Fujifilm Instax SQ6 Review | Analog in Square Format

Fujifilm introduced Instax SQ10 as its first digital instant camera that prints photos in square format. The Fujifilm Instax SQ6 is a purely analog sister model. 

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6

Photo happiness in 90 seconds: It takes around 1.5 minutes from triggering the Fujifilm Instax SQ6 to the finished photo. Wait time that is worth it!

With the marketing strategy of Instax SQ6, it quickly becomes clear who the target group of the Instax SQ6 is: young photographers who are attracted to the square instant picture. Designed as a fun camera, it is supposed to capture moments on paper. And that works well – with an Instax SQ6 instant camera

Different exposure modes

Since the Instax SQ6, unlike the Instax SQ10, does not have a rear monitor and thus image control. With this, you can experience the classic instant image feeling. The Instax can be set using three buttons.

For example, landscape, macro, or double exposure are available as exposure modes. The manufacturer includes three color filters for the integrated flash unit.

And how do the photos work? 

In our favorite square film format! You cannot count on high-resolution pictures with an instant camera and this goes for Instax SQ6 also. 

The Instax SQ6 is in the high-priced instant camera segment and almost twice as expensive as the sister model Instax mini 9. The films in the square format are also somewhat more expensive than the Instax mini-films in landscape format.

Fujifilm Instax SQ6 Review

Pro: Simple, cool square format

Cons: Significantly more expensive than Instax mini cameras

Features of the Fuji Instax SQ6

Instax SQ6 model is completely analog, such as the Mini and Wide models uses, but in the square film format. With the expanded functions and the square format, this model was marketed and is hit for the Instagram generation.

The lens has a focal length of 65.75 mm and a fixed aperture of f12.6. Unfortunately, I could not find out on the manufacturer’s website whether the focal length is a 35mm equivalent or not.

Let’s take a look at the functions: 

There are three buttons on the back. With the mode button at the top, you can jump through the different recording modes. 

In addition to the automatic mode, there are also settings for selfies, macro photos, landscape shots, double exposures, brighter (L), and darker (D) pictures. A small LED above the respective icon shows which recording mode you are in.

Directly under the mode switch, there is a button for a self-timer and one for deactivating the built-in flash. The small LED above lights up when the flash is switched off. 

I know it from many other analog cameras in such a way that the flash LED lights up as soon as the flash is charged. Here it is the other way round.

Speaking of the flash – Fuji also supplies three colored snap-on filters for the flash, which can provide creative color effects.

Taking pictures with the Fuji Instax SQ6

Taking pictures with the Instax SQ6 is just fun. For me, it is somehow liberating from time to time not to pay attention to aperture, time, and ISO, but to concentrate entirely on composition and motivation. 

Click, surrrr … done. Nothing to edit, hardly any rejects, can be hung up directly.

That’s why I love my instant cameras. They give a nice and playful balance to professional photography. Especially on the vacation, where you have time to try new things.

The camera weighs just 8 ounces and has a dimension of 6.1 x 6.1 x 4.1 inches. You can endure that on day trips.

The viewfinder

The finder of Instax SQ6 annoyed me a little. It does not cover the entire image area, which means that the composition does not always fit. Also, as with all instant cameras, it sits a little to the side of the lens. 

But don’t worry you will learn how to calculate the resulting offset over time. Only with macro pictures, it is better to do without the viewfinder, look over the camera and roughly estimate what will be in the picture.

Flash me!

I find it a little getting used to automatically switch on of the flash. This is often pointless, especially with summer vacation pictures, even more with landscape or architecture photos. 

Here the Instax could be a little more intelligent and automatically switch off the flash in landscape mode. 

I would like a slightly brighter exposure and less flash. However, in portraits, I also found a bit of pleasure in flashing.

I only played around with the three lightning filters for a short time, so I’d rather write another article in the future.

The image quality of the Instax SQ6

I generally like the look of the photos from the new Instax. The film can capture the blue sea as well as the dark green leaves beautifully. As I wrote above, the camera could only add a little more sharpness. 

In macro and landscape mode it works quite well, only between 50 cm (the macro mode ends there) and 2 m (that’s where the landscape mode starts), everything is somehow mushy without a flash. 

You can still work with it if you are aware of the shortcomings. Maybe I had too high expectations here, who knows.

Overall, the Instax SQ6 can take great pictures with a lot of analog charm.

Recording modes

The setting I used most was landscape mode. I have the feeling that the sharpness fits much better here than in auto mode with this model.

Everything is a little clearer on the left in landscape mode than on the right in automatic mode.

If the exposure is too dark, which is relatively common due to the automatic flash, the L mode can be used to bring a little more light into the picture. The D mode does the opposite.

I also really liked the macro mode, with which you can take great photos of textures.

In the selfie mode, the small mirror next to the lens on the front gives you a nice control option. The camera automatically adjusts the exposure and flash intensity to the closer the lens is to the face. 

An extensive test is still pending in the double exposure mode, which I will cover in a future review of this model.

What needs improvement in the Instax SQ6

I am a little disappointed with the choice of batteries and the tripod thread. The Instax SQ6 requires two CR2 batteries. It is also available as a rechargeable battery, but I would prefer a rechargeable battery that can be recharged via micro-USB as in the SQ10. But that is certainly due to the price.

The tripod thread is attached to the lower right corner. All smaller and lighter tripods, like a gorilla pod, are hard to use. The camera would fall over there. Pity! 

In these criteria, Fujifilm did a much better job with SQ10.

One should be careful when taking pictures in the sun, here the lens seems like a burning glass and leaves dark traces on the film. In the case of a mirror selfie, even lightning did it. 

Maybe it was just the film. Has any of you also experienced this?

Conclusion

The Instax SQ6 is fun! There are some minor points of criticism, but the camera ensures that I concentrate on the essentials: the image

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