This is a Guide to using both the Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 & 9 cameras. These two cameras are nearly identical, with only a couple of additions to the 9, which I will feature at the end of the blog, as well as letting you know how you can get the same features for the 8 without having to buy a new camera.
Both cameras share a minimum focusing distance of 60cm (24 inches). The shutter speed is fixed at 1/60 sec, the flash always fires and cannot be switched off, it has a range of 2.7 metres. Both cameras use Instax Mini film and two AA batteries. These cameras are very simple to use and have very few setting options, the options available are Indoors/Night (F12.7), Cloudy/Shade (F16), Sunny/Sunny Slightly Cloudy (F22), Sunny and Bright (F32) and High Key (which makes your image brighter, and should probably only be used indoors, as it can wash out outdoor photos). I will get back to these later in my post. The counter, on the back of the camera, that lets you know how many shots you have left, counts backwards from 10-1.
The light meter is two circles in a vertical configuration above the lens and to the right of the flash. Please do not cover the light meter, as it helps work out the best exposure for your photo. If it is covered up, the exposure reading for your images will be incorrect and your photo could not turn out the way you want it to.
To turn on the camera, you need to press the button to the bottom right of the lens. When you do this, the lens pops out, the camera will emit a whirring sound and then a red/orange light will appear in front of one of the five little icons above the lens. When the light appears the camera is ready to shoot.
When you want to load a pack of film, make sure that you line the yellow line on the pack of film up with the yellow line on the camera, and the pack will go in the correct way. Do not squish the pack of film, as you will disturb the chemicals in the sheets of film and you will ruin your pictures. Another tip is that you should not shake your photo, as you could damage it.
This is what the icons around the lens of your camera mean:
When you look through the viewfinder you will see a circle, this indicates the centre of your frame, and helps you line up your photo. If you are using a close up attachment, which brings the focusing distance to 35-50cm, you should line your image up in the bottom left quarter of your viewfinder, under the circle.
If you want to take a selfie, if you use the selfie mirror and the close up attachment that comes with the Mini 9, or the Close up attachment/ selfie mirror that you can buy for the Mini 8, you should get a good result. Outdoor natural light is better for portraits than flash, so if possible, shoot your portraits outside. The shots take 90 seconds to develop.