Meet the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
We just got our hands on Fujifilm’s new Instax Mini 40 model, a stylish and easy-to-use instant camera that uses the company’s most popular Instax film format: Mini.
Feature and spec-wise, this new model is identical to the Instax Mini 11 that launched just last year; read our full Instax Mini 11 review to learn more. But the Mini 40 is undoubtedly cooler and more retro-chic than its curvy cousin. But that cool factor comes at a slightly higher cost.
Let’s take a closer look at this new model.
Instax Mini 40 – design & handling
The Mini 40’s retro-inspired design, complete with silver detailing and faux black leather, reminds us of the higher-end Instax Mini 90. The textured plastic leatherette provides a pleasing amount of ‘grippyness’. And despite feeling a bit plasticky, nothing about the Mini 40 feels cheap.
Size and weight-wise, the Mini 40 is a match for most other Instax Mini models, which is to say it’s fairly lightweight and compact. However, it is a bit chunkier than the Instax Mini 70, our pick for the best Instax camera in 2021.
Instax Mini 40 – design & handling cont.
The camera is operated in the vertical orientation. The viewfinder may feel a bit small, especially if you’re used to looking through the finder of a modern digital camera, but that’s par for the course with these Instax Mini models.
A rear thumb rest is well-positioned and allows you to grip the camera comfortably and confidently. Below the thumb rest, on the film door, you’ll find a frame counter indicating the remaining shots left on a pack of film.
Instax Mini 40: lens & exposure capability
The Mini 40 utilizes the same retractable 35mm-equiv. F12.7 lens as the Mini 11. A press of the grey button (bottom right) both deploys the lens and turns the camera on. To turn the camera off, simply push the lens back in.
The Mini 40 is fully automatic with a flash that always fires, and exposure is adjusted by the camera via a variable-speed shutter (1/2 – 1/250 sec). The maximum flash range is 2.7 m / 8.85 ft and the recycle time is about 6.5 secs. There’s no need to set or adjust the focus with the Mini 40, it has a fixed focus range of 0.3 m to infinity.
Instax Mini 40 – selfie mode and mirror
Like some of its siblings, the Mini 40 offers a selfie/close-up mode that can be activated by pulling the front of the lens outward (which takes some force). Engaging this mode is supposed to improve sharpness as the lens’ closeup range. But from our testing with the Mini 11, we’ve found it has little noticeable impact, compared to the normal focus mode.
The Mini 40 also offers a small mirror on the front of the lens to assist in framing seflies.
Instax Mini 40 – film and battery life
The camera runs on two AA batteries which should provide enough juice for 100 shots, or 10 packs of Instax Mini film. Keep in mind though, the more depleted your batteries are, the longer the flash will take to recycle between shots.
Instax Mini film is sold in single and double packs, as well as larger bulk packs including those with 60 and 100 exposures. To get the lowest cost per shot (~$0.50), we recommend splurging on the larger pack sizes upfront.
Instax Mini 40 – the wrap
Ultimately, the Instax Mini 40 combines the ease of use of the entry-level Mini 11 with the cool stylings of the upper-end Mini 90. The result is a camera we see appealing to a lot of folks – those who value simplicity but also want something fun-looking they can show off. In that regard, it is a welcomed addition to the Instax Mini family.
Shipping at the end of April 2021, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 will retail for $99.99.
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