Fujifilm Instax Mini Link: A fun photo printer
Tech Tools: Bluetooth enabled printer a good addition to the Instax range
The Instax Mini Link, a bluetooth enabled printer.
Product name: Fujifilm Instax Mini Link
Where to buy: https://www.camera.ie
I like Fujifilm’s Instax range, even if I don’t quite get the point of every product that’s added to the list (I’m looking at you, Mini LiPlay). The Instax Mini Link Is another good addition to the range.
At its most basic, it does the same as any other bluetooth enabled printer: spits out retro style prints from your phone or other bluetooth enabled device. It’s small enough to take with you, and uses the Mini film format rather than the square prints, hence the name.
It’s a simple matter of downloading the Instax Mini Link app, connecting your printer to your phone and off you go.
The app adds quite a bit to the printer’s functions. It has a simple print mode, a video print mode and a fun mode that allows you to do everything from print your photos as is, adding some filters and a few minor corrections, to collages and “match” tests to see how compatible you are. The latter gets you to either squeeze both people into one photo, or use separate photos of each person; then it spits out a photo telling you how compatible you are based on your everyday routines, home life, perseverance, decisiveness and dreams. I’m not sure how it calculates all this, because according to the test my five-year-old and I are incredibly compatible across all categories. As anyone who has watched the morning school run knows, that’s definitely not true.
The video print function allows you to snip a bit from your video files and print it as a still image, which is handy if you have a fast moving subject.
There is also an Instax camera option so you can take a photo in the app inside the Instax frame, so you can line it up specifically for the format. This is where things get a bit complicated. You can use the printer to zoom in and out by physically manipulating the printer. With the printer held print slot facing up , you can tilt the printer inward to zoom in and outward to zoom out, and remotely operate the camera shutter by pressing the printer’s power button.
There is no other way to zoom inside the Instax camera app, but this still just seems a bit convoluted.
You can print everything from straightforward bordered prints to collages, thanks to the app. Plus there is an in-app camera facility so you can take the photo to suit the Instax format and print in seconds. The battery life - rechargeable - is decent too.
The not so good
If you are concerned about pointless waste, this is not the system for you. The film cartridges are convenient, but individually wrapped and you end up with an empty plastic case at the end.
The “fun mode” allows you to set up compatibility tests, which are obviously only a bit of fun rather than something your personal relationship should live or die by. The printer also works as a remote shutter, but it seems a bit unnecessary.
A fun photo printer. You have to wonder though what else Fujifilm can possibly add to the line up.