Getting To Know The Instax Mini 90

A couple of days ago I had a chance to take my Instax Mini 90 for a test run, but first I’ll show you around the camera itself.

It’s large compared to a pocket digital camera, but it isn’t bulky, it feels quite light and it’s easy to hold. This should give you an idea of the size.

Instax Mini 90 - front
Instax Mini 90 – front

The film ejects from the side and you can also see the power switch on the front, with the front shutter release (there’s a 2nd one on the top).

Instax Mini 90 - side
Instax Mini 90 – side

The silver ring around the lens can also be used as a dial to cycle through the different modes. This took some experimentation as the manual is very basic – I thought just twisting the mode dial would change it, but first the Mode button on the rear needs to be pressed, then the mode dial can switch between all the modes:

  • Default
  • Party (flash with slow shutter speed)
  • Kids (fast shutter speed)
  • Landscape
  • Double Exposure
  • Bulb (shutter open for up to 10s).

The rear of the camera houses the film pack (large door) and battery (smaller door) as well as the LCD screen and viewfinder.

Instax Mini 90 - rear
Instax Mini 90 – rear

The LCD screen shows the remaining battery and current settings in the large left screen, and the remaining shots in the smaller right screen.

The buttons from left to right are:

  • Macro mode
  • Lighten/Darken
  • Self-timer
  • Flash control (on/off/red eye reduction etc)
  • Mode

When pressing the mode button all the mode icons flash on the LCD for a few seconds then disappear. At first I thought there was something wrong, but when the icons are flashing it means to cycle through and select a mode – this is done by either twisting the ring around the lens, or pressing the mode button again to cycle through.

Test Shots

I took a few test shots to try some of the modes. This first one was of the most colorful thing I could find in the house. I sat it on the couch and used the default mode. This was during the day so there was plenty of light (or so seemed to be to me) but the flash still fired. Quite good saturation I think considering the use of the flash.

Inside With Flash
Inside With Flash

These 2 were taken outside in full sun. Default mode first, followed by default mode, but using the darken setting.

scooter - outside
Outside in full sun

Sill a bit washed out but this was a good test, as I think I’ll be using the darken setting for anything in full sun in future.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the camera and the quality of the photos. The photos are small and they aren’t as sharp as a digital camera (or even my iPhone 6 camera) but this will be getting a good run to get some family snaps to put on the refrigerator door.

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