Having debuted in 2012, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is no longer the new camera that people must buy. In fact, its spot is taken by the Instax Mini 9. While Fujifilm has since discontinued production for this mini instant camera, there are still ways for you to get your hands on it if the Instax Mini 9 isn’t in the books for you. In this article, we’ll show you where you can buy the camera and also guide you through the basics of operating it.
Where To Buy The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
With its discontinuation, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is now rare—its special Hello Kitty and Minion versions are even rarer. Thankfully, you can still find a couple of its mini camera models in stock with various retailers.
Prices will vary depending on the seller, and some units can go for as low as $23. Such prices come with a catch, though: they are usually used and may not be in the best shape. A brand new Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 will likely cost you around $50 to $60 and special edition models will cost almost $100 depending on the seller. Stocks are also limited, so you’ll have to act quickly to get your hands on the camera. Here’s a summary of the best deals we could find on Amazon, eBay, and Walmart:
|Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Models by Color/Edition||Amazon (Brand New)||eBay||Walmart|
|Brand New||Used||Brand New|
|Grape||$59.95||$59.95 (Limited Stock)||$30.00 (w/ Case)||$59.95|
|Raspberry||$54.99||$54.49 (Limited Stock)||$39.00||$54.49|
|White||$159.99 (Limited Stocks)||$22.95||$99.00 (w/ Accessories)|
|Hello Kitty (Pink)||$94.99 (Limited Stocks)||$99.99 (Open Box, Limited Stock)|
|Gudetama||$68.42 (Limited Stock)||$95.00|
|Minions||$224.99 (Limited Stocks)|
How To Use the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
Once you’ve placed an order for your Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, it’s time to learn how to use it. If this is your first Instax camera, you might feel overwhelmed at first. That’s because the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 works differently from a digital camera and requires camera film. Thankfully, it’s much easier to use than other cameras, so you can quickly get the hang of it. Let’s go through all the basics of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8.
Step 1: Loading the Batteries
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, like other cameras, requires batteries to work. Follow these steps to load in the batteries:
- Open the battery compartment by sliding it down (it should be on the lower side near the viewfinder).
- Insert two double-A alkaline batteries with the right orientation.
- Slide up the battery cover to close the compartment.
Make sure to use only alkaline batteries with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8; non-alkaline batteries don’t work with the camera and could potentially damage it. Each set of fresh batteries will last you for a good 100 shots before they die out.
You also have to lightly warm the batteries before putting them in. This is because cold batteries can negatively affect the Instax Mini 8’s performance. To warm the batteries, lightly rub the batteries between your hands.
When your viewfinder’s red lamp lights up, this is your cue to change the batteries. Alternatively, you can also tell that it’s time to replace the batteries if the lamp isn’t blinking or lighting up at all when the camera’s turned on.
Step 2: Loading the Film
It is now time to load up the film into the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8. Simply follow these steps:
- Open the film cover on the back of the camera by pressing on the top latch.
- Align the film cartridge’s yellow dots with the camera’s.
- Carefully insert the film inside the camera.
- Replace the film cover.
- Turn on the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 by pressing the power button.
- Press the shutter button to eject the film cover and turn the counter from S to 10.
Make sure that the film you use is the official Fujifilm Instax Mini ones; non-proprietary film may cause unwanted issues. Moreover, always keep your instant film away from direct sunlight to avoid damaging them. Lastly, immediately replace the film cover after changing the film. If you don’t, your film might be exposed to dirt and other damaging substances.
Step 3: Operating the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
Now that your Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 has film and batteries, it’s time to start shooting. Of course, you have to learn how to operate the camera. Here are the basic steps:
- Turn on the camera by pressing the power button.
- Wait a few seconds to let the lens pop-out.
- Adjust the brightness by pointing the camera towards your subject.
- Turn the lens’ dial to align the dot and the lamp.
- Snap a shot by pressing the shutter button.
- Wait a while as the film prints and ejects itself.
- Hold the edges of the film and pull it out of the slot.
- Leave the film on an even surface to wait for it to develop (never shake or fan the film).
That’s it. You now know how to use the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8. However, there are a few precautions and important notes to know when using this camera.
- Don’t cover the windows beside the flash. This will hinder the camera from adjusting correctly to the lighting.
- You can change the way your shots look by making them brighter and softer using the Hi-Key setting.
- There are a limited number of shots you can take because of limited film. To check how much is left, look at the exposure counter on the camera’s back.
- Don’t open the film cover unless the exposure is zero.
