Canon iNSPiC [S] Review: Better Picture Quality Than a Polaroid or Instax at a Cheaper Price
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
There really is nothing like holding a printed photo in your hands, compared to just looking at it on your phone or a computer screen. It’s a tactile experience, and flipping through physical photo albums always brings back nice memories. With Canon’s new iNSPiC [S] 8MP camera-printer duo, you’ll be able to snap photos and print them immediately, just like polaroid cameras.
While Polaroids are nice, there’s something about that small, blurry image that doesn’t work for me. Not to mention most of my friends complain about having to find nice adhesive tape to stick them into scrapbooks for events and such. Canon’s use of ZINK photo paper with a sticker backing solves that and is insanely convenient.
The camera itself is thin and sleek with only the front lens ring protruding slightly, thanks to the inclusion of fill lights and a reflective dome for easy selfie-taking. It’s small enough to be slipped into a pocket, which is great, and I particularly liked the textured back since that provides extra friction on an already small and slippery gadget.
There are so many scenarios in which this camera can shine, with one being weddings or events. Canon has included a button to re-print the same image, so if you snap a shot of you and a friend, you can print the exact photo twice or more so that both of you gets an identical copy to keep.
This model has Bluetooth 4.0 built-in so users can choose to take photos with their phone first then send it via the Canon Mini Print app to be printed out, allowing for edits to be made to the photo, similar to a Neoprint (remember those?).
Pictured: Photo without fill light at top, photo with fill light at bottom
But it’s all down to the quality of the images, isn’t it? I took some (bad) photos while I was out, without realising that it was backlit, but that provided the perfect opportunity to test the fill lights. I was quite surprised by the power of the LED light ring; if you look closely, there’s actually quite a bit more detail in the photo where the light ring was turned on, but my friend was a complete black patch when it wasn’t.
For a more normal scenario with proper lighting, I found that the photo came out quite nicely, aside from a slight pink tint on the whites and grays. But for a casual, fun photo printer, the sharpness is impressive.
I tested out printing an image from my phone as well. While the photo did come out quite subdued in terms of saturation, the limitations of the ZINK paper have to be taken into consideration. I was quite surprised by the level of detail that the print retained, with the sakura blossoms on the trees still appearing clearly. The faded appearance is consistent with how Polaroid or Instax films appear, but the detail and sharpness is definitely better with Canon’s printer.
The Canon ZINK paper isn’t too expensive either with a pack of 20 sheets costing S$15, meaning each print costs about S$0.75.
The camera itself goes for S$219 and comes with a limited edition Craftholic pouch, lanyard and plushie keychain that’s worth S$59.
For a more affordable option, there’s the iNSPiC [C] (S$159) which doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity built-in, no LED light ring and there’s only a small reflective mirror similar to the ones present on Instax cameras as opposed to the big reflective dome.
The iNSPiC [S] and iNSPiC [C] will be available at all Canon authorised dealers from 17 June 2019 onwards.