We tested the instax SQUARE SQ1 instant camera

Operating very similar to classic Polaroids, this analog camera automates all settings so you just have to frame, shoot, and wait for the copy to come out. We have tested it.
Retro technology is still in fashion and, therefore, so are instant cameras such as the classic Polaroid, which allow you to capture an instant and print the photograph on paper in just a few seconds. Instax SQUARE SQ1 is one such model: a square camera that creates square-format snapshots.

This camera is analog, so it does not have a screen (it is framed from the built-in viewfinder), it works with paper films (it does not save digital copies) and it does not allow you to edit the images before printing the captures.

Easy to use

Instax SQUARE SQ1 has a large, plastic exterior and is available in multiple colors. Its design makes it very attractive for teenagers and young people.

To hold it comfortably, it has a handle in the right area that integrates the trigger, and a hook on each side to place a strap and be able to carry it safely on the wrist. Meanwhile, in the back, we find the space to place the film and the viewfinder, in the upper part is the slot through which the photographs will come out and in the front, there is a flash and the camera lens, which works also as a switch.

And is that it has three rotation positions: off, on, and a selfies mode, which improves the focus and exposure of the photograph in the close-ups by changing the position of the lens. Also, it has a small mirror of 1 centimeter by 1 centimeter that helps to have a rough idea of ​​the framing.

The proof

The first thing to start is to insert two lithium batteries included in the package (not rechargeable) and which offer a range of about 300 shots and prints. Next, we include one of the compatible films (they are available in black and white, with colorful frames …) and close the lid. It is time to turn on the camera by rotating the lens.

We are ready to shoot! The focus is done automatically (it works on objects and people located more than 30 centimeters away) and the viewfinder, although it does not have guides for framing, does have a center point to have some reference.

Everything works automatically: the camera itself automatically detects the level of ambient light and optimizes the shutter speed and the firing of the flash according to the lighting conditions. About 90 seconds after pressing the shutter-release button, a printout comes out showing vivid colors and a definition suitable for this type of camera.

In the case of selfies, the operation is the same, with the difference that the lens automatically adapts to a focus distance of between 30 and 50 centimeters. If we are going to place ourselves further, better to use the ‘normal’ mode.

At all times we know how many photographs remain to be taken with the film thanks to a small counter located on the back of the handle. We also have to bear in mind that we have to wait a few seconds before firing again. It turns off automatically after 5 minutes of not using it.

And the movie?

The ‘films’ for this camera are purchased separately, and they are not cheap. For example, Instax SQUARE Rainbow film is priced at € 10.99, while Instax SQUARE Monochrome costs € 11.99, both with 10 printing papers.