Instax 210; a review and some tips. - The Dainty Squid

Instax 210; a review and some tips.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I've had the instax 210 for about a month now, so it's about time I do a review. When I first posted it a lot of people mentioned how big it is, while it is awfully bulky, it's not heavy at all. It only weighs about 1.5 pounds. It's kind of large to keep in my purse or my camera bag, so when I take it out I carry it in a small backpack with some other film cameras.

This thing is SO picky about lighting. The lighting has to be absolutely perfect for this camera to get a good picture. Here are three types of lighting I've dealt with and their results;

Sunny! A bright, clear day is the best time of the day to use your instax 210. This is the only time I've gotten results I'm truly happy with. These pictures are exactly what I love and expect from an instant camera. The colors are beautiful! If every picture taken with this camera looked like these I would be the happiest little girl ever.

Dusk! The camera doesn't do well in this lighting or similar lighting (like cloudy days.) In the four photos below it was dusk. The flash overwhelmed the subject in the first photo. In the second one I was too far away (maybe 35 feet) and the flash made everything appear dark since it didn't reach the subject. In the third and fourth photos the flash reached my subjects but makes everything else appear dark. I've learned to just put the camera away at dusk so I'm not longer tempted to take photos like this.

Inside. The first photo was taken in my craft room, and was the very first picture I took with the instax 210 (disappointing!) I'm still not exactly sure why it's so blown out! The other three photos I also have an issue with the way the flash made them look. The lighting in my house isn't that terrible and I made sure it was suitable (opening all the curtains, taking a test photo with my digital camera, etc) before taking the photos.  Unless your house has lots and lots of natural lighting, I wouldn't recommend taking many pictures inside. 

The camera also came with a "close up lens" which I have found doesn't really do much. I haven't used it more than the photo below and the last one in the photo above (rayray holding the rat.). I'm not so sure it's a great idea to even have a close up lens when the flash is so powerful, unless of course you were taking a close up outside on a really sunny day.

The "automatically-adjusting flash" (according to on this camera is a pain my butt. It seems to be at the core of all my issues with this camera. When originally researching the camera before purchasing I noticed a lot of reviews said they didn't like the flash, wish they could turn it off, etc. I definitely agree.

An instant camera that I can still buy film for automatically wins points with me. Instant cameras are simply irresistible to me. The size of these photos is absolutely perfect, you can see a size comparison to the instax mini's photos here.

Simple conclusion- If you're looking for an instant camera that you can easily find film for (online) than buy the 210's little sister the instax mini.

If you have the mini already and are looking to experiment with another instant camera, buy the instax 210. The photos that do come out good are worth the frustration of the bad ones.

A word of caution before I end this- buy from a reputable seller. My instax mini recently died on me (after only 2 months of use but please don't let that ruin the camera for you, I have yet to find someone who has had this happen too), although the instax 210 has given me no problems as of yet it makes me nervous that it might do that same. Make sure the person you buy from has a good return policy and would exchange it if it bit the dust. 

Hope this helps!

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31 thoughts

  1. Thank you for the really helpful review.
    That'll be one instax mini for me please!

  2. great review... my main problem with the mini is the flash and using it inside - its definitely temperamental. I would consider getting one of these though as I really love the photos that turn out well with my mini.

  3. Rhianne, really? I don't have a problem with the mini's flash. The only problem I really have with my mini is trying to take close ups and having it be way off center. (I always forget to make up for the fact the view finder is off center)

  4. It died? Wow, that's worrying, I bought my instax mini after reading your post about it a few months ago. So far it's been about two or three and it's been fine.. Not meaning to be rude and point out the sheer obvious but it's not just a problem with the batteries, is it?

