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Instax Mini vs. Instax 210

One of the questions I get very very often is which FujiFilm Instax camera I prefer over the other. Of course I welcome them with open arms because I'm pretty passionate about both of them, but I felt like maybe it was time to dish it all out in the form of a blog update and also to open up the comments to your personal reviews and opinions, too! Because this is just that... my opinion! I'd love to hear what others think! I'll forewarn you that this will be image heavy!



So we'll start with the Instax Mini since that was the first one I purchased back in November 2009! I wanted to treat myself to something nice and that cute little brown camera was just smiling at me! Let me preface these by saying this: If you want to buy them for the cheapest price, buy via Amazon.com! At least in my experience! I purchased my Mini for $70 + tax and film and I purchased my 210 for $80! I saw them at Urban Outfitters earlier this week for $105 and $135 respectively! Yikes!


Instax Mini - Choco

Pros:
  • Convenient size. Easy to fit in a bag and carry out.
  • Credit card size photos fit nicely in wallet.
  • Photo size makes for great Christmas ornaments!
  • Takes great photos indoors with low-light!
  • Takes even better photos outside.
  • The aperture settings are easy to understand and sensible.
  • They make great impromptu business cards! (Try it!)
  • Comes in different colors.


Cons:
  • The picture size is half the size of the 210 yet roughly the same price.
  • It is very aperture-sensitive. Easy to over and under expose!
  • Really only "work" vertically. Horizontal photos are hard to compose.



♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Instax Wide 210

Pros:

  • Larger picture size makes more of an impact.
  • Comes with a close-up adapter for self shot portraits.
  • Takes nice outdoor photos with decent lighting.
  • Works both vertically and horizontally without appearing "odd".


Cons:

  • Far from the best at indoor photos.
  • Blurry shots produced if you forget the close-up adapter at times.
  • Heavy and large! The 210 is very very bulky and makes it hard to carry around.




Verdict
My personal opinion is so very very torn. Mike and I have had the conversation multiple times and it's hard to really choose between the two. I love the size of the pictures from the 210, but I guess if I had to choose just one (like, life or death situation here!) then I'd go with the Mini because it's small enough for me to carry around, I can use the pictures for so many things, and it really handles low light situations well. Plus who can deny the cute and quirky personality of an alien-looking brown camera?!

But I'm interested in what you think! Do you own either camera? Which do you prefer? Are there things about each of them that would make it/break it for you? Let me hear about them in the comments!

If you're looking for film, I buy my Mini and Wide film here! MINI film in twin packs, and WIDE film in twin packs. It really pays to buy multiple packs at a time. Don't waste your money at places like Urban Outfitters. The markup is ridiculous!

Click through the jump below to see a whole heck of a lot of instax images! I scanned them in yesterday so why not share them?! (Note: I could've scanned them at a higher resolution so they're a bit blurry! Whoops!) Seriously... there are a lot of pictures after this jump! Haha







47 comments:

  1. i love my mini! but ive been thinking about the wide for awhile now. loved this post cuz i loved seeing your pics too :)

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  2. I got a mini for christmas (the hello kitty model) and I am having the best time experimenting with it! This is a great post because I am also considering getting an instax wide. Thanks so much! Marina x

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  3. I've been thinking about getting the 210 since I already own the mini, I think this post was quite helpful so I know what I will get into since Im still thinking on buying it, loved the pics!

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  4. I have the white Mini and I love it! I got it for Christmas so I've only used two packs of film so far. With our crazy winter the pictures have all been inside as well, so I'm eager to try them out in the outdoors when everything isn't white & gray outside (ha!). I didn't realize the Wide's pictures were so much larger.. it really makes me want to invest in one of those as well. I feel like the mini is so easy to use, so it's a bummer to hear that you have to "think" a little bit more with the other one. I don't mind doing that for my regular digital/film cameras, but for a fun camera I like to be able to just pull it out and snap pictures without having to check settings all the time. Thanks for doing this! Loved all your pictures :)

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  5. I love how they look sorta old!!!

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  6. I have the Instax Mini, and I love it! I definitely have the best results with outdoor pictures that have plenty of light. I've found trying to take pictures of anything at a distance is a lost cause. I originally considered the 210 because of the larger picture size, but then I saw a picture of the actual camera in someone's hands and it's just too big. I knew I wouldn't be willing to carry it around. The best camera is the one with you! With that said, I love the mini and all its quirks just make it more charming and unpredictable.

