Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The New Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Instant Camera


The Fujifilm Instax film cameras and film has been the shinning star of the film world for the past decade. As Polaroid declined in popularity and profitability, Fujifilm transformed their instant film business from passport and ID pictures to family and friends. The cameras were simple to use, cute to look at, and fun to share. One weakness of these cameras was that it was easy to mess up a picture, a costly mistake (about $1 USD per image at least). The compromise was the Instax printer. It could print directly from a Fujifilm camera, or using an app, directly from your smartphone. Another complaint was that the cute and fun Instax Mini prints were too small, and wouldn't print the square Instagram images properly without cropping the sides of the image. How would Fuji solve this problem? A new film format and a new hybrid camera system would be necessary.


Welcome the Instax Square format and the new SQ10 digital hybrid instant camera. The camera is basically an Instax printer merged with a digital camera. The image area of the new square format is 62mm x 62mm, creating a respectable image size compared to the Instax Mini's narrower 46mm x 62mm print. Although the new square format is smaller than the much larger Instax Wide's 62mm x 99mm image size, the camera itself is significantly smaller and less clunky. As well, the advantages of having a digital hybrid Instax camera is obvious. You can take the picture, and then decide if you want to print it or not. If you don't like it, delete it. If you want to modify it, then adjust the image (exposure compensation, filters, vignetting, cropping, rotate, date stamp). You can do this while you're shooting real time, or even after you capture the image. You can store up to 50 images in-camera, or install your own micro SD card. Once you finish, you can upload the images to your computer and share your 1920 x 1920 (or 3.68MP) image on social media. Ok, the image isn't that big (yet) but big enough to print to Instax, and convenient enough to print extra copies of the same picture (unlike the analog Instax cameras).

Instax Wide 300 compared to the SQ10
Perhaps you're a purist and enjoy shooting analog Instax photography? I wouldn't worry. There should be 100% analog Instax square cameras coming out soon. I think this was Fujifilm's first attempt at making a hybrid camera, and I heard this is going to be a limited run. At just under $300 USD, these aren't cheap, but if you're an early adopter, you better get yours soon. The camera and the film should be available in May. Please enjoy my YouTube unboxing and first impressions video. I truly had no idea what I was unboxing, which adds to my unrehearsed pleasant surprise. I will need more time with it to truly see if this camera is a must-have for Instax fans, but so far I'm pretty impressed. The only thing I would ask for is a bump in megapixels, and a way to take selfie images easier (although with digital, shoot and chimp is possible without wasting film).  Please read below for the official press release from Fujifilm for the new film and hybrid camera:



FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES THE NEW INSTAX SQUARE SQ10, A
 HYBRID INSTANT FILM CAMERA
SQ10 gives users a simultaneous digital and traditional print photo experience that instantly changes how we take pictures today

Valhalla, N.Y., April 19, 2017 FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the all-new INSTAX® SQUARE SQ10, a sophisticated square format hybrid instant film camera that combines digital imaging technology with square film prints. The SQ10 uses a new INSTAX SQUARE Film format that delivers exceptional image quality with numerous artistic expressions. This new system takes the image quality of INSTAX to the next level and allows everyone to add a creative, artistic edge to their photography with an intuitive interface designed especially for the SQ10.

Hybrid-powered Beautiful Image Quality
The SQ10 is the first camera in the INSTAX series to be equipped with the newly developed hybrid INSTAX system – a digital image sensor and image processing technology integrated with the existing INSTAX system. These technologies allow the SQ10 to take brighter photos in low-light conditions (indoor and night scenes) and close-up shots from a distance as close as 4 in \10 cm with new functions including automatic exposure control, facial recognition, and auto-focus.

Simply Stunning Design
The SQ10 has an iconic design and a thin, round, symmetrical shape for easy holding. It has a dual shutter system with two shutter buttons - one on the right and one on the left (buttons also work as function buttons to switch shooting modes). The lens ring is made with shaved metal, and specific areas add a sense of depth and texture throughout the solid black camera body.

