Instax SQ20: The Perfect Travel Gadget?

Looking for the perfect travel companion for yourself or as a present? Here are 10 reasons why the Fujifilm Instax SQ20 is the perfect gadget for travelers.

Disclaimer: This post features my honest opinions about the product, which I purchased myself. However, I may receive a small commission if you were to purchase a product using my affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. 

As a travel addict I am always looking for new ways to capture and display memories from my adventures. Instant photographs have been my favorite souvenirs for as long as I can remember, and I’ve dragged my vintage Polaroid cameras and my Instax Wide 210 with me across the globe. Together we’ve created countless incredible memories that I know I’ll treasure forever. But after decades of loyal service I recently figured it was time to for an upgrade.

After careful consideration my choice of instant camera fell on the hybrid Instax SQUARE SQ20. I’ve played around with it for a few weeks now and wanted to share my experience with other travel addicts out there. So, weather you’re considering getting a new travel companion for yourself or as a present, here are 10 reasons why I think the Instax SQ20 is the perfect gadget for travelers. And a couple of reasons why its not. 

Instax SQ20 Specifications

Available colors: Black or beige
Film: Instax Square film
Weight: 390 gr/13.8 oz.
Aperture: f/2.4
Focal length: 33.4 mm
Zoom: Digital zoom up to 4 X

More info: here

10 Reasons Why Instax SQ20 Is Perfect For Travellers

1. The Square Format Is Perfect For Travel Photos

The mini is undoubtedly the most popular format in the world of instant photography. It seems like “everyone” has got an Instax Mini or Neo Classic these days, right? As cute as the mini photos are, I personally like larger formats better for travel photographs as they capture more in each photo. The larger instant photographs you get using Instax’s wide or square film are both amazing, and I generally like their look better. However, this is all a matter of personal preference of course!

2. Its Size Is Convenient For Travel

As much as I loved my Instax Wide, it’s bulkiness, shape and weight made me leave it in my hotel room one too many times. The Instax SQ20 is much easier to bring along due to its compact shape and light weight (390gr/13.8oz). It also fits most of my purses, which is a huge plus. Dimensions: 119 mm x 50 mm x 127 mm / 4.7 in. x 2 in. x 5 in. (W x D x H).

3. Every Shot Is The Perfect Shot

Say goodbye to wasted film on your adventures. With the Fujifilm Instax SQ20 you can shoot as many photos as you need and only print the ones you really like. So smart! I especially love this feature for group photos, as its always a struggle to get a picture everyone is happy with. The SQ20 makes the process so much easier, and once you get a great photo you can even reprint it so that everyone in your travel squad gets a copy.

How: The camera has a built-in memory card. It has room for approximately 50 images and 30 seconds of video, and you can also insert a MicroSD for extra space.

Why this feature is great: I know, I know, a big part of the Instant photography fun is to wait and see how your photos turn out.. But after a lifetime of instant photography I can’t even begin to tell you how much film I’ve wasted over the years. Not great for my wallet, nor the environment. Besides, with this feature the photos you take get stored on the memory card so you can cherish them for ever.

4. The Battery Is Easily Charged On The Move

The Instax SQ20 camera comes with a built-in Li-ion battery that lasts a very long time. The camera is easily charged using a Micro USB cable (included), which is great news for travelers as you can charge it with the wall plug you’re already bringing for your phone. You can also charge it with your powerbank when you’re on the move.

5. It Lets You Develop Old Travel Memories Too

The Instax SQ20 functions as a printer in addition to being a camera. Just transfer your favorite travel photos (jpeg files) to a MicroSD memory card, plug it into the Instax SQ20 camera and print! This feature is extra great for travellers as you get to develop travel memories from older trips as well as current adventures. Perfect for when you go on a spontaneous adventure, if you forget to bring your Instax, or for when you engage in fun activities the Instax won’t handle too well (i.e. underwater shots, heavy rain, etc).

