I kept checking the UPS website yesterday, and it kept saying my camera was “in transit”. When it wasn’t there by the time I got home, around 6:30, I gave up for the day, because UPS allegedly only delivers until 7:00 to residences.
The UPS guy rang my doorbell at 7:15. Yay!
(Pencil is there for scale.) How do the Japanese manage to make everything so darn cute?! And it’s orange, my favorite color!
Instant photography is regaining some of the popularity that was usurped by digital in Japan and other parts of Asia, particularly among teenagers and young women. Unfortunately, you can’t buy the Fuji Instax in the US, because they use improvements made to the Polaroid process that were invented by Kodak, that Polaroid successfully sued Kodak for patent violation over. Lomography is probably able to get around this because they’re based in Europe; and there’s always eBay. However, with Polaroid permanently ceasing production of all instant cameras and film this year, that may change.
This is much more advanced than the crappy Polaroids you probably remember from your childhood. It’s got a collapsible 3-setting shutter, a clip-on close-up lens that allows you to take photos from up to 35 cm away, a self-portait mirror, and you can even adjust the exposure. So you won’t get those sickly, washed-out shots outdoors or murky, dark shots indoors.
I had a panicky moment when I realized the instructions were all in Japanese! But with the smug awareness that Japanese electronics are sold all over the world, they helpfully included pictorial instructions as well. It wasn’t too difficult to figure it out.
This is a “mini” Instax, it produces photos that are almost exactly the size of a credit card, with the actual image area being slightly smaller. And this is a lousy blurry shot that I took in my office, so you can’t really get a sense of the quality, but it’s much better than the old Polaroids. (It’s a photo of William the one-eyed cat lurking behind a plant on the porch.) You can read a quick overview of the improvements made over the old Polaroid process on Wikipedia.
This is not a Serious Camera, obviously. I guess I just missed the instant gratification of those old cameras from my childhood (although digital is nearly instant). And they’re just fun!