Today we will be talking about the FujiFilm Instax Share SP-1. (SP-1 for the rest of the article) I received the SP-1 a few weeks ago and jokingly asked, could be an Instant Lab killer? I will say up front, NO! Although there are some very cool features I will discuss with the SP-1, the two machines are designed and used with different goals in mind.
Lets start with a look at the printer. Size wise, it is about the same as any Instax Mini camera. It uses Instax Mini film, runs on two CR2 batteries (approx 100 prints) or a power cable (not included), and is wireless. It is actually a Wi-Fi printer and connects to your device through Wi-Fi. Rumor has it, that future Fuji cameras with Wi-Fi, will be able to connect to the printer. It has a battery life indicator and a series of LED’s to show how many prints are left. When you power the unit on, you will be able to discover it in your Wi-Fi settings. Pretty simple.
Now, until cameras are released that can connect to the printer, you will need an app to use it. The “Instax Share” app can be downloaded for Apple here. And for Android here. This is one area that the SP-1 has an advantage over Impossible’s Instant Lab. Because the printer is just that, a printer, and works through Wi-Fi, any smartphone or tablet with the correct OS can use it. The Instant Lab, by design captures an image from your iPhone on the film and then develops it. The app is pretty straight forward and easy to use. It has a built in camera, but can also retrieve images from your device or from Instagram and Facebook. *** Verizon users will need to get the images they want to use from social media before connecting to the printer, as you can not use data and Wi-Fi at the same time on Verizon.
Here is a look at the app.
In it’s basic form, the app is simple. Connect to the printer, open the app and choose if you will be taking a picture or using an existing. You can also reprint a previous image, choose an image from social media or use what they call the “Real Time” template. (more on that in a bit)
Here is an image I snapped this weekend. I was on my way to a beard competition and grabbed this with my phone. Sadly, I did not place in my class. But, I had a great time with some amazing people. Within the app, I can add text to the image if desired or change the image to Sepia or B&W. Choosing to edit the picture means you want to rotate it or crop it. Nothing fancy here.
Another great feature is the ability to pull an image from Instagram. When you do this, it prints on the shot information from IG. Date posted, likes received and the original text. ***Note, it only prints two lines, so some text will be missing.
If you choose to pull a shot from Facebook, you can choose from your profiles albums or timeline. Again, date posted and likes will be included. You can also add text if you would like to say something about the shot.
Once you choose a shot, add your text and print. It’s that easy!
I mentioned earlier the “Real Time” template. This is a feature of the app that produces a one time, unique print, by placing the time, date, location and temperature on the image. Lame if you ask me, but whatever, you don’t have to use it.
One last feature I want to point out, is the ability to reprint an image without going through all the steps. Just hit reprint on the home screen and choose a previous image. You can even number your reprints. I guess this is handy if you created a masterpiece on your SP-1 and want to do a limited number of prints. LOL
Works with iPhone and Android OS
Will work with Fuji Cameras in the future
Uses Instax Mini film (which is inexpensive)
Allows you to do some edits in the app (can you say B&W Instax print)
Connects to social media
Another new instant film product on the market
At $200.00, it should ship with the power cord
Uses Instax Mini film (which is business card size)
Made by Fuji. A company that keeps abandoning film shooters by ceasing to manufacture professional instant films and roll films. #kiddingnotkidding
Going back to my original question concerning the Instant Lab. Fuji has made a similar product to Impossible. They both use an app to deliver an instant image, but unlike the Instant Lab, I feel this is a toy. When I see work from the Instant Lab, I see art. I see creative people making transparencies and doing emulsion lifts. I see a company that has developed the base for a future instant camera. I don’t get that with the SP-1. Just like the earlier Fuji Instax cameras, I feel that this is marketed towards kids or teens to use at a party. Nothing wrong with that, I just think Fuji keeps missing the boat when it comes to instant film. You get a print with the Sp-1, thats it. You really cant do anything else with it.
Is the Sp-1 worth having? I guess it depends on how you will use it.
Having a party at your house and want your guest to be able to print fun images from their phone? SP-1
Setting up a Smartphone photo booth at a wedding? SP-1
In the future, want to travel with an X Series camera and give out prints to strangers? SP-1
Want to get creative with an image? Instant Lab
Want to make a transparency or emulsion lift? Instant Lab
Want to support a company that cares about it’s customer base and instant film? Instant Lab
All in all, my kid thinks the SP-1 is great. I could take it or leave it. I find that I print more straight images with it than I do using any of the included tools, with the exception of the B&W filter, I love that feature. Would I recommend buying it? If you like the Instax Mini size prints, sure.