Every since Leica had announced their entry into the instant photography market by producing their version of an instant camera, the Leica Sofort, we were intrigued by the specifications and the functions of their camera because the specifications are quite similar to the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 NEO Classic (“Fujifilm NEO Classic”)! We would love to have a hands on experience with the Leica Sofort, but first, we decided to pen down our thoughts on the features available in the Fujifilm NEO Classic!
We should emphasise that this is purely our own opinion and we hope to provide an objective review that covers the good and bad of the camera. That being said, we do love instant film photography, so it can be hard to truly call any instant film camera a disaster!
We begin this review by covering the features that comes with the Fujifilm NEO Classic. Following that, we test several accessories which one can buy in addition to Fujifilm’s camera!
An interesting feature about these modes is that different modes can use them together! For example, you can use the ‘Double Exposure’ function with either the ‘Brightness Control’ mode, or the ‘Macro’ mode, or ‘Landscape’ mode!
We are very fortunate to get our hands on some colour filters, as well as external accessories such as a splitzer and macro lens, made just for the Fujifilm NEO Classic! Below are some of our shots taken with the various filters:
(Although this may look somewhat similar to Green)
We love how this turned out; the effect looks very similar to the Impossible Project’s trendy Red & Black Film!
We have noticed that these colour lenses were meant to be a “close up lens” filter. This is misleading, as we have tried the “close up” function on a clear filter and this was how it turned out:
And lastly… the Splitzer:
Overall, we love this camera because it is so easy to use; this will be an attractive camera for instant camera beginners who are looking for more than just the normal Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras. As it is largely an automatic instant camera, there is limited flexibility as to what can be achieved with the Fujifilm NEO Classic; that is where the accessories come in, by adding some creative perks to the use of the Fujifilm NEO Classic. Furthermore, the battery has an amazing lifespan, and the film count is extremely accurate as well, making it a relatively hassle-free camera to carry around and use! The fact that the camera uses the Fujifilm Instant Mini film makes it more attractive, as the film is readily available and relative cheaper compared to other types of instant film.
However, there are some drawbacks. It is a camera of limited specifications; for example, the aperture is f/12.7, making night shots a pain to take. Therefore, using flash (or a tripod) would be the way to go. Conversely, the film has a ISO of 800, which means that shots in bright sunlight will need to be ‘darkened’ using the ‘Brightness Control’ mode. Nevertheless, if you are cognisant of these considerations, your own experience with the Fujifilm NEO Classic ought to be promising and fun!
Lastly, we are keen to test the Leica Sofort, although on paper the specifications of the Leica Sofort seems so similar compared to the Fujifilm NEO Classic. We are curious as to whether Fujifilm may have allowed Leica to reproduce essentially the same Fujifilm NEO Classic into the Leica Sofort camera, seeing that Leica is also producing their own instant film (although we are speculating, of course). Regardless, if Leica claims that their camera uses Leica lens for their Leica Sofort, we can only assume that their instant camera would produce higher quality and sharper instant photos. That would appear to justify the significance price difference between Fujifilm NEO Classic (retailing at USD$149) and the Leica Sofort (retailing at USD$299)!
We hope that this review will help out instant film enthusiasts (new or old) to get the Fujifilm NEO Classic! It is a very good camera which beats out the entry level models such as the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, and will be perfect for beginners! We cannot wait for latest up-and-coming instant cameras (like the Lomo’Instant Automat Kickstarter Project, which we are supporting), and we hope to hear from you, our reader, about these cameras!
Till next time,