The Fuji Instax Mini 25 and Instax Mini 7S are a pair of instant film cameras using Fuji’s credit card sized instant film. In the above photo, you see the Mini 25 on the left and the Mini 7S on the right.
Simple enough. Load film. Push button. Admire print.
The Instax Mini 7S is a little more manual than the Instax Mini 25. The Mini 7S has a pull-out lens, whereas the Mini 25 lens extends automatically. The Mini 25 is limited in terms of settings and is, for the most part, a full auto camera with just a couple of buttons. The Mini 7S gives you a control dial on the top with just a few different settings.
Since the Mini 25 came along after the Mini 7S, it gets a couple of design improvements. I already mentioned the auto-extension lens on the Mini 25. The Mini 25 also includes dual shutter releases for vertical and horizontal orientation. Additionally, there is a mirror on the end of the lens for doing self-portraits. Finally, the Mini 25 includes a detachable close-up lens that snaps on to the end of the lens (shown below). When not in use, the close-up lens attaches to the Mini 25′s wrist strap.
There’s no real discussion to have about image quality from a cheap instant film camera. You either like them or you don’t. There’s no doubt that the Mini 7S has built a cult following that inspired the improvements in the upcoming Mini 25. It also serves as a signal that film is not quite dead yet – especially instant film. Heck, even Polaroid instant cameras are making a comeback.
Depending on your tastes, the Mini 7S and Mini 25 could be a lot of fun. The Mini 7S has been very popular with Photography Bay readers, and I expect the Mini 25 to be popular as well. The Instax Mini 7S is available now for about $70 street and the Mini 25 should be available during the first half of 2010. At the time of this post, the Instax Mini film will set you back $13.75 at B&H Photo for 20 exposures, which looks to be one of the better prices. At roughly 70 cents per photo, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether the instant gratification of photos in hand is worth it to you.