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Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Review

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is an instant film camera from the popular Fujifilm Instax range and we've been putting it to the test to find out how it fairs.


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Fujifilm Instax Mini 40

 

Quick Verdict

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 takes the updates the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 introduced but wraps them up in a cooler, more retro-styled instant camera body. Instant film fans will probably love it and with its improved design, there's a chance that those who aren't instantly drawn to this form of photography may just want to have a play around with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40, too. It does cost more than the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, though, so you'll have to decide if the cooler design is worth an extra £20. 

+ Pros

  • It's fun
  • Great party camera
  • Easy to use
  • Looks cool

- Cons

  • Film is expensive
  • Viewfinder could be better
  • Powered by AA-batteries

 

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is one of the newer instant cameras found in the popular line-up of Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras and it's a reincarnation of the Fujifilm Instax 11 in a much more eye-catching design. It's available now over on Amazon for £89.99 and we've been putting it to the test to find out if the extra spend (it's £20 more expensive than the Instax 11) is worth it. 

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Features

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
 

As found on the Instax Mini 11, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 features an automatic exposure mode with improved flash that will automatically calculate surrounding brightness and adjust the shutter speed accordingly (an improvement on previous Instax cameras released prior to the Instax Mini 11). There's also the same selfie/close-up mode accessed via the adjustable lens barrel.

You'll also need to purchase Instax Mini film and optional accessories such as cameras cases are available. 

Key Features

  • Selfie Mode
  • Automatic Exposure Mode
  • Improved Flash
  • Wrist Strap
  • Close-up range from 30-50cm
  • Optional accessories

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Handling & Performance

Instax Mini 40
 

Previously, some of the Instax Mini cameras released have looked quite child-friendly with their chunky, plastic design but the Instax Mini 40 is much more grown-up with its faux leather surround, silver accents and much more structured design. In fact, it looks similar to the Instax Mini 90 released quite a few years ago but offers better value for money. 

Even though it's entirely made from plastic, it doesn't feel like it is which stops it from looking/feeling cheap. In fact, it actually feels rather retro - something that will be popular with instant photography fans. 

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
 

The Instax Mini 40 is slightly smaller than the Instax Mini 11 but it's not a camera you'll be able to slip in a pocket which may make some feel a bit self-conscious when using it as it does stand out. We do really like the look of the Instax Mini 40, though, much more so than the Instax Mini 11. 

You hold the Instax Mini 40 vertically when in use and you can comfortably hold it with just one hand with the rubberized texture of the camera body and perfectly placed thumb rest providing plenty of grip. Although, left-handed shooters won't find the same ease of use/comfort but it will fit your right hand very well.

On the front is a large flash which prominently stands from the camera body, branding and the pop-out Instax 60mm lens which has a focus range from 0.3m to infinity and consists of 2 components with 2 elements.

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
 

To the side of the lens is a button you press to activate the camera which automatically extends the lens and an orange light appears so you know the camera is ready to capture your shots. Once the camera is on and the lens extended, you can pull the rim of the lens outwards further to reveal text which says 'selfie on' so you know the camera is in Selfie Mode. You do have to be a bit firm with the lens when you pull it which was a bit daunting at first as it felt like we were trying to damage the camera rather than access a built-in mode but done once, and it was OK after that. There's also a selfie mirror on the lens so you can check your framing and you can also use the selfie mode to capture close-ups of subjects from 30-50cm away.

The shutter button sits under the viewfinder and is only one of two buttons found on the camera which means it couldn't be simpler to use. The viewfinder, however, is slightly off centre to the lens so what you see isn't entirely accurate to what will appear on the prints. 

Turn the camera around and you find the film slot, film counter and a handy real image 0.37x viewfinder, with target spot. On top is a battery compartment and on the side is where the film is printed. AA batteries are used and these are supplied but you will need to replace them unless you use rechargeable ones, of course. To help save power, the camera powers itself off if it's not used for 5 minutes.  

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
 

There's a programmed electronic shutter that ranges from 1/2 to 1/250 sec and slow synchro is available in low light. Exposure is automatic and a constant firing flash is built-in that adjusts automatically for the levels of light in the scene. The flash recycle time is around 6.5secs and the effective flash range goes from 0.3 to 2.7m. The slight snag with the flash is that it's automatic so even in bright sunlight, you can't disable it which can lead to washed-out images. 

Film ejection is automatic and pretty quick at 90 seconds and waiting for the film to develop and watching the image slowly appear never gets old. 

As for how the camera performs, it really can't get much easier unless the camera learns to take photos for you. It's also really fun to use and will make a great accessory for a party table. You can get closer to subjects than the viewfinder suggests but with some playing around, you can soon get used to this. 

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
 

Do remember to pop the selfie lens extension away if shooting landscapes as shots can end up blurry and even though we've said the auto flash can be a bit of a pin outdoors, it's actually really useful when capturing images indoors. We're not saying photos captured look completely natural but you don't get big areas of shadow. Portraits are also fun to capture with instant cameras and suit the retro feel the prints have with their muted colours and softer look. Scenes with a wide dynamic range can be a struggle, particularly if you're facing the sun so do take this into consideration. Flare can occur when you might not think it will, too, and that's because of the positioning of the viewfinder in comparison to where the lens is. Having said that, flare can be fun and you might like the look.

 

P1010024 | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 14.0 mm | ISO 320

 

P1010028 | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 12.0 mm | ISO 500
 

The slight problem we still have with all instant cameras is the unpredictability of them as you can either get a really great photo or a pretty poor one that's not exposed right. We know some people say this is the beauty of the medium but when you're paying over £1 per print, it's an expensive waste if your photos don't turn out quite right. Having said that, there's something nice about the quirky, retro feel the prints have with the exaggerated colours and washed-out tones.

We've said it before and we'll say it again; Instax Mini cameras aren't for everyone but for those who love the spontaneity and fun these cameras give, the Instax Mini 40 will be a popular choice. Even more so with the improved design that gives it that retro feel we're seeing appear more, even on new digital cameras.  

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
 

Value For Money

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is available now from Amazon, priced at £89.99. You'll also need Instax Mini Film which starts at £14.25 for 20 photos. Other options include the Instax Mini 11 (similar features but £20 cheaper), Instax Mini 90 NEO, previous Instax Mini modelsImpossible 009001 I-1 Instant Cam and the Instax Hello Kitty Camera.

For more options, take a look at our 'Best Instant Film Camera' top list. 

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Verdict

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
 

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 takes the updates the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 introduced but wraps them up in a cooler, more retro-styled instant camera body. 

We still believe instant film cameras are something you'll either love or never consider purchasing - there's no in-between but for those who do love them, the Instax Mini 40 adds a level of coolness that'll make it even more appealing than other Fujifilm Instax cameras previously released. 

The downside is you don't really know what you're getting until the photo is printed and sometimes, the results aren't great. We know some will say this is the beauty of this style of photography but as the film is quite expensive, you've got to really love this type of photography and/or really know how to get the best out of the camera. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is also priced higher than the Instax Mini 11 so you'll have to decide if the updated design is worth the extra £20. 

Overall, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is a retro-looking piece of kit and for the right person will bring a lot of fun to their photography adventures. It would also make a cool gift for a photography fan. 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Pros

  • It's fun
  • Great party camera
  • Easy to use
  • Looks cool

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Cons

  • Film is expensive
  • Viewfinder could be better
  • Powered by AA-batteries

Features4/5
Handling4/5
Performance4/5
Value3.5/5
Overall Verdict

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