I don’t want to give away my age, but I grew up when MTV actually aired music videos, VHS tapes and it was a big deal to have a Walkman for your cassette tapes. Sigh… I feel old.
Back then, you had to purchase film for your camera. After you were done taking pictures, you had to take them to the store to be developed and wait a week or more to get them back.
It was always exciting to open up the envelope to see the pictures you took. Sadly, many of them turned out pretty bad. People had “red eye,” weren’t looking at the camera, or they turned out blurry.
When instant cameras came out it was the best thing ever (at that time). The idea of being able to snap a photo and see it instantly and not have to wait a week or more was awesome.
I am SO GRATEFUL for digital cameras and smartphones. I love that I can instantly see the photos I take, and have the ability to make edits to ensure the pictures I took look the best that they can. I also enjoy the ability to share the photos instantly with family and friends. It’s also fun to be able to add graphics and frames to photos.
It seems like instant cameras disappeared for a bit because everyone was using digital cameras. As much as I love digital cameras, it’s always nice to have a tangible photo you can hold in your hands and display on your fridge, in a frame or a cork board.
I know that you can always print out photos on your printer. However, when you are out and about, and your printer is not nearby, it’s not possible.
Thankfully instant cameras are back (well… they have been for years). The new and improved instant cameras also come with a lot of “bells and whistles” making them a lot of fun to use.
I was sent to review a Fujifilm Mini LiPlay camera. It’s a instant camera “hybrid.”
I received the black one to review. The camera is also available in silver/gray and rose gold.
Inside the box you’ll receive the camera, a USB charging cord, wrist strap and a brief start up guide and warranty information. The start up guide is just a basic guide to get you started. If you look online you can learn more about all the fabulous things you can do with this camera.
At first glance, the Mini LiPlay looks like a regular camera. Trust me, this is no ordinary camera. This is part camera, part instant camera, and part photo printer – all rolled up into one.
The camera is lightweight. I was actually surprised at how lightweight it is. But don’t let the weight fool you. This is a well made, sturdy camera. It’s made out of a hard plastic casing. It’s a very durable camera.
The camera has a nice texture to it. It feels comfortable in your hand. I think the texture helps you to keep a good grip on it. A smooth finish might make it a bit “slippery.”
One the front side of the camera you’ll find the lens, flash, and the button you press if you want to record sound (more on that later), as well as a tiny selfie mirror.
On the backside of the camera you have a nice size LCD screen and the release to the “door” that you need to open to insert (or remove) the picture paper. In addition, there are three buttons – go back, playback and print. You will also see the function “wheel” that allows you to navigate the different settings and “bells and whistles” that come with this camera.
One the one side of the camera you’ll find three buttons labeled 1, 2 and 3. These are shortcut buttons that you can assign your favorite effects and frames to. This is a nice feature because you don’t have to scroll around between all the effects/frames every time you take a photo. If there are certain ones that you use frequently, you can assign them to a number.
I like the Fujifilm thought of that. It makes things a lot more efficient and it’s a time saver, especially if you are shooting multiple pictures.
Of course, there is also the power button.
This camera allows you to save some pictures on it (40). You can add a memory card if you’d like (sold separately) which would allow to save hundreds of photos on the camera.
As I mentioned, you can record sounds on this camera. Obviously you can’t print out a sound. With this camera, if you want to include sound with a photo, it puts a QR code on the printed picture. Using your smartphone, you can have it “read” the QR code, which will in turn play the sound. That is a nice idea. I haven’t tried this feature as of yet. So far the pictures I have printed out really didn’t require sounds or the spoken word. It proves you with 10 seconds of audio.
Unlike other instant cameras on the market, the Fujifilm Mini LiPlay allows you to decide which pictures you want to print out. Other cameras print out the picture every time you snap a photo. Not being able to see what you’ve captured on the camera before it prints out can waste valuable print paper. With this camera, you can decide which photos you want to print out. This gives you time to edit them and add frames and other elements.
Below are some screen shots from the app to give you an idea of what it looks like. The photo is of our newly adopted cat, Callie. She is blind (and has neurological issues), which is why her eyes look a bit “off.”
I love the frames you can add to the photos. You can even do collages AND split photos, which is cool to do.
My absolute favorite feature with this camera is the free app you can download. The app allows you to edit photos on your smartphone before printing. You can also pick and choose with photos to print.
You can also take group photos using your smartphone as the shutter button.
The BEST part of this app is that you can print out photos already on your smartphone.
Sometimes “life” happens, and you might not have the Fujifilm Mini LiPlay on hand to capture the moments. If you snap some great photos on your phone, you can easily print them out off the camera using the free app.
I am sure there is A LOT more that this camera can do too. I’m sure I’ve just explored the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to this camera.
You can purchase film paper for this camera just about anywhere cameras and film is sold. I see a bunch of different sellers of the film paper on Amazon. The price varies. The film paper comes 10 sheets to a roll.
This camera is sold at many retail locations including Amazon, Best Buy and Khols, to name a few.
What do you think about this camera? Does it sound like something you and your family would enjoy?
*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.