Review of the Instax Mini 26 Instant Camera
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 26 includes some new features and upgrades not found on the older Instax models, such as the Instax Mini 8. The Instax Mini 26 allows you to shoot horizontal or vertical shots with the simple press of a button, it also offers adjustable print color brightness and an intelligent “fill-in” flash.
It comes in a range of neat colours (more on that later) and at the time of writing is selling on Amazon for under $60 including a rainbow film bundle!
Instax Mini 26 Key Features
The Instax Mini 26 is a lightweight and compact instant camera. It measures 4.25 x 5.5 x 5.75 inches (112 x 121 x 51 millimeters) and weighs approximately 0.65 lb (275 grams) without batteries. The Mini 26 comes with two CR2 lithium rechargeable batteries which, according to Fujifilm, will allow you to shoot approximately 300 photos when fully charged.
It features a high-quality 60mm Fujinon lens which is capable of focusing from a distance of 0.5m and beyond. If you want to take close-up photos, there is also a clip on close-up lens included which allows you to shoot photos of subjects up to 35 centimeters away.
Other useful features of the Instax Mini 26 include a button to conveniently switch between shooting in landscape and portrait, an intelligent fill-in flash, buttons to adjust the brightness of pictures prior to printing, enable the flash and shutter release buttons.
As I mentioned earlier, the Instax Mini 26 comes equipped with a 60mm Fujinon lens which is ideal for an instant camera: A 60mm focal length is great for capturing portraits of friends and family, precious moments at special events, beautiful stills of landscapes, buildings and much more.
Just be aware that shooting with the Mini 26 is not the same as taking a photo with your mobile phone because there is no zoom function, so you will have to move around to make sure you are the correct distance from your photo subject. While this can be a little frustrating in the begin, it is one of the most rewarding points of shooting with an Instax camera and you will quickly get the hang of it!
What is unique about this camera (compare to other Instax Mini cameras) is that you can switch between shooting in portrait and landscape by simply pressing a button, something I really appreciated during testing.
Simply attaching the included close-up lens adds a whole new dimension to the Mini 26, allowing you to capture awesome photos of food and drinks, nature photography and smaller subjects. Becuase the lens magnifies the photo subject, you can capture details which would otherwise not be possible. The Instax Mini 8, although a great camera, never came with a close-up lens so it’s good to see Fujifilm have addressed this shortfall with the Mini 26.
Fujifilm have not been left behind in addressing our selfie-obsessed needs, and have cleverly incorporated a selfie-mirror on the front of the camera adjacent to the lens. When you want to snap a selfie simply turn the camera around, use the mirror to ensure you are perfectly in the frame and then take your photo.
One of my favourite features of the Instax Mini 26, is the intelligent flash which uses built-in exposure compensation technology to automatically detect the backround lighting and control the shutter speed accordingly to ensure just the right exposure for your photo. The flash is easily toggled by pressing a button on the top right of the camera.
Although the intelligent fill-in flash is not new to Fujifilm – featuring on cameras such as the Instax Mini 70 – this is the first time I have seen it included on a camera at the lower end of their price range again highlighting what a bargain the Mini 26 is!
The Instax Mini 26 prints your photo almost instantly after you snap the shot, and takes about 90 seconds to print. It uses 2 x 3 inch Instax Mini film which is about the size of a credit card and perfect for keeping in your wallet or mounting on your bedroom wall at home.
Another unique feature of this camera is that you can adjust the photos to be darker or brighter with the simple press of a button located on the top of the camera. I really liked this because sometimes with other Instax Mini cameras I find the photo to be slight over or under exposed and there is nothing I can do about it but with the Mini 26 you can easily optimise the photo before printing it.
Instax Mini 26 Design
The Instax Mini 26 is available in 4 different color options, meaning you can find a style which is just right for you. The options are as follows:
As with most Instax Mini cameras, the Mini 26 is square-shaped and constructed of a robust plastic which feels both lightweight and sturdy enough for daily use. Where this instant camera differs is the hourglass shaped sides which I found very ergonomic and it made the camera comfortable to hold and shoot with, even for prolonged periods.
The Mini 26 is versatile in its shape and size, making it suitable for all occasions including travel photography, weddings, family events and for shooting selfies (my favourite haha).
