Leica Sofort is priced at Rs 25,000.
In comparison, Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is priced at Rs 10,900.
The pricing is likely to make or break one's buying decisions.
For most of us, thinking of instant cameras takes us back to our childhood days. But fast forward to today, and despite all the innovations in the camera space, these instant cameras are back in vogue. Fujifilm started out with its Instax range of cameras, and among the latest entrants is Leica. The German company, known for its lenses and serious cameras, brought the Sofort instant camera to India. But with a price tag that is nearly two times the similar Fujifilm Instax, is it worth the buy?
Let’s start with the design, and the Leica Sofort at least looks the part. The nostalgia-inducing boxy design feels familiar, and there are some really eye-catching colors (mint, orange, white) to choose from.
Even the red dot Leica logo really catches the eye. Many will no doubt find similarities in design with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Having used a few instant cameras, the Sofort was quite easy to operate right out-of-the-box. These are after all meant to be used as a point-and-shoot without any confusing manual control. But that isn’t to say, the Sofort doesn’t offer a bunch of shooting modes optimized for different settings.
Users can choose from different settings including macro, bulb, automatic, party and people, sport and action, and double exposure. With the camera aimed at the current generation, there is a selfie mirror on the front, and a selfie timer as well.
The camera’s photo-shooting capabilities are on par with other Instax cameras, and there is no visible upgrade in terms of photo clarity. Don’t expect DSLR-level quality, and you will not be disappointed. As is the case with most instant cameras, a lack of LCD display means it will take you a few tries to nail a photo. At other times, you will have to be content with over or underexposed shots. That said, the camera is capable of capturing some really good macro shots with plenty of details for an instant camera.
The Sofort uses credit card sized prints available from Leica. A box of 10 films is available for Rs 900 online. But Fujifilm’s Instax Mini films work equally well without any noticeable difference in quality. So you can safely opt for the Instax films, which cost Rs 950 for a box of 20.
Should you buy?
Now to what will make or break one’s buying decisions – price. Leica has got everything right with the Sofort, but that still doesn’t justify the Rs 25,000 price tag. It is also the one thing stopping me from outright recommending someone to buy the camera.
The closest competitor remains the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90, and that is available via e-commerce sites for around Rs 10,900. Alternatively, if you want to try out an instant camera for the first time without spending a bomb, the Instax Mini 8 is available for around Rs 3,700 online.