Do you remember the last time you actually got your pictures printed? Probably, not. In the Instagram and Facebook era, printing pictures has become passe. But seeing some of the weather-beaten pictures does take one on a nostalgia trip. With the just launched Instax Square SQ10, a hybrid camera, Fujifilm is bringing back the charm of printed pictures along with enhanced digital capabilities. The Instax Square SQ10 has a toy-like appearance.
The square-shaped camera measuring 119x47x127 mm is not at all compact. (It won't slide into your pocket.) It is not lightweight either - weighs 450 gms including the film and battery. However, it comes with a lanyard (strap) which makes it comfortable to carry around.
Unlike conventional-looking cameras, this one has a big circular frame around the lens and a shutter button for quick capture on each side. It has a three-inch LCD display, control buttons arranged in a circle along with the OK/Menu button at the centre, four-way controls and a control wheel. The navigation takes some getting used to.
For imaging, Fujifilm has added a 1.4-inch CMOS image sensor with f/2.4 aperture and the focal length is fixed at 28.5 mm. There is no optical zoom feature. All images are captured in a square format. You can use the normal mode, bulb mode or opt for manual settings when clicking. The camera quickly locks autofocus in well-lit surroundings, but I was not able to select focus manually.
The images captured were pretty impressive, offering great detail. Though the camera struggles in low light, flash comes to the rescue. The printing can be done in two ways - auto mode and manual mode. In the auto setting, the square-shaped image is printed as soon as it is captured, whereas in the manual mode, images get saved for printing at a later time.
One can enhance the image before printing - do basic editing, fine-tuning using features such as filters, brightness adjustment and adding a vignette effect. The SQ 10 prints 62x62mm size images on the photo printing sheet that can be slid into the camera (a pack of 10 Instax sheets costs Rs 699). Printing is quick; takes not more than 10-15 seconds. The camera retains a print history of 50 images which can be used for reprints.
While the images captured look stunning, the camera lacks wireless connectivity for seamless sharing. The SQ10 competes with entry-level DSLR cameras. It is way more expensive than the regular film and digital cameras. If you fancy handing out prints of images as soon as they've been captured, this is the camera for you.