Fujifilm Instax Wide 400: Analog Simplicity Meets Large Prints

The Fujifilm Instax Wide 400 is an exciting new release, offering big prints for fans of instant photography. This camera fills a gap left open for a decade since the last wide-format model.

Coming to you from Gordon Laing, this insightful video covers the Instax Wide 400, a noteworthy addition to Fujifilm's lineup. The camera, now available for $150, stands out for its analog simplicity and larger print size, producing images that are over twice the width of the Instax Mini format. 

Laing emphasizes the practical design changes in the Wide 400. Unlike its predecessor, the optical viewfinder has been sensibly relocated to the opposite side of the camera for better handling. However, it’s only available in a single color, sage green, which might not appeal to everyone. Despite this, the larger format and the chunky design, which accommodates bigger cartridges, could be a draw for those looking to make a statement with their photography.

A significant point discussed is the camera's full automation, which simplifies usage but at the cost of manual controls. The Wide 400 lacks the exposure and flash control found in earlier models, meaning you have less creative control over your shots. This might be seen as a drawback for those who enjoy fine-tuning their photography settings. However, the fully automatic flash, which only activates in dim conditions, ensures you won’t waste battery life or film on unnecessary flashes.

Laing also points out the new self-timer feature, which is an upgrade from the previous model. This is particularly useful for group shots or self-portraits, adding convenience. Additionally, the camera includes a close-up accessory for selfies or close shots, although it still relies on the somewhat dated design of clipping on an external accessory rather than an integrated solution.

One area where the Instax Wide 400 might disappoint is the lack of a rechargeable battery pack. It runs on four AA batteries, which Fujifilm claims should last for about 10 packs of film. While this might be convenient for some, others might prefer the reliability and sustainability of a rechargeable option. The camera’s simplicity extends to the back, where there’s little more than the viewfinder and film counter windows, stripping away the small LCD display of its predecessor.

The lens design remains largely unchanged, with a twisting mechanism to power the camera and switch between two focusing ranges. This mechanical operation might appeal to those who enjoy a more hands-on approach, but the absence of digital enhancements could be a missed opportunity for those looking for modern conveniences in their analog devices. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Laing.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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