Appareil photo instantané Instax Wide 300 de Fujifilm

Review: Instax Wide 300 (Fujifilm)



The Instax Wide 300 was released a few years ago, but it continues to be the leading model in the Wide format within Fujifilm’s Instax range of films and instant cameras.
Until now, I had never had the camera in my hands. The time has come to redeem myself and present the largest Instax model (at least in size) offered by Fujifilm.

Launched in 2014, the Instax Wide 300 is considered as an ancestor among instant devices, which have followed one another at a frenetic pace in recent years. However, it is still on top of the wave and remains the champion in its category. And for a good reason: it knows very few competitors in the Wide format segment, which is by no means the most popular film produced by Fujifilm.
Here’s what you need to know about this unique model.

Design

In this day and age where miniaturization and high technology are the norm, the Instax Wide looks a little clumsy, with its enormous dimensions (167.8mm x 94.7mm x 120.9mm), making it the largest model in Fujifilm’s Instax range. Well, it’s not really its fault. The size of instant cameras is always dictated by the size of the paper they use.
The Wide format being the largest in the Instax range, the film cartridges used for this type of film are large and require bulky devices.
In a photo bag, along with one or two film cartridges, the Instax Wide 300 ends up taking a large part of the available space, so you may have a hard time taking another camera with you.
To help you hold onto the camera, Fujifilm added a handle, which you can grasp with your right hand, as you would with a reflex. Similarly, the trigger is shaped like a circular button and sits on this handle, falling right under the index finger.
Above the lens on the front, there is the rectangular flash bar on the left and the model name on the right.

If you want to enjoy the Instax Wide format, this model is the perfect choice.

If you want to enjoy the Instax Wide format, this model is the perfect choice.

Most of the space on the back of the camera is taken up by the film cartridge loading cover. Above it, there are a few key elements to shoot your pictures: the frame counter, a small LCD screen, and buttons giving you access to a few controls.
The viewfinder is located on a protrusion on the far left when you hold the camera in your hand.
The photos are ejected from the top of the camera through a large slit.
A screw thread underneath the camera allows it to be mounted on a tripod to improve its stability.
The battery compartment cover is located on one side.
The device is available in only one version with a grey and black plastic body. Although it may look like other models in the Instax range, particularly the 90 Neo Classic, its design will not be rewarded in a beauty contest. It suffers a little from being compared to the more recent models (Instax Mini 9 and Instax Mini 70), whose appearance is more modern and well-designed.

No doubt about it: the Wide format is great. If you hesitate between the Wide and Mini formats, please take a look at our comparison section.

No doubt about it: the Wide format is great. If you hesitate between the Wide and Mini formats, please take a look at our comparison section.

How it works

The Instax Wide 300 is very simple to use, as it is a rather basic instant camera with only a few subtleties.
However, it requires 4 AA batteries of 1.5V to operate, no less. The camera is powered on by turning the on/off switch, located at the base of the shutter release on the front panel. The lens then extends and takes its default position, suitable for shots over a distance ranging from 0.9 meters to 3 meters. For subjects at a distance of more than three meters (landscapes, far-off groups of people… remember to turn the ring around the lens to the second position (3 meters to infinity). This will give your pictures greater sharpness.

The Instax Wide 300 does not feature a Macro mode. However, the kit includes a lens adapted to close-ups that even allows you to make selfies. This attachment goes over the main lens. When using it, select the close-up mode: 90 cm – 3 meters.
If you take a picture of yourself, simply frame it with the mirror on the accessory designed for this purpose.
This plastic close-up lens has a rod with a small ring on the end. When this accessory is attached to the lens, the ring rests in front of the viewfinder. Whenever you want to take close-up shots or tight portraits, frame your subject using this ring as a reference point in the center of your image. This will allow you to offset your subject by placing it slightly lower and to the right in the viewfinder.
Neither intuitive nor elegant, yet pretty effective.

The Instax Wide 300 will not confuse you with a plethora of features. The few available options are gathered on the back of the camera.

The Instax Wide 300 will not confuse you with a plethora of features. The few available options are gathered on the back of the camera.

The Instax Wide 300 does not have a double exposure, a B exposure or a self-timer that would allow a group photo to be taken with everyone. As a result, the screw thread under the camera to mount it on a tripod is of little interest…..
The functions are narrowed down to the basics and allow you to get rid of the unnecessary to concentrate on your subject.

Instax Wide films

As soon as you press the shutter release button, the picture is ejected and begins to develop in broad daylight. There is no need to cover or shelter it; you can watch the picture reveal itself in your hands.
The surface is white at first. Then the darkest areas appear and intensify in a few minutes, while the colors emerge and become more vibrant. As with most instant cameras, the viewfinder is not very accurate and it is difficult to frame your shots precisely.
Instax Wide films are similar to their Instax Mini cousins in every way, except for their dimensions (5.4 x 8.6 cm for the Mini format; 8.6 x 10.8 cm for the Wide format).
Their chemical composition is identical and they have the same properties (development time, color rendering).

Left: without flash, right: with flash. It was probably unnecessary here.

Left: without flash, right: with flash. It was probably unnecessary here.

One thing to remember: while Instax mini film is available in an impressive number of versions, with colored edges, with patterns or characters from animated films, video games or other media, the same cannot be said for Instax Wide films.
The choice is considerably less extensive on this side, and is limited to classic color films with white edges, or black and white films only. The Instax Wide monochrome film was released well after the Mini version.

Verdict

Those who are tempted by the instant photography but who feel that the Mini or Square formats are too small should turn to the Instax Wide 300 for its Wide format, the largest of the three Instax films distributed by Fujifilm today.
This model has very few direct competitors. It replaced an earlier model at Fujifilm and its market position is only contested by the Lomo Instant Wide, a model created by Lomography.
A somewhat cumbersome camera with relatively few shooting options, the Instax Wide 300 is nevertheless perfectly functional. A must in the landscape of today’s instant cameras.

The Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic and the Instax Wide 300 side by side. The Wide is clearly an older brother in the Instax family.

The Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic and the Instax Wide 300 side by side. The Wide is clearly an older brother in the Instax family.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Instax Wide 300

We like

  • Images are twice as large as Mini images
  • Easy to use

We like less

  • Bulky device
  • The design hasn’t aged very well