Instax is no stranger to pushing new types of cameras. Already spanning three different sizes of instant film, multiple styles of body, as well as digital hybrid cameras, you'd think there is already an Instax for everyone.
Apparently not, though, as Fujifilm is launching a brand new camera that is nothing like what has come before. The new Instax Pal is a tiny digital camera made to fit in the palm of your hand. At this size, the camera is obviously not going to be spitting out instant prints; instead, it camera connects to a companion app via Bluetooth and prints using the Instax Mini Link 2, which can be bought bundled with the Instax Pal if you don't have one already.
The Instax Pal is styled to look like a tiny little Instax Mini, with cute touches like the power button looking like an ejecting film. The Pal also has an attachable ring that doubles as a rudimentary viewfinder for framing your shots, which can attach to the camera via a strap. In true Instax style, there is also a flash on the front that gives an effective shooting range of 0.6m to 1.5m.
The camera itself weighs just 41g and is almost a cube, at 42 x 44 x 43mm. The Instax Pal has a wider angle lens than other cameras in the Instax range, equivalent to 16.25mm on a full frame system, which should help in capturing group shots. Don't expect this to become your default camera, however, as it only comes with a 4.9MP sensor, which is bested by even the cheapest smartphone.
A key component of the Pal is the new companion app, which is exclusive to the Instax Pal. The app enables you to add filters and stickers to your images before you send them to the printer. There is an option to add up to five custom shutter sounds to the Pal, if you really want your camera yelling at you to smile. The marketing for the camera also teases that the app might offer rewards of some kind.
This Instax Pal is not Fujifilm's first or only way to take digital images and print them later as Instax prints. The Instax Mini Evo still seems like a far easier way to do this with the camera, app, and printer all contained in one device. The Instax Pal seems to be geared toward people who want an easy camera that could be passed around, say at a party, or kids who enjoy Instax but who otherwise might run rampant with an instant print camera.
The Instax Pal will be available in October, in the US, the only way to buy the Instax Pal is bundled with the Instax Mini Link 2, which will cost $199.95, a little more expensive than the Mini Evo. The Instax Pal will also be sold as a standalone purchase for £89.99 in the UK and Europe only, and will set you back AU$149 if you're in Australia.