Leader in the instant photo market thanks to its ranges of analog and digital cameras, Fujifilm is also extending its hold over small portable printers. Here is the Instax Link Wide, a smartphone printer in panoramic format close to the traditional photo, but with instant sauce.
For nearly 10 years, and despite the constant improvements in the cameras of our smartphones, instant photos have been picking up steam. The sector, which had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s before gradually disappearing with the rise of digital photography, owes a lot to an actor, Fujifilm.
The Japanese brand felt the tide change and the need to have a physical photo in hand, the best marker of the moment and the memory of a moment. At the dawn of the 2010s, Fujifilm entered a somewhat abandoned segment since the withdrawal of Polaroid by launching its Instax range. The mini 8 is the first to show its nose in 2012, a desired product «Kawai» and aimed at a more feminine target, but only the Japanese and gradually Asian market are benefiting from it.
Over time, Fujifilm evolves its range and its audience, gradually attacking the rest of the world with its concept of an analog instant camera with its credit card size photos, then gradually square and finally Wide, that is to say – say panoramic. We are finally getting closer to a more classic photo format – but not 10 × 15 so far – with the white frame, the ultimate marker of the instant photo.
Instax, a leader who wants to manage your photos and impressions
Not content with having sold more than 10 million cameras in 2018, and a few more million since, Fuji outrageously dominates the market with nearly 80% of camera sales. And this, despite the comeback of Polaroid which multiplies the analog and digital references with the connection to the smartphone, of Canon which is trying to make a place for itself in the mini printer sector, another area where Instax is a reference. since 2014 and the launch of Instax Share. Since then, as in other sectors, the firm continues to decline the concepts and now has more than twenty references in the three key sectors (analog and digital cameras and small format printers).
After the Instax mini Link which made it possible to print photos taken from your smartphone on a credit card format (86 x 54 mm), here is the Instax Link Wide. As its name refers to, it is about printing, without always requiring instant devices, photos taken on your smartphone in larger size (86 x 108 mm).
You can connect it to any bluetooth device then sending a jpeg format to the printer to come to life. “It is a product created at the request of users“, We are told at Fujifilm. “They wanted photos with a format closer to the classic photo, with this Wide format which is very popular. We give them something to personalize their photos, edit them and even add information.. »
Because the Link Wide is not a simple printer to which you will connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to send your photos to be printed via the dedicated Instax application. You can also retouch your shots using the two available modes: Instax Natural (vintage film side) or Instax Rich (modification of contrast, colors, details, etc.). Each photo also benefits from around thirty pre-designed and customizable templates (greeting card, birthday, wedding, etc.), hundreds of stickers and emoji to add, the possibility of creating a collage of photos or of adding your logo in picture.
You can also add text to your photo, but also a QR Code that links to a website, a card, a product, or even embeds an audio recording or a written message to discover. The QR Code can be positioned absolutely anywhere on the photo. The personalization is based on that of the Instax mini Link with a large number of proposals to brighten up your impressions, memories of your evenings and other important moments.
The printer is larger than the previous one, due to the print format. But it can easily slip into a bag. Although made of plastic, its finish is quite elegant. In addition, it is accompanied by a base to be able to pose it as decoration. We just regret that in 2021, it relies on a micro-USB socket to recharge.
Instax Link Wide price and availability
The Instax Link Wide will be available on October 22 in mocha gray or ash white for 149.99 euros at the Fujifilm site and from partner resellers. The printer works with Wide photo paper sold at a price of around 10 to 11 euros for a pack of 10 photos.