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Home / Hot Stuff / Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 99 gives instant film more creator appeal

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 99 gives instant film more creator appeal

Filters are the focus for this new flagship

Fujifilm Instax Mini 99 hot stuff

Fun comes first for most instant cameras. Great if you just want to point and shoot, but not if you’re wanting a bit more creative control. The new Fujifilm Instax Mini 99 is looking to change that, adding a bunch of new colour effects and artistic features – without straying too far into manual territory. That should please pro snappers and amateurs alike.

The compact instant cam inherits Fuji’s trademark retro styling, with an all-black body and textured grip meant to mimic the firm’s X-series digital camera range. It swallows the ever-popular Instax Mini film packs, making it one of the most affordable instant options for shutterbugs.

Chunky mode dials on the top plate let you tweak exposure on the fly, and add a bunch of colour effects to your shots. These use LED lights inside the camera body to tint your shots with Faded Green, Warm Tone, Light Blue, Soft Magenta, or Sepia hues, to give each print a more artistic flair. There’s also a Light Leak mode, in a nod to the funky effects seen on cheap instant cameras from the 70s.

A manual vignette switch on the lens barrel is another retro touch I’m sure the Instagram generation will love. The dual exposure mode ups the fun factor, too.

Twisting the lens barrel powers on the camera, and flicks between focal lengths (3m and above, 3m-0.6m, and 0.6-0.3m). A pair of shutter buttons on the front and top let you easily swap between portrait and landscape shots, while the simple LCD panel on the back shows how many snaps you have left. A trio of buttons let you toggle shooting modes, adjust the flash strength and shoot with a self-timer.

Combined with the tripod thread, the Instax Mini 99 should have no trouble with group shots where you’re also in the frame. Fuji also sticks a satisfyingly chunky grip mount in the box for easier selfie snapping. There’s no mirror on the lens barrel like the more entry-level Instax Mini 12, though.

The Mini 99 felt more substantial in my hands than the Mini 12, and looks a lot less toy-like. If you’d written off Instax Mini cameras before, this is sure to make you reconsider. I do think Fujifilm missed a trick by not calling it the Mini 100, and launching it day and date with the Fujifilm X100VI though.

I’ve only had a brief play with the new colour modes so far; there’s nothing ‘soft’ about Soft Magenta at all, giving prints a distinctive red hue. Sepia and Warm Tone are subtler. Light Leak is fun, with different random bleed effects every time I pressed the shutter button. I’m looking forward to trying it out in more varied lighting.

The Instax Mini 99 goes on sale from the 4th of April, for $200/£175. That makes it rather pricey for a fully analogue instant camera, putting it closer to the hybrid Instax Mini Evo – this still a long way short of the Leica Sofort 2. It’ll be available from Amazon, as well as all the usual Instax retailers.

Fuji also has a new Instax Mini film pack launching alongside the camera. Photo Slide takes inspiration from the markings seen on classic film prints, with each pack of ten forming a pattern when they’re all lined up. Expect to pay £9 for each pack of ten prints.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

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Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming