Best Fujifilm Instax LiPlay Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
The first Instax model that serves as both a camera and a connected printer, the LiPlay won us over with its hybrid concept and its more affordable price than square models. On the other hand, the sound recording to be associated with the images is more anecdotal.
Fujifilm is making no secret of it: the instant niche with its Instax range is a success and represents a very significant part of the revenues of its Photography branch . Since its launch in 1998, the brand has diversified its range, which today includes three film formats (Mini, Wide and Square) and various dedicated devices and printers. There are two of these: the Instax Share SP-2 which prints on Mini film and the SP-3 in square format Square arrived very shortly after the SQ10 .
This box is the first Square film camera and the first hybrid which, thanks to its digital sensor, offers to record images and print on demand. Surprisingly, the SQ10, like its successor SQ20 , is not capable of functioning simply as a printer by sending photos taken from a telephone via a wireless connection. It is therefore this functionality that makes LiPlay a device apart from the manufacturer’s range.
Fujifilm breaks with its device numbering habits and opts for a younger name, LiPlay being the contraction of what could be the mantra of the generation to which it is addressed “Live, Life & Play”. It competes with the Canon Zoemini S with Zink printing technology and which we recently offered you the test.
Available in three colors, black, white and pink (which was delivered to us for this test), the device has a 1/5 “sensor capable of producing 4: 3 images of 2560 x 1920 px. They can be recorded on microSD cards or directly on the internal memory of the camera with a capacity of 45 photos.The objective is a fixed focal length, a 28mm equivalent in 24×36 with aperture f / 2. Its minimum focusing distance at the point is 10 cm and the shutter speed automatically chosen between 1/4 s and 1/8000 s.
Best Fujifilm Instax LiPlay Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
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As wide as an SQ10 , the LiPlay is almost half the height, which roughly corresponds to the aspect ratio between the two films used. That doesn’t make it a compact device , though : it’s about as wide and tall as the Canon Zoemini S , but almost twice as thick.
It must be said that it has to its advantage a screen on the back to check its framing or display the menu and the different options of the box. Its quality is not very good and does not allow to effectively judge the exposure or the sharpness. However, the framing is fairly fair.
The screen is not touch sensitive. To navigate, you have to use the selector with four positions at the rear, whose manufacturing quality is fairly average. Via the menu, you can activate the autofocus indicator, apply exposure compensation and choose the position of the QR code when printing as well as its color, configure Bluetooth, date and time, language menu, the sound associated with the keys, the standby time, etc.
If the camera offers very useful exposure compensation, the latter is not displayed at the time of shooting. This is how we took our first photos with an offset of +1 IL 1/3 without this being reported!
When shooting, the four-position selector activates the self-timer or flash and applies filters or frames directly to the image. However, exposure compensation is only accessible via the menu. Another negative point in our opinion, the camera does not keep your settings each time you turn it on / off, except for exposure compensation! This was an annoying point, especially because we find that the flash fires too easily. Each time we turned the camera back on, we had to first turn off the flash, which returned to the automatic position.
On the top of the device, next to the frankly not very reactive power selector, three shortcut keys allow you to apply your favorite frames. The personalization of these three keys is done via the mobile application.
Fujifilm had the good idea to design a case capable of standing straight horizontally as well as vertically. The mark then certainly did not consider it necessary to place a thread of screw to fix it to a tripod. On the front, the LiPlay has a mirror above the lens to facilitate selfie framing. The system works quite well.
Below is the flash while the shutter has been positioned to be accessible with the right hand, regardless of the direction of framing. The last button allows you to start a sound recording. You must activate it before taking a photo and deactivate it afterwards to avoid unnecessary battery use. A period of ten seconds surrounding the moment of triggering is kept and recorded to be associated with the image. For the system to work, it is imperative to have paired the device and the smartphone beforehand. Sound is associated with the image and transferred to the Fujifilm server at the time of printing. A .wav file is created on the microSD memory card and can be recovered independently of this manipulation.
Fujifilm, which did not want to design a device too complex to maintain an attractive price, did not equip the Fujifilm Instax LiPlay with video functions. They therefore remain the prerogative of SQ20.
Difficult to apply our usual tests to this device, however, we took out our stopwatch to take a few measurements.
It takes a long time to start up, but mainly because the power button is not very responsive. Because once communication is established with the device, the screen lights up quickly and the LiPlay is operational. We evaluated approximately 4 seconds, the time needed, what remains long, but still two times lower than the measurement made on the Canon Zoemini S .
The focus is necessarily in the center on a fairly small area. It is quite reactive, in strong light conditions such as when there is insufficient light. A light beam then helps the device to take the point. We measured a time of about 1 second for the focus to be made.
Then, it is not possible to automatically print the images. It is imperative to switch to reading mode and select the photo to print. It is a waste of time compared to 100% instant cameras, but it is also the guarantee of saving paper since you can check the success of your photo before printing it. And at the cost of an Instax print, this is a definite advantage for us. It is also at this stage that it is possible to choose whether one wishes to associate the sound or not with the image and superimpose a QR code on the image. It takes about ten seconds for the image to come out through the slit on the side of the camera. VS’. Unlike the Zoemini S, it is possible to take photos when the film cassette is empty.
The Fujifilm Instax LiPlay sensor generates images in 1920 x 2560 px. A definition that could be sufficient for a screen display and therefore sharing on social networks, for example. But the quality of digital images is clearly not very good. The noise is very present and the files undergo a strong accentuation associated with a significant compression: their quality then does not compete with that of a smartphone.
Although it is possible to recover the images from the card to copy them to a computer disc, it is therefore only associated with the printing module that consideration should be given to using the product. Besides, note an astonishing point: the frames applied to the shooting are not present on the Jpeg files of the card. In this part, however, we have chosen to rate the product mainly for its use in Instax mode, that is to say by judging the quality of the images once printed.
Provided you have taken care to deactivate the exposure compensation (!), The LiPlay offers a fairly fair exposure measurement. The flash – which is none other than an integrated LED – fires automatically when necessary, and although we have found that the LiPlay used it a little too often, its dosage has turned out to be quite good. However, its range remains very limited (1.5 m). Also be careful not to be too close to the device (less than 50 cm), otherwise it will have the curd effect! The white balance was also quite good.
- Ease of use.
- Portable camera / printer hybrid operation.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Display screen.
- Front mirror.
- Disengageable flash.
- Adding its possible.
- Remote triggering from a smartphone with LiveView sighting.
- Fast operation.
- Good exposure.
- Instax neutral print.
- Flash which returns to Auto mode each time it is turned on.
- No download of mobile images from the card.
- No addition of filter or effect after shooting.
- Highly contrasting prints that result in burnt areas.
Is the Fujifilm Instax LiPlay a perfect device? No. It also does not get 5 stars due to incomplete ergonomics and an image quality that could be improved. It is nevertheless one of the most interesting cases of the Instax range thanks to its capabilities of instant camera and mobile printer. In use we found it very fun and efficient. Adding sound is a gadget in our opinion, but it may appeal to certain users on occasion; and as its use is not obligatory, it is in our eyes neither a strong point nor a defect however.
We find the device more successful than the Zoemini S from Canon sold at substantially the same price and we prefer the Instax rendering to that of the Zink. If you’re just looking to make Instax prints, consider that the Instax Share SP-2 printer sells for almost half the price of the LiPlay.
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