We test the Canon Zoemini S instant camera. It is a handy device that not only takes pictures, but also can be a printer. Will it become a competition for the Fujifilm Instax camera? Let's see!
At one time, Polaroid, or a photo printing device, was incredibly popular. In the era of digits, it has gone into oblivion, but fashion is back and now the sales hit is Fujifilm Instax, a classic instant camera. The popularity envied him Canon and released m.in. Zoemini S model – we had the opportunity to test it.
Small, shapely and stylish
The design of this camera is completely different from that of Instaks. We get a very slim case. The camera is small, light and thin . These features make it fit perfectly in your pocket, and it's a big advantage during your outings with friends. You must do so with Canon plus.The quality of workmanship may suggest that we are dealing with a toy camera, but these models already have this and you can turn a blind eye to it. It is important that they are handled with the very small size and weight – the camera does not feel practically in the palm of your hand. The front is dominated by a round mirror placed around a small lens. This solution will help you take a selfie. In the front we can also find a flash and that's the end. A slightly richer side is the other side where you can find an optical viewfinder, two buttons, including one that allows you to change the photo format (2 x 2 or 2 x 3) and the cover under which the photo cartridges are hidden. On the upper part of the housing you can find a switch, shutter button, switch between flash modes (auto, on, off) and a signal lamp that acts as our informant – different colors and flickering indicate various messages regarding the camera's operation. The bottom part of the camera hides the micro USB input, used for charging, the entry on the micro SD memory card and the hole marked 'RESET' – punching the pins in it will reset the camera in case it is jammed during work.
Camera options and service
We will not find any display that would allow us to delve into the menu. All this makes camera handling trivial. Turn it on by holding the start button for a few seconds. The sound signal and the blue color of the lamp let us know that the camera is ready to work. Now just press the shutter button and hear the sound of taking a picture, which will be printed soon after. Before you take a picture, you can still set the flash – switch, enable or leave the camera and choose the image format – full, that is 2 x 3, or smaller – 2 x 2 – the photo will come out square and we will have some white space, for example for a signature .However, before you take a picture, you need to load the cartridges into the camera. As it turns out, it is also trivial. We do not have to turn anything, wind, peel off, or worry about x-rays. Just open the lid and put the cartridges in the camera. Each set has a blue box and it has to be found first in the camera – it should be pushed slightly to the left, then put the rest of the cartridges and close the lid. Then just turn on the camera, which "przemiel" the box and "spit" it sideways and from that moment a set of ten freshly loaded cartridges is ready for use. The camera also has a memory card slot. What is his task? Well, each photo we take can be also saved in digital form on this card. This means that in addition to the printed photo we also receive a digital file that we can use, for example in social media. Quality? As a middle class smartphone, so quite good. You can see this in the example below.
Image quality and printing
One of the important differences between Zoemini S and Instaks is the way of creating photos and the contributions themselves. These in the Instaks models resemble cartridges known from the Polaroid – with a characteristic white frame. The ones in Zoemini S are classic small photographs without any dust jacket, printed in size 5 x 7.6 cm. Print technology is also significantly different. In Instaksach all the "magic" is created before our eyes – the picture initially leaves the camera white, and within the next few tens of seconds the entire picture begins to appear. The photo "is called" live.Canon Zoemini S prints a photo for a dozen or so seconds – we hear the device work, and then we see the image that is going away sideways. So a little "magic" is missing, but in return we get classic prints. Each cartridge has additionally glue and after unsticking the protective coating on the back, we can stick the photo, for example in the album – it is a very useful treatment. The print itself takes just over 30 seconds, so the photos print at a fairly fast pace and when they "leave" the camera are fully completed. How does the quality of the photo fall out? Well, in the case of instant cameras, the point is that the prints do not look like classic photos. All their charm in the fact that the colors were a bit pastel, unnatural. In addition, there is a flash lamp that often illuminates the face. All this imperfection is a deliberate procedure that makes the photos look like they were made with a toy camera, or cheap compact from a dozen or so years ago. These are the photos printed by Zoemini S. Imperfect, sometimes overexposed, not quite sharp, sometimes with visible grain. However, it all makes them unique and irresistible in their own way, and that's where their charm lies. This imperfection is inscribed in instant photos. I must admit, however, that the characteristic, imperfect "look" looks better in the execution of Instaks. Which does not change the fact that the prints from Zoemini S also look very interesting. Crop pictures with the use of drawn frames that reflect well what the camera sees. I practically did not have a picture that was badly cropped, and some part of the frame was cut off. The upside is certainly that the selfie mirror is really big and you can see everything in it even though there is a lens inside. The power of the camera is also the fact that it can act as a printer for a smartphone that will allow us to print photos taken by us . To connect Zoemini S with a smartphone, we need to install the Canon mini Print application. Using the application, we can select photos for printing, create a collage from them, add a filter, graphics, frame and also edit them. The connection between the application and the camera is instant and smooth. With the help of the application, we can also wirelessly control the camera, for example placed on a tripod. When printing photos from a smartphone, you have to reckon with the fact that they will not look as perfect as on the screen of the device. The colors are a bit faded, the red comes in a pink hue, and white and black elements make stains. Combining the functions of the instant camera and the printer must have its drawbacks, and it should be noted that the printed photos will always be slightly faded and we have to accept it.
Summary and evaluation
Canon entered the market of instant cameras with the overpower. Zoemini S is a camera that has a whole lot of advantages. It is very small, combines the function of a camera and printer, guarantees wireless support, and in addition allows you to save files in digital form on an external memory card. It's a rich package of possibilities for such a simple camera. Add to this banal service that even a child can handle. On the minus side, you can save a small screen that would tell you how many cartridges there were, because to find out, we need to open the lid. It should also be remembered that as a printer Zoemini S will not provide perfect colors, because imperfection is inscribed in the features of this model. If we are aware of this, you can safely think about buying this model as a great gadget for parties and holiday trips – because the camera is ideal. However, the price of the camera is more expensive than most Instaks, and for many it may be an obstacle in its purchase. For the camera we will pay over PLN 700 , and that's not a small deal – although one should remember that we pay for de facto two devices – an instant camera and a smartphone printer. The price of cartridges is similar to the one we know from Instaks – 20 prints are cost around 60 PLN , which means that one photo costs us less than 3 PLN. [Show_rating]