Instax Mini Evo full review
There are numerous instant cameras and printers in the Instax line-up, but its latest hybrid option is one of the most innovative we've seen.
The Instax Mini Evo from Fujifilm combines all the bells and whistles of a classic digital camera with the novelty of an instant camera. But you do not just have to print snaps taken on the Evo – it can also connect to your phone and print photos, just like a standard portable printer.
I have spent some time with the Instax Mini Evo to see if these features are worth the price.
Design and build
- Portable but retro-inspired design
- Useful manual buttons and dials
- Internal storage can only hold 45 images
Previously, I have found instant cameras such as the Instax Mini 11 quite bulbous and hard to port around. I had no such issues with the Instax Mini Evo.
The camera measures 87 x 122.9 x 36 mm and weighs 285g. Its slim, rectangular shape means that it can slip into bags with ease without taking up a lot of room.
Batteries and a strap come included in the box, but the Instax Mini Film that it uses is sold separately. The design is reminiscent of what is seen on the Instax Mini 40, with black and silver accents and a retro, textured front that will suit those who prefer a more professional finish on their kit.
The camera is made from plastic, which should prove slightly durable against any knocks and bumps. On the back, there is a decently sized 3in LCD screen for the menu. This isn't the brightest out there and does get some glare under sunlight.
The camera comes with dual shutter buttons so you can use it both in portrait mode and landscape mode – though the orientation of the prints makes portrait mode the most obvious choice for snaps. The front shutter button is also handy for selfies, which pairs nicely with the discreet mirror (useful for seeing if your face is in shot).
The power button sits on the same side as the lens. To print a photo, there is a little lever which you can pull, and it takes about 16 seconds to print an image. You can change the lens effects by turning the outer ring of the lens and change the film effects by turning the dial on the top of the device.
On the side, there is a microUSB port for charging, as well as a microSD slot, should you need further storage. The camera itself can only store up to 45 images internally, but you can expand this up to around 850 if you use a 1GB SD card.
The Instax Evo comes fitted with a lithium ion battery, which allegedly lasts for around 100 snaps. I had no trouble with the camera’s longevity. Even if you forget to turn it off, the device will power down automatically. When you do come to charge it, it takes around two and half hours.
Features and image quality
- 4.9Mp camera quality
- Annoying menu interface
- 100 different filter and colour combinations
One of the advantages of choosing the Instax Mini Evo over a standard instant camera is the ability to pick from 100 different combinations of filters and colour options. You can also choose to turn the flash on or off or set it to automatic.
This product has dropped lots of the gimmicky social features found on the LiPlay (a previous hybrid camera from Instax), and instead focuses on the classic elements of a digital camera. There is face detection, an AF illuminator and more fun things such as mirror imaging and fisheye effects.
The camera has a quality of 4.9Mp with a focal length of 28mm. It shines best when used outdoors in daylight, but do not be expecting the same quality as what you will find on smartphones. The flash will help with some low-light photography, but the Evo has more trouble focusing on subjects of a night.
Whilst the physical buttons and dials on the Mini Evo are remarkably easy to use, the menu interface is annoying to navigate. Fortunately, I did not find that I had to go into this that often due to the abundance of manual controls.
Printing is incredibly fast on the Evo, and the images it produces have that classic vintage feel to them. You have the choice to either print them in natural mode, or rich mode which increases the warm tones. The photos are about the size of a credit card, making them perfect for slipping inside of a wallet.
Instax Mini Evo app
- Doubles the camera as a smartphone instant printer
- Can only transfer images taken on camera if they are printed first
- Simple but uninspiring app
To take full advantage of the Instax Mini Evo’s features, you will need the Instax Mini Evo app, which is available on both iOS and Android.
Once you have connected the camera with your phone, you can print photos from your gallery, transfer images taken on the camera to your phone, and use the remote shooting feature to get a live feed of what the lens is capturing on your phone.
The overall layout of the app is incredibly simple to use, but the text could be a little larger for accessibility reasons, and there seems to be a lot of wasted space.
When printing photos you can also add filters, change the orientation, crop the images and use colour correction tools.
If you want to transfer images taken on the camera, you must print them first. This may be an annoyance if you do not want to waste your film unnecessarily.
Instax has a habit of creating multiple apps for different devices. It would be a lot easier if they just created a singular, streamlined app for all products.
Price and availability
The Fujifilm Mini Evo is more on the expensive end of instant cameras, priced at £174.99/$199.95.
Note that many major retailers are currently out of stock at the time of writing - check the Instax website for a full list of who has the camera available to buy.
As with all other instant cameras, you should also consider the cost of film when purchasing. Typically a pack of 20 Instax Mini Instant Film costs around £14.99 in the UK, and $18 in the US. Other cameras such as the Polaroid Snap use Zink paper for printing. Whilst this is much cheaper at £12.99 for 20 sheets, it is technically not real film.
For a camera and smartphone printer hybrid, you could also consider the Instax Mini LiPlay, which has an RRP of £149.99/$159.99. However, shooting features are not as useful as what you will find on the Evo.
The Instax Mini Evo is one of the strongest instant cameras that Fujifilm has created. Combining the digital camera features with analogue buttons results in a fun shooting experience, and the fact that it doubles as an instant printer is the icing on the cake.
It looks more professional than cheaper Instax models, with a retro-inspired design. That said, be prepared to spend a pretty penny to get your hands on one.
Instax Mini Evo: Specs
- 4.9 megapixels
- Maximum resolution print of 2560 x 1920p
- 1/5in image sensor
- CMOS with primary colour filter
- 3in LCD screen
- Internal storage
- Slot for a microSD card up to 1GB
- 100 different lens and film filter combinations
- 1.4 sec shutter speed
- Focus range of up to 10 cm (focal length 28mm)
- Auto or optional flash
- Self timer for 2 sec to 10 sec
- Hand strap
- MircoUSB charging port
- Companion app for iOS and android
- Requires Fujifilm Instax Mini Film
- Film Size – 86x54mm
- Picture Size 62x46mm
- 90 secs approx film developing time depending on ambient temperature
- 87 × 122.9 × 36 mm
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