Cameras

Shooting with a Fujifilm Instax SQ6: Walkthrough, review, and sample shots

Squares are fun!

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There’s still something about instant cameras that excites me. Even in the age of Instagram and digital photos, I still find myself curious about the next new shooter that’ll be able to instantly print my pictures.

Fujifilm’s newest release, the Instax SQ6, is the latest camera to feed my instant photo obsession, and it uses the square film format.

What can it do and how is it different from previous Instax releases? Keep reading.

Looking retro

Right off the bat, let me say it: This is an Instagrammable camera. It has a cool retro look that makes it look classic, but fun. It looks so nice, it can pass as a set prop. 

It comes in three colors: pearly white, slate metal black, and my favorite, a pink one.

This simple camera is pretty straightforward. Up front is a beautiful textured finish. You can find the flash, shutter button, and a selfie mirror here.

On the back is a slight grip, which houses batteries that power the device. There’s also the viewfinder, compartment for the film, and the different mode buttons.

Up top is where the film comes out, and of course, the on/off switch.

The SQ6 comes in a lightweight plastic body, but the design makes up for that. It’s not the most compact camera, but judging by how pretty it is, it seems this is a device that’s designed to be seen and shown off as opposed to being kept in a bag.

Getting started

Before anything else, let me go through loading film, as this is always the trickiest part to any new instant camera.

With the SQ6, it’s pretty simple: Load the cartridge, make sure the yellow strips match (on the cartridge and the camera) and you’re done! There’s also a counter on the lower right that shows how many shots you have left.

Now, there are a number of shooting modes on this camera. There’s automatic for normal shooting conditions, Macro mode for close-up shooting, Landscape mode, double exposure mode, and even modes to lighten or darken your shots.

The topmost button on the left controls the modes; below that is a Timer button, and under that is a Hold Flash button. Like most instant cameras, the flash goes off every time a photo is taken. If you’re in a super bright place and you want to take a photo, you can press the Hold Flash button so that the photo won’t come out as too bright. Fair warning though, the flash is automatically on for good reason.


Speaking of the flash, the camera comes with flash filters in different colors for some fancy Instax photo effects.

The SQ6 is a square format camera meaning it shoots in square film. These are available in white, and just recently, black — which looks awesome! Each cartridge houses ten shots.

Time to shoot photos!

Picture perfect?

I just love that there’s a Selfie mode on this thing. Being on this mode calibrates the settings so that it takes the best photo from as far as your selfie-taking hand can go. That selfie mirror in front really helps, too.

Of course, that was a mode I used a lot. The Double Exposure mode is pretty cool, too. When on this mode, you can press the shutter button twice and the effect is pretty trippy prints. Speaking of trippy prints, those colored filters also add a subtle color effect to photos that give them more character.

No samples from the Macro mode as I wasn’t even able to take a decent one; the photo shifts to the side when you shoot. 😅

My go-to for group photos was the timer shot. This ensures no shaky hands and wider space so that everyone can potentially fit. This yielded nice, clear photos — when we framed it right.

Admittedly, mistakes on instant cameras are pretty common, and that’s the beauty of it.

I can’t tell you how much film I wasted on shots I screwed up. Whether I accidentally pressed the shutter, framed it wrong, or cut somebody out, these are all moments that will be remembered years from now, all frozen in Instax photos.

Do I likey?

The SQ6 follows the SQ10 as part of the Instax square format camera line. But, that’s about all it follows from its semi-digital predecessor.

This camera looks retro because it is. It’s fully analog, meaning no photo saving or editing, and it runs on replaceable batteries, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Taking photos is as quick and simple as hitting the shutter button.

It’s an instant camera that’s straightforward and easy to use, which means it racked up fun points in that regard. Photo quality is definitely better compared to other instant cameras I’ve tried, and admittedly, that square black film looks great. Not to mention, it’s a pretty camera that’s very fun to use.

Yet another plus: The SQ6 retails for US$ 130 in the US, which is more than half the price of the previously released SQ10.

If you’re an avid instant camera fan and are into the old-school Instax feels, this shooter might be worth checking out. It’s a new camera with old tricks up its sleeves — and that formula actually works for it.

Cameras

The new Instax Mini 11 is here!

So many colors to choose from!

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Together with the X-T4, Fujifilm unveiled the latest in its popular instant camera model — the instax mini 11!

Redesigned for portability and ease of use, the new mini 11 comes in a fresh look! It’s now thinner, lighter, and has a rounded body design to fit perfectly in every user’s hands.

