New Adventure : Instant Photo for Travel Journal

Friday, June 22, 2018

I'm gearing up for my next trip. I am thinking about doing another travel journal and I'll be focusing more on instax journal this time around. I know I haven't been in touch with my instant camera after India. It's quite an expensive hobby so I hesitate a bit. What I notice from my previous journal is that I didn't really have time to write what I wanted to write because I focused to much on the sketching. I will still be doing watercolour journal but the whole artwork might start/be finished after the trip.

Bad news is, I misplaced the battery charger for my instant camera. I had to spend quite some money to replace it. And the film is not cheap. Anyway, since we'ere in the topic of instant camera, I figure I might share some insight. For those who are interested in instant photo journalism, I'm giving you a simple breakdown of the cost. Price might vary:

The Camera
I'm using Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic. You can get it at around RM550 at Lazada. Some sell it with free 10pcs film. Just make sure they provide the free film or you might have to buy them separately. Unlike its predecessor, the Neo Classic uses rechargeable battery (NP-45). Each charge can last around 100 pictures. The camera also comes with neck strap. You can read about all the shooting mode and other details at Fujifilm website.
Cheaper alternative is the Instax mini 7s (Around RM200).

The Film
Fujifilm offers instant film in 3 sizes. The one used with the mini camera series is the instax mini film. If you're using the bigger model, you will have to use the Instax wide. The latest addition to the family is the Instax square; it is used exclusively for the new Instax Square (the hybrid digital instant camera). The mini film can also be used with the Fujifilm Instax Printer. The printer allows you to print from your smart device onto the instant film.

Always remember to check which instant camera you're using. Instant films are expensive. You don't want to purchase the wrong film. Another tips, always check the expiry date of the film. Yes! Instant film has expiry date. The price for a box of film is around RM70. Every pack consists of 10 films. Fujifilm sell 2 packs of those film in one box. So that's around RM 3.50 per picture. Use them wisely.  You can get them cheaper when you buy them in bulk. Always plan your usage so that you can choose the best pack.

Simple cost per film:
  • Regular box (2 x 10pcs) - RM70 (RM3.50 per picture) *if you're lucky you can find RM47 deal from Lazada
  • Twin Package (4 x 10pcs) - RM130 (RM3.25 per picture)
  • Bulk 50pcs instax paper (5 x 10pcs) - RM125 (RM2.50 per picture) *packed in single box
  • 3 box package (6 x 10pcs) - RM130 (RM2.15 per picture) *weird right? I know

The Pen
I would usually recommend a few brands for writing depending on your preference but for instax film, just go with Sharpie. If you find the Sharpie marker too thick for your liking, use the Sharpie extra Fine. That is for writing on the frame of the film. If you want to write on the developed print area itself, use the white pen. Alcohol based ink will ruin the print. I might need to experiment more on this but the film is too expensive. I don't want to waste them on testing pen. At least not for the time being. 

The Album
If you are traveling with an instant camera (Instax to be specific) always bring an envelope or mini album to store your photos. The instant photos are easily scratched and if you leave it out in direct light, it will fade. You don't have to shake the film to make it develop faster. Shaking does nothing to the setting time. Just tuck it nicely in a safe place, away from your keys or lose changes. It would be best to take a mini album with you. You can buy them online from as low as RM5. Or you can do scrap booking. Stick it to your best notebook for travel journals.

So that's all I can share with you. I am still learning about it myself. It's a fun way to capture the moment so try it if you are interested. Or you can choose the mini photo printers. There are a few brands that uses instax film, zinc paper and regular paper. I don't know if I will ever try them but for the time being, I'm enjoying my Instax Mini to the max.

Here are some of the photos we took in India. looking forward to a bigger collection this time around.



Part time normal, most of the time comic enthusiast. Almost always borderline crazy. Still experimenting with comic blogging. An engineer with a vision to not be taken seriously. Everything you read on this blog doesn't represent my gender, religion or profession as a whole. Other name you might associate with me are Deaday, DayGoon, JaeminGoon and *cough* Mona *cough*