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3 Small Instant Film Cameras You’ll Love to Shoot With


If you like shooting with instant film, then you probably know how large the cameras can be. Not everyone wants to tote around an elephantine camera. Luckily, there are lots of small instant film cameras out there. And better yet, we’ve reviewed a bunch of them. Some are much better than others. So we’re rounding out some of our favorites in this list right here.

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Pro Tips on Having Fun with Small Instant Film Cameras

There are a lot of instant film cameras. But small instant film cameras that you want to bring with you everywhere don’t really exist. Here are some tips with using some of the best:

  • These cameras shoot Instax film, which is basically the same as Polaroid film chemically. As long as there are emulsions in the image, then it’s actually analog. 
  • All of these cameras have been tested by us. They’ll fit in a camera bag, a jacket pocket, a hand bag, etc. We’ve tested them ourselves.
  • Instax film and Polaroid film don’t do well in the cold. This is because the emulsions inside are liquid. And liquid freezes in the cold. 
  • Small instant film cameras can accompany your digital cameras as something to bring around for fun on the side.
  • These cameras have a plastic build. So be careful with them!

Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay

Shake Things Up!: The LiPlay is a fascinating combo of both digital and Instax photography. It blends the Instax Mini format with a pretty small camera that fits into a jacket pocket easily. It can be your favorite party camera for sure!

In our review, we state:

“One of the cool things about the Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is its integration into the digital world. You’re going to need to shoot a photo and then figure out if you want to print it later or not. You can use it as a classic compact camera if you wish and when you’re ready to print the photo, you can add a bunch of fun filters. In some ways, this is a response to Polaroid’s offerings. However, Fujifilm’s interface is far simpler. Despite the low-resolution LCD screen on the back, the interface of the Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is still pretty simple.”

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Lomography Lomo’Instant Square

Shake Things Up!: The design on this camera mimics an old-school Kodak design. It’s a collapsible camera with a bellows system that lets you shoot Instax Square film with ease. It’s seriously one of our favorite cameras for Instax Square.

In our review, we state:

“Here’s the best part of the Lomography Lomo’Instant Square: the image quality. This is the sharpest lens that I’ve seen from Lomography and when you get the focusing perfect, you’ll realize that too. It’s possible to get bokeh and all that stuff, but I think that the image quality could only have benefited from manual functionality. Couple that with just how good Fujifilm Instax Square film really is and you’ll get some very impressive and fun photos.”

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Fujifilm Instax SQ1

Shake Things Up!: The cool thing about the SQ1 is just how good-looking it is while being pretty small overall. It’s impossible to not have fun with this camera. And we think you’ll really like it.

In our review, we state:

“The Fujifilm SQ1 is Fujifilm’s most visually appealing camera yet in the Instax lineup. This color is called Terra Cotta. And on the front, you’ll find the handgrip with the shutter button. There is a flash and a viewfinder too. But taking up most of the real estate is the lens.”

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