The Fujifilm Instax SQ20 instant camera was released on October 20th, 2018. With it, came a wave of indecision from the photography community. It’s predecessor, the Instax SQ10, is a fan favorite. It’s one of Fujifilm’s first crossover instant and digital cameras, takes beautiful images and, frankly, it looks adorable. It appears to be a perfect digital/ instant camera crossover. So how could Fujifilm improve upon it? In this post, we compare specs, features, and functionality to answer the question on everyone’s mind: is the newly released Instax SQ20 better than the SQ10?
The Fujifilm Instax SQ20 instant camera was released on October 20th, 2018. With it, came a wave of indecision from the photography community. It’s predecessor, the Instax SQ10, is a fan favorite; it’s one of Fujifilm’s first crossover instant and digital cameras, takes beautiful images and, frankly, it looks adorable. It appears to be a perfect digital/ instant camera crossover. So how could Fujifilm improve upon it? In this post, we compare specs, features, and functionality to answer the question on everyone’s mind: is the newly released Instax SQ20 better than the SQ10?
User Interface & Functionality
Are both cameras instant and digital?
Yes, first and foremost, both the SQ10 and SQ20 are hybrid digital and instant film cameras. We love this feature—gone are the days when you’re forced to waste film on under or overexposed shots and unflattering angles. Both cameras are equipped with a digital image sensor, digital image processing technology, and a handy color LCD monitor where you can review content before committing to a hard copy. Both also have a built-in internal capacity of about 50 images with room for a memory card so you can take pictures now and print later.
Do the Instax SQ10 and SQ20 use the same film?
Yes, both cameras accept INSTAX SQUARE Instant Film. So, if you decide to upgrade from the SQ10 to the SQ20, you won’t have to invest in new film too. They print the same 2.4 x 2.4″ Square Images.
Which camera is easier to carry around?
Compared to the Fujifilm Instax SQ10, the SQ20 is more compact, lighter, and (in our humble opinion) more aesthetically appealing. We wouldn’t say the SQ10 is bulky, but the SQ20 is definitely smaller.
Do you lose any functionality upgrading from the SQ10 to the SQ20?
Wow, we’re so glad you asked! While the SQ20 is smaller, that streamlining comes with a few sacrifices:
- The Fujifilm SQ20 has a smaller screen. It’s not a huge difference, but the resolution also takes a hit. The SQ10 has a 3-inch LCD screen with 460K pixel resolution, while the SQ20’s screen is only 2.7 inches with a 230K resolution.
- You can’t take out SQ20’s battery to charge it. Instead, you have to charge the device itself. This can get tricky if you’re out shooting, your battery dies and you have nowhere to casually charge a whole camera. You could take a power bank with you, but that’s less convenient than being able to immediately use a second pre-charged battery.
- The Instax SQ10 has a tripod mount and the SQ20 does not. This won’t affect more casual users, but if you want to take long-exposure shots this might prove problematic.
- The buttons on the Instax SQ10 are slightly bigger than those on the SQ20. Will this make a huge difference in how you shoot with this camera? No, probably not. But it’s still something that got lost with the size update.
Oh. Well, what functionality do I gain updating to the SQ20?
One feature we’re relieved the SQ20 does not come with is the auto/manual switch. When you leave the SQ10 on Auto and put it in your bag, the shutter button accidentally gets pressed. As a result, you end up printing a lot of very dark pictures of nothing. The SQ20 doesn’t have an auto/manual switch, thus eliminating this problem. Also, who among us is buying a Fujifilm Instax camera for its manual focus? No one, that’s who.
It’s also worth noting that the Instax SQ20 has a selfie mirror while its predecessor does not. When we first heard about this addition we wondered, do we really need that though? It turns out we definitely do. We can’t guarantee that you’ll never take an awkward selfie again, but this little mirror definitely helps.
Instax SQ10 and SQ20 Features & Specs
Does the Instax SQ20 or SQ10 have better photo effects?
Without question the SQ20. For those of you interested in mixing up your social media content, the SQ20 has some fun new shooting settings including a time shift collage, image sequencing, and frame grab. This is a big upgrade from the SQ10 which is only capable of double exposure and a few bulb modes. And speaking of Frame Grab, the SQ20 now lets you film a video up to 15 seconds long and then pick which frame or frames you want to print. This is a perfect feature for action shots of every variety.
Which camera has a better CMOS sensor?
The SQ10 has a slightly better sensor; the SQ20 has a 1/5 inch sensor while the SQ10 has a 1/4 inch. This isn’t a huge difference, but a bigger CMOS sensor is preferable. The larger the sensor, the better the low-light performance and dynamic range. It can also affect resolution. But, again, the size difference here is so slight that they both produce 1920 x 1920 pixel images.
Do either of these puppies have the ability to zoom?
The Fujifilm Instax SQ20 has a respectable 4x digital zoom. This is exactly 4x better than the Instax SQ10 which has no zoom at all.
So, which Instax instant camera should I own? The SQ20 or SQ10?
We recommend going with the Instax SQ20, especially if this is your first instant camera. The newly added features are incredible, it’s fun to use, and it takes beautiful images. Also, the Instax SQ10 and SQ20 are almost the exact same price. It makes more sense to invest in the upgrade upfront.
We know Instax SQ10 owners love their camera and honestly, we do too. That said, the SQ20 is a game-changer for your content. The addition of shooting settings like collage mode, frame grab, and time shift adds a remarkable about of variation to your content. All we’re saying is, consider the upgrade.
As always, let us know if you have any additional feedback on either camera below.