Instax Mini 26 vs Instax Mini 8 (and Instax Mini 9)
I wanted to address this comparison because it’s an important one which requires careful consideration if you are planning to buy a new Instax Mini camera. Let’s start by comparing some of the features and specifications of the Instax Mini 26, Instax Mini 8 and Instax Mini 9, then we can discuss what this means for you when choosing the best instant camera for your needs.
|Instax Camera Type||Instax Mini 26||Instax Mini 8||Instax Mini 9|
|Price||$59.99 (includes 10 sheets of rainbow print film)||N/A – Discontinued||$58.85 (no film included)|
|Shutter||1/60 sec||1/60 sec||1/60 sec|
|Flash||Intelligent Fill-In Flash||Always On||Always On|
|Exposure||Automatic||Manual (5 settings)||Manual (5 settings)|
|Batteries||Lithium||2 x AA||2 x AA|
|Size||4.25 x 5.5 x 5.75 in||5 x 3 x 5.5 in||5 x 3 x 5.5 in|
|Weight||0.65 lb||0.7 lb||0.7 lb|
|Photo Size||1.8 in x 2.4 in||1.8 in x 2.4 in||1.8 in x 2.4 in|
|Shutter Button for Horizontal/vertical shots||Yes||No||No|
|Adjustable Print Color Brightness||Yes||No||No|
The insanely popular Instax Mini 8 has been a best-selling camera for Fujifilm, on Amazon alone it has over 11,000 customer reviews! The Mini 8 has now been discontinued having been replaced by it’s (slightly upgraded) successor, the Instax Mini 9.
So, right off the bat one of the 3 cameras is eliminated from the comparison leaving only the Instax Mini 26 and Instax Mini 9. Let’s now take a deeper look at a comparison between these two cameras.
Instax Mini 26 vs Instax Mini 9
Both the Instax Mini 26 and Mini 9 are excellent instant cameras and offer value for money. In my view the Instax Mini 26 has a slight edge. Here’s Why:
- The Instax Mini 26 offers better value for money, coming in at a similar price to the Mini 9 but with a free rainbow instant film included
- It comes with a rechargeable lithium battery included, instead of 2 x AA batteries
- The Instax Mini 26 has a shutter button which allows you to toggle between horizontal and vertical shots. There is a workaround solution for this with the Mini 9 but it’s not ideal.
- It includes Fujifilm’s intelligent fill-in flash meaning backgrounds can be captured clearly even in dark rooms
- With the Mini 26 you can adjust the color brightness before printing to optimise the photo
Pros & Cons of the Instax Mini 26
Here’s a summary of some of the key highlights and lowlights of the Instax Mini 26:
Instax Mini 26 Pros
- Outstanding value
- Additional features such as landscape/portrait button, adjustable print color brightness and intelligent flash
- Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by Amazon customers
Instax Mini 26 Cons
- As with all Instax Mini cameras, the price of film can be expensive
Instax Mini 26 Film
The Instax Mini 26 film that comes with this camera when you order on Amazon is 10 sheets of rainbow Instax mini film. It uses the same Fujifilm instant film as all other cameras in the Instax Mini range.
There are a range of films available for the Mini 26 including normal, rainbow and monochrome (black and white) film. I strongly recommend buying film in bulk because it helps to reduce the costs by up to 30% and ensures you always have film at hand to capture special moments.
Final Thoughts on the Fujifilm Instax Mini 26
The Instax Mini 26 is an excellent instant camera packed full of noteworthy features not found on the Instax Mini 8 or Mini 9 cameras. including intelligent flash which allows you to capture great photos with different background lighting, adjustable print color brightness to optimise your photos and the option to easily toggle between portrait and landscape mode.
What’s more it’s currently selling at under $60 including a close-up lens, lithium rechargeable batteries and 10 sheets of instant film which in my view makes this a bargain buy and better value than the Instax Mini 9. I also like the 4 color options that the Instax Mini 26 comes in, because you can find a style which best suits your taste.
You can buy the Instax Mini 26 order at Amazon using this link. Placing your order using this link won’t cost you anything and helps cover the operating costs for this website without the need for annoying spam or pop-up ads.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this review, I hope you found it useful and look forward to hearing about your instant photography adventures with the Instax Mini 26!
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