What you’ll need: What equipment you’ll need to print old photos depends on what equipment you already have/will be using for transferring photos:

  • Phone with MicroSD slot: Plug a MicroSD card into your phone, store the photos you want to print on the card, plug it into the Instax SQ20 & print.
  • Phone without MicroSD slot: Get an SD card reader adapter for your phone that supports two-way transfers, like this one for newer iPhone models (only works with iOS 13 & up). Use it to connect your MicroSD card to your phone, transfer the photos you’d like to print to the card, plug it into the Instax SQ20 & print.
  • Computer: If your computer has a built-in SD memory card reader like my MacBook does you only need a MicroSD memory card and a SD adapter (which comes with most MicroSD cards). If your computer does not come with a built-in reader you’ll need an external memory card reader like this one to transfer photos.

6. It Allows You To Be More Present In The Moment

Might just be me, but I feel like the Instax SQ20 allows me to be more present in the moment while traveling. I can just enjoy taking the photos I’d take with my camera or phone anyways, and have fun with the process of choosing and printing on my Instax later. It sounds contradictory, but in my experience, adding another camera into the travel equation may sometimes make me and my travel squad lose focus of the travel experience itself. Not that you have to do it like that (like you will if you purchase an Instax printer instead), but at least you’ll have the option of choosing. Which I like.

7. Its Fun Features Are Perfect For Travel

The Instax SQ20 camera includes a ton of fun features that are perfect for travel addicts. My favorite feature is the video recording option. Want one of those cute photos of yourself jumping in front of the eiffel tower? Record a video of your jump and print the one frame that you love the most. Other fun features include double exposure, time shift collage, basic editing and a few filters. You can even create a collage of your fave photos from a destination in one single photo. Read more about features here.

8. It Creates The Perfect Souvenirs

Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, instant photographs are my favorite souvenirs. The Instax SQ20 is my favorite instant camera so far, mainly because I can use it to take photos while traveling and print more once I get home. The Instax SQ20 is great for making a travel album or to keep a travel journal on the go. Or how about sending your loved ones a postcard or letter with your photo attached from across the globe?

9. It Creates Beautiful Decor

The Instax SQ20 makes it easy for me to display my favorite travel memories in my home. Hang them directly on the wall, on a clip board, frame them, or put them in a memory box with ticket stubs? The opportunities are endless. You can even print some travel quotes to decorate with, too!

10. It Creates The Best Personalized Gifts

I truly enjoy giving personal gifts to the people I love. Instant cameras and printers are generally a great help in that area, and so far the Instax SQ20 is my favorite one. I can’t wait to print the best (or worst) travel photos of my squad and give them to my travel companions for their upcoming birthdays. Place the instants in a frame or in a memory box, and I can guarantee they’ll be happy. Want that extra travel touch? Add one to the gift wrapping, too.

My Conclusion

Well, what can I say.. The Fujifilm Instax SQ20 is almost the perfect gadget for travelers. Using the SQ20 as a printer was not as easy as I had hoped it would be. And even though its not a dealbreaker for me, I can’t stop myself from imagining how much easier it would be if it came with bluetooth like some of the other Instax products do.

Still, the Instax SQ20 was the right choice for me as its the only Instax that functions as a camera and printer that gets me square prints, which is exactly what I wanted. I also love the cameras look, design, size and fun features so much, and I can’t wait to travel more with it in the future.

If Fujifilm were to add bluetooth on their next Instax Square hybrid camera, it would be absolute perfection in my opinion. Or even better: add bluetooth to a Instax Wide hybrid camera – it would be a dream come true! If the lack of bluetooth is a dealbreaker for you, I’ve got some great alternatives for you below.

Great Alternatives

Fujifilm offers a ton of great alternatives for the Instax SQ20.

Instax Share SP-3: If you’re like me and love the square format, but don’t need the camera option, the Instax Share SP-3 printer might be the best fit for you. Print directly from your phone or tablet using bluetooth.

Instax Share SP-2 or Mini Link: If you like the mini format and wouldn’t mind giving up the camera option, you should consider getting a mini format printer instead. With the Instax Share SP-2 or the newer Instax Mini Link you can print your photos using an app on your phone.

Instax LiPlay: If you like the mini format and would prefer having both the printer and camera options, you should consider getting an Instax LiPlay. It’s a camera and printer like the SQ20, but since its got bluetooth its a lot easier to print old travel photos with it. All you need is an app on your phone, no memory card switching necessary. If I liked the mini format more I would get this one instead!

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