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Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Review

A nice mid-sized option with lots of features that adapts well to different lighting conditions
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
Credit: Fujifilm
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $130 List | $129.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Durable, comfortable to use, creative options
Cons:  Learning curve, heavy for its size, super contrasty prints with dark lighting
Manufacturer:   Fujifilm
By Adam Yee ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 24, 2022
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Image Quality - 40% 6.5
  • User Friendliness - 30% 8.1
  • Features - 15% 7.4
  • Battery - 15% 9.5

Our Verdict

The best of the mid-sized film cameras, the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 is smaller than most fully analog models while still offering opportunities for artistic expression with its numerous creative features. While these settings can take some time to get comfortable with, the amount of control provided allows this camera to adjust to different conditions easily and produce the most accurate color depiction of any camera we tested. The square prints created by the SQ6 are very similar to the original Polaroids of yesteryear, except that the image quality is far superior. So, if you're in the market for an instant camera that delivers the classic experience in a more portable package without sacrificing quality images, this one may be your ideal candidate.

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Pros Durable, comfortable to use, creative optionsLots of creative options, convenient size, great image quality, can save photos and view before printingDurable, user friendly, adjusts well to different lightingEasy to use, convenient size, reliable, budget friendlyClassic instant film experience, beautiful vintage-looking prints
Cons Learning curve, heavy for its size, super contrasty prints with dark lightingMild learning curve to ensure prints come out well in different lighting situationsA slight learning curve, tends to shoot dark, on the heavy sideLimited creative controls, non adjustable flashExpensive film, awkward size
Bottom Line A nice mid-sized option with lots of features that adapts well to different lighting conditionsA hybrid that utilizes the best parts of digital and film, all in one convenient little packageA visually pleasing blend of modern instant camera tech with old-fashioned film appealA reliable and simple to use option that's great for all agesThe old school fun and classic prints you know and love with a few modern perks
Rating Categories Fujifilm Instax Squ... Fujifilm Instax Min... Fujifilm Instax Wid... Fujifilm Instax Min... Polaroid Now i-Type
Image Quality (40%)
6.5
7.5
6.8
7.0
6.3
User Friendliness (30%)
8.1
8.7
7.5
8.2
7.2
Features (15%)
7.4
9.0
7.4
6.8
7.0
Battery (15%)
9.5
9.0
9.0
6.5
8.0
Specs Fujifilm Instax Squ... Fujifilm Instax Min... Fujifilm Instax Wid... Fujifilm Instax Min... Polaroid Now i-Type
Film Cost Per Photo (approx) $0.95 $0.85 $0.85 $0.95 $2.12
Film Capacity 10 shots 10 shots 10 shots 10 shots 8 shots
Battery Capacity Claimed: 30 Instax Square 10-pack
Tested: Accurate; the same batteries it came with were used throughout all of testing
Claimed: 100 prints per charge depending on conditions
Tested: Accurate; camera was used in a wide variety of conditions (cold, indoor/outdoor, near a heater), and the charge was never drastically affected.
Claimed: 30 Instax Square 10-pack
Tested: Accurate; the same batteries it came with were used throughout all of testing
Claimed: 10 Instax Mini film packs of 10 exposures each
Tested: Batteries the camera came with died after a few packs, not 10. The camera lasted longer with different batteries but continued to die before hitting 10 packs.
Claimed: 15 packs (or up to 60 days)
Tested: Battery never died during our test period, but it started to lack power around 6 packs and self timer wouldn't work without charging
Power Supply Two CR2/DL CR2 lithium batteries Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB) Four size AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries Two AA-size alkaline batteries (LR6) Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)
Dimensions (as per manufacturer) 118.7 mm x 128.1 mm x 58.1 mm (excluding protrusions) 82.5 mm x 122.9 mm x 36.7 mm (excluding protrusions) 167.8 mm x 94.7 mm x 120.9 mm (excluding protrusions) 107.6 mm x 121.2 mm x 67.3 mm 94 mm x 112 mm x 150 mm
Weight (as per manufacturer) 10.4 oz (without battery, strap, and film pack) 8 oz (without fiilm pack and memory card) 21.6 oz (without battery, strap, film pack, and close up lens) 10.4 oz (without battery, strap, and film) 15.2 oz (without film pack)
Picture Size (as per manufacturer) 62 mm x 62 mm 62 mm x 46 mm 62 mm x 99 mm 62 mm x 46 mm 88.9 mm x 116.68 mm prints with a 78.74 mm x 78.74 mm image area
Image Settings Double exposure, light or dark mode, macro, landscape, portrait Multiple filters (stylish, B/W, sepia, fish eye, vivid), 10 in-camera frames (antlers, color stripe, light bar, wings, speech bubble, photo inside a photo, comic strip, etc.), 30 frame options through the app, ability to put a time stamp on prints Light or dark mode, djustable focal zoom dial Autofocus Double exposure
Focus Distances Macro Mode (0.3 m - 0.5 m/1 ft - 1.6 ft)
Normal Mode (0.5 m - 2 m/1.6 ft - 6.6 ft)
Landscape Mode (2 m/6.6 ft and beyond)
3.94 in / 10 cm to infinity Motor-driven 2-range switching (0.9 m - 3 m / 3m - infinity) Normal Mode (0.9 m - 3 m) Landscape Mode (3m - infinity) 0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m) Autofocus system via 2 fixed focus zones 0.55 m-1.3 m, 0.6 m - infinity
Focal Length 0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m) 28 mm (35 mm fiilm equivalent) 95 mm 60 mm 103 mm standard, 89 mm portrait
Aperture f/12.7 f/2 f/14 f/12.7 f/11 - f/64
Film or Digital Film Film prints, digital camera Film Film Film
Film Development Time 90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature) Around 90 seconds to develop, 12 seconds to print 90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature) 90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature) 10 to 15 minutes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 is an excellent option for those who are seeking high-quality imagery from an easily portable and compact camera. This model is unique in that its mid-sized body produces square prints (as the name implies), which display beautifully accurate colors, textures, and skin tones. Aside from a mild learning curve, this camera is quite user-friendly and offers a significant amount of creative opportunities. The only issue that occurred during our testing of the SQ6 was a malfunction of the film count display. Other than that, we found this camera to be reliable in its ability to produce prints with rich and vibrant colors, as long as the settings were just right for the lighting situation. Overall, this camera is a nice compromise between the larger models, which are harder to travel with, and the smaller ones whose images aren't of the same quality.

