From tintypes to film to digital cameras: one thing has remained the same over the last two centuries: we love documenting our lives with pictures. And with each new method of doing so, we learned to deal with a new set of pros and cons.
Digital cameras and smartphones have made taking pictures easier than ever. But they aren’t without fault. While you might be able to collect hundreds of images just by tapping your screen, printing them into physical copies can be arduous.
Developing film is one way to get physical copies, but it’s expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, capturing high-quality images on film is much easier said than done. Still, there’s an undeniable nostalgia around film that appeals to many armchair photogs like myself.
So, when I discovered the Fujifilm Instax Mini Liplay Hybrid, I knew my photography game would be changed forever.
It’s Film, It’s Digital, No! It’s Fujifilm
The Fujifilm Mini Liplay combines the best of both the digital and film worlds. Its shape and general design are just like that of a mid-aughts point-and-shoot digital camera. You have a screen to navigate menu options, a few shutter and exposure options, and flash.
However, the Mini Liplay goes further with a built-in printer that creates wallet-sized photographs in seconds. While other instant cameras will print off the photo as soon as you snap the shutter button, the Mini Liplay lets you decide. You can print the image off now or save a digital copy to a memory card to print later (or not at all).
I used a regular Fujifilm Instax camera for years before treating myself to a Mini Liplay. The instant print feature is fun and nostalgic, but it also leaves you with a collection of unusable, blurry, and poorly lit throwaway shots. Not only is this disappointing, but it’s also costly—with the Mini Liplay, you save valuable film, time, and money.
An instant camera with the ability to save photos to a memory card would be impressive enough. But luckily, Fujifilm didn’t stop there.
Sync Your Camera With Your Smartphone
One of my favorite Mini Liplay features is the ability to print photos from your smart device—not just your camera. Just sync your smartphone or tablet to your Fujifilm camera, and you’re able to print off any image you like, regardless of whether you took it on your Fujifilm.
Sometimes, we’ll capture the perfect photo with the wrong device. More often than not, it’s with our smartphones—the devices we regularly keep within arm’s reach. Thanks to the Mini Liplay’s Bluetooth compatibility, you can print off high-quality digital photos from your phone straight to film.
I’ve printed off plenty of images straight from my phone, and the color and clarity are always a true match to my iPhone original. Plus, the Mini Liplay also has onboard adjustment options, so you can brighten, darken, and sharpen images before printing.
Extra Bells And Whistles (Yep, We’re Still Going)
The Fujifilm Mini Liplay boasts a wide range of extra bells and whistles that solidify this gadget’s must-have status. To start, the Mini Liplay has a handy self-timer option that makes snapping priceless vacation photos a breeze.
But since arranging everyone into the perfect group pic can take a little longer than 10 seconds, Fujifilm also lets you use your smartphone as a shutter button. Set up the camera, pose, and use the Mini Liplay app to snap your photo.
While the Mini Liplay doesn’t offer video recording, it does feature a unique QR code capability that lets you add audio to individual images. Record sounds straight from the camera, and your Mini Liplay will convert the audio into a scannable QR code. The code is printed onto the image itself so that you can use your phone to playback its corresponding sound.
Finally, the Mini Liplay comes equipped with an extensive library of filters and frames. Program your favorite frames into the camera’s handy shortcut buttons for quick access. Or, scroll through your saved photos, and add the filters in post.
Your Must-Have Summer Gadget
To recap, the Fujifilm Mini Liplay is a digital camera, film camera, printer, audio recorder, and photo editor. At under $200, this all-in-one device is an absolute steal. Its multi-functionality makes this camera a must-have for vacations, parties, special events, and even capturing small, meaningful moments throughout the day.
Don’t decide between high-quality photos and nostalgia or convenience and longevity anymore. With the Fujifilm Mini Liplay, you can have it all—and you’ll have the pictures to prove it.