Personality and flexibility

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Slim and fun

Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is a popular pick for instant cameras because of it's unique and cute design, along with the flexibility of its scene options. No matter if you're outside when it's sunny or cloudy, or even if you're indoors with bad lighting, Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 has it covered. Flash toggles automatically if needed, and the selfie mirror in the front lets you take your best self-portraits. Photos come out immediately, and you can watch them develop right before your eyes. Just make sure you have AA batteries handy and don't be surprised that you can't have digital copies.

$50 at Amazon

Pros

  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Shoots in several scenes to get best lighting
  • Features a more traditional camera design
  • Has counter for remaining photo sheets
  • Selfie mirror
  • Uses AA batteries

Cons

  • Doesn't shoot in different color modes
  • No timer
  • Frame is not optional
  • Flash is automatic depending on scene setting
  • Somewhat bulky
  • No option for digital copies

The Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer is a good instant camera if you want something that's compact and portable. It allows you to shoot in three color modes (Color, B&W, and Sepia), add a Polaroid frame, and there's even a 10-second timer with a selfie mirror built-in. The ZINK paper is also environmentally friendly since it uses no ink and is heat-activated. However, you can't manually adjust focus or settings and the flash toggles on its own only in low-light situations.

$100 at Amazon

Pros

  • Slim and compact
  • Three color modes
  • Ability to add classic Polaroid frame
  • Has 10-second timer and a selfie mirror
  • Can use microSD card to save digital copies
  • Uses ZINK "Zero Ink" paper
  • Rechargeable battery can print up to 40 images on a full charge

Cons

  • Cannot adjust settings for different scenarios
  • Photos take a while to print
  • Can't manually focus or toggle flash
  • No paper indicator
  • Somewhat expensive

Even though the Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer and Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 are both good instant cameras, they're designed for different people.

Let's break it down

Blue Polaroid Mint Camera Printer and Lime Green Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 side-by-side on white table

Both the Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer and Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 are great instant cameras in their own right, with each having their own pros and cons. However, if we must go with only one, then the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is probably a better fit for most.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer
Price $50 $100
Dimensions 3 x 5 x 5.5 inches 3 x 1 inches
Design Bulky and traditional Slim and compact
Power 2 AA batteries Rechargeable, 40 prints on single charge
Flash Yes, automatic, depending on shooting mode Yes, automatic
Paper Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film Polaroid 2x3" ZINK Paper
Colors Cobalt Blue, Ice Blue, Flamingo Pink, Lime Green, Smokey White, and retailer exclusives Black, Blue, Yellow, Red, White
Manual adjustment Yes No
Selfie mirror Yes Yes
Shooting Modes Yes No
Color Modes No Color, B&W, Sepia
Timer No Yes
Frames on prints Yes Optional
Close-ups Yes with optional lens attachment No
Digital copies No Yes with microSD
Lanyard Nylon with matching print Clear plastic

For what it's worth, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 offers more bang for your buck. The ability to adjust the exposure and light settings for your photo depending on the environment is a huge advantage, and adjusting the dial to match the scene means only the best outcomes are possible. A selfie mirror on the front lets you make sure you line up your face properly for a great self-portrait, and the button is always easily accessible.

Plus, a dial on the back of the camera tells you how many sheets of paper are remaining, so you know when you need to reload. I also love that the camera spits the sheets out instantly after the photo is taken, and then you can watch the picture develop. No time is wasted between shots and you don't have to worry about another thing to recharge because the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 just uses two AA batteries, which will last a while.

However, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 does have flaws, and that's where the Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer comes in. The Polaroid Mint can shoot in color, black and white, and sepia, which is nice for those who like to spice up their shots with filters every now and then. The 10-second timer on the Mint is also helpful if you want to take a group shot but don't have someone that can take the photo for you.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 offers more bang for your buck.

Polaroid Mint prints take up the entire sheet of ZINK paper unless you opt to have the classic Polaroid frame for fun captions or dates. However, the Polaroid Mint prints the photo as it comes out, so it takes much longer than the Instax Mini 9, which I found annoying. However, you can save digital copies of your photos if you use a microSD card, which you can't do on the Instax Mini 9.

Another thing to think about when deciding is the size and design of the cameras. While the Instax Mini 9 is cute and quirky, it's also bulky and won't fit in your pocket. The Polaroid Mint is definitely much slimmer and easier to carry around since it's about the same as two smartphones stacked on top of each other.

Overall, we still think the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is the better pick. You get a lot more flexibility when it comes to shooting photos, and it's a lot cheaper — about half the price of the Mint. However, the Mint is more portable and has digital storage, which may be exactly what you're looking for.

Our pick

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Affordable and charming instant camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is one of our favorite instant cameras. The traditional design is a bit bulky, but it offers flexibility in terms of scene options for the best picture, automatic flash, selfie mirror, and instantaneous printing and development of the image. Plus it uses AA batteries so you don't need to worry about recharging. The only downsides are the fact that there's no way to save digital copies of your photos and that the Instax Mini film always has a frame.

Slim and compact

Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer

Convenience at a price

The Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer is a good option if you need something more compact and slim enough to fit in your pockets. It can shoot in three color modes, frames are optional, and there is a 10-second timer for your convenience. If there's a microSD card inserted, you can have digital copies of all photos, but you can't print them out later, which is a bummer. It has a rechargeable battery, but you'll only be able to print out 40 photos before it needs to recharge. There's no manual focus or adjustments though.

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