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Instax logo
TypeColor instant
FormatMini, Wide, Square
IntroducedNovember 10, 1998; 23 years ago (1998-11-10)
Instax Monochrome
TypeB&W instant
FormatMini and Wide
Introduced2016 (Mini) and 2017 (Wide)
Instax! (8205624761).jpg
Fujifilm Instax 210 with Instax Wide format photograph
MakerFujifilm, Lomography, Polaroid Corporation
Lens mountIntegral
Film formatInstax
Film sizeMini or Wide
Recording mediumInstant film
Various cameras from various manufacturers

Instax (stylized as instax) is a brand of instant still cameras and instant films marketed by Fujifilm.

The first camera and accompanying film, the Instax Mini 10 and Instax Mini[1] film, were released on November 10, 1998.[2][3][4] The "Wide" film and first accompanying camera were released the following year.[4] The Instax Square film and accompanying camera were released in 2017.

The formats of Instax film give an image size of 46 mm × 62 mm (1.8 in × 2.4 in) for the Mini, 99 mm × 62 mm (3.9 in × 2.4 in) for the Wide and 62 mm × 62 mm (2.4 in × 2.4 in) for the Square. The Instax colour film is available in Mini, Wide, and Square formats and the black and white Instax Monochrome is available in Mini and Wide formats.

Other manufacturers also make compatible cameras and camera backs.

Cameras and printers[edit]

Fujifilm produces a range of Instax Mini and Instax Wide cameras, as do other manufacturers. Fujifilm also produces Instax Mini printers and has in the past produced Instax Pivi printers.

Film characteristics[edit]

Fuji's instant film products are based upon the improvements made to Polaroid's SX-70 instant film system that the Eastman Kodak Company sold in the 1970s and 1980s – namely the ability to expose the film through the rear of the photograph and the reversal of the dye layers' order so that development in the blue layer is visible first. As a result of these changes, the image does not need to be taken via a reflex mirror in order to reverse the image (as all Polaroid integral film cameras do). Colour balance and tonal range are also improved over Polaroid integral instant films. Fuji's decision to integrate the pressure plate springs and batteries into the camera bodies rather than the disposable film pack itself helps make the Instax system more economical per exposure than Polaroid's equivalents.

Instax Mini[edit]

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera
Packs of Instax Mini film

Instax Mini is a 54 mm × 86 mm (2.1 in × 3.4 in) (approximately ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 credit-card-size) integral daylight ISO 800 color film designed for use with Fujifilm instax mini compatible cameras. In Japan the Instax Mini cameras are called and referred to as cheki (チェキ), derived from the English "check it", and instax mini 10/20/... is the model name.[5] Instax Mini is available in colour and black and white.

Film specifications[6]
Film speed ISO 800/30°
Colour temperature Daylight type (5500K)
Resolving power 12 lines/mm
Photos per pack 10
Film size
54 mm × 86 mm
2.1 in × 3.4 in
Image size
46 mm × 62 mm
1.8 in × 2.4 in
Aspect ratio 1:1.348
Film pack size
61 mm × 92 mm × 20 mm
2.4 in × 3.6 in × 0.8 in

Digital Instax Pivi[edit]

The Digital Instax Pivi line was intended as a digital/analog hybrid. The original intention was to produce a new format to feed a series of digital instant cameras similar in approach to the Olympus C-211, a digital camera with a built-in Polaroid 500 film printer. Fujifilm eventually released the FinePix PR21, a digital camera with a built-in Instax mini printer, in 1999.[7] A stand-alone printer was planned from the start but was not the primary focus, but this changed with the advent of mobile devices.[citation needed] This device made it to market in 2004 (as the Pivi MP-100), after about five years in development.

Instax Pivi film looks physically identical to Instax mini, but it takes a different formulated film producing a color-inverted image when used in a mini camera, making them incompatible.

Film specifications
Film speed 800 ASA
Film size
54 mm × 86 mm
2.1 in × 3.4 in
Image size
46 mm × 61 mm
1.8 in × 2.4 in

Instax Wide[edit]

Fujifilm Instax 500AF camera
Instax 100 camera

Called Cheki Wide in Japan. Released the year after the mini film and cameras, the negative was increased on this format to create an image size based on the golden ratio.[4] Upon introduction, this format was simply called Instax without any suffix (making it the normal, not mini, Instax film), Fujifilm gradually embedded the "Wide" moniker into the name of the product. That rebranding pattern can also be seen on the Instax 210 which is now described on the Fujifilm web site as Instax Wide 210, despite not being referenced elsewhere in such a way.[8] Instax Wide is available in colour and black and white.