The SQ10 is simply designed to let users take fun, easy and creative pictures anywhere. The SQ10 allows simple operation with a 3” TFT color LCD monitor (460K dots), operation dial and buttons on the back of the camera. Three buttons arranged at the top of the operation dial correspond to the main functions -- ten different filters, vignette control, and brightness adjustment. Users will see a live display of all operations throughout the composition during shooting, editing, processing and printing on the LCD monitor. This new interface enables photographers to edit and process photos with a simple and intuitive operation. Users may also choose to select and edit (e.g. zooming, cropping and filters) the image before printing. This is particularly useful when sharing multiple prints with a number of people. 

After a picture is taken, users can print, or save the image to the SQ10’s internal memory, save to the micro SD \ microSDHC card, or transfer from the camera to a computer using a micro-USB for ultimate flexibility. 

Stir Your Creativity with New Shooting Modes
The SQ10 lets users shoot in various modes with several filters for outputting creative and trendy square photos. Ten different color filters, brightness and dramatic vignetting effect can be adjusted for truly artistic pictures. 

The vignette effect is especially suitable for portraits or still life images as it highlights the photographic subject at the center of the photo. The SQ10 features special shooting modes including, Double Exposure that can overlap two images onto one print by pushing the shutter twice, Bulb Exposure function for night scenes and creating pictures with dramatic light streaks, Division mode for putting up to nine images on one print. 

New INSTAX SQUARE Film Format
The SQ10 uses a brand new INSTAX SQUARE Film format with a 1:1 aspect ratio that has been especially popular with photo enthusiasts and mobile app shooters. All INSTAX film features excellent color reproduction, taking full advantage of Fujifilm's long-standing research on photographic film manufacturing and image design technology.

An INSTAX Generation 
Since INSTAX cameras were originally launched in 1998, they have proven to be extremely popular with users all over the world, with cumulative shipment volumes reaching over 25 million units. This has made INSTAX the leader of the world’s instant photography market over the past several years.

Fujifilm is committed to offering new products and services that meet various consumer needs by leveraging innovative technological advancements. The company is also dedicated to enhancing the enjoyment of photography worldwide, and encouraging users to experience the value of shooting, preserving, displaying and gifting photo images that deliver the message of “enriching your life with photographs.”

INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 Key Features:
  • FUJIFILM INSTAX Square SQ10 with all-new hybrid INSTAX system
  • 3” TFT color LCD monitor with 460K dots resolution 
  • ¼” CMOS image sensor with primary color filter
  • 1920x1920 recorded pixels
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery (NP-50) for up to 160 images per charge
  • Images taken and edited / processed can be saved in the internal memory (up to about 50 images) or on microSD \ microSDHC card slot (sold separately) 
  • 28.5mm fixed focal length (in 35mm format equivalent) 
  • F2.4 aperture 
  • Micro USB for internal battery recharging
  • JPEG image file format
  • Print from internal memory or micro SD \ microSDHC  card
  • Tripod mount
  • New INSTAX SQUARE Film format (color) sold in 10 sheets per pack
    • Screen size - 62mm×62mm (L×W)
    • Film size - 86mm×72mm (L×W)

For a full list of specifications, visit http://instax.com/square/

Availability and Pricing
The INSTAX SQUARESQ10 will be available in May 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $279.95 and CAD $369.99

INSTAX SQUARE Film will also be available in May 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD TBA and CAD $15.99.


For more information, please visit www.fujifilmusa.com/northamerica, go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter, or go to www.facebook.com/FujifilmNorthAmerica to Like Fujifilm on Facebook. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.

About Fujifilm
FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation is based in Valhalla, New York, and is the regional headquarters for the Americas. It is comprised of fourteen directly owned subsidiary companies in the U.S. and Canada, and two in Latin America: Brazil and Colombia. The company manufactures, markets and provides service for a broad spectrum of industries including photographic, medical imaging and informatics, pharmaceutical and other life science industries. Industrial segments include data storage, electronic materials, chemical, and graphic arts products and services. For more information, please visit www.fujifilmusa.com.


FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including: healthcare, with medical systems, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; graphic systems; highly functional materials, such as flat panel display materials; optical devices, such as broadcast and cinema lenses; digital imaging; and document products. These are based on a vast portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic, software and production technologies. In the year ended March 31, 2016, the company had global revenues of $22.1 billion, at an exchange rate of 112.54 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.

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