Fujifilm is introducing its second hybrid instant camera, and it comes with a feature that might sound very out of place on its Instax line: video recording. The new model, the Instax Square SQ20, is able to capture video clips of up to 15 seconds. While you’re able to store those on an SD card, that isn’t really the point. Instead, the SQ20 uses those video clips to create new photo effects, which you can then edit and print out directly from the camera.
The SQ20’s “motion mode” will let you scrub through a video to find the frame you think is best, and then print that exact moment. Another option will create a fake long exposure, blurring the motion captured in the video. There’s also, uh, a fake 35mm film strip border that can be applied to pictures captured in this mode.
The sensor is smaller, but it’s otherwise nearly the same camera
Those are largely the only new features here. Unfortunately, the camera also includes a downgrade: a smaller sensor, from 1/4-inch on the SQ10 to 1/5-inch on the SQ20. The lens seems to be the same, with an f/2.4 aperture, but the smaller sensor means it’s not capturing as wide a field of view as before, going from a 28.5mm equivalent to 33.4mm.
Fujifilm is playing into that a bit, though, by adding a digital zoom function, letting you punch in by 4x. It’s the first zoom feature ever to make it onto an Instax camera, though all but one of the others weren’t digital.
Otherwise, this is very much the same camera as the SQ10, which was announced in April last year. It’s essentially a point-and-shoot digital camera with a photo printer built-in, allowing you some of the benefits of both approaches. There’s the immediate printing, but you also aren’t stuck printing out a bad shot if you missed your moment.
My colleague Sean O’Kane said there were things to like about the SQ10 when he reviewed it last year, but he ultimately said the camera wouldn’t be as fun or useful as it could be without any wireless technology to get its photos over to your phone. The SQ20 doesn’t change that; it just gives you another way to capture what you’re seeing.
The camera will go on sale on October 20th. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. The SQ10 initially launched for $280, but it’s now available for under $200. You’ll also need to buy plenty of square instant film packs, which cost $15 for 10 sheets.