Fujifilm finally releases a follow-up to its most advanced analog Instax mini camera

Instax is fun. It’s no surprise I’m saying this, considering how much I gushed over the last Instax camera we had in the office. There is unique fun for printing your photos on the spot, especially with analog cameras, with which you don’t know the result until it’s done printing. That is exactly why I’m excited about whenever Fujifilm expands its Instax Mini lineup. The latest edition to that lineup is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 99 ($199). A replacement for the over-ten-year-old Fujifilm Instax mini 90 (which you can still buy for $149).

Fujifilm Instax Mini 99 – controls and features

Unlike the more affordable Mini 40 and Mini 12, the Mini 99 isn’t fully automatic. You can control the exposure, the flash, and the camera’s shooting mode. There are also some extra features on the Mini 99, such as a self-timer, a vignetting on/off switch, and an old-school display that shows your camera settings and the remaining shots in the cartridge. The only thing missing from previous Mini cameras is the selfie mirror, which I actually consider an improvement.

Changing color profiles.. in an analog camera?

On top of the Instax Mini 99, there are two control dials. One is the same exposure dial that you know from the previous Instax minis, but the other is much more interesting. It’s not a dial for the typical settings like ISO or shutter speed that you would find on traditional cameras; rather, it’s a filter control dial. It lets you change the color profile of your camera by applying a filter. “How does it apply filters if it’s an analog Instax camera?” you may ask. The Fujifilm mini 99 uses internal LEDs to affect the image while you’re exposing it. It’s a pretty creative way to implement a modern feature in an analog camera.

For an Instax camera, being able to change a color profile is much more significant than doing so in a digital camera. If you don’t like the colors you’re getting out of your Instax photos, you can’t edit them as you would digital photos. That said, Fujifilm included seven profiles (or presets) that you can play with:


Faded green

Warm tone

Light blue

Soft magenta


Light leak effect

Digital vs. analog Instax

As I mentioned above, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 99 is an analog camera that directly exposes the film. This is different from digital Instax cameras like the Mini EVO (or Leica’s SOFORT), which take a photo with a digital sensor and then print the image with a built-in Instax printer. There is a difference in the look of the image, but it’s not always obvious until you compare photos side by side. Instax photos from an analog camera feel more “natural” and film-like. Digital photos can seem like they came from a digital camera when printed in the Instax format.

You can see the difference quite well in Sassyinkorea’s video, where she compares photos from the analog Instax Mini 11 to Instax prints of images from her phone.

There are more differences besides the look of the image. While shooting analog is a fun experience, you do lose out on a lot of advantages digital Instax cameras have. You can’t save the image to an SD card, you can’t edit it, you can’t preview photos, and you can’t skip a print on a failed photo.

Price and availability

You can pre-order the Fujifilm Instax mini 99 from B&H for $199. It is more than the Mini 40 ($99) and Mini 12 ($79), but that is to be expected. The Mini 99 takes on the role of a more advanced Instax camera with more features for you to use.

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