Film specifications[9]
Film speed ISO 800/30°
Colour temperature Daylight type (5500K)
Resolving power 10 lines/mm
Photos per pack 10
Film size
108 mm × 86 mm
4.3 in × 3.4 in
Image size
99 mm × 62 mm
3.9 in × 2.4 in
Aspect ratio 1.618:1
Film pack size
115 mm × 92 mm × 20 mm
4.5 in × 3.6 in × 0.8 in

Instax Square[edit]

Instax Square SQ10

Called Cheki Square in Japan. Instax Square is a square size of Instax film released in 2017, available in colour.[10][11] Fujifilm initially only offered a hybrid digital camera/printer. Later, a separate printer and cameras offering fully analog exposure became available.[12][13]

On September 25, 2018, Fujifilm launched the Square SQ 20[14] which has a configurable "Motion Mode" function that allows recording of video (max 15 seconds), and the selecting and printing of a frame.

In September 2020, Fujifilm announced that Instax Square would be available in black and white in mid-October.[15]

Film specifications[16]
Film speed ISO 800
Color temperature 5500K
Resolving power 10 lines/mm
Photos per pack 10
Film size
72 mm × 85.6 mm
2.83 in × 3.37 in
Image size
62 mm × 62 mm
2.4 in × 2.4 in
Aspect ratio 1:1
Film pack size Unknown



Kodak ceased production of instant film cameras when it was successfully sued by Polaroid for patent infringement in 1986. Fujifilm, through an agreement with Polaroid specifying they could not officially distribute in certain territories (such as the US) until the original patents expired in the mid-1990s, continued to manufacture and market their own line of films. As such, Fuji produced several lines of instant films starting in the early 1980s.[citation needed]


Instax was released to consumers in 1998[3][4] and was based on those earlier instant film systems, having the same film speed and dye order.

Fujifilm originally wished to release the Instax series worldwide including North America and Europe simultaneously,[17] but chose to work with Polaroid on the mio camera based on the Instax mini 10/20 for the US market. The mio product was discontinued after a few years.

Polaroid withdraws[edit]

With Polaroid ceasing production of instant films in 2008, the Instax system was the only integral instant film system in production until Impossible Project (now Polaroid through brand acquisition) launched their integral film in early 2010. The Instax Mini system is also sold in some markets by Polaroid itself through the Polaroid 300[18] and Polaroid 300 Film[19] brands (in reality, rebranded Instax Mini 7S and Instax Mini film).

Reception and growing popularity[edit]

In 2014, it was reported that the Instax Mini 8 was outselling flagship models like the Fujifilm X-T1[20][21] and Sony α7R.

In 2016, it was reported that sales of Instax cameras had risen to 5 million units the previous fiscal year, up from 100,000 units in 2004.[22] Also that year, Fujifilm released a monochrome formulation of the film.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kennedy, Ingrid (5 September 1999). "Is it worth it... The Fujimax Instax Mini". The Independent. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Fujifilm Instax Mini 10 camera, c2000". National Media Museum. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Fuji may enter U.S. instant film market". EUROPE: 1998-10-31. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  4. ^ a b c d "23 "Japanese Historical Cameras" of 1999 Named". JCII Camera Museum. Japan Camera Industry Institute. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  5. ^ "インスタントカメラ【instax<チェキ>】公式サイト". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  6. ^ "Instax Mini film manual" (PDF). May 1999.
  7. ^ "FinePix PR21 JP press release". 1999.
  8. ^ "Instax WIDE 210 product pagel". October 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-31.
  9. ^ "Instax Wide film manual" (PDF). May 1999.
  10. ^ "Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10". TechRadar. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  11. ^ "Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 review: digital downer". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  12. ^ "Fujifilm announces square-format Instax Share SP-3 SQ photo printer". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  13. ^ "Fujifilm's Instax Square SQ6 is a square-format analog instant camera". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  14. ^ "Fujifilm launches new hybrid instant camera "instax SQUARE SQ20"". Fujifilm Global. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  15. ^ "Fuji Unveils Instax Square SQ1 Instant Camera and Two New Film Varieties". Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  16. ^ Johnson, Allison (19 September 2016). "Fujifilm working on square format Instax camera and film". Digital Photography Review.
  17. ^ "Fuji may enter US instant film market". 31 October 1998.
  18. ^ "Polaroid Pic-300 Instant Print Camera". Polaroid Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  19. ^ "PIF-300 Instant Film for Pic-300 Instant Cameras". Polaroid Corporation. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  20. ^ "Instax Rules Them All: massive sales of Fuji's instax film. Instax Cameras sell better than Fuji X-T1 and Sony A7r!". Fuji Rumors. 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  21. ^ "FUJI EARNINGS REPORT: Instant Cameras + Fujifilm X-T1 save the imaging business and keep it profitable!". Fuji Rumors. 2014-10-30. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  22. ^ Mogg, Trevor (April 5, 2016). "Fujifilm's Instax analog camera is outselling its digital devices by nearly 4 times". Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  23. ^ Fisher, Jim (19 December 2016). "Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome". PC Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]