I was fortunate to experience the joy of instant photos in my wonder years. My uncle owned an instant camera, and we were all surprised when he showed us how the camera printed the photo right after the shot was taken! That was 1974 or ’75. There was no need to finish a roll (of 12 or 36 exposures), and then trudge off to the photo studio to print them. The instant camera introduced a revolution in photography. But it was forgotten over the years as SLR cameras came along and enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals used them. And then digital cameras came along in the nineties and introduced another revolution in photography. Look Ma, no film! Instant sharing of photos via email or social media. As cameras in smartphones got better, point-and-shoot digital cameras disappeared from the market. The SLR and mirror-less cameras took over, but these are mainly used by serious photography enthusiasts or professionals. So, I was filled with nostalgia when a mail popped into my inbox announcing the Fujifilm Mini LiPlay instant camera range.
The Fujifilm Mini LiPlay was launched in 2019 and is not a new product. Two models have been launched in India and are both priced at Rs 11,499. They can be purchased on Amazon.in and Flipkart.
The Mini LiPlay brings back the joy of instant photos. Like yesteryear’s instant camera, the Mini LiPlay cameras have inbuilt colour printers. And like digital cameras, they have a 2.7-inch LCD screen on the back, so that you can preview you photos and choose the images you want to print.
The Direct Print function allows one to print any image from their smartphones on an Instax mini film. This is enabled through Bluetooth. So, it also doubles as a mini, portable printer!
The camera comes pre-installed with ten design frames, which can be selected during or after taking a picture so that they are incorporated into the image for printing.
Download the “instax mini LiPlay” smartphone app (free) to enjoy 20 additional design frames, bringing the total number of design frames available to 30.
Sound Record Feature on Fujifilm Mini LiPlay
And there are other new features as well such as Sound Record. The camera’s audio-recording capability means you can record up to 10 seconds of sound. The function converts sound data into a QR code and prints it on your photo. Scan the QR code with a smartphonoe’s QR Code reader and replay the audio message.
I think consumers are really going to love this feature. An audio caption could have the date and location where the photo was taken — or the occasion, or the names of the people in the photo.
Printing a photo with a recorded message allows you to convey your sentiments to the person receiving the photo, making the scene more memorable. Alternatively, photograph a beach and attach the sound of waves, for example, to create a print that reminds you of the photographed situation, so that your memory of the precious moment stays vivid.
This feature will really liven up the experience and will be well accepted in this age of digital multimedia.
Remote Shooting Feature
Want to take selfies or group photos with you in the group? There is a Remote Shooting function enabled through the Liplay smartphone app. Through the app, you can release the shutter on the camera while standing away from the camera itself. Just get a good tripod or selfie stick for the camera.
The camera also offers brightness adjustment capability based on exposure compensation as well as six filters for processing photos, e.g. in sepia tone or in monochrome, to create a different impression.
Another feature that will appeal to many is the stylish design, the form factor, and the weight of the camera (approx. 255g). We’re told this is the lightest model in the history of the instax series.
The streamlined shape of the camera body is complemented with a different surface finish for each of the three color variations in a design approach that even pays close attention to your tactile sense.
The Stone White version has a rough, stone-like surface achieved with a special spray coating. The Elegant Black version features an eye-catching embossed finish on the camera surface, while the Blush Gold version dazzles with a smooth lustrous finish. Metallic parts are used for the lens ring, etc. for a premium look.
Well, with the festive season round the corner in India, this would make a great gift for your loved ones!