Performance Comparison


Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 instant camera - the instax sq6 hit a perfect balance for us between size and image...
The Instax SQ6 hit a perfect balance for us between size and image quality.
Credit: Laura Casner

Image Quality


The images that the Instax Square SQ6 produces were among the most realistic and consistent, helping it receive a top-tier award. Even though it takes a little time to get familiar with the controls, this camera does an excellent job of picking up the full spectrum of colors, and the controls can be set to fit any lighting situation. The photos tend to get blown out when the conditions are harsh (bright background with dark subjects or dark background with light subjects), but the right balance can be achieved by adjusting the settings. This camera captures textures especially well, along with accurately matching skin tones better than any other model in our lineup. Unfortunately, the square monochrome film packs were unavailable at the time of testing, so we were unable to see how this camera performs with black and white film.


Still, despite the vibrant color display, the Square SQ6 wasn't our highest scorer in this metric. Being that the prints are small, there can be a loss of clarity and smaller details. The SQ6 is also somewhat difficult to just point and shoot with, as it tends to shoot rather dark, and the prints often end up blown out if there's any backlighting. Again, an accurate image can be achieved by messing with the settings, but it rarely happened for us on the first try. That said, even though this camera didn't score as high in this particular metric, it still takes beautiful pictures, and the camera itself is easier to transport than the other strictly analog models in our review.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 instant camera - while not the highest image quality in our test suite, the sq6 still...
While not the highest image quality in our test suite, the SQ6 still produces vibrant and fun shots, especially as you learn the settings.
Credit: Laura Casner

User Friendliness


Although it does have a mild learning curve, the SQ6 is very user-friendly. The interface is simple to operate, with a mode button that allows the user to swap through the different camera settings and another button to turn the flash on/off. The design is well thought out, as the square body is durable, comfortable to shoot with, and convenient for travel. While it is heftier than the instant digitals we tested, it is smaller and lighter than comparable instant film cameras. The hardest part of shooting with the SQ6, even for our experienced photographers, was finding the best settings for each lighting scenario, which usually meant taking multiple shots to get the desired output. Luckily, this is a pretty small price to pay for the incredible images that this camera can produce.


