Anthony thurston reviews

THE Fujifilm instax share SP-3

THE Fujifilm instax share sp-3

The Same Instax Experience You Love. But Bigger. 

Fujifilm's Instax line of instant film cameras and printers have long been some of the most popular and best selling photography related products in the world. Fujifilm launched their Instax Square format earlier this year with the Instax SQ10 camera, and until now that was the only way to take advantage of the new Instax Square Film. But that is no longer the case with the announcement of Fujifilm's Instax Share SP-3 stand alone Instax Printer. 
The Instax Share SP-3 joins the Instax Share SP-2 (standard Instax Mini film) in the Fujifilm Instax printer lineup and works largely the same. Using either of these two devices users can print instant Instax prints from their phone or Fujifilm X-Series camera and have more control over that process than if utilizing one of the Instax cameras. 

I've had my hands on the Instax Share SP-3 now for several weeks, and I wanted to make sure I got this review out before the November 17th launch day so those of you who have been thinking about picking one up could know if it was a good buy or not. 

So without further introduction, let's get into it! 

THE SPECS

Size: 3.7 x 6.1 x 6.1 inches
Weight: 1.15 pounds
Color(s): White/Silver & Black/Gold
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Ion
Charged: Via Micro-USB
Media: Instax Square Film (Get Some)
Released: November 17th 2017
Launch Price: $199 (Get One)

Instax Share SP-3 // THE DESIGN 

Ok, so one aspect of these Fujifilm Instax Share printers that has always been a topic of discussion has been the design. The original Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 was an ugly looking box with a rounded top. In the Instax Share SP-2 Fujifilm made a good move and decided to make the printers more of a fashion accessory, something that looks good just sitting on your desk or book shelf when not in use. This design ideology has also been continued into the design of the Instax Share SP-3. 

The SP-3 has a similar design language to the SP-2, but where the SP-2 has angular edges that push into the device, the SP-3 features angular edges that protrude out from the device. It looks great sitting on my desk or end table, and I have already been asked multiple times by people who have seen it about what it is.

The Instax Share SP-3 is simple, yet stylish at the same time, and that is a fairly hard target to hit as it is very easy to make a product too minimalistic, as well as over engineered. In my opinion Fujifilm struck a great balance here with the SP-3 and I really don't have much negative to say about the design other than that the cover over the micro USB charging port can be a bit finicky when you are trying to put it back on after charging. 

Otherwise solid work on the design front by Fujifilm here. The Instax Share SP-3 is as nice to use as it is easy to look at. 

Instax Share SP-3 //  THE FUNCTION

As I sort of mentioned above in the intro to this review, the Instax Share SP-3 works largely the same way as the Instax Share SP-2, the only difference being the size/share of the film that it is spitting out and the interface of the app if you are sending an image to it from your phone. If you have used an Instax Share printer before than you will have no problems just picking up the SP-3 and using it to your hearts content. 

But for those of you who have not used an Instax Share printer before, to say that it is easy is a bit of an understatement. The device connects to your X-Series camera or iOS/Android Smart Phone via a WiFi connection. Once your device is connected to the printer via the WiFi you are able to send images to the printer to be spit out on Fujifilm's Instax Square Film. 
When using the phone app, as I imagine that most of you will be doing, the process is really straight forward. You select your image and are then provided the opportunity to change its position within the square frame, add filters and text. Once you have done everything you want to do to your image you simply press 'connect and print'. Then the image is sent to your Instax Share SP-3 and is spit out on a piece of Instax Square film. Then just a quick wait for the film to finish developing and your image is ready to be viewed in print.

When using your X-Series Camera to print to the SP-3 the process is much simpler (one might say limited) but at the same time more complicated. You press the play button on your camera to view the images and select the one that you would like to print. Then you press the ok/menu button to bring up the image submenu, and from there you scroll down to the Instax option. Then (assuming you have correctly set up the printer with your camera) the camera simply sends your shot over to the Instax Share SP-3 and it is spit out onto the Instax Square film. 

There is, at this point anyway, no real customization available (such as adding text) when printing from an X-Series camera. However, if you shot in RAW you can do a custom RAW conversion in your camera before you are ready to print and utilizing the image processing capabilities of the camera (making use of Fujifilm's legendary film simulations for example) to make an image that looks as you desire before sending it off to the printer. 
As far as using the printer itself, again Fujifilm has done a great job of making this one of the easiest and most intuitive products that I have ever used. On the top (or front) of the device you see the opening through which the prints will come out of the printer. Directly above that you see a battery indicator and 10 LED lights which indicate how many prints you have left on the pack of film you currently have in the camera.

On the top right you have a power button, which you will use to turn the device on and off. On the top left you have a reprint button which you can use to quickly and easily reprint the last image that you had sent to the printer. This is a great feature for when you want to share an image with a friend or client but want a copy for yourself as well. Simply press that button and assuming you have film left in your camera the SP-3 will automatically spit out another copy of whatever you printed last. 

Overall, I can say that my experience with the SP-3 in terms of functionality has been great. It is easy to use, quick to learn, and work as advertised/intended. 

