When it comes to instant cameras, Fujifilm has always been known for producing the best quality. The Instax series, in particular, has long been the users’ favorite. So when Fujifilm released Instax 11 and Instax Square SQ1 just a few months apart, many were naturally excited to try them out.
If you wonder which one you should buy, this article will highlight the differences between them to help you decide which fits your needs best.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 vs SQ1 – Our Verdict
The main difference between the Instax Mini 11 and SQ1 is the camera film they use. The Instax SQ1 uses high-quality, square monochrome film – perfect for shooting larger images on the go. On the other hand, the pictures made by the Instax mini 11 are much smaller but still have the same professional photo quality.
Another factor to consider is the prize, as the former camera costs more due to its larger size.
The first notable difference between these cameras is their design. Like many other Instax models, the Instax Mini 11 and the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 come in several bright pastel colors.
They both feature a sleek design and uncomplicated element placement and are comfortable to handle. This is where the similarities end.
At first glance, you can see how different the shape of the Instax Square is from the compact design most of us are used to seeing in an instant camera nowadays.
- Slim body size with transparent ring lens
- Automatic exposure - The Mini 11 automatically selects the optimal shutter speed in any environment. Mini 11 captures bright...
- 1-touch selfie mode - The Mini 11 has a built-in macro mode and a selfie mirror for the perfect selfie. You don’t need a...
It’s much boxier, although, in continuation with Fujifilm’s ergonomic design, it does have rounded edges. Plus, the area around the shutter button is textured for easier use.
Aside from having an even sleeker body and slimmed-down features, the Instax Mini 11 looks pretty much like its predecessors. It’s more rounded than square, making it even easier to handle.
It features Fujifilm’s hallmark design elements, including the camera’s exposure control at the rear and the viewfinders on the camera body’s left and right sides.
One of the reasons the Instax Series gained popularity is the selfie mirror.
Both the Instax Square SQ and the Mini 11 feature their front camera. They also allow a selfie mode, taking close-ups with a narrow focal length.
The improved lens solution doesn’t only work for selfies. It also makes it easier to focus on close-up objects and bring out the contrast when photographing them.
For the best results, the recommended distance to take selfies ranges from 0.3 m to 0.5 m, and both cameras take selfies well at 0.3 m.
Unfortunately, the selfie timer is not included in either model, as they were designed with the less is more concept.
You’ll have to take selfies the old-fashioned way, which isn’t hard to do, given the ease of using these cameras. The SQ1 does include some great additional features, such as double exposure or landscape mode.
Both models use constant firing flash, which allows for automatic light adjustment – and it also recycles much faster than other instant cameras. For the Instax Mini, the flash-recycle time with new batteries is no more than 6.5 seconds, while for the SQ1, this is 7.5 seconds or less.
The effective range of this firing flash for the Mini 11 ranges between 0.3 to 2.7 m. The SQ1 cuts down on its flash range, coming in between 0.3 to 2.2 m.
Overall in the SQ1 vs. Instax Mini comparison, the functions of both cameras can satisfy the needs of their target customers. They allow you to have fun creating vintage-looking photos or new-world details to preserve memories on paper and much more.
While no instant camera can produce the same image quality as the digital version, both the Instax Square SQ1 and the Instax Mini 11 deliver better-looking images than their predecessors did.
The Instax Mini 11 takes vivid photos indoors, enhancing details very few instant cameras can, whereas the SQ1 produces the same high-quality images outdoors as it does indoors.
Moreover, with the flash always being on, you can take pictures regardless of the light conditions.
Now that the Instax Square SQ1 can be used with the new Square monochrome film, you can also enjoy taking larger photos in back and white. It truly represents the meeting of the old world and new technologies.
The Reverse Galilean viewfinder in the SQ1 instant camera performs slightly better than the Real image finder in the Mini 11.
Still, they are both pretty good at finding the target spot. The two-component lens ups its optical qualities, improving the overall performance of both models.
The automatic exposure control makes it much easier to shoot perfect photos, whether you are a beginner or professional.
