The Fujifilm Instax Mini series is probably the most popular instant cameras out there. The reason for this is not farfetched – Fujifilm cameras are quite easy to operate, produces high-quality images and are affordable too. This has made the Instax Mini series to become quite popular.
The wide variety is probably another reason why the brand is popular. Fujifilm has put out a wide selection of cameras to cater to everyone’s needs. It doesn’t matter if you are after quality images, easy to use cameras or are tight on budget, Fujifilm has a camera for you. There’s the Mini 8, Mini 9, Mini 70 and Mini 90- all for you to choose from. All the cameras in this series all share many similar features- they are actually improvements on the previous versions. So the higher you go, the better it gets. We have written extensive reviews on some of these cameras. You might want to check our previous reviews of the Instax mini 70 vs mini 90, and Mini 70 vs Mini 9. In this article, however, we are going to be comparing and contrasting the Mini 8 and Mini 9.
If you are looking forward to buying either of these and haven’t decided which to get yet – maybe because you are unsure of the one best for you, then, relax because we are going to bring out even the minutest details of each of the cameras and compare them so you can have all the information that you will need in making a choice. We’ll start this review by giving you a brief overview of both cameras, then point out the differences between both cameras. We have also taken the diligence to lay out all the features of the camera in a table so that you can easily compare them, that can be found at the end of the article by the way. So let’s get started.
Overview of 2 Cameras
The build of the Instax mini 9 is very similar to the mini 8. The body of both is almost square in shape, but the edges of both have been tapered to give them a rounded edge with good grips. Due to this rounded shape, you can hold and orient the camera in any way you want.
At the front of both cameras, you’ll find the protruding lens. Beside the lens and close to the top, you’ll find the flash. The major difference in the body of both cameras is the selfie mirror on the body of Mini 9. A little below the selfie mirror is the shoot button.
The back of both cameras is almost plain except for the large door for you to insert your film and the rangefinder to look through. At the top of the camera, is a large slot for your film to print out. Both cameras are quite straightforward. Although they have a toy look to them, they are still loved by most people.
Differences between Mini 8 and Mini 9
When a camera company updates any of their cameras to a new version, one will expect that the new version will have similar features as the previous one with minor changes. The same is true of mini 9. It is an improvement of mini 8 which is the previous series. At a first glance one may easily be confused that both cameras are actually the same – they have the same toy-like friendly look design and shape. To find any differences at all between both cameras we have to dig a little deeper. At the end, we found some minor differences between both cameras.
- New colors
The difference in color is the first difference we spotted between the two cameras. The Instax mini 8 originally came out in five different colors – Blue, Black, white, pink, and yellow. Two more colors – grape and raspberry were later added to the line up making it a total of seven colors.
The mini 9 also came out in five different colors-Lime Green Cobalt Blue, Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue, and Smoky White.
- Close-up lens
As an improvement over the previous version- Mini 8 – Fujifilm decided to include a close-up lens in the box with mini 9. Close up lens is important for taking close up pictures or portrait without making your picture whitewashed. The close-up lens is also available and can be used with mini 8 but it has to be purchased separately. You can easily find one that is under $10 on Amazon.
- Selfie mirror
Another great addition to the series is the selfie mirror. Unlike the Mini 8, the Mini 9 comes with a small selfie mirror attached to the lens for making selfies easier to take. To take selfies you can easily use the mirror to guess how you will look like in the printout. This is especially convenient for selfie lovers. You can also make use of a selfie mirror with the mini 8- but you’ll have to purchase the official close-up lens separately, which comes with a selfie mirror attached to it.
The difference in price between the Mini 8 and Mini 9 is quite little – around $5-$10. This is actually because the Mini 9 has very little difference between the Mini 8.
Pros And Cons Of Both Cameras
- Selfie mirror- convenient for taking selfies
- Color and black-and-white film available
- Lots of color options
- Comes with Close-up lens
- Includes macro adapter
- Fun to use
- Powered by non-rechargeable AA batteries
- Not fully automatic
- No tripod socket
- Optical viewfinder
- Lots of color options
- Both black and white films are available
- No selfie mirror
- Powered by non-rechargeable AA batteries.
- Close-up lens have to be purchased separately
- No tripod socket
- Not fully automatic
Tabular Overview of the features
|Features||Mini 9||Mini 8|
|Focus||0.6m onwards||0.6m onwards|
|Close-up lens||Yes, as an attachment||Yes, purchased separately|
|Close-up Range||35-50mm||35-50 mm|
|Selfie shot mirror||Yes||No|
|continuous 2 shot||No||No|
|10 sec self-timer||No||No|
|Film type||Instax mini film||Instax mini film|
|Film size||96mm by 54mm||96mm by 54mm|
|Picture size||62mm by 42mm||62mm by 42mm|
|Color||Cobalt Blue, Ice Blue, Flamingo Pink, and Smoky White.||Blue, Black, white, pink, and yellow, grape and raspberry|
|High key mode||Yes||Yes|
|Accessories in box||Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, close-up lens Manual and Warranty Card||Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera, Manual and Warranty Card|
|Exposure mode||Full manual||Yes|
|Warranty||2 years||1 year|
|Modes||Indoors/Night, Cloudy/Shade, Sunny/Slightly Cloudy, Sunny and bright, High-Key||Indoors/Night, Cloudy/Shade, Sunny/Slightly Cloudy, Sunny and bright, High-Key|
Conclusion: should I get the mini 8 or 9?
The mini 9 is a minor improvement of the mini 8. If you’re a selfie lover you’d probably want to get the mini 9 as it will be more convenient – you don’t have to attach selfie mirrors each time you want to take a selfie.
One thing is sure- getting either of the series won’t bring out more significant changes than the other – so you might want to consider getting a series with your favorite color.