Fujifilm’s impressive and wildly popular Instax camera lines (Mini, Square, and Wide) are primarily differentiated based on their film formats. The Instax Mini and Square instant camera lines both have multiple models to choose from.
While the Mini Instax cameras (excluding the hybrid models) are relatively cheaper, the square line has exclusive features to compensate for the price tag.
But, which Instax camera is the best choice for you between the two lines? The Mini or the Square? Read on as we answer just that!
Fujifilm Instax Mini vs Square – Comparison
|Specs||Mini 9||Mini 11||Mini 90||Mini 40||Mini LiPlay||Mini Evo||Square SQ20||Square SQ6||Square SQ1|
|Film Type||Fujifilm Instax MINI Film||Fujifilm Instax MINI Film||Fujifilm Instax MINI Film||Fujifilm Instax MINI Film||Fujifilm Instax MINI Film||Fujifilm Instax MINI Film||Fujifilm Instax SQUARE film||Fujifilm Instax SQUARE film||Fujifilm Instax SQUARE film|
|Image Size||62 x 46mm||62 x 46mm||62 x 46mm||62 x 46mm||62 x 46mm||62 x 46mm||62 x 62 mm||62 x 62 mm||62 x 62 mm|
|Dimensions||116 x 118.3 x 68.2mm||107.6 x 121.2 x 67.3mm||113.4 x 91.9 x 57.2 mm||104 × 121 × 65 mm||82.5 x 122.9 x 36.7 mm||87 x 122.9 x 36 mm||119 x 50 x 127 mm||118.7 x 128.1 x 58.1 mm||130.7 × 118.6 × 57.5 mm|
|Flash||Constant firing (auto light adjustment)||Constant firing (auto light adjustment)||Auto flash (forced, flash off, and red eye reduction modes)||Constant firing (auto light adjustment)||Auto/ Compulsory/ Suppressed flash||Auto/ Forced/ Suppressed flash||Auto/Compulsory /Suppressed flash||Butil-in auto flash for Macro Mode, Other modes Flash on, except Flash Off Mode||Constant firing (auto light adjustment)|
|Shutter||1/60 sec.||1/2 to 1/250 sec.||1.8 – 1/400 sec.||1/2 to 1/250 sec.||1/4 sec. to 1/8000 sec.||1/4 sec. to 1/8000 sec.||1/2 to 1/7500 sec.||1.6 sec – 1/400 sec.||1/2 to 1/400 sec.|
|Shooting Range||0.6m – ∞||0.3m – ∞||0.3m – ∞||0.3m – ∞||0.1m – ∞||0.1m – ∞||0.1m – ∞||0.3m – ∞||0.3m – ∞|
|Power Supply||Two AA batteries||Two AA batteries||NP-45A lithium-ion battery||Two AA batteries||Built-in Lithium-ion battery||Built-in Lithium-ion battery||Built-in Li-ion battery||Two CR2/DL CR2 lithium batteries||Two lithium batteries|
The Fujifilm Mini and Square instant cameras both have one fundamental difference regardless of the model type: the film size (more on that later in the article).
The two film formats produce similar image vividness and sharpness results.
Although, you may notice a blurrier background with the Square film, making the subject feel more focused. The Square film format is also slightly more expensive.
So, in the long run, square cameras’ film cost will be higher than that of Mini cameras.
While both lines of Instax cameras offer various options, the Mini cameras are on the smaller side. Thus, making them more suitable for traveling.
Apart from the Mini 11, which takes up more space because of its bulbous exterior, most Mini cameras are compact enough to make them a great choice to carry along when outside and should be your instant camera of choice if portability is a priority.
While the Square format has only three Instax models to boast of (SQ1, SQ6, and SQ20), they offer all the Instax Mini format line features – depending on which Instax model you choose.
The image quality for the Mini and Square remains similar as they both use Instax film – albeit in different sizes.
The square format is reminiscent of the Polaroid photo size; thus, it may get bounty points based on nostalgia. For larger groups or wedding photography, you may also benefit from the larger image size.
However, there are contrasting features within models in both lines, from varying shutter speeds to optional flash modes, that help determine the best instant camera for you.
Instax Mini Line
Suppose you prefer smaller images on instant film (easier to fit in your wallet). In that case, the mini line offers everything from analog cameras to hybrid modes (a cross between digital cameras, instant printers, and analog cameras).
The Mini 9 is a cheap yet great beginner point-and-shoot camera, which allows for bright images on instant film. It has four exposure settings and an Instax Hi-Key mode, making taking photos in various lighting a breeze.
