Our side-by-side comparison looks at the two of the most popular Fujifilm Instax Mini instant film cameras and what the difference is between them.
There’s something truly exciting about being able to capture a special moment and print out an instant memento of that occasion to share. Over the last few years, Fujifilm has recaptured the magic of instant film photography, that once belonged to Polaroid with its fantastic range of Instax instant film cameras. Fuji’s great range of instant cameras suits all levels of photography; from the fully-featured pro-style Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, to the bestseller Instax Mini 8 that is an absolute breeze to use and is great for camera kids and beginners.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 – The perfect first instant film camera
Since launching in 2012, the Mini 8 has been a massive success for Fujifilm and instant film fans around the world. Despite having a few shortcomings feature-wise, the beauty of this camera is in just how simple it is to use. Literally anyone can pick it up and snap of a fantastic shot instantly without any knowledge of photography. It’s like an analogue version of Instagram in your hands!
Like most film cameras, the Mini 8 is quite bulky and won’t fit in your jacket pocket anytime soon. However, it makes up for its size it being ultra-light and surprisingly sturdy. I have dropped mine several times and not once has it broken, dented or shown any ill effects besides small scuff marks. It also comes in a great range of eye-popping colors to suit your own style. The Instax Mini 8 Blue (Amazon) has been a particular crowd favorite.
Instax Mini prints are credit card size which is perfect to hand around and store in your wallet as a keepsake. Don’t expect professional quality prints from this camera – this is not a high-resolution, color calibrated digital printer. But that is part of the charm, the prints you do get are full of nostalgia and have a dreamy quality to them. You can pick these great cameras from your nearest Best Buy, Walmart or Target. But for the cheapest price and best place to buy the Instax Mini 8, we always recommend checking Amazon first as they often have great deals and bundles.
Check Price on Amazon
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 – New and slightly improved
In early 2017 Fujifilm quietly announced the successor to the Mini 8 – the new and improved Instax Mini 9. When I first saw the announcement I got very excited, expecting big things after 5 years. Upon closer inspection, however, the updates are very underwhelming. Some review sites are spruiking the “new” high-key mode, but this is already on the Mini 8 and they are just regurgitating Fuji’s marketing without actually using the product. Whilst this was a little disappointing I can understand why Fuji wouldn’t want to mess with a good thing.
That is not to say there were no improvements at all…
Instax Mini 8 vs Instax Mini 9 – Main Differences
1. More Colors
UPDATE MAY 2018: Some Instax Mini 8 colors have now been discontinued by the manufacturer. So if there is a color you love, I suggest jumping over to Amazon and grab it before stock runs out!
Originally the Mini 8 came in five basic colors. Fujifilm later added a series of bolder color choices to the lineup listed below:
- Blue (Amazon)
- Pink (Amazon)
- Yellow (Amazon)
- White (Amazon)
- Black (Amazon)
- Avocado (Amazon)
- Grape (Amazon)
- Raspberry (Amazon)
- Hot Pink (Amazon)
- Light Yellow (Amazon)
- Margarita Green (Amazon)
- Mint (Amazon)
- Tile Blue (Amazon)
The new Instax Mini 9 launched with five new colors that are all really nice, especially the Cobalt Blue (hello Santa!).
Hopefully we will see Fujifilm expand this color lineup of the new model soon, for the moment though you can grab it in the following:
- Cobalt Blue (Amazon)
- Flamingo Pink (Amazon)
- Ice Blue (Amazon)
- Lime Green (Amazon)
- Smokey White (Amazon)
Matching Instax Mini Groovy Cases
Each Instax Mini 9 can be purchased with a colorful Groovy Case to match the camera color – a must-have accessory for toting this camera around.
You can buy matching cases for the Mini 8 separately, they don’t come in all colors, but you can usually find something that suits.
2. Included close-up lens
The biggest addition to the Instax Mini 9 is that it comes packaged with our most recommended accessory to the Mini 8, a close-up macro lens.
This lens provides a better focal length for selfies and also gives you awesome creative opportunities to take macros of cool objects and patterns.
3. Attached selfie mirror
So obviously missing from the original Mini 8, the Instax Mini 9 adds a built in selfie mirror attached to the front of the lens barrel. This great little mirror remains exposed when using the included macro lens so you can line up your selfies with ease!
On the Mini 8, the selfie mirror would need to be purchased with the macro lens as one separate attachment – a must-have accessory for any Mini 8 owner. However, this doesn’t help when you’re not using the macro lens.
The last difference between the two models is a small $5-10 increase in the listed retail price, presumably to cover the cost of the new inclusions. I expect this price difference will disappear over time and the older Mini 8 models phased out.
The price difference is made up for once you buy the macro lens attachment for the Instax Mini 8 anyway, so don’t let price factor into your decision too much.
I often get asked where is the best place to buy Instax Mini cameras. My advice is to keep an eye on Amazon and your normal tech retailer for the cheapest price, as these cameras often go on sale around holiday periods.
Check Price on Amazon
Instax Mini 8 vs Instax Mini 9 – The Verdict
Which camera is better the Instax Mini 8 or Mini 9?
Well, the answer is both. The core of these 2 cameras is the same. With the small improvements and included accessories, the newer Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 just edges out the older Fujifilm Instax Mini 8. But both cameras a great and are so fun and easy to use. If you want the simplest instant film camera to use then either of these will do the trick.
Which Instax Mini camera should you pick?
In my opinion, pick the Instax Mini color you like most. The choice of colors is the main advantage of these models. You can personalize your camera and case to suit your style, whether that’s blue, pink, white, yellow or black. If the color you want happens to be an Instax Mini 8, then make sure to pick up one of these macro lens attachments as well.
If you want to be notified when new Instax Mini 9 colors are released, just sign-up to our email newsletter and we will let you know.
The best Instax mini Cases and Photo Albums
Once you have picked out your favorite Instax Mini color, it’s worth looking at a matching protective case and photo album for all those film prints. Make sure to read our Best Instax Mini Cases and Best Instax Mini Albums guide to find the best option for you. You might even find a great bundle discount deal!
Instax Mini 8 vs Instax Mini 9 – Comparison Table
|Instax Mini 8||Instax Mini 9|
|Colors||White, Black, Raspberry, Grape, Pink, Blue, Yellow||Cobalt Blue, Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue, Smoky White, Lime Green|
|Pros||Easy to Use|
|Easy to Use
Included Macro Lens
Built-in Selfie Mirror
|Size||116 x 118.3 x 68.2mm||116 x 118.3 x 68.2mm|
|Weight||307 grams (without batteries, strap and film)||307 grams (without batteries, strap and film)|
|Modes||Indoors/Night, Cloudy/Shade, Sunny/Slightly Cloudy, Sunny and bright, High-Key||Indoors/Night, Cloudy/Shade, Sunny/Slightly Cloudy, Sunny and bright, High-Key|
|Batteries||Two LR6/AA-size 1.5V alkaline batteries||Two LR6/AA-size 1.5V alkaline batteries|
|Picture Size||46 x 62mm (Total size is 54 x 86mm)||46 x 62mm (Total size is 54 x 86mm)|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price|