Along with being a mid-sized camera that creates mid-sized square prints, the SQ6 is right around the middle with its user-friendliness as well. While it's not at the top of the pack, the cameras that had the most similar scores didn't offer nearly as much creative control and were more complicated to understand and use. So, for anyone willing to spend some time improving their photo knowledge but who doesn't want to get overwhelmed, this camera is an excellent starting point.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 instant camera - the instax square sq6 is reliable and consistent with its image...
The Instax Square SQ6 is reliable and consistent with its image quality and printer.
Credit: Laura Casner

Features


Compared to the other analog machines, the Instax Square SQ6 comes equipped with more features than any others. Its creative controls include multiple shooting options like portrait, macro, landscape, light or dark mode, a timer, adjustable flash, selfie mode + mirror, multiple exposures, and three color flash filters. The camera body also houses a socket for connecting a tripod and a hook for attaching a strap, whereas most models only have one or the other. The only feature that we had an issue with was the shot count indicator which occasionally malfunctioned, displaying an inaccurate reading for some packs of film, but not all.


During our features test, the SQ6 beat out most of the other analog film cameras, except for the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300, which it tied with. While this may be surprising since the SQ6 has several features that the Wide 300 doesn't, the SQ6 includes some external add-ons that the 300 lacks. Regardless, they both offer a good amount of creative freedom while still staying true to the classic experience of an instant camera.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 instant camera - we were quite impressed with the features on this analog camera.
We were quite impressed with the features on this analog camera.
Credit: Laura Casner

Battery


The Square SQ6 is the only camera in our review that used CR-2 batteries, and it's capable of taking way more shots than any of the others. While the other cameras that use replaceable batteries all use AAs, they didn't last much past 100 prints. The SQ6, on the other hand, can print up to 300 photos before the batteries need to be replaced (per the manufacturer's statement, which we found to be accurate). None of the cameras that use rechargeable batteries can come anywhere near that amount; some claim to be able to go over 100 but, in reality, need to be charged well before that. We used the same set of two CR-2 batteries throughout our weeks of testing and never noticed any lag or diminished power from any of the harsh conditions or extended use.


Top scorers in this metric all made it through our tests without their batteries needing to be charged/changed. However, due to the sustained functionality and power of the SQ6, as well as the increased number of prints it can produce, this camera eeked out the top spot.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 instant camera - the fujifilm instax square sq6 adapts well to different lighting...
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 adapts well to different lighting conditions.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


With its gorgeous square photos, durable and portable design, and ease of use, we found the Instax Square SQ6 to be well worth its price. While the prints may not be as large as the wide-format film used by others, the SQ6 has more features and is more compact for travel. It's a little too big and heavy to fit in a pocket, but it packs easily in a bag and takes much better pictures than pocket-sized cameras. The main drawback of the SQ6 is the time it takes to ensure that each shot comes out as desired, but this decreases as you get more familiar with the settings. Overall, this mid-sized camera that produces medium-sized images also has a middle-of-the-road price, which we think is both fair and fitting.

Conclusion


For those who prefer the analog experience of classic instant cameras, but would like something easier to carry around, the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 is your best bet. It includes a number of creative features, which allow it to do much more than just point and shoot, and its square prints are incredibly accurate in their color depiction. Even though it's slightly bigger than its digital hybrid competitors, the SQ6 is far more durable, reliable, and consistent in its ability to capture life's moments in beautiful photos.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 instant camera - the instax square sq6 produces square prints with excellent color...
The Instax Square SQ6 produces square prints with excellent color clarity.
Credit: Laura Casner

Adam Yee

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