Instax Share SP-3 //  THE Experience

I really covered most of this in the functionality section; but my experience with the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 has been a great one. The battery life is excellent, in fact in this entire two weeks that I have had the camera since posting this review I have not had to charge the device once, and I have gone through an entire pack of the Instax Square film. In other words, I don't think that battery life will be an issue for anyone on this camera except maybe the most hard core users who have the device on constantly and are just printing to it like a mad man. But in normal, average joe usage I feel like this printer will be more than sufficient in terms of battery longevity. 

Loading film into the printer is about as easy of a process as you could come up with. You simply press the button to unlatch the film door, open it, remove your empty film pack and replace it with your new film pack (front first, then down with the back). When you close the film door and turn the device back on the printer will spit out the dark slide (which protects the film inside from being exposed to light) and then the printer is ready to rock with your fresh 10 prints of Instax Square Film. 

The battery is removable as well, so technically, if you were worried about power, you could have a second battery ready to pop in when your first battery dies. Fujifilm clearly put a lot of thought and effort into this device and it shows. I have played around with other 'instant print' mini printers before (like form Polaroid and HP) and image quality aside (the Instax prints are miles ahead of that Zink technology in my opinion), the Instax Share SP-3 has been just a joy to use all around. It's no wonder the Instax product line has been so popular, Fujifilm really kills it with these products. 

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3

Rated 4/4 Stars by Anthony Thurston

Fujifilm's Instax Share SP-3 is a product that I am very happy to have gotten my hands on for this review. I have always loved the idea of adding an Instax printer to my kit as a way to give my clients and friends something tangible to remember their time shooting with me. But I was always turned off by the size of the standard Instax Mini prints. I wanted that classic Polaroid look, and the  Instax Mini was just too small for my liking. 

When Fujifilm introduce the Instax Square Film I was so excited to see that, but was really underwhelmed by what I saw in the SQ10. For my purposes, its design and functionality just didn't feel like what I was looking for. So imagine my excitement when the Instax Share SP-3 was announced, giving me the style of Instax media that I wanted without the silly toy-like camera of the SQ10. Needless to say I was thrilled. 

Admittedly my expectations were high, and as you know when you go see a movie after hearing from all of your friends and family about how awesome of a movie it was, high expectations are often very hard to meet. But, I just need to say that Fujifilm completely met all of my expectations with the Instax Share SP-3, in some ways they even exceeded them.

I wasn't expecting this outcome, I was honestly expecting to have a fairly 'meh' reaction to the product given my past experience when getting too hyped for an idea that wasn't realistic. But I have to say, I am really happy this is how it turned out. 
"I just need to say that Fujifilm completely met all of my expectations with the Instax Share SP-3, in some ways they even exceeded them."
But some of you may be wondering about the point of a product like this. Why should you even print your morning selfies, or snaps of you smooching your lover? There is just something to be said about being able to physically hold and feel a print of your image. It causes an emotional reaction that is just simply not matched by digital images on a computer monitor or phone screen. 

If you have ever gone through an old family photo album with your parents, or maybe a box of prints from when your grandparents were young. The nostalgia, the emotions, these are things that are hard to replicate with a digital image. As well, you never know how long the digital file you have will last, but a physical print can last for much longer, possibly outliving you - giving your loved ones and descendants an interesting look into your life and who you were as a person long after you are gone. 

Yes, Instax prints are not lab prints; neither in terms of image quality nor longevity. But they are still better than digital in both respects. They get your image out of the digital world and into the real world, where you can feel it, both physically and emotionally - and this is a very easy thing to overlook or take for granted. 
Anyways, I should get to the point and stop being so preachy about print. Let's get down to the base of it all and really talk about my overall opinion of the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3. 

Overall, The Instax Share SP-3 is a product that I feel like anyone could enjoy. Be it a smartphone photographer who just enjoys taking photos of anything and everything, to a serious amateur photographer looking for a fun way to share their work, to the professional looking for fun ways to add value to their photo sessions, and everyone in between. 

Fujifilm's Instax Share SP-3 builds upon the successes of previous Instax products and gives us a well rounded and easy to use product that is as relevant to your 13yr old teenage daughter as it is to a 45yr old seasoned professional wedding photographer. If you are like me and have loved the idea of Instax but have been turned off by the cameras or format of the mini-film than I highly suggest looking into the Instax Share SP-3. 

This ended up being exactly the Instant Print product for me, and that could very well be the case for you too! I hope that this Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 Review has been helpful to you, I had a lot of fun putting it together. 

Buy A Fujifilm Instax share sp-3

Fujifilm SP-3 (White)
Fujifilm's White/Silver Variant of the Instax Share SP-3 printer. Retailing at the time of this review for $199. 
Fujifilm SP-3 (Black)
Fujifilm's White/Silver Variant of the Instax Share SP-3 printer. Retailing at the time of this review for $199. 
Instax Square Film
Fujifilm's 1:1 square Instax film for use in the SQ10 and SP-3. Each pack contains 10 sheets of ISO 800 Instax Square film.   

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