Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by Daniel Osakwe
Instax is one of the leading brands in the instant camera market, offering a wide range of products to suit any budget. The Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is a hybrid device that combines digital features with an instant printer to move away from the traditional Polaroid style.
The Mini LiPlay also doubles up as a printer that lets you print directly from your camera roll, meaning you get two products in one. If you want images of higher quality than what a standard camera provides, this is perfect for you.
Digital camera features may be useful for some, but gimmicky for others. In contrast, the image quality is better than some of its lower-end rivals, but the price still undercuts some of the other competitors we tested.
Table of Contents
Fujifilm instax Mini LiPlay: Design and build
- It is simple to set up.
- There are three color options available.
- Easy to use.
With its modern and chic finish, this camera isn’t too serious, making it perfect for young photographers. With its rectangular design, the camera is easy to use one-handed, and the buttons are easy to identify and navigate.
It is available in three colors: black with a rose gold finish, blush pink, and white with a shiny stone effect (pictured). As far as design goes, all versions are quite striking; if neutrality is what you’re seeking, there aren’t a lot of choices. You can find matching cases for the camera on Amazon, along with a detachable wrist strap.
Setting up the camera and loading the film is straightforward. There is a clear opening on the back of the camera where you can insert the film pack. It’s important to note that the Mini Liplay uses Instax Mini Film, which has a picture size of 62x46mm. Instax Square Film has a picture size of 62x62mm, so if you’re looking to print images in square format, then you should check out cameras that can print this film. A MicroUSB is also used to charge this camera, and it claims that 100 photos can be printed on a single charge.
There are either 45 images on the internal storage or 850 images per gigabyte of storage on a microSD card. Consequently, you can keep a whole bank of photos before choosing which one to use. That’s a big advantage over something like the Instax Mini 9, which prints everything you shoot instantly, meaning your image may not turn out as you wanted.
The screen on the camera is a good size, and it has a neat little feature where when you print, the image will move up the screen before it appears at the top. This just adds a little bit of novelty to instant printing.
Fujifilm instax Mini LiPlay: features and image quality.
- Lots of settings are available.
- 2560 x 1920 pixel resolution
This is a digital camera, so you can play around with a variety of settings to enhance your photos.
Let’s begin with the image quality and what the camera is capable of. The camera has a resolution of 4.92 megapixels, a maximum print resolution of 2560 x 1920 p, and an autofocus range of up to 10 cm. In general, the camera performs best in daylight or natural light indoors.
Under artificial light or at night, the camera didn’t produce the best quality images. During the night, it was a little more difficult to focus and adjust, and details weren’t as clearly visible as they would be during the day.
With an AF illuminator, the camera can provide a clearer image in low-light conditions. Having the flash on, however, provided a more detailed image, so I found this to be useful. Additionally, you can adjust the exposure settings if you want to lighten or darken the image.
In terms of the flash, you have three options: auto, on, and off. In comparison to a digital camera, some cheap instant cameras don’t give you as much control over the flash settings. Using auto mode, I found the flash to be quite well suited to the surroundings, not going off unexpectedly.
As with Instax Mini film, the print quality of the images is clear and crisp, and the colors have a vintage tint. If you print from your phone very high-quality images (more on this later), you lose a few details, but nothing too significant.
Zooming in on an image can help you view it in more detail after you’ve taken it. There is no lens that allows you to zoom in on the images before you shoot, but this isn’t a standard feature for instant cameras anyway.
It doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t alter an image before you take it. If you’re looking for a more artsy photo, you can choose from filters including sepia, black and white, and “stylish,” which will make all the colors pop.
As with Instagram stories, you can also add frames to your photos. Personally, I didn’t think it was necessary to include antlers in the photos I took, but it will depend on the individual.
One of the unique features of the Mini LiPlay is the ability to record sound (up to ten seconds) whilst taking a photo that can then be played back on a printed image. Taking a photo is done by holding the record button on the front of the camera. In order to print, you place a QR code on the image (you can adjust its position). If you have the printed image, you can scan the QR code with your phone, which will take you to a webpage where you can listen to the recording.
The usefulness of this feature depends on the individual. Personally, I didn’t like the QR code on the photo and found it difficult to find the recording. If you wish, however, to capture a memory as a still image and have the option of adding sound, this camera allows you to do that as well. While Instax will host audio recordings online for one year, after that you won’t be able to listen again, leaving you with a useless QR code.
The Instax Mini Liplay app
This camera comes with a companion app that unlocks a variety of features. As soon as you download the (free, might we add) app, you connect the LiPlay Mini camera to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and you can use the camera in a number of different modes.
Our favorite feature was remote printing. It is possible to access your entire library of camera rolls, select your photo, adjust the size and crop, and then print it directly from the camera. The app does not, however, allow you to connect your social accounts—it only allows you to access your direct photo library on your phone.
Even though the camera quality itself isn’t too bad, this feature allows you to print photos at any time, in extremely high quality. Even if you don’t have the Mini LiPlay, you can still capture a moment. All you need is your smartphone.
There is also the option of remote shooting, which lets you see what’s on the screen and take photos using your phone when you place the camera down. This can be useful for group photos, for example.
With the app, you can access any photos you take with sound recordings. The image and sound will appear together as soon as you reconnect via Bluetooth, so you won’t have to go to a web browser like you do when you scan the QR code.
Advantages and disadvantages
|Easy to set up
|Lots of settings are available
In addition to serving as an instant camera, printer, and sound recorder, this mid-range camera can also serve as an instant camera, printer, and sound recorder. If that’s a concern to you, the digital features allow you to take your images in a flexible way, so you won’t waste your film unnecessarily. Additionally, the companion app is easy to use and offers additional bonus features that can be very useful.
The image quality is not always perfect, and the sound recordings last only for a year, which is unfortunate. In addition to being quite bold, chic, and not very minimalist, the design may not be to everyone’s taste.
We would definitely recommend this camera if you do not mind these little quirks. Take a look at the Instax Square SQ6 if you’re looking for an instant camera that’s not a digital hybrid.