Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Review: Worth the Hype?

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Review: Worth the Hype?

When it comes to instant cameras, there’s a nostalgic charm that’s hard to beat, and the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 certainly doesn’t disappoint. I recently had the pleasure of using this delightful little camera at a family gathering, and it was a hit. Its compact design means you can easily carry it around, and the twist-on lens feature is both fun and functional—with no power button, you just twist the lens to turn the camera on.

The built-in selfie mirror caught my eye; it’s perfectly positioned, making selfie-taking with friends a breeze. The camera’s Close-up mode impressed me as well; it pairs the viewfinder with the lens effectively, so your shots match what you see, reducing the chances of those off-center surprises. With automatic exposure, the snaps I took came out bright and clear without any need to fiddle with settings—even in varied lighting conditions.

However, it’s worth noting that the film—like with any instant camera—is sold separately, and frequent use can add to the expense. Despite this, the quick photo development time and the option to digitize your best instant camera still photos with the INSTAX UP! App adds to its allure, marrying the best of both instant and digital photography.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Review

My experience with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 was incredibly positive. It offers a playful, user-friendly photography experience without compromising on photo quality.

If vibrant, instant prints and a camera with personality are what you’re after, this camera could add that touch of magic to your moments.

Feeling charmed by the Instax Mini 12? Find it here and start making memories that pop in your hand within seconds.

Instax Mini at Its Best

Capturing moments with this Instax Mini 12 is a blend of nostalgia and modernity. I found the selfie mirror particularly useful for framing quick self-portraits, and the close-up mode with parallax correction is a nifty feature that ensures what I see in the viewfinder translates accurately onto the instant film.

With its automatic exposure and flash control, photos consistently turned out bright without being overexposed, which is often a concern with instant cameras. Loading the camera and snapping a photo felt intuitive, and within roughly five seconds, a credit-card-sized print would emerge, developing fully in about a minute and a half.

Its lightweight, compact design made it a breeze to carry around, although having to purchase the Instax Mini film separately is something to keep in mind. Overall, the ease of use makes it a solid choice for anyone looking to capture the moment without fussing over settings.

  • Ease of Use: Just twist the lens to turn on, point, and shoot.
  • Portability: Slim and light, fits in most bags easily.
  • Selfie-Readiness: Built-in mirror and close-up mode enhance self-portraits.
  • Photo Quality: Automatic features deliver well-exposed instant photos.
  • On/Off Mechanism: Twist the lens for a quick start or to power down.

Whether you’re at a party or on a solo adventure, the Instax Mini 12 is a charming companion for on-the-go photography. The joy of watching a photo develop right before my eyes never grows old, and this camera makes that magic readily accessible.

Key Features

Compact and Cute Design

The Instax Mini 12 is a charmer with its compact shape and delightful color. It’s incredibly easy to carry around, owing to its lightness and small dimensions of just 4.4 x 3.2 x 5.1 inches. The camera encourages spontaneity; with a simple twist of the lens, it powers up and is ready to capture moments.

The design is intuitive, which is a plus when you’re trying to catch a fleeting moment. Its size and portability do come with a slight drawback though—those with larger hands might find it a bit fiddly to hold.

Selfie Mirror and Close-up Mode

I found the built-in selfie mirror particularly useful for framing self-portraits. No more guesswork trying to get the right angle. The close-up selfie mode (aided by parallax correction), ensures your subjects are in crisp focus even when snapped from up close (around 30 to 50 cm away).

It does take a bit of practice to get the hang of the close-up shots, as the viewfinder doesn’t always give an accurate preview of the framing due to parallax error, but the mirror largely compensates for this.

Automatic Exposure and Flash Control

The automatic exposure is a lifesaver in light-changing conditions. It effectively measures the brightness and adjusts it to give you a well-lit image without the hassle of manual settings.

The flash control complements the automatic exposure, preventing those washed-out shots that can often ruin instant photos.

Although these automatic features generally produce good results, they can occasionally misjudge the brightness levels and scene, especially in highly contrasting environments.

Instant Quality Prints

The Mini 12 prints the images from 2” x 3” photos in about five seconds, with the full image appearing after roughly 90 seconds.

The prints have that classic, vibrant Instax look. While the image quality is delightful for an instant camera, don’t expect the level of detail you’d get from larger formats or digital prints.

Pros and Cons


After spending some quality time with the Instax Mini 12, I’ve found quite a few highlights worth mentioning. The camera’s design is not just about good looks; it’s also remarkably user-friendly. Twisting the lens to power up the camera is intuitive, and the built-in selfie mirror comes in handy for those impromptu self-portraits.

What stands out the most is the automatic exposure and flash control which consistently delivers bright pictures without the common issue of being overly “washed-out.” The print quality of the 2” x 3” photos is impressive too, capturing vibrant colors within the five-second printing time—quite the timesaver!

Lastly, the fact that it comes ready with a hand strap, batteries, and a user manual straight out of the box, alongside a 1-year limited warranty, means you’re all set from the moment you unwrap.


However, it’s not all picture-perfect. While I adore the camera’s quick setup and easy use, there have been times when the shutter button was unresponsive, which can be quite frustrating, especially when capturing moments that you can’t re-create.

Additionally, although the build quality is generally robust, some users might find the plastic body a little less durable than expected.

The requirement of purchasing INSTAX cameras and MINI film separately is also something to keep in mind, as it adds to the overall expense and requires an additional purchase before you can start snapping away.

Ease of Use

While the camera has a playful and sleek look, what stands out is its capable performance matched with such simplicity in usage. Its point-and-shoot nature is a standout feature—perfect for capturing quick snapshots in various settings.

Its ease in creating memories for occasions like weddings or casual outings is commendable, even if you might encounter a rare snag with the shutter.

Design and Build Quality

The overall build feels sturdy, with a plastic exterior that, despite a lightweight nature, doesn’t compromise on durability. The twist-to-open lens mechanism is smooth and doubles as the power switch, a clever and efficient design choice that eliminates the need for a separate power button. Such ingenuity extends to the selfie mirror situated next to the lens, ideal for framing selfies or close-up shots.

It’s evident that Fujifilm has put thought into the practicality of the camera—simplifying the shooting process with automatic exposure and flash control. The photos eject quickly after taking a shot, and watching the image develop in a minute and a half is part of the instant camera charm.

It truly feels like a camera meant to capture moments on the fly without fussy settings or delicate handling.


After spending some quality time with the Instax Mini 12, I’ve grown to appreciate its compact charm. Its ability to produce quick, vibrant prints never fails to add a touch of joy to gatherings or solo adventures. The variety of colors it comes in can match anyone’s style, and the simple controls make it accessible to all ages.

Although I adore the convenience and the nostalgic feel of the physical photos, I’ve encountered a hiccup here and there with the shutter button. It can be somewhat temperamental, leading to a moment of frustration when a special moment is missed. However, these instances don’t happen too often and don’t significantly tarnish picture quality or the overall positive experience.

The Instax Mini 12 is a delightful little camera that serves its purpose well. It’s fun to use and inspires a lot of creativity. It’s not without its flaws, but its ease of use and the joy of instant physical snapshots make it a hit in my book. Whether gifting it or getting it for personal use, this digital camera can capture life’s moments in an irreplaceably charming way.