The world today is instant. It’s all about what can happen fastest: getting your Starbucks without waiting in line, 2-day shipping your new electronics to your doorstep, and taking photos that you can see the second your finger leaves the shutter release. So it makes sense that, even when we’re reaching for a throwback, we want photos NOW—the brand new Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Instant Camera will give you just that.
Like other instant cameras, the Instax Square SQ6 produces photos that print out as you wait, developing in minutes. But unlike the others on the market, it uniquely blends the Instagram aesthetic with the old-world Polaroid feel. With filters, a square camera body, and squared-off prints, the Square line is a blend of old and new.
(And hey: its camera body even looks like the old Instagram logo!)
What’s in the box of the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 comes in a tightly-packed box (perfect for gift-giving) that contains the camera itself, plus all of the accessories that you’ll need to operate it right out of the box. (Which actually makes it even more perfect for gift-giving, now that I think of it. There’s no slowing down and charging batteries; instead, you can take your first snap within minutes.)
Along with the camera come two CR2 batteries, a shoulder strap, the owners manual, and three “Strobe Colour Flash Filters” in orange, green, and purple.
What makes the Instax Square SQ6 different
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 is a lot like its predecessors – but it’s a little different. It has a body with a different aesthetic than the SQ10, touting a chromed finish instead of soft, bubble edges.
Its closest compatriots are the Instax SQ10 Hybrid Camera and Instax Mini 9, and I’d say that it’s closest to the Mini 9. Like the Minis, this Square SQ6 model is pretty basic: it has settings dials and instant results, but no photo editing or LCD display capabilities. The Instax SQ10, on the other hand, is truly a hybrid camera – it offers an LCD display with a click wheel, and allows you to preview and edit images on the 3″ display before approving them to be printed out.
(The SQ10 is actually pretty cool, and I wouldn’t mind trying one out sometime. It sounds like the ultimate blend between instantaneous results and the ability to control the image being produced!)
The Instax SQ6 prints on 2.4″ by 2.4″ instant film (the Mini line prints on 5.4 cm x 8.6 cm, which is roughly a 2×3.) It allows you to shoot in macro mode for close objects 30-50cm from the lens, and landscape for subjects two metres away from you or farther. For a double exposure, the camera allows you to press the shutter button twice after re-framing your shot.
And, of course, the Instax classic: a small, convex mirror next to the camera lens allows you to set up a selfie with you (or your fiends!) in the shot, optimizing brightness and focal length when set to “selfie mode.”
My experiences with the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
Fujifilm knows exactly who their audience is with this camera, and even includes a nod to them in the description of this camera: with it, “you can snap square photos that look like they came straight from your Instagram feed.”
I agree with that sentiment – but I also don’t.
While Instagram has progressed into a curated, scheduled, picture-perfect feed (not at all its intention upon the launch of the platform), instant cameras remain the same. They’re a little gritty, with high curves and a heavy-handed approach to filtering. They have a strong look, and I love it.
This camera was just as easy to use as an Instax Mini camera, with a little more room for creativity. I snapped a few sample images in my bedroom just to test out its capabilities. It skews a little to the side of the viewfinder, but still produces those same Polaroid-esque results. The colour filters are very basic (you can see the results of using the purple filter in these sample images), and honestly, I can’t see myself ever using them – but they could be cool in some scenarios. As always, the results are a little bit classically blown-out, despite the auto-exposure control.
The different Instax Square SQ6 settings
Some of the Instax Square SQ6 settings have already been mentioned in this post, but here’s a comprehensive list of them. Auto tries its best to give you the best results no matter the situation; selfie mode regulates light and dark for a close portrait. Macro and landscape are designed to be used based on your subject’s distance, and double exposure lets you take two photos that’ll be super-imposed upon one another.
Finally, the camera’s light and dark modes let you add a low-key or high-key effect to control the brighteness of your photo – perfect if you’re not always a fan of the overblown look of instant photos.
Any one of these camera settings can be used in conjunction with one of the three photo “filters,” which fit over the flash to tint the entire frame of the photo.
Who the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Instant Camera is best for
I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with a Fujifilm Instax camera. They’re so iconic and easy to use that even the “wrong” model will work well. Each body is designed with the same mentality of “fast, recognizable, and easy,” which means that they’ll function in very similar ways for all users.
That being said, you definitely still have choice when it comes to what model of Instax you want to bring into your life. I like the Square SQ6s mostly because of design, not format – they’re a grown-up version of the Minis; more for an Instagram crowd than a Snapchat one. Their faux brushed metal finishes look fantastic in a flatlay, and (I think) pair better with work slacks or a party dress than an Instax Mini 9.
The Instax Square SQ6 is offered in a silvery Pearl White (pictured here), as well as the ever-popular Blush Gold and understated Graphite Grey. Like any Fujifilm Instax camera, it’s great for the young and the old alike. The design is classic enough to be appreciated with a sense of nostalgia by adults and young adults, but simple enough that it can be used by children and older generations as well. For traditional Instax dimensions, check out my review of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9.
Shop the the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Instant Camera online and in-stores at Best Buy.