Fact: There’s something magical about having a print of a photo. Sure, your photos look fine on Instagram and Facebook, but when you want to display one on your desk or give one as a gift, real photos still rule. That’s why I love Fujifilm’s Instax Share printers—they enable the pictures trapped inside your phone to escape into the real world.
The Instax Share SP-2 lets you quickly and easily print photos from a smartphone (via Wi-Fi, natch) onto Fujifilm’s vivid, colorful Instax instant film. There’s no ink involved—this tiny printer uses an internal array of OLEDs to expose your image onto the film. Then, the magic of chemistry turns a white blob into a beautiful image.
Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Printer
Colorful, lovely mini pictures. USB charging standard. Prints your photo within seconds.
Silly, uninspired holiday overlays. App has limited photo editing options. Still kinda expensive.
This itty-bitty printer lets you set up a photo booth anywhere, and I’ve heard that these Instax printers are a sure-fire hit at weddings and family gatherings. Personally, I’ve whipped up photos to mail to pals, and the mini-size of the pics means you can slip one or two into a greeting card without adding extra postage.
This is the second Instax Share printer from Fujifilm. The first iteration was pretty solid, but the SP-2 is better in every way. It’s faster, more convenient, and prints sharper images than its predecessor. The natural look of analog film smooths out pixelization nicely, and I find the photos look vibrant and gorgeous, but you can edit to taste. Pictures take around 10 seconds to print and then a few extra minutes to fully develop on the film.
The SP-2 has a modern, clean design. In either silver or gold, it looks more like a fashion accessory than a gadget. Small indicator lights along the top give you an at-a-glance idea of how much film and battery life you have remaining. There’s a rechargeable battery now instead of the hard-to-find CR2 cells I had to use in the original; USB charging is mandatory, so you should have no problem juicing up.
To send photos to the Share, you’ll have to use Fujifilm’s Instax Share app. It’s not the greatest app, but you can also just ignore its more superfluous features and get straight to printin’. I mean, if you want to do some light editing in the Instax app, you can do that. And there are a bunch of (cheesy) themes and text you can throw onto prints, kind of like what you’d get from a Japanese-style purikura photo booth.
You can also pull photos from social networks, and embed the number of likes or a timestamp onto the pic. An optional “Real Time” banner includes the current temperature, humidity, and location, which strikes me as the right kind of quirky.
I think the only snag with the Instax Share SP-2 is its $200 price. When compared with other adorable printers like the $129 HP Sprocket, it’s a little more money and film is not included in the box. At least the cost per print is competitive at around 70 cents, and the price only goes down when you buy film in bulk.
I held off buying my Instax Share SP-1 for a long time due to the price, and I only bought one once I was in Japan (it’s hard to resist when currency exchange rates are on your side). But, trust me, the Instax Share SP-2 is worth it. I’ve tried a lot of gimmicky photography products over the years, and when the Instax Share was introduced, I’m totally guilty of rolling my eyes. But I’ve changed my tune since buying one—few things make me happy like sharing a picture with a friend, and I think it’ll bring just a little joy into your life too.
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