Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 11 wants to make taking photos fun and quirky

Despite the onslaught of smartphones and their sophisticated cameras, camera makers have found some respite even on the entry-level market thanks to the unexpected popularity of "Polaroid" type non-digital cameras. Thanks to advancements in both imaging and inkless printing technologies, these instant cameras have captured the hearts and pockets of many hobbyist photographers who find something alluring about the design and simplicity of these products. Building upon that, Fujifilm is launching a new INSTAX Mini 11 that adds just a bit of smarts without going into digital camera territory.

One of the disadvantages of such simple instant cameras is that you really have little to no control over their settings. In a way, it is both simpler but also requires a bit more photography know-how to get the perfect shot. With the new Automatic Exposure, which senses ambient light the moment you press the shutter button, even novice users will be able to take good-looking photos no matter the condition.

Selfies are also harder to pull off with instant cameras but the INSTAX Mini 11 has a rather curious solution. Pull out the front edge of the lens to activate "Selfie Mode" and then and then use the small mirror next to the lens to frame the shot. While that mode can support subjects 30 to 50 cm away, Fujifilm does warn about some shifting in closeups.

The design of INSTAX Mini cameras has always leaned more on the whimsical and fun side while retaining part of the appearance of professional cameras. For the INSTAX Mini 11, Fujifilm is allowing for some customization by changing shutter buttons. Included in the package is a jewel button that matches the color of the camera as well as a glow button that glows in the dark.

As for those colors, the camera will come in five new pastel, pale-tone options of Blush Pink, Sky Blue, Charcoal Gray, Ice White, and Lilac Purple. The Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 11 will be available sometime in mid-March for $69.95. The company is also launching new INSTAX Mini Blue Marble and Square White Marble films, both with marble-printed frames to subtly spice up your photos.