Instax Square SQ1 review

The Instax Square SQ1 takes a good photo, but is too square to be hip

Instax Square SQ1
(Image: © James Artaius)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Instax Square SQ1 is a superb, simple point-and-shoot instant camera. If all you want is to click the shutter and get a great square format photograph, look no further. However, it's missing valuable features like the self-timer from the discontinued SQ6 – not to mention the SQ1's direct rival, the Polaroid Now – so if you want any more advanced you will need to look elsewhere.


  • +

    Great image quality

  • +

    Point-and-shoot simplicity

  • +

    Cheaper prints than Polaroid


  • -

    No advanced shooting options

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    No tripod mount

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    Smaller prints than Polaroid

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The Instax Square SQ1 is the "traditionalist" of the Instax lineup. Where the Mini series delivers delightfully dinky instant prints, and the Wide camera offers a larger and more dramatic scene, the Square format echoes the familiar shape and size of old school Polaroid prints. 

Interestingly, the Instax Square SQ1 is one of two members of the Instax Square family - the other being the more recent Instax SQ40. While the Mini line comprises 5 currently supported models – including the entry level Instax Mini 12 and Instax Mini 11, the latest Instax Mini 40, the family friendly Instax Mini Hello Kitty and the hybrid Instax Mini Evo – the SQ1 is the lone representative of the Square family, with 2018's Instax Square SQ6 having been retired. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.