Depending on the light condition, the shutter speed for the Instax Mini varies between 1/2 and 1/250. The SQ1, however, can top that. It has a shutter speed anywhere from 1/6 to 1/400 – which is why it works so well even in low light conditions.
Film Size and Development
The Instax SQ1 uses a wider square monochrome film and prints photos approximately 1.5 times larger than the ones produced by the Mini 11.
As a result, this can be perfect for those who like to enjoy and display paperback photographs of their most cherished memories.
- Prints square size images to capture more of the moment – 1.5x the size of a mini print.
- Rounded and textured grip for a comfortable hold (includes separate thumb grip attachment)
- Auto-exposure for bright images
The Mini 11, on the other hand, uses instant mini film to produce a photo the size of an average business card, which is favored by those who like to keep their pictures in their wallet.
Depending on the ambient temperature, it takes approximately 90 seconds for the camera to develop the film – the exact time it does for the Instax SQ1.
The Instax Mini comes with two AA-size alkaline batteries (with the code LR6) which allows the camera to use approximately ten Instax Mini film packs if you count for ten exposures each. For double exposure, the life of the batteries shortens.
This is typical for the older Instax Mini models, so if you can get enough uses of those, you won’t have any trouble with the Mini 11 either.
The Instax Square runs on two lithium batteries (with the code CR2).
The camera can go through about 30 Fujifilm Instax Square film packs with these, meaning you’ll get approximately 300 pictures out of your instant camera before its battery gives out.
Finding a CR2 battery is a little more challenging than buying the LR6 ones. Make sure you research possible sources if you decide to opt for this model.
The large square prints, the lifelike details, and the long-lasting batteries in the Instax Square SQ1 come at a price. This SQ1 model is more expensive compared to other instant cameras with similar specs.
When it comes to the SQ1 vs. Instax Mini 11 comparison, the price difference becomes even more noticeable as the SQ1 cost is almost double the price of the Instax Mini.
In fact, for the price of the SQ1, you can buy the latter model with all the other complementary accessories and a few packs of film.
Instax Square SQ1 vs. Instax Mini 11: At A Glance
|Camera Model||Instax Square SQ1||FujifilmInstax Mini 11|
|Picture Size (without border)||2.4” x 2.4”||2.4” x 1.8”|
|Picture Size (with border)||3.4” x 2.1”||3.4” x 2.1”|
|Film Type||Instax Square Film||Instax Mini Instant Film|
|Film Developing Time||90 second||90 seconds|
|Focus Type||Zone Focus||Fixed Focus|
|Buy From Amazon||Check Price||Check Price|
Here is the rundown of the specs that matter the most when comparing the SQ1 vs. Instax Mini 11 instant cameras.
The main specs in which Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 differs from the Instax Mini 11 are the size of the device and the photos – both of which are larger than the Instax Square. They also differ in the type of batteries they use and their duration.
Both models use instant film and have a convenient selfie mirror, so even those who prefer paperback over digital can take the perfect pictures. They are also incredibly user-friendly and suitable for preserving memories in high-quality photos. Neither of them has a self-timer.
Is The Instax SQ1 Worth it?
The Instax SQ1 has many great features old-fashioned photo enthusiasts will definitely like.
The large square photos and the ability to capture small details in one single shot using the automatic exposure could be worth paying a little more for your instant camera. Not to mention the long-lasting battery life.
In addition, the extended viewfinder on this model makes it much easier to use it in selfie mode. It could be an excellent investment if you want to preserve precious memories on paper and avoid the risk of losing them in a digital format.
Which is Better, Instax Square or Instax Mini?
If you need a compact instant camera that makes wallet-sized photos on the go, then the Instax mini 11 will be the obvious choice. You can take this on your travels and have fun with its simple features. Just don’t forget the charger, as it has relatively short battery life.
When it comes to taking larger photos that look like they belong on an Instagram feed, the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 is the clear winner. The SQ1 also has one of the longest-lasting batteries among the new generation of instant cameras.
Emma JohnsonI have loved photography from a young age and more recently started experimenting with Instant Cameras from Polaroid and Instax. I also love dancing and hanging out with my friends :)
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