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Friday, April 19, 2024

New Instax mini 99 instant camera adds unique analogue abilities for enhanced film photography

There is something unique about film photography, with not quite knowing what you are going to get part of the appeal. This is certainly true for the Instax mini 99, a new high-end model from Fujifilm South Africa’s instant camera range.

Unique analogue capabilities

The Instax mini 99’s analogue capabilities bring a number of unique features to the table, not the least of which being Colour Effect Control. By twisting the Colour Effect dial, located at the top left corner just above the viewfinder, users can select one of six analogue colour effects: Faded Green, Warm Tone, Light Blue, Soft Magenta, Sepia and Light Leak.

Interestingly, the colour effect is applied directly to the film by four LEDs housed inside the body of the Mini 99.

Found at the top of the right-hand corner is the Brightness Control Dial, which can be used to select one of five brightness settings to either lighten or darken the image. Then, at the front of the lens is a manual Vignette Mode switch, allowing users to reduce exposure around the edges to bring the focus to the centre of each picture.

Using these analogue features in combination creates a number of unique creative possibilities for photographers. However, it can also be mixed with even more modes, with Instax adding two more special options. Firstly, Bulb Mode, which permits the shutter to stay open for up to ten seconds for unique streaks or trails of light, plus Double Exposure Mode to superimpose two individual shots onto one photo. Users can keep track of the shooting mode, battery power and remaining film sheets via a small LCD at the back of the camera.

A classic design

As an update to 2013’s Mini 90, the Mini 99 body boasts leather-like matte texture that sits comfortably in the hand. Hammertone coating and coloured text are featured to present a classical design with a premium texture, suitable for this high-end model of the Instax analogue line-up. The Mini 99 is also highly portable, pulling the scales in the region of 350g, with a black camera case also available. As stated in the name, the Mini 99 makes use of Instax’s popular Mini instant film, with an image size 62mm x 46mm, printing out in about 90 seconds.

Finally, users can expect 100 frames from the camera’s removable rechargeable battery, with a USB Type-C charging cable and charger included. There’s also a tripod thread and a bottom grip to make it easier to take selfies.

The Instax mini 99 looks set to arrive in South Africa during the end of March 2024, with its recommended retail price yet to be determined. Fujifilm also plans to release a new mini-format film called Photo Slide this month, inspired by vintage photo slide mounts, which should still be familiar to Instax users who made use of 35mm film and projectors.

There is also news for current Instax shooters, with Fujifilm having released an updated version of Instax UP! app. This popular Instax smartphone app allows users to scan and save Instax prints with a smartphone for easy digital conversion.

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