Instax SQ1 Review 2020: Is the new Instax camera worth the money?

Instax SQ1 Review 2020: Is the new Instax camera worth the money?

September 30, 2020

INSTANT cameras have an incredible appeal of capturing the moment in a single snap, instantly producing a physical image to look at.

Fujifilm has welcomed its newest family member – Instax SQ1 – and we’ve decided to put it to the test to see how it compares to the previous models and if it’s worth the cash.

Fujifilm has been producing quality instant cameras for decades, frequently launching new models and features to please its fans.

The newest Instax SQ1 surprised us: the brand has chosen to go back to the basics and deliver the most straightforward point-and-shoot camera.

Instax SQ1 review: How much does it cost?

The new Fujifilm Instax SQ1 is priced at £119.99, and available to buy from the major retailers such as Amazon, Jessops, Dixons, and John Lewis.

  • Fujifilm Instax SQ1, £199.99 – buy here

Instax SQ1 review: design and colours

The first thing you’ll notice once you’ve got the camera in your hands, that it’s completely made out of plastic featuring a minimalistic design, and yet it doesn’t feel cheap, although less solid than the previous Instax SQ6 model.

It comes in three beautiful pastel colours: Terracotta Orange, Glacier Blue, and Chalk White.

Instax SQ1 review: films

The camera uses a square film, which is great if you want to fit more into a single image.

Fujifilm has introduced two new instant films: Rainbow, priced at £9.99, and Monochrome, setting you back £10.99, which adds a bit of fun to your photos.

A single Instax SQ1 picture will cost you around £1, and, if you want to make it black and white only, it'll cost you around £1.10.

The camera delivers vibrant snaps and, since we’ve been a fan of pastel-like colours for a while, it’s great if you’re looking to capture more true-to-life shots.

  • Fujifilm Instax SQ1, £199.99 – buy here

We were testing this camera both indoors and outdoors, and got pleasant results: beautifully exposed images went straight to our memories collection on the fridge.

We also brought it to a party and everyone was very keen to fit in the picture: we've achieved that thanks to the square format.

Instax SQ1 review: What features does it have? 

The Instax SQ1 features automatic exposure, which ‘automatically senses the level of ambient light when the shutter button is pressed, and optimizes the shutter speed and flash output according to lighting conditions’, meaning you won’t need to play around with any other buttons than the shutter release.

The Fujifilm Instax SQ1 uses CR2 batteries which are more expensive than AAs, but you’ll only need to replace them every ten packs of films or so.

The camera is controlled with a twisting lens barrel: one twist turns the camera on, twisting further activates the one-touch selfie mode.

The selfie mode is designed for selfies and close-up shots, and you’ll find a handy mirror built into the lens barrel for helping you to find the best angle.

  • Fujifilm Instax SQ1, £199.99 – buy here

The only button you’ll find on the camera is the shutter release, which makes it super simple to use.

When we're were testing the selfie mode, the mirror came really handy and the snaps appeared great: perfect, if you want to get in the picture too instead of snapping your friends all the time.

Instax SQ vs Instax SQ6

When comparing to the previous model – the Instax SQ6 – the camera lacks the more advanced features that we like: different exposure modes such as Auto, Macro, Landscape, and Double, and brightness adjustment, flash suppressing, and self-timer mode.

You won't find three flash filters either, that takes away a level of colour control.

The Instax SQ1 is also more expensive than the previous model too: you can buy the Instax SQ6 for £104.99 at John Lewis.

Instax SQ1 review: the verdict

We've really enjoyed testing the Instax SQ1: it's easy to use, the camera itself looks great, the square format allowed all the friends to get in the picture, and it proved to produce quality photos. It has everything you'd look for in an instant camera.

But the camera could disappoint more creative photographers who seek to have more control over what comes out.

Enjoyed reading our review of the Instax SQ1? Check out our round up of the best instant cameras in the market overall.

To find all of our tech recommendations, have a look at our dedicated Sun Selects' tech section.

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