This week Fujifilm announced a new instant camera, the Instax Mini 40, along with a new contact sheet film for all Mini cameras. It’s the third instant camera Fujifilm has released in just over a year. The Instax Mini 11 was released in March 2020, followed by the Instax SQ1 in November. While the SQ1 offers a larger print size (among other differences), comparing the Instax Mini 40 vs Mini 11 reveals the two models are closely related.
When the Instax Mini 11 was first released, we also compared it to the previous Mini model, the Instax Mini 9. We identified several updates that Fujifilm had made, making the Mini 11 the better camera of the two.
Conversely, the Mini 40 is not a true upgrade from the Mini 11. Comparing the technical specifications of each camera (see below) indicates the cameras have the same internal mechanics. However, the Mini 40 is encased in a new build that is sure to excite fans of Fujifilm’s vintage instant cameras.
The Mini 11 has a lightweight, plastic build that comes in a variety of bright, pastel colors. The camera has a ridged, ergonomic design that makes it easy to hold, and the Instax logo is debossed into the film door. It comes with a colorful hand strap and jewel-like covers for the shutter button.
The Mini 40, on the other hand, looks and feels like a retro Fujifilm camera. The new release has harder edges, is only available in black, and features a faux-leather casing inspired by Fujifilm’s classic models. The camera has silver accents along the sides and front, and an embossed logo plate above the lens. A black hand strap is included, but no shutter button covers. The Mini 40 is also a little smaller and heavier than the Mini 11.
Both cameras are incredibly easy to operate, with film cartridges inserted via the back. On both models, the camera is turned on by pressing the button next to the lens and off by pushing the lens back into the camera.
Both models also offer Selfie Mode, which should be used if you’re photographing a subject that’s 1-1.6ft away (30 – 50cm). To activate Selfie Mode, simply pull the front of the lens until you see the Selfie On label. There’s a small mirror on the front of both cameras that can help you frame your shot.
Comparing the specs of the Instax Mini 40 vs Mini 11 shows they are, technically speaking, more or less the same. The cameras share the same lens, viewfinder, shutter, and flash. They both use the same film, and develop photos in approximately 90 seconds. They use the same batteries, and have the same battery life.
This means you can expect a comparable performance output from the Mini 40. This isn’t bad news – the Mini 11 is a great instant camera. It’s easy to use, and captures visually pleasing prints that fit in your wallet. The automatically adjusting flash is a particularly cool feature; it makes it easier to take photos in settings with differing lighting/brightness.
The Mini 40 offers the same capabilities in an alternative, vintage build. If you’re deciding between the two cameras, you should base your decision on the look and feel of each model, as it is the primary differentiator. If you already own a Mini 11 and you’re looking for something new, consider the Instax SQ1.
|Instax Mini 11||Instax Mini 40|
|Film||Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film||Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film|
|Photo Size||62mm x 46mm||62mm x 46mm|
|Lens||2 components, 2 elements f = 60mm, 1:12.7||2 components, 2 elements f = 60mm, 1:12.7|
|Viewfinder||Real image finder, 0.37x, with target spot||Real image finder, 0.37x, with target spot|
|Shooting Range||0.3m and beyond||0.3m and beyond|
|Selfie Mode + Mirror||Yes (Use for 0.3 to 0.5m range)||Yes (Use for 0.3 to 0.5m range)|
|Shutter||Programmed Electronic Shutter 1/2 to 1/250 sec. Slow synchro for low light||Programmed Electronic Shutter 1/2 to 1/250 sec. Slow synchro for low light|
|Exposure Control||Automatic, Lv 5.0 to 14.5 (ISO 800)||Automatic, Lv 5.0 to 14.5 (ISO 800)|
|Film Developing time||Approx. 90 Seconds||Approx. 90 Seconds|
|Flash Type||Constant Firing Flash (automatic light adjustment)||Constant Firing Flash (automatic light adjustment)|
|Flash Recycle Time||6.5 seconds or less||6.5 seconds or less|
|Flash Range||0.3 to 2.7m||0.3 to 2.7m|
|Power Supply||Two AA-Sized Alkaline Batteries||Two AA-Sized Alkaline Batteries|
|Battery Life||10 Packs of 10 Exposures||10 Packs of 10 Exposures|
|Auto Power Off Time||After 5 Minutes||After 5 Minutes|
|Dimensions (mm)||107.5 x 121.2 x 67.3||104 x 121 x 65|
|Weight (without batteries, strap, or film)||10.34 oz (293g)||11.64 oz (330g)|
Should I Buy the Instax Mini 40?
Like the Mini 11, the Instax Mini 40 is an easy to use instant camera, capable of delivering fantastic miniature prints that develop in just 90 seconds. Unlike the Mini 11, the new camera has a textured vintage build reminiscent of classic Fujifilm instant cameras.
The retro look and feel of the Mini 11 means it is imbued with a warming touch of nostalgia. The fact it also matches the performance capabilities of a modern instant camera makes it an exciting new release. You can pre-order the camera now for $99.95.
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