Fujifilm’s new Instax Pal is a $200 palm-sized digital camera bundled with a smartphone printer

The Instax Pal is basically a palm-sized, round digital camera that doesn’t print any photos and lacks a built-in viewfinder. Instead, it outputs images using the companion app, and you can then print these photos via the included Instax Mini Link 2 smartphone printer. The price also includes a 10-pack of Instax Mini film, which is a nice extra that Fujifilm’s instant cameras don’t often come with.

I won’t lie: When I heard about the Instax Pal my first thought was: “But… Why, After all, Fujifilm already sells the Instax Mini Evo instant camera, which can also output images to an app And Prints photos at about the same price. It comes with a real viewfinder along with other controls that make it feel like a real camera. The Instax Mini Evo doesn’t even try to guilt me ​​into using it by making weird, sad noises when it’s idle.

My best guess is that Fujifilm is trying to replicate the success of its Instax Mini Evo instant camera by making an easier-to-use, attractive version for kids. That’s why everything about the camera is designed to scream “fun.” For example, you can create your own custom shutter sounds, add filters, text, and in-app stickers, and apparently even earn rewards (although I’m still figuring out how). . And, of course, its small size and detachable ring will make it easy for little hands to hold.

And, like the Instax Mini Evo, kids get to choose which photos they want to print. This is a feature that parents will especially like, as it can help kids avoid wasting expensive film on bad shots.

But is it all worth $199.95? I’m still testing the camera and its app – which is still a work in progress – so I can’t give a definitive opinion yet. But so far, I’m not sure that’s the case. An instant film camera that doesn’t print any photos and lacks a built-in viewfinder? It doesn’t feel like the Instax Pal is a camera and is also a beautiful accessory for a smartphone printer.

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