There is still a cult following for instant cameras. And if you want to have those nostalgic instant prints but yet retain the convenience of digital photos on your smartphone, there is the Fujifilm Instax Share Printer SP-2.
It allows you to print your photos instantly with your smartphone via Wi-Fi.
To do so, you need to download the Instax Share app (Android and iOS) into your smartphone. The app lets you customise and edit the photos that you want to print. You can even print directly from your Facebook or Instagram account.
The SP-2 is bigger than its predecessor, the SP-1, but is 3g lighter. The SP-2 is able to print 800 x 600-dot print (up from SP-1's 640 x 480 dots), thus delivering a higher resolution of 320 dots per inch (dpi), compared with SP-1's 254dpi.
As you might expect, the printouts are not as sharp as the original digital photos displayed on the smartphone. But they have that analogue and nostalgic feel .
New to SP-2 is a feature that lets you split an image into two prints. Since the Fujifilm Instax prints are in portrait orientation, you can print a landscape photo with two prints. You can also do a collage of up to four images in a single print.
WEIGHT: 250g (without battery and film pack)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
Design-wise, the SP-2 is more modern-looking than its predecessor. It comes in a predominantly white finish with silver (version tested) or gold accent.
It has a rectangular design with a tapered top.
The top has a long slot through which the instant prints emerge. A line of dots indicates how many prints are left.
On one of the shorter sides of the tapered top, there is a diamond-shaped power button. On this side, there is also a Reprint button in the middle, and a micro-USB charging port protected by a triangular flap at the bottom.
Charging the printer via micro-USB is so much more convenient than using the not-readily-available CR2 batteries with the SP-1. With the SP-2, you should be able to go through 10 packs of Fujifilm's Instax paper (a pack comprises 10 prints) with each full charge.
There is no ink or paper involved. You just need to load a pack of Instax paper to start printing. Loading a pack is really easy. Open the film compartment at the rear of the printer by pushing a slider above it, align the yellow marker on the film with the corresponding marker on the printer, and slot in the film pack. Close the compartment and you are ready to print.
You need to connect to SP-2's Wi-Fi network in order to send the picture over for printing. Once connected, it takes only 10sec from the time you press the Print button on the app to get an instant print.
But there are times when it says it cannot print the photo even though the print has already emerged. This gets frustrating when you want to print the same photo again.
That's why it is great to have the Reprint button, especially during gatherings when everyone wants a print of the same photo. All you need to do is to keep pressing the Reprint button until everyone gets a copy of the photo.
The only downer is the price. At $309, the SP-2 costs around $100 more than its predecessor, and competitors such as the LG Photo Printer.
•Verdict: The Fujifilm Instax Share Printer SP-2 is a great portable instant printer ideal for gatherings and parties. That is, if you are willing to pay for it.