The Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay combines the features of an analog instant film camera with digital camera convenience in the smallest package possible. Like the company’s, the LiPlay (pronounced LEE-play) is a hybrid instant film camera. It doesn’t shoot straight to instant film like analog Instax cameras, but instead uses a very small 1/5-inch digital image sensor that captures 2,560×1,920-pixel images (about 5 megapixels). The prints are small like those from other Instax Mini cameras at 3.4 by 2.1 inches (86 by 54 mm), though the actual image size is 2.4 by 1.8 inches (62 by 46 mm).
At its heart, the LiPlay is a digital camera. To that end, you get a small LCD on the back to frame your shots, and all your pictures are stored to either internal memory or an optional microSD card. This means you can print just the shots you want, instead of getting a print every time you press the shutter release. And you can customize photos with one of the camera’s six color filters and one of up to 30 frame options before you print.
Although a large portion of the digital camera market has disappeared due to the prevalence of excellent phone cameras, the instant film camera market continues to be popular. Since its introduction in 1998, Fujifilm has sold more than 40 million Instax models globally, according to the company.
The LiPlay also has Bluetooth so you can connect it to your phone. Using the LiPlay mobile app, you can remotely control the camera, which makes selfies a bit easier (although the front does have a small selfie mirror). You can also use the LiPlay as a printer for any of the shots you take with your phone.
Plus, with no ink or paper, the film is the only consumable. That, along with its compact size, makes the LiPlay very easy to travel with. The built-in battery is good for up to 100 prints on a single charge.
Taking its digital features a step further than the SQ10, Fujifilm added a mic button to the front of the camera. Press it to record up to 10 seconds of audio that gets converted to a QR code and printed in the corner of the picture. Scan it with your phone and you’ll hear the clip.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay goes on sale June 14 for $160.