Review: Fuji Instax Share SP-1

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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.

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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.

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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)

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Once you choose a shot, add your text and print. It’s that easy!

 

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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.

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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

The Good:

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

The Bad:

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

Conclusion:

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.

 

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the honest review! I had heard about it through a Lomography email and automatically thought of the IP Instant Lab. I think if I were to save up I would still be purchasing the Instant Lab.

  2. Yeah Mary, I know you shoot a lot of Instax and like me, prob have your mini with you all the time. If I want a mini print, I’ll just take a picture.

  3. Great Review! You answered all the questions i was wondering about and a couple i hadn’t thought of yet! 🙂

  4. what to choose between LG pocket printer vs instax share? answer please ^^ thanks!

    • I have not had a chance to do a hands on review of the LG. I know it uses the same technology as the Polaroid Zink cameras. I know it’s only for Android as of now, thats one reason I haven’t looked more into it. iPhone user here.

  5. Can you tell me if you can continue sending prints while it’s busy? Meaning, if you have 7 pics you’d like to send, does the app make you wait until the current print is finished before accepting another?

  6. I got mine the other day and I got to use it for a shoot on Sunday. I also have the Instant Lab by The Impossible Project and, to me, they both have uses and the strength and weaknesses are well written here. But I don’t think the Instax Share is just for kids and teens. Instax is regaining a lot of attention, especially with their release of the Instax Mini 90 and I think they are marketing this quite well. I used mine during a first communion shoot and, while it was cumbersome to transfer the images over WiFi from my Fuji X-T1 to my phone and then to the printer, the ability to have select prints from the shoot immediately afterwards was a bit draw. I’ve also read articles from travel photographers using both the Instax Mini 90 as well as this printer to break the ice when shooting strangers.

    The Instant Lab is fantastic. I love using it. But it’s not too portable, only works with the iPhone (I have an Android but I use my iPod Touch to use the Instant Lab), and the current color films can take up to 40+ minutes to develop. Far too long to establish a relationship with a client or a stranger.

    So yeah, I think they both have their uses. But I know for me, on shoots where I’m not lugging my DSLR and can use my X-T1, I’ll be taking this little guy with me to add additional value to the shoots!

  7. Lillian Byrne says:

    Hey, thanks so much for the review! I’m really considering getting this but I don’t have a smartphone, I have an iPod touch. Does anyone know if I’m able to do all of this with the iPod? Thanks in advance! x

    • In the App Store it will tell you what it is compatible with. If your iPod is on the latest software you should be good.

      • Lillian Byrne says:

        Thanks so much! I looked in the app store and it said it was compatible with iPod touch! I’m so happy now, can’t wait to get this 🙂 x

  8. atoa amoa says:

    thanks for the review, it is useful. One question though, when printing instagram pictures is there any issue with instagram’ s square format? It does seem from the snapshots you posted that the instax format is rectangular.

    • When it prints IG photos, it includes the likes and your IG info which take up the rest of the frame.

  9. image maker says:

    fuji’s instant film is beautiful and marketed unpretentiously. i care about images only… have fun peeling your prints apart to make “real art”

Trackbacks

  1. […] Share mobile printer. I got my hands on one of these last month and I think I may have to revise my review after this trip. I think it will be fun to have and share with the staff after long days in the […]

  2. […] the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic came out I have been thinking about buying it, but when you guys reviewed the new Fuji SP-1 Printer and the possibility of using it in combination with mobile or a WiFi camera, I did not think twice. […]

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