Snap Decision: Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 12 vs Mini 11

Snap Decision: Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 12 vs Mini 11

Happy snappers, rejoice: There’s a new instant camera on the market that promises to fix a whole bunch of bugs. Fujifilm has just released the Instax Mini 12, the latest in the family of user-friendly instant cameras and printers. But how does the new model compare to the previous Instax Mini 11? Let’s take a look.

The Look and Feel

The Instax Mini 12 comes in five colours — Clay White, Lilac Purple, Pastel Blue, Mint Green and Blossom Pink. Compared to the Instax Mini 11, the Mini 12 has a much more “inflatable” feel, with a fun bubble shape. The Mini 12 is just as easy to hold and cart with you on adventures as the Mini 11, and uses the same Instax Mini film (which now comes in a fun heart print boarder).

Instax Mini 12
The more bubbly, “inflatable” shape of the Instax Mini 12 (right) compared to the Mini 11 (left). (Image: Gizmodo Australia / Melissa Matheson)

Improved Automatic Exposure and Flash

I’ve been using Instax cameras for years now, and I’ve always found they struggle in low light, and the flash is super unflattering. In the past I’ve turned to the Instax printers to share those night-time photos, because my iPhone camera is so much more reliable in low light.

But the Instax Mini 12 promises photos that are optimally exposed to the main subject and the background by sensing the level of ambient light when you press the shutter button. The pros at Fujifilm also told me the new Mini 12 flash is “smarter”, so it won’t blow out your photos or make you look like a deer in headlights.

More Accurate Viewfinder

Ok, this is where a lot of happy snappers have been caught out — most point-and-shoot film cameras have a pretty inaccurate viewfinder because of the set-up of the lens. What you see through the viewfinder will be slightly off to what’s actually in the frame. But the folks at Fujifilm have rejigged the mirror system within the Instax Mini 12 so the viewfinder is much more accurate. Plus the selfie mirror on the front of the camera has been moved closer to the lens, so that’s also more accurate.

Twist for Selfies and Close Ups

This is a big plus for me — the previous Instax Mini 11 introduced the selfie mode with a pull-out function. The problem was, it wasn’t easy to retract the selfie mode without closing the whole camera lens. Plus it turns out a lot of people damaged the lens of their camera trying to push it back into place. So the Instax Mini 12 has a twist function, where you can easily, and safely, twist once to turn the camera on, and twist a second time to activate the selfie and close-up mode.

Instax Mini 12
The pull-out selfie function on the Instax Mini 12 compared to the twist function on the Mini 12. (Image: Gizmodo Australia / Melissa Matheson)

Instax Up App

Previously, the Instax apps have been tied to individual products (take a look at the cute features the Instax Square Link Printer companion app adds to your prints). But the new Instax App app lets you take a digital photo of any of your Instax prints, regardless of size, and make compilation images to share on your socials. It’s particularly handy when you want to give someone the physical print of the photo but still keep a version of it for yourself.

The Price Hasn’t Gone Up

Despite everything else going up in price lately, the Instax Mini 12 is the same price as the Mini 11, at just $119. The camera cases also haven’t budged on price, coming in at $19.95 and available in all of the five colours for the Mini 12.

The Instax Mini 12 is in stores and online now.