contact Sheet film, I have to say that it’s become a really, really fun camera to use.

The idea behind the INSTAX Mini 40

The INSTAX Mini 40 is meant for the camera enthusiast, and those that appreciate the retro spirited design. The black and silver coloring give a nod to the film days of old, while offering a small camera that can fit in a single hand.

Over the past several years, film has made somewhat of a comeback. It provides a sort of nostalgia to photographers, especially to those who grew up shooting film cameras. The INSTAX Mini is meant to be a throwback to those times, offering an instant look at a moment in time.

It’s incredibly easy to use and offers a style that no digital camera (or amount of post-processing) can beat.

Technical specs

  • Focal length: 60mm
  • Aperture: f/5.6–16
  • Focus type: Fixed focus
  • Minimum focus distance: 11.8 inches
  • Processing time: Approximately 90 seconds
  • Weight: 0.7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.1 x 2.6 inches

Film meets the digital era

If you regularly look at Instagram, you’re bound to find at least a few photos that are edited to match a film style. People these days seem to be obsessed when they see that faded, matte-style finish on photographs. With the INSTAX Mini 40, Fujifilm has put that idea into the hands of the everyday person — without post-processing needed.

The camera has an Automatic Exposure feature, meaning that it can read the light present, and then optimizes the camera’s shutter speed and flash. While I found this to still overexpose slightly, I have a feeling that might be the Contact Sheet film’s doing slightly, too.

When I used it at night, the Contact Sheet film developed a contrasty mood which reminded me so much of film photographs that my parents used to take as kids. Except in a much more pocket-sized form.

The photos were a blast. Whenever I handed the camera to my friends, they knew exactly what to do — no instruction required. The built-in selfie mode (which is just a tiny mirror on the front of the camera) makes it easy to get the perfect shot. No more guessing where to point.

I used the camera to take a selfie with some friends from Seattle that I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half due to Covid-19. It was a perfect memory without me having to line up the shot and adjust settings like I typically would.

And that’s really what the INSTAX Mini 40 should be about — making fun memories. And for just under $100, you really can’t go wrong.

Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 40 Instant Film Camera

Designed for today’s new generation of image makers and shot takers, the INSTAX Mini 40 Instant Film Camera from FUJIFILM combines modern day features with classic design cues. A sleek, fun, and stylish camera capable of producing instant credit card-sized prints, this camera offers a built-in selfie lens, auto shutter speed, and auto brightness, so you can hit the streets running. It also features a built-in flash for working in low-light conditions, and with the INSTAX Mini 40 what you see is what you get, every shot, every time, all on high-quality INSTAX Mini instant film.