The SQuare is Mighty. Review of the Fujifilm Instax SQ6 with many samples!

A year ago when I was introduced to the hybrid Instax SQ10 and later the Instax Share Printer SP-3 (my review is here), a nagging feeling that persisted in the back of my mind was:

Will we ever see a ‘true’ Instax Square Camera?

and a month ago, these nagging thoughts was put to rest when I was invited to test out the to-be-announced on 15 May 2018 (today!) Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 camera. 

41865552251_5d25fcef87_b Introducing the Fujifilm SQ6 (yes, that handsome guy in the selfie mirror is me)

Lens Build and Design. 

In a nutshell – hold it in one’s hands and the SQ6 will come across as beautiful and robust with a well made chassis with well defined nooks and crannies. One knows attention was paid to the details by the engineers and designers, from the slim profile topped with a rimmed top ON/OFF switch, to the well polished surfaces and well placed controls.

For the numbers-driven readers, the SQ6 comes in a 118.7 x 128.1 x 58.1mm size and weighs in at 393 grams. Nice dimensions to work with for a everyday bring-along camera to capture all the spontaneous moments.

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The On/Off switch is really sexy.

The SQ6’s lens is designed to be retractable and comprises of 2 elements with a focal length of approx 66mm with a motor driven focusing system switchable to 3 ranges of 0.3 to 0.5m, 0.5 to 2m and 2m to infinity. 

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No, its no longer a Unicorn, but reality. 

The SQ6 comes in 3 colour variants too, reviewed here is the Graphite Gray version, while we also have the Blush Gold and Pearl White versions to suit the individual palate.

For me who has been drooling for the X-Pro 2 Graphite Black version since its release, at least the SQ6 Graphite Gray version is way more affordable. 

P.S: I am pretty sure the other 2 colours went to a pretty instagrammer who will post glamorous lifestyle shots holding it in her hands.  

Handling.

The controls of the SQ6 are perfectly designed for the Instax user going by the design beliefs of : Make it Simple, Simpler and Simplest.

Load the film in, switch the camera on, set the appropriate shooting mode and yes, do press the shutter button and one is ready to go. (I don’t foresee anyone not recognising the shutter button 😂)

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The Instax Square SQ6 comes beefed up with a myriad of functions available to capture the best of every moment and the list goes as:

  1. Automatic Exposure Control: as the name suggests, a fuss-free and it just works! shooting experience.
  2. Selfie Mode : (with build in selfie mirror) where the camera adjusts to the optimum focal length and exposure for the selfie.
  3. Macro Mode: Allows closer-up shots with a focusing distance of 30-50cm.
  4. Landscape Mode: Ideal for capturing landscape/objects in the distance (2m to infinity)
  5. Double Exposure Mode: Press the shutter twice for an artistic shot with two images overlaid in the same print.
  6. Light / Dark Modes: The freedom to add a High-key or Low-key effect to the Instax shot.

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The full list of functions all lined up, ready to be swapped out with a press of the ‘MODE’ button.

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A press of the ‘Timer’ button sets a 10s timer while the ‘Dismiss Flash’ button is self explanatory.

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Details, Details and Details. Instead of the typical row of LED lights, now a quick glance is all you need to check out the remaining number of films. Yes, thats the grip area to the right of the film quantity window.

Lastly, before we get to the shooting, the SQ6 also comes packed with a trio of strobe colour filters which one can attach to the flash with a click. We know, for that moment when you really want to YOLO with your prints. 

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and now, let’s get to the samples part!

before anything else, pls allow me to share my standard disclaimer.

1. The SQ6 was loaned from Fujifilm Asia Pacific for 2 weeks and was returned at the end of the review period. I did not receive any payment in any form for this review.
2. All images of the Square Instax films amd the SQ6 itself were photographed using a Fujifilm X-H1 and the XF35F1.4 lens.
3. Every single piece of instax film sample shown here was truly shot using the SQ6 camera. (sorry, my integrity forbids me to follow what some blogs do with trying to pass off SP-3 prints as SQ6 prints)

Shooting the SQ6 brought me back into the roots of Instax film photography: The Happiness trio of being spontaneous, instantaneous and the trill of holding one’s images and seeing it slowly coming to life in one’s hands. In the abundance of digital photography nowadays, this was a well-worth it experience and the SQ6 easily fits itself into shooting most if not all genres and types of moments.

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Details were crisp and colours really stand out with a good amount of contrast. Have you noticed that the Instax Square film is actually 150% larger than the Instax Mini film?

