Tech review: Canon iNSPiC [S] shoots and prints photos on the go

The Canon iNSPiC (S) has an 8-megapixel camera with a fixed wide-angle lens of 25.4mm.
The Canon iNSPiC (S) has an 8-megapixel camera with a fixed wide-angle lens of 25.4mm.PHOTO: CANON SINGAPORE

The Canon iNSPiC (S) is not the first instant camera printer in the market, but it is one of the smallest.

Weighing only 188g, measuring a slim 21.5mm and with a footprint around the size of two ez-link cards placed side by side, the iNSPiC (S) is easy to carry around.

Available in rose gold, white and black (version tested), the iNSPiC (S) has an 8-megapixel camera with a fixed wide-angle lens of 25.4mm.

The back of the instant camera has no screen, but there is an optical viewfinder for you to compose photos.

Beside the optical viewfinder are two buttons - a button for you to switch between 2x2 and 2x3 print formats and a reprint button. The reprint button is useful for reprinting group photos for everyone at parties or gatherings.

For selfie lovers, there is a mirror dome and a built-in LED ring flash around the lens for composing your selfies and providing fill light respectively.

On the gadget's top, there is a power button, a shutter release button and a ring flash switch that lets you toggle among flash options - off, auto and fill. I recommend the fill option as the ring flash provides enough fill light to illuminate selfies nicely in this mode.

At the camera's bottom is a micro-USB charging port and a microSD card slot that supports up to 256GB for storing photos. So, you do not need to worry about losing that moment forever, which is the case for some instant cameras.

The iNSPiC (S) can also be connected via Bluetooth to print the photos stored in your smartphone as well as your Facebook or Instagram accounts, using the Canon Mini Print app (available for Android and iOS).

The app allows you to add graphics, imaging effects and text to photos before printing them. It can also be used as a remote shutter release.

  • FOR

    - Slim and lightweight

    - Great instant photo prints

    - Affordable

  • AGAINST

    - No display

    - Lack of film counter

    - No battery indicator

  • SPECS

  • PRICE: $219

    IMAGE SENSOR: 8-megapixel

    LENS: 25.4mm, f/2.0

    SENSITIVITY: Auto (ISO 100 to 1,600)

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.0

    WEIGHT: 188g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3.5/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4.5/5

    OVERALL: 4/5 [ST Tech Editor's Choice]

The camera's rear compartment can take up to 10 pieces of Canon Zink 2x3-inch photo paper.

After pressing the shutter release button to snap a photo, it takes 54 seconds for the photo to be printed. It takes the same amount of time to print a photo from the app.

Image quality-wise, photos are certainly not top-notch as one might expect from an instant printer. But the prints are surprisingly good. They look sharp and have a "photo-booth print" look. You can still see slight print lines, but they are not significant enough to be distracting.

Furthermore, the prints are stickers, so you can peel off the back layers to paste the photos.

One perk of the Canon Zink photo paper is price - it costs $15 for two packs of 10. Fujifilm's Instax photo paper costs more, at around $13.90 for a pack of 10.

On the downside, the instant camera printer lacks indicators found in similar products. There is no indicator on the iNSPiC (S) to display how many photo prints are left in the camera, and the app does not show this information as well.

The iNSPiC (S) is able to shoot and print 25 photos on a full charge, which is similar to Fujifilm's Instax. But there is no battery indicator on the camera. Still, you can find that information using the app.

If you want an instant camera printer or just an instant printer, the Canon iNSPiC (S) is highly recommended.