Fujifilm Instax Square SQ 1 Review: Square Requirements
“Everything about the SQ1 is simple and easy to understand – except the price.”
Ease of use
Instax square movie is great
Fun color option
No creative mode
Instax is more expensive than SQ6
I must admit, the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 has confused me – I’m not sure what it should be. On one hand, it is a very basic, square-format instant camera, targeting the most casual customer with its goofy operation. Cold. But it also costs $ 120, which is higher than the current Instax Square SQ6, with a camera with many more modes and features.
So why did FujiFilm make it?
Well why am i here idea Fujifilm created it. I originally dismissed Instax as a fad, but ever since the idea has come that instant film is a lot of fun. Still, I shoot it anytime I have an instant camera to review. The reason for this is simple: I don’t like paying for a film. A frame of Fujifilm Instax Square film costs more than $ 1 and is unlikely to be any cheaper.
This is where a camera like the Instax SQ1, I thought, would come into it. With its bare-bones, no-nonsense nature, it seems like it should be highly affordable, thus making it easier for customers to leave more money on film. Except that’s not the case, because of course high-end SQ6 can be raisedUntil the SQ6 is phased out and replaced with a more expensive model, I’m not sure where the SQ1 leaves off.
Twist, point, click
There is little to say about Instax SQ1, as it is easy and simple. It is available in a trio of fun colors including Glacier Blue, Chalk White and my review unit Terracotta Orange. I probably enjoyed shooting product photos using the camera, but despite the standup appearance, the SQ1 is designed to be as invisible as possible, so you can focus on the moment and not the camera . Take it to camp, take it to a birthday party, or hand it to your child, this is a camera for those when you want photos without thinking too hard about photography.
Whether it is good or bad depends on what you want from the camera, but I would argue that the joy of Insta has always been its simplicity, an idea the SQ1 takes into account.
It is bright, fun and comfortable. That is basically the whole story.
While I wouldn’t call it small, it is quite thin and easily slips into a bag. You turn it on by rotating the lens, which has both normal and “selfie” positions. For the latter, you can use the small mirror next to the lens to frame yourself – one of the brilliantly simple innovations found on all institute cameras.
The SQ1 is a true analog camera, not a digital / film hybrid like the Instax Mini LiPlay, so it does not connect to your phone nor provide any digital creative filters or effects. It is as point and click as it gets, and it is like the whole point.
Where some other Instax cameras have somewhat different modes, such as macro and double exposure, SQ1, well, no. In fact, it gives you no control.
The parallax is far beyond the viewfinder lens, meaning that you have to be careful when taking close-up shots because framing through the viewfinder can be very different from what the lens actually looks like.
Where some other Instax cameras have somewhat different modes, such as macro and double exposure, SQ1, well, no. In fact, it gives you no control. Even the automatic fill flash cannot be overridden.
Depending on how you look at it, that makes the SQ1 either limited or free, and I found myself leaning towards the latter, though I’d definitely like to see people turn the flash off option Wanted. If you have some more capabilities, then you have to look at a different model.
It’s good to be square
I like the Instax Square format for its retro aesthetics, which listens to the Polaroid 600 film, although it is slightly smaller than 2.4 x 2.4 inches. It’s like having a physical Instagram photo in your hand (if Instagram still implements a 1: 1 aspect ratio, anyway).
Another advantage is that the Instax Square film is larger than the Instax mini film, which does not require a huge jump in the size of the camera that the Instax Wide film does. And because it is square, it can be as simple as that. There are no landscape or portrait orientations to worry about, so every print comes with a border at the bottom, making it a little easier to create an orderly collage, if that’s your thing.
I love the Instax Square format for its retro beauty.
If you have shot an Instax camera before, the image quality is what you expect. If you haven’t, it’s not a great way for me to show that the sample photos you’re seeing in this review are all pictures. Of Pictures. The Instax film is not really high-resolution, but it is part of the attraction. The forced flash adds to the lo-fi look and ensures that the images always look bright. I was pleasantly surprised by the results but, again, if you want more control, this is not the camera for you.
Even by instant-camera standards, the Fujifilm Instax SQ1 is basic. It is already a simple process and only turns it into primary imperatives. It is bright, fun and comfortable. That is basically the whole story.
Except I am coming back at a confusing price. It’s not like $ 120, too hard, I’m not sure why the SQ1 is even worth more than the SQ6. Am i missing something? I think Instax cameras usually sell below MSRP, after being on the market at least for a while, but I still don’t understand the strategy behind introducing a lower-end camera, which is the current high. – End of street price is higher than sample.
Is there a better option?
Okay, it certainly looks like the SQ6 is a better option, assuming that Fujifilm isn’t turning it down. It offers many more shooting modes and even comes with three different colored flash gels for creative lighting effects. And while it has more options, it’s not like it’s a complicated camera to use – it can still be as simple as the SQ1 if you want it. This is definitely a better looking camera.
If you prefer a square format, but want a larger film, a Polaroid OneStep will give you that, but the camera itself is also bulkier – more expensive than the SQ1 – not to mention.
How long will this last?
Probably forever, or at least as long as it has an Instax film to load. There is very little going on here, which means a little breakdown. Other than the film, the only thing you will need to replace is the battery.
Should you buy it
No. Maybe you should buy Instax SQ6 instead? The Fujifilm Instax SQ1 fully meets its goal of being a fun, easy-to-use quick camera. There is nothing wrong in this. But why buy the base model when a more feature-rich version is available for less?