- If you don’t use the camera for five minutes, it’ll go into energy-saving modeand all lamps will shut off. If you want to use the camera again, restart the camera using the power button. Alternatively, you can also hit the shutter button to take it out of energy-saving mode.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8: What You Can Expect
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 came out a few years ago so it might feel a bit dated. However, it still stands as a decent instant camera even today. It’s small, simple, and portable enough to bring everywhere you go. Moreover, its color and design options make it fun to display anywhere in the house. How does it fare as an instant camera? Let’s find out.
Aesthetics & Build Quality
At first glance, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 looks cute and user-friendly. It has rounded edges, cute colors, a range of design options, and is compact and lightweight.
Let’s talk about the build quality. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8’s body is built with solid matte plastic material. This makes it fairly durable so it should hold up even if you accidentally drop it.
Apart from the build quality, one of the most striking things about the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is its design. It comes in a wide variety of colors and special editions. The different designs are a part of the charm and contribute to the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8’s sales. However, there’s the catch to all this in form of its wear and tear. These colors are pretty at the start, but they do fade over time. This is especially the case when the camera is exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8’s overall design is pretty decent. You can find most of the buttons and components placed in intuitive and easily accessible areas. This makes the camera easy to use even for photography amateurs.
Like most cameras, you’ll find the automatic pop-out lens in front of the camera. In the same area, you’ll find the power button and flash. While the power button’s placement may seem odd at first, it’s pretty convenient. It’s easy enough to reach for when you need to turn the camera on or off. However, it’s also not too easy to reach that you might accidentally turn off the camera while in use.
As for the other components, you’ll find that many of them are in the proper place. The film compartment takes up most of the space at the back. You’ll also find the viewfinder at the back on the top-right, just under the shutter button on top. On the right side of the camera, the battery compartment sits quietly at the bottom.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is not aimed at manual photographers because most of its settings are automatic, except for the exposure adjustment. You’ll mostly find yourself using it for fun as a point-and-shoot device. Let’s go through all its main features including the lens, exposure, and flash.
Lens & Photo Quality
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 has a 60mm standard portrait lens. Its focus is fixed with a 0.6 to infinity range. This means you get a narrow field of view compared to most smartphone cameras. You might feel the shots are a bit tight and narrow compared to what you see on your phone.
This makes it perfect for capturing single subjects but not great for shooting landscapes. Moreover, the narrow lens means you can only shoot group shots if they can fit into tight spaces. If you want to shoot more wide-angled photos, this camera will not do it for you.
Apart from the lens, the photo quality itself is pretty great for an instant camera. It delivers nice, sharp photos with just the right detail and focus. However, all of these settings are automatic so you can’t adjust most settings manually. The only setting you can adjust is the exposure.
If you’re unfamiliar with exposure, think of it as the shot’s brightness. The exposure will determine how much light you allow into the shot. It’s not complicated and the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 makes it easy to choose exposure. That’s because it does give suggested exposure settings for each shot you take. However, you can also adjust the settings manually and ignore the suggestions for more creative freedom.
If you want manual exposure adjustment, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different exposure levels. There are only five different settings you can choose from. Each exposure also has specific apertures depending on what you choose. They are as follows:
- Indoors & Night – F12.7
- Cloudy & Shade – F16
- Sunny & Slightly Cloudy – F22
- Sunny & Bright – F32
- Hi-Key – for a soft, overexposed shot
Lastly, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 has a built-in flash. This makes it handy for low-light situations, although the flash always goes off regardless of lighting. However, the flash does have a limited range, coming in at 0.6m to 2.7m. Hence, you have to be at close range for the flash to affect in low-light.
It also has a 0.2 to 6-second recycle time with a 1/60 fixed shutter speed. That just means it has a recharge time before it can go again. Hence, you might need to let it breathe in between shots. This also means you can’t shoot 10 frames per second with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8.
Ease of Use
One of photography’s biggest barriers to entry is the complexity that comes with most models. Cameras usually have a lot of settings with complicated features that most people don’t understand.
Thankfully, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 sort of demystifies photography for the common man. It’s simple, easy to use, and only requires you to point and shoot the subject of your photos. Sure, you have to adjust the exposure, but the camera already has suggested ones for each shot. All you have to do is know how to operate the camera and you’re set.
Also, the camera does have a few features missing that could truly make it beginner-friendly. For example, a fully automatic mode would be nice so you don’t have to manually select the suggested exposure. This would make it easier to operate even for guests at a wedding.
Summary & Conclusion
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 might be discontinued, but that doesn’t mean its fans have died out. It’s a fairly simple instant camera with a lot going for it. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is easy to use, delivers high-quality photos, and looks adorable overall. Hence, it’s perfect for beginner photographers or someone who just wants a simple instant camera. Luckily, many retailers still have it in stock, ready to be shipped to Instax enthusiasts.