Fujifilm has launched a cute Instax camera that makes printing to instant film optional. The Instax Pal digital camera comes bundled with a Mini Link 2 printer, but can stow snaps to onboard storage for transfer to the free companion app to add filters and stickers.
“The Instax Pal digital camera and Instax Mini Link 2 Smartphone Printer Bundle is a great option for those who want to capture images digitally with the ability to print on Instax instant film at their convenience,” said Fujifilm’s Bing Liem.
The palm-sized Pal is reported to be the first all-digital camera in the Instax range, and is not intended for serious photographers, but as a fun way to snap images on the go, and then decide whether to print them out later.
The toy-like camera features a 4.9-megapixel, 1/5-inch-type CMOS sensor with primary color filter, offers auto shutter speeds between 1/4 to 1/8000 seconds, has ISO100 to 1,600 light sensitivity, sports a F2.2 wide-angle lens, and its Li-ion battery is topped up over USB-C.
It weighs in at just 1.45 oz (41 g), and can be attached to a ring-shaped strap that can serve as a finger ring, crude viewfinder or camera stand. There’s enough internal storage for up to 50 images, with extra space available by popping in a microSD card. The user can also record and set a sound or phrase for the pre-shutter action, so the camera could shout “smile” through the built-in speaker just before a photo is taken.
The fun-loving snapper can press the thumb-sized shutter button around back to take a digital photo, but the camera also pairs to a smartphone running a companion app when the Link Mode button is pressed. This allows the user to take bursts of three, six, 11 or 21 images at three-second intervals, or plonk the Pal down, fire up the mobile app for a live preview and then operate the shutter remotely.
The app can also create flipbook-like animations by combining multiple images, and should the user decide to send such a creation to the Mini Link 2 for printing, the resulting photo will include a QR code for scanning into a handset to play the animation onscreen. Snapped images can be viewed onscreen and saved to a phone’s own memory, and shared with friends on social.
The flash module is triggered through the app as well. There are 18 filters available to spruce up images, along with the ability to add text and stickers. And once the user has selected the images to print, the smartphone is paired to the Mini Link 2 printer (or another Instax Link smartphone printer, Instax Mini Evo or Instax Mini Liplay hybrid) for physical output on Instax instant film.
The Instax Pal and Mini Link 2 bundle, plus a complimentary 10-pack of white-border instant film, will be available from late October for a suggested retail price of US$199.95. Of course, once your initial film pack is used up, you’ll need to invest in a regular supply.
Product page: Fujifilm Instax Pal