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I seldom characterise instax prints as being ‘impactful’ but yes, Square films do have this potential. 

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Architecture, Street, High-contrast areas or even areas of low light – yeap, all captured.

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Quirky, Spontaneous moments – checked.

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This Nici Soft-toy Cow is 90cm in height. (you know, just in case you wanted to know) 

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Portraits? Of course (Showing the Low Key and High Key Modes here) 

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Actually the SQ6 did perform beyond my expectations for the review duration and really for this shot above and it really highlights the potential of this Instax Camera and that the Instax world has moved beyond the concept of a ‘toy’ and is now a serious consideration for the enthusiast or professional. 

I do have more samples to share but I am keeping this review to under 1000 words for the sake of being prudent and to give you time to read around too. 😆 (honest disclaimer: I missed, there’s a total of 1037 words)

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I hope you have found this writeup worth your valuable time to read and thank you for stopping by. 

*to note:

Preorders for the SQ6 in the Singapore market starts on the 25 May to the 30 June 2018.

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keithwee

Keith Father, Teacher and Life Photographer. Lives a life of positivism & seeks to photograph Life & his 2 toddlers Kei & Lynn.

21 thoughts on “The SQuare is Mighty. Review of the Fujifilm Instax SQ6 with many samples!

  1. Good review Keith as always. Any Idea on the price? After reading your review I think I am going to buy one.

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  2. Hi ! Thank you. It’s $219 for preorders in Singapore from the 25 May onwards with quite a few gifts (minimum a instax film, rechargeable batt and charger set) included.

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  3. Hey Keith, just wondering for the 2nd last photo (in the kitchen), it looks like a slow sync flash since the background is blurred a bit but the people seems quite sharp. How was this accomplished? Did you have to set it to certain mode or just “A”?

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    1. Hi William, this was shot set to Macro mode and shot at close to minimum focusing distance for the camera. I was very surprised at how the print turned out too and ya, this is one of my fav prints.

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    1. Thank you. Yeap; the black border SQ instax is available already in the market. (Of course market dependent too) personally I do prefer the black border ones but they are pricier in Singapore over the plain ones 😦

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  4. Very detailed review! A huge -thank you- from Italy!
    May I ask if you have noticed any differences between macro and selfie mode?
    The manual says the distance to keep from the subject is the same for both mode and I don’t get if there are any true differences on the final result from using one mode instead of the other, thanks!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words.

      To me the selfie mode does differ from macro mode mainly in the focusing method and of course focusing distance part.

      Macro mode when activated really goes at the assumption the user will shoot as close as possible and thus the SQ6’s focus is set at 30cm. (its minimum focusing distance) , where-as for selfie mode I realised its a range of values set from 30-60cm (approx of a person’s out-stretched arms if I may) and thus there is really a difference between the focusing length and of course focusing methods of both modes (one by mirror one through the viewfinder)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for a wonderful review and you have a lovely family!
    m a fan of instant film and now own a SQ6 …have to say its becoming my favourite. Using it in macro mode allows me to take nice close portraits.
    Great site btw!

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    1. Thank you Andrew for the kind works 🙂 great to know that you are enjoying the camera. I do find the costs of prints a bit steep at times 😅 and hope they get lower with time.

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  6. My comment disappeared hmm….anyway! Great in depth review and you have a lovely family!
    Bit of a instant film fan and I now own a SQ6 …have to say its becoming my favourite. Fujifilm are on to a winner here.
    Superb blog also!

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  7. I am using the SQ10 at the moment. Do you think it’s a supplement to the SQ10 or a duplicate to the functionality of the SQ10?

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    1. Hi Patrick , to me I see the two as being overlapping products (one shouldn’t own both) and this can be decided on how one prefers to use the camera.

      The SQ10’s output from direct prints seems to pale in comparison to the SQ6’s and I guess this is directly the result of the SQ6 having a better front element than the SQ10.

      However the SQ10 functions way better as a printer , and I’ve tried printing GFX50 images on it and the results are unexpectedly good, basically maxing out what the square films can do.

      Hence that’s what I meant by it really goes back to how you plan to use it in the end. 🙂

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  8. Hi! I just like to know if you have any idea on how long an Instax print will last? Like will the print easily fade over time? Thanks (: love your review!

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    1. Hi Kaity, actually Fujifilm have improved the instax print’s durability over time. I’ve a wall of prints facing direct sunlight daily and it’s been 4 years and they are only slightly faded. If kept in albums away from sunlight they literally last decades.

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