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  7. Every time I take film in to get processed there's this white instax mini camera that shouts my name. It will be mine soon, I can feel it in my guts.

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  8. I have neither, but have been lusting after both for a while. I'll probably go with the mini (at least first!) since I need to keep costs down. Buuuut, is that an old pic, or a peek at your brown hair??

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  9. I heart this post! I love my mini, and have been contemplating getting the big honkin 210. I need to concentrate on taking better pictures with my mini.

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  10. Thank you so so SO much for this post! I've been wanting to purchase an instant camera of some sorts and you really helped out my decision process!! :)

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  11. great post and really helpful, i have wanted a mini for a while and your pro's and con's really helped out, thanks for sharing.

    Zoe

    http://blessedbeeapothecary.blogspot.com/

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  12. I have the mini and I just love it! I think I chose it because I knew that I would be able to carry it around in my bag every day.

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  13. I have the 210 and love that it takes self portraits because of the mirror. I've also not had a problem with indoor lighting most of the time as long as I select flash with the darken setting.

    My con would be trying to take a close up of an item. I had a hard time focusing and figured out that I needed to stand further back but there was still not a good way to tell. Working on figuring that one out.

    There is my two cents. Maybe I will get a mini someday too!

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  14. i have the mini and i haven't experienced any major problems. i would agree though, that the limited composition can be frustrating :/ i love seeing all your photos! i'm now taking my mini with me today

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  15. Great review; thanks for giving so much point-by-point information on both!

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  16. I should so get one of those one day soon! I love the way the photo come out looking. :]

    xo.

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  17. I have the choco Instax Mini too, and I absolutely love it. Definitely have those moments where I kick myself when I forget to adjust the aperture in the excitement of a good photo moment, but overall I am in love with it. I'd think that Mini's are better for fun times, and the 210 is better for quality photo shoots. The colors and composition of the larger photos are just gorgeous.

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  18. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been thinking about getting one for a while now! The film is so pricey though! (but worth it, I think) You have really helped me decide between the two. I think I am going to go with the mini! OH and p.s. thanks for the amazon tip! Have a great day lovely girl - gwiddle.blogspot.com

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  19. I've wanted one for so long but amazon don't ship this to Australia :/

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  20. my bf and i have the instax mini and i love it so much!

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  21. I have a mini and love it! I like the size of the camera and the pics. Kathya you should try eBay. Prices aren't too bad. Still cheaper than UA.

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  22. great camera! i can't wait to buy one!

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  23. Just wanted to stop by and say I love your blog, your outfits are so cute!

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  24. I asked you on Formspring which one you had/recommended and you suggested the Mini. I got it and I LOVE it. Thank you so much! I love this post - nice to see the difference in the photos.

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  25. Hi there! I'm considering to buy a mini for myself. While browsing the internet i come across your site. Your review really helps me a lot in deciding which instax to buy. Thanks a lot! ^__^

    Love,
    Hazwani, Malaysia ♥

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  26. Just wanted to say thanks for the post!!

    How do you scan in your instax pics? Just the pic itself or can you scan the negative?

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  27. @whit: I simply scan in the instax with a flatbed scanner. I'm not sure what you mean by scan the negatives as Instax don't product a typical film negative that 120 or 35mm film produces.

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  28. Great pix..but..Instax wide 4evaH!:)
    So melancolly blue-blurry and so...wide!! Bit hard to find films in italy...but here are some shots http://lolaroid.blogspot.com/2011/05/girls-names-lawrence-by-lolaroid.html

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  29. I love Instax ! I want the Instax Mini in White ! ♥

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  30. I have the instax 210 and I absolutely love it!!! I've had it for a year now and the majority of my photos turn out perfectly. The photos which dont turn out perfectly are usually my fault for not paying attention to the settings.
    When I take the camera out people are always shocked by the size of the camera but when they see a photo come out of the top they fall in love with it. It's a hit wherever i take it :)

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  31. Hi there, thanks again for a great post. I recently bought the Instax 210, and at the moment I'm having a slight bit of a problem with the aim. I try to take into account the placing of the viewfinder, but whenever I take a photo the subject is not quite in the middle. Help with this please?