The Instax Mini 40 is the latest of the analog instant cameras in the Mini line.
However, apart from a more retro look, not much separates it from its predecessor, the Mini 11. Both cameras have auto exposure, a constant firing flash, a pull-out selfie mode, and the same Mini Instax film.
Although, with no exposure compensation and a maximum shutter speed of 1/250 seconds, the photos can get overexposed in bright settings.
The Mini 90 is the analog instant camera to beat in the Mini line, as it has various shooting modes that instant photography novices would appreciate.
The Mini 90 allows much more creative room than its counterparts, equipped with bulb exposure and double exposure mode.
It also has a macro mode for close-ups, a kids mode to take better moving shots, and a landscape mode, and it also enables you to darken or brighten the image.
This makes for better photo quality in various conditions. Most importantly, you can turn the flash off on this model.
The Mini LiPlay and Mini Evo are the hybrid cameras of the Instax film Mini line.
Both these cameras are about the same size and have an LCD screen that allows you to preview images and add filters before you press print.
You can use the dedicated app to print the photos from your smartphone or use your phone as a remote to take images. These models have the quickest shutter speed among all of the Mini cameras.
Instax Square Line
If you like the larger square format, the following three cameras might be the best choice. All these instant cameras have a square-shaped body, making them a little less travel friendly.
Instax Square SQ6 and SQ1
The Square SQ 6 and SQ1 are analog cameras with no digital display. However, they differ in price point. The Instax Square SQ6 was initially more expensive, but it has more features to account for the hefty price tag. However, the SQ6 can be difficult to find now.
It is often available at a discount, for as low as $80. On the SQ6, you can turn the flash off and choose between various modes. In contrast, the SQ1 has auto-exposure control with a constant firing flash.
The Instax Square SQ20 is the hybrid offering of this wider format (1.3 times the size of the Fujifilm Instax film “MINI”). It has various shooting modes like sequence, shift collage, and frame grab. Plus, it allows you to print the images you like so that you won’t be wasting film packs.
The SQ1 is essentially a Mini 11 which uses the Instax Square film. Apart from the film formats, the only functional difference between the two cameras is the shutter speed.
The Mini 11 has the quickest shutter speed of 1/250 seconds, whereas the SQ1 goes down to 1/400 seconds, which can help when taking pictures in bright light but not by much. The SQ1 is also almost twice the price of the Mini 11. Thus, if the 1×1 image size is not a priority, you are better off buying a Mini 11.
Instax Mini Film Vs. Square Film Size
The Instax Square film is 1.3 times the size of the Mini film, thus providing a bigger 1×1 image.
The Mini format has a film size of 54 x 86mm, and the final image comes out at 62 x 46mm, whereas the Square format has a larger scope of 72 x 86 mm, with a 62 x62 image.
Thus, the two film formats have the same height, but the Square is significantly wider. Mini prints’ sizes are closer to a business card, including the white border at the bottom to write a message, making them easier to carry in a wallet or purse.
When comparing the Mini and Square Instax camera lines, these are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Is Instax Mini or Square better?
The Instax Square is better if you prefer 1×1 image prints closer to Polaroids. However, there are only three instant cameras in the Square line. The Mini line offers more variety in terms of models and is often cheaper.
Although, the Mini film prints are only as big as a business card. The image quality for both the camera lines is more or less the same.
Which Square Instax is best?
The Square SQ6 is the best choice for analog square instant cameras, with many superior features to the latest SQ1, strictly a point-and-shoot model. The Square SQ6 has auto-exposure but comes with a Light/Dark Mode and a double exposure mode.
It also has dedicated modes for close-ups and landscape shots. However, the Square line only offers the SQ20 now for hybrid cameras, which allows viewing images on an LCD, printing what you like, and has expandable memory.
Is Instax Mini worth it?
The Instax Mini line is definitely worth the money. It has various models that cater to instant photography beginners and novices. The two-hybrid cameras from the line offer a more digital experience.
However, although usually slightly expensive, all model upgrades do not necessarily mean new specifications – as in the case of Mini 11 and 40, which are essentially the same camera in different styles.
Is Instax Square discontinued?
While you can still find the Square SQ6 on the Fujifilm Instax US website, it has been removed from the global one. Moreover, Fujifilm Australia confirmed that the manufacturer in the country discontinued the SQ6.
You can, however, still buy the SQ6; it is harder to find since it’s not the primary Square camera anymore (the SQ1 is).
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The Bottom Line
Both cameras have similar specs and shooting experience, allowing you to choose the preferred film format combined with ease of use.
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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