  5. couldn't agree more with everything you said about the 210. its great outside and in certain lighting, but inside and darker situations no way. overall i'm glad we got it. it is worth experimenting with, as long as you know your boundaries :)

  6. Thanks for the review! I have the mini and i've been eyeing the 210 but I'm really going to have to think about what I would be shooting. I mostly use my mini inside or in low light and it sounds like the 210 wouldn't do well in those situations...things to think about :)

  7. I love your review. I've never used an instant camera, since polaroid doesn't produce anymore, and think it's the neatest thing ever. I also love Holgas and do own one... but no one around me develops film so I have to wait for a friend to do it next summer. <3
    Love and Turtledoves,

  8. My mom just gave me the Instax 210 for my birthday, I'm so excited to use it! Though a little disappointed to hear about the flash and problems with indoor photos, since I take most of my photos inside.

    All of your pictures (even the 'bad' ones) are really cute. (In a weird way the ones that didn't turn out perfect are kind of cool...I know, that sounds weird..I can't think of the word..I was going to say authentic, that's not quite what I mean)

    I love the size of the photos, I hope this camera works for me (I don't have film to try it out yet) I was so sad when I found out that I couldn't get film for my perfectly working instant Polaroid camera..

  9. Thanks for the review, I've been thinking about getting an instax so this really helped!

  10. Thank you K, this is very helpful. I have a Instax Mini 25 and although I love it to bits, I would like to have the option for a larger picture.

    Some of the issues you had with lighting I had also with my Mini -- specially the ones taken in the dusk/cloudy days.

    But I guess I'll be waiting on a new model for the 210. The bulkiness really gets to me. I hope they release a slimmer version as they did with the Mini.

  11. I bought mine on ebay this past spring to use for our guest book for our wedding we just had in October. It was the best thing to have.and well worth the money. I love it so much! but it IS slightly heavy. I had to put it in my carry on for our honeymoon b/c it made our luggage over the weight limit. haha!

  12. what a great review! thanks so much for doing this :) i love all the sunny-day photos :)

  13. I probably just misunderstood but the Instax 210 does have a button to turn of the flash.

  14. perfect post!
    all is true!
    and when you use it right, this camera absolutely RULES, and the affordable film price has definitely made me retire my polaroid.

  15. I have a polaroid that I can't use because of the whole lack of film thing so I was thinking about getting either the instax mini or instax 210. I might just go with the mini first and play around with it a bit before I decide to get the 210 after reading your review.

    I agree with Komis Couture, though. All your pics look great. I love the authentic feel.

  16. such a fun dress/sweater combo!

  17. This has been really helpful for me! I've been thinking about buying the Instax mini, so I guess I'll go for it!

  18. Fräulein Fliegenpilz, no, you cannot turn off the flash.

    Glad to help out! :D

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this info! These cameras have their pros and cons and it's super useful to hear a user's opinion.

    Have a fun Friday!


  20. weird! My first Instax Mini died on me after I had it for 5 years. I was sad but I got a lot of use out of it so I wasn't too pissed off about it. I tried changing the batteries, putting fresh film in, everything... and it just wouldn't work so I bought a new one.
    That really sucks though that yours died after 2 months. I would contact Fuji and see if there is anything they can do.

  21. Excellent read. I like your style...have a good one!/Nice blog! Keep it up!
    Buy Cameras

  22. just wanna ask..if i open the back of the camera would it effect my picture?

  23. what would happen if we were to say.. cover the annoying flash with a black strip or something?

  24. i know this sounds really elementary, but can't you just cover the flash with your other hand or something? does that reduce/get rid of the flash for that shot?

  25. I'm thinking of getting it to try out. Used to own the old polaroids. Do you know what is the minimum focus distance for the instax 210?

  26. Just got one yesterday. If inside, just use the "darken" setting, for flash to properly expose(for the closeups).
    Taking group portraits inside, no problem at all :)

    1. Thanks for the tip! :-)

  27. Thanks! I've definitely experienced the same things with my Fuji Instax 210!

  28. It's kind of large to keep in my purse or my camera bag, so when I take it out I carry it ...

  29. An instant camera that I can still buy film for automatically wins points with me. Instant cameras are simply irresistible to me. The size of these ...

  30. Hi My local camera shop were having the Instax 210 camera bundle on sale ,even better when I finished work my Xmas bonus was a gift voucher enough to buy a 210 camera that came with a cool case and a pack of film,these cameras are easy to use, impressed this is my first instant film camera


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