There’s no denying that the language of today is visual. We communicate in Instagram posts, Facebook stories and tweets from wherever we are thanks to the spectacular mobile technology we have at our fingertips. Right now, I’ve got a 40MP camera in my pocket that can take absolutely gloriously snapsots of anything I throw at it, rely on its advanced artificial intelligence to choose the best filters with which to take those photos and then email a stunningly sharp image to my mom with instant messaging.
If I’d known that this level of photography would be in the hands of the everyman when I was fresh out of high school, I’d never have bothered to learn how to develop film from ye olde cameras that used more analogue methods from back in the day. At the same time, there’s a sense that all of the images we take have a disposable nature to them. It’s quantity over quality these days, with fresh snaps being fleeting memories at best.
I’m still a fan of traditional photography, the type of picture-taking that makes you carefully choose your shot as you only have so much film in the camera to make use of. At the same time, I adore the flexibility of a good digital camera and how you don’t have to fuss for ages to make certain that your lighting is perfect and potentially miss out on taking that perfect shot.
Fujifilm’s latest bit of hardware is a bridge between those schools of thought. Called the Instax Mini Link, it builds on their previous instant results work to create a printer for your smartphone. It’s easy enough to set up, requiring nothing more than a Bluetooth link to connect and then just a swipe of your thumbs to produce a physical copy of your photos. Tag teaming with a dedicated app, the Instax Mini Link also allows you to apply many filters and edits to a photo before you print it out, speedily belching out physical keepsakes at a rate of one every 12 seconds should you be in a rush.
Take the credit card sized photo, vigorously shake it (I have zero idea if this actually works but according to my Polaroid mad parents it does) and there you go! Within a minute or two you’ll have a neat memento. The Instax Mini Link also has another trick up its sleeve in the form of motion controls that allow you to switch modes or reprint pictures with a quick pivot of the axis, as well as other features that allow for group photo printing.
With a fresh light-sensitive cartridge installed you’ll be able to print ten pictures out before you need to reload, with each image reflecting the quality of your camera. Seeing as how I’m using a Huawei P30 Pro, those images looked fantastic, boasting crisp colours and sharp clarity overall. The added bonus of this is because you’re using a phone you’re not just limited to using your own photos. See something neat on the Internet that you’d like a keepsake of? Download that image and print it out presumably after you’ve legally paid royalty fees to the copyright owner you upstanding citizen you.
Heck, I’ve even printed a photo of that one chap who remembers little on a Tuesday:
While Fujifilm has other Instapix devices including a dedicated camera and printer wrapped up in one device, the Instax Mini Link may just be the best fusion of retro-inspired tech with modern-day hardware. You’ve got all of that blistering power in your pocket, the potential to print more than just photos (I honestly wouldn’t mind printing a few business cards with this camera just for a novel approach) and a more personal touch when you hand out these photos.
Last Updated: February 6, 2020