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    1. Due to the fact that the lens isn't actually the viewfinder, but slightly left and below, you need to accomodate for that. It can be very very hit or miss, but you can go *slightly* to the right and up to help stabilize the image. Even years after buying mine I still manage to not get it centered :)

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  32. hi, i was just googling instax 210 vs mini and your blog came up. it was really helpful and seeing how everyone loves the mini, and me having experience of neither im going to go by other's word. i was super confused cuz the small size is amazing but they could end up being too small. but i think i am going to go for the mini. Gotta start saving up...

    though can you help me with one more thing? how much does the film cost and how many pictures can one film take? And also which mini instax is better? the 7s or 25?

    great post, great blog. thanx...

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    1. I actually have no experience with the 25, but I love my 7s. Film is usually anywhere from $8-11 per pack, and contains 10 exposures per pack. I tend to buy mine on Amazon in bulk packs (usually 5 packs per box) for the best deal. I actually bought 10 packs a year and a half ago and I still have plenty of film left :)

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  33. Thank you so much for this post! It has helped me decide to get a mini! ;) I use Polaroids and I write about them on my blog, but I am just sick of the photos from the Impossible Project not turning out.

    THANK YOU!!!

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  34. Thanks so much for this comparison. I want to get one or the other for an upcoming trip to Europe in the fall, but I was having such a hard time trying to decide. I think the mini might be the winner because it's much more portable. Thanks again!

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  35. hi thereee ^^ i need some help :) i bought the instax mini but i'm having a hard time choosing which mode should i set before i snap some pictures . i'd always get into wrong mode and get disappointed after that :( can you teach me on how should i set the mode ? thank you !! i'd appreciate it a lot !!

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  36. I own both but I absolutely love the WIDE one. The photos are larger and there is more consistency between what you see in the view-finder and the end-product. With the mini, I always found that the picture did not look like how I viewed it. The Instax Wide also comes with a close-up lens that comes with a mirror so you can do self-portraits-Genius! But alas, it is true that it is quite large!

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  37. I know this is late but I bought the 210 about 2 years ago now and absolutely love it! The pictures are amazing but it is hard to take it places due to the size. I've never had a problem using my 210 and I've taken well over 100 photos with it. Around 5 months ago I bought the mini 25 and I love it also. It includes two shutter buttons so that landscape photos are easy to take and the mirror next to the lens is handy. Apart from the size of the cameras and size of the photos both are very similar. I can not choose between the two. I also loved the 210 so much I bought one for my friend and she loves it. At the moment I am waiting for my new instax mini 8 to arrive in the post. So excited!

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  38. much thanks for this post! i've been thinking of getting an instax, since i've started thinking i should start taking instant photos during the summer. i have a polaroid, but buying film from the impossible project is just ridiculous, so i was looking into fujifilm. with that, i've been debating with the size of the 210 because it's just so darn big! i really like the size of the photos though, but i'm not so sure how often i'll carry around such a big camera. so here starts the debating with the mini...is it really that hard to take a horizontal photo with the mini? i'll probably look for more comparison reviews, but this was a great post to stumble upon! Thank You!

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  39. Hi! Just a few quick questions..
    I'm tossing up between the two and my bestfriend ( who I'm buying it for ) I'm sure will be stoked with whatever one :) ? His a surfer for start so I'm imaging he would take a fair few photos of the beach and waves.. Maybe his friends surfing! So is there a camera with a better zoom function or anything that will be better for beachy type photos?
    Kind regards!!

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  40. Is there one that would better suit taking photos of surfers and the beach? Thanks heaps !

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  41. I have both, but if I go out or parties or traveling, I usually would prefer to bring the Mini over the 210. It's just too bulky. But now since I don't use it as often as the Mini, my 210 is having a bit of problem. The film doesn't want to come out :(

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  42. Hello, thank you for the reviews as I am finding it difficult to decide. The photographer in me says the 210 but then I am buying it for my 6 year old. He is very good technically and size aside which would you recommend for him, we are off to a festival and wan't to use it then? I am concerned by having to compensate through the viewfinder as that would be too much for him but I prefer the quality of the 210.

    Thank you x

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  43. thank you for the review. I could not decide whether I should get mini or 210. Your review helped me a lot :)

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  44. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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  45. Hi! I prefer a bigger sized picture but i feel the 250 is too big to carry around everywhere especially to my upcoming trip to Europe. not sure what to do. Also, is the instax 8 better than the 50? pls help.

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