The marvellous new instax mini 11

Professional wedding and lifestyle photographer Antony Hands is an avid instax user. In this article he shares his thoughts on the new instax mini 11 with some beautiful family shots taken during the COVID-19 lock down.

By Antony Hands

Antony Hands mini 11

The new Selfie Mode of the mini 11 makes for great close up portraits as well as selfies! The flash on the camera does a really good job of controlling the exposure at such close range.

When Fujifilm announced the new instax mini 11, I was very excited, as this was the first time that the most affordable camera in the range would feature automatic exposure. This addition is a huge plus for beginner photographers and people wanting a reliable ‘point and shoot’ instax camera at a great price. The camera also features a new Selfie Mode, which makes selfies and close up portraits easy and hassle free!

While these were great new features, I was most excited by Fujifilm extending the minimum shutter speed of the camera down to 1/2s – a game-changing move for shots in lower light, such as indoors, in deep shade or at night. Previously, using the preceding mini 9, photos taken in darker environments with flash would be well exposed for the subject, but with dark backgrounds. With the mini 11, you can capture the foreground subject, as well as the light in the background, adding to the ambience of the scene!

With everyone being locked up at home right now, this was the perfect opportunity to test out the mini 11 and take advantage of its new and exciting features!

Antony Hands mini 11

These images, shot at night, show how the camera has captured the ambience of the room, instead of a displaying a darker background, creating much better images.

The camera effectively balances the inbuilt flash together with the room light for really pleasing images, that look so much better than the black background we saw from the previous mini 9 model. It is important to remember to hold the camera still when shooting in low light, as the longer exposure can lead to blur if the camera is moved during the shot.  When in Selfie Mode the camera reduces the flash output for really natural lighting without the over-flashed look that can commonly occur – a real plus for portraits as well as selfies.

Antony Hands mini 11

My youngest daughter with her Easter egg haul, shot in Selfie Mode. Beautiful natural flash results!

The other hidden plus of the new automatic exposure is the ability to take natural light shots in low light, such as window light. To do this you need to suppress the flash, which I do with a small piece of black electrical tape over the flash itself. This ensures that the light on your subject does not include flash, so you can get beautiful natural light portraits.  Here are a couple of portraits where I’ve used this technique to get really lovely window lighting on my subjects.

Antony Hands mini 11Images shot with flash suppressed in Selfie Mode to enable close portraits. The camera’s automatic exposure nailed these shots for a great result!

Overall I couldn’t be happier with the results from the instax mini 11. Flash is perfectly balanced with natural light, and the Selfie Mode makes nice head and shoulder portraits an easy task.

Being able to shoot with confidence and ease for every situation, from bright light to dark environments, makes it a perfect camera for newcomers to instax. It’s without a doubt a huge advance from its predecessor, the mini 9, and will open up a whole new range of possibilities for instant photographers.

Do you have a mini 11? Let your inner photographer shine by photographing these 11 things.