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Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 might be its most desirable instant camera so far

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
(Image credit: Fujifilm)

Instant cameras often tread a fine line between being fun and a little child-like, but the new Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 has arrived bearing stylish looks that are more reminiscent of X-series cameras like the Fujifilm X-S10.

The Instax Mini 40 is effectively a Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 – a camera that sits top of our list of the best instant cameras – only in new, grown-up clothes. That means you get a retractable 35mm lens, making it relatively compact for an instant camera, and features like Auto Exposure to help make it a point-and-shoot experience.   

As its name suggests, the Mini 40 is also compatible with Fuji's credit card-sized Instax Mini film, which is among the most affordable instant film you can buy. Given the Mini 40's genes, this makes it another promising, affordable camera for those looking to dip their toes into instant photography.

Like the Instax Mini 11, the Mini 40 has two main shooting modes: auto and selfie (or close-up). 

Give its lens barrel an extra pull, and it'll extend ready for for shooting the latter. This means you can either use its front mirror to compose an instant selfie or a close-up that's between 30cm-50cm away.

Your shot will then appear in around 90 seconds (depending on the surrounding temperature), giving you time to think about your next retro composition. This isn't exactly a 'spray and pray' camera though – each film pack has only ten exposures, so you'll need to use them wisely, which is a nice contrast to smartphone snapping.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

Instant success

Given its heritage, in both looks and specs, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is shaping up to be a very promising instant camera – and possibly even one of the best cheap cameras.

As always with instant models, you'll need to put up with some variable image quality – although the Instax Mini 40's auto exposure should help give you a greater hit-rate than other models.

In general, Instax film tends to produce shots that are a little more life-like than Lomography or Polaroid cameras, which can be a little more extreme and dream-like. So it's worth bearing your preferred style in mind when choosing an instant camera.

But if you're prepared to put up with a slight learning curve, and like the Instax Mini 40's classic faux-leather looks, then it could be the instant companion for you. You'll be able to buy it for $99.99 / £89.99 / AU$169 from the end of April.

Mark Wilson is the Cameras Editor for TechRadar at Future. He writes and oversees reviews of the latest camera gear on TechRadar and looks after all the photography tutorials. Mark was previously Digital Editor (Cameras) at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine.