If the rumors are true, after 10 years Fujifilm is finally updating the Instax Mini 90 with the Instax Mini 99 – and, if the rumors are true, it will offer "unique color and light combination effects never experienced before on any Instax camera".
Looking closer at those "effects", though, it looks like they may be the kinds of analog characteristics – such as light leaks and bleed – that the best instant cameras from Instax have spent decades trying to steer clear of.
The information comes from the team over at Fuji Rumors, which has a good track record with inside info on Fujifilm and Instax products.
"Fujifilm will launch the Fujifilm Instax Mini 99," writes the site. "It will come with some sort of 'filter' that will create unique color and light combination effects never experienced before on any Instax camera such as light bleed effect, green hue effect, red light flare, purple hue and more."
Obviously this is just a rumor, which is somebody's interpretation of the information. And I can only do my part to interpret the interpretation, which may lead the horse further from the water. Still, it does sound to me as if these filters – whether they're software-based, like Instagram filters, or a physical lens add-on like the Polaroid Now+ – are trying to replicate the low-tech, low-fidelity Lomography look.
It's an interesting tactic. The clean, sharp, well-exposed qualities of Instax prints are the things that differentiate the brand from the imperfection-laden charm of Lomo (and, to a lesser extent, Polaroid) cameras. So adding in these characteristics feels a little at odds with the Instax ethos.
Still, my own (or indeed the original) interpretation of this information may be wide of the mark. I've never failed to be impressed by the quality of Instax, so I'm excited to see the long-overdue update to the Mini 90 – which came out way back in 2013! Which almost makes me feel as old as the fact that the first ever Instax camera was released 25 years ago…