Additionally, it’s the first to feature an “Automatic Exposure” function. The mini 11 senses the level of ambient light, optimizing the output depending on the condition. This allows you to illuminate your photos — keeping both the subject and the background evenly lit. Say goodbye to washed out faces!

Another feature is Selfie Mode, which lets you take better selfies and closeup shots. To use this mode, you just need to pull out the lens’ edge.

What’s even more exciting is instax’s new film featuring marble-designed frames. There’s “Blue Marble” that comes in the usual mini-format instax film, and “White Marble” that comes with a square-format instax film.

The instax mini 11 is available in five pale colors: Blush Pink, Sky Blue, Charcoal Gray, Ice White, and Lilac Purple. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

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Cameras

Fujifilm launches X-T4, promises high performance stills and videos

The ultimate mirrorless camera?

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Fujifilm unveiled its new flagship — the X-T4. Dubbed as the pinnacle of the X series, the X-T4 vows to deliver the highest performance in both stills and video.

As the new flagship, the X-T4 prides itself on new and improved features to aid creative professionals. For starters, it’s the first model in the X-T series to feature in-body image stabilization. It promises to assist night and action photographers in capturing breathtaking moments. It also helps aspiring videographers to record easily in situations prone to camera shake.

New shutter made faster, quieter, more durable

Additionally, Fujifilm flaunts its newly developed ultra-fast focal plane shutter. It’s touted as the world’s fastest mechanical shutter — capable of 15fps in burst mode and 8fps in a continuous shooting while using live view.

When using the electronic shutter, the X-T4 can handle a 30fps burst shooting. Aside from its quieter shutter noise, Fujifilm promises durability of up to 300,000 actuations.

Furthermore, the X-T4 features ETERNA Bleach Bypass, a new Film Simulation mode using Fujifilm’s unique color reproduction technology. This new simulation produces photos with low saturation and high contrast for a spesh atmosphere.

Improved performance

You can expect X-T4’s performance to be better thanks to its back-illuminated 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 — Fujifilm’s high-speed image processing engine. Now, it has improved Face and Eye AF performance, which can track a subject moving at high speed as fast as 0.02 seconds.

Lastly, it’s equipped with video functions meant for professionals. For instance, it’s capable of recording high-speed video in Full HD. When its In-Body Image Stabilization is combined with Digital Image Stabilization, you should get steadier shots. It’s definitely an essential for those who record videos while walking.

There’s also an Image Stabilization boost mode, which mitigates gentle camera shakes. This means you can get stabilized videos even without a tripod. Moreover, it has functions like Movie Optimized Control, Fix Movie Crop Magnification, Mic Jack setting, and an F-Log View Assist to correct low-saturation and low-contrast.

The Fujifilm X-T4 will retail for PhP 96,990 (body), PhP 119,990 (with 18-55mm kit), and PhP 126,990 (with 16-80mm kit).

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Cameras

Canon’s full-frame EOS R5 mirrorless camera can shoot 8K

It’s also the first EOS R with in-body stabilization

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Image by GadgetMatch

With the announcement of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III in the Philippines, it was also revealed that the EOS R5 is already in the works. Rumors have finally come to an end after Canon confirmed its existence.

EOS R is Canon’s full-fledged mirrorless lineup that was launched last 2018. The EOS R and EOS RP haven’t aged that much, but another successor is already being developed.

Both models received mixed bags of praises and criticisms. However, one known problem is the lack of stabilization. Older models rely only on stabilization found on the RF lenses. The R5 will finally have in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and it’s the first EOS R camera to do so.

Another highlight feature is the ability to shoot 8K videos. It can be extracted as high-resolution images — most likely 33-megapixel stills just like in the Galaxy S20 series. 8K footages can also be downscaled to higher 4K quality for crisper details.

There’s also the high-speed continuous shooting which Canon has aced in their DSLR bodies over the years. It can approximately take continuous shots of up to 20fps through Electronic Shutter (ES) and 12fps when Mechanical Shutter (MS) is in use.

Shooting with 8K means you need a lot of storage space. Dual media card slots will be implemented, similar to the recently announced EOS-1D X Mark III. They’re also creating a system setting that will automatically import images through Canon’s cloud system.

Other than R5’s sudden announcement, Canon also plans to release nine new RF lenses this 2020 — including the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM, Extender RF 1.4x and Extender RF 2x. These are just some improvements made by Canon to alleviate the concerns of EOS R’s concept when it comes to speed, comfort and image quality.

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