Today I received a copy of the Fuji Instax SP2 printer, I'm a big fan of the SP1 printer and use it at every wedding I shoot at.
The SP1 has always been a good little thing, the quality has never been great, but pick the right picture with the right colours and you can get prints that you can happily hand out at a party or wedding.
I've had to order this from a foreign land as the suppliers in the UK are quoting mid to late September for delivery from Fuji and then on into shops - so this is not a UK purchased printer, I doubt anything will change when it does get released over here, but thought I'd let you know.
The printer comes boxed with a USB cable and a rechargeable battery - now, the good thing from my point of view is the battery is the same that is in some other fully fledged Instax cameras and they come with a proper battery charger! However, if you dont have the battery charger you can recharge the battery via the USB.
I think on one hand its great to have a rechargeable option as the SP1 used naff random batteries that I always struggled to find, but on the other hand - its another battery to have to remember to charge, and If you run low on power, you can't just nip to the local shop and buy a new one!
So what about the size of the thing?
Yes its slightly taller, but not as fat. It does fell quite robust and solid - no complaints from me.
Obviously this is where the SP2 has to be better than the SP1 otherwise what's the point? The SP1 as mentioned above was IMHO a picture sensitive printer, pick the wrong picture and it will look naff. At the moment you cannot connect an XPRO2 to the SP2, so I used as a test a photo taken a few weeks ago. I first printed to the SP1 and then changed my phone to then print to the SP2.
The image on the left is the SP1 and the image on the right is the SP2; I have done nothing to the pictures from the phone, the app asked me which photo to print and that was it. Both images are the same and both have been left 15 minutes to cure.
The image on the left is noticeably softer, not as colourful and (as I have found out before) there is a bluish tinge to the photo.
The SP2 image on the right is much, much better. You might not be able to pick it out from the image above, but when holding the print you can make out so much more detail in the grass and the fur of the cow in the shot. There is more depth to the shadows and the colour is far better.
I did also print a black and white image, of a football in some grass. The black and white image I'm not able to show as I couldn't (in the time I have) get a shot without reflections. However, the black and white image was more impressive in quality comparing the SP2 and the SP1 than the image above - I was really impressed with the quality of the black and white print from the SP2.
Honestly, for me its a great buy even though I have the SP1 and yes it can and will be seen as a gimmick. If you are looking at getting an Instax printer - the SP2 is a no brainer, If you already have the SP1 and you use it occasionally, then the SP1 is fine. But if you use the SP1 a lot, then get it sold and get the new SP2 because from my early testing the image quality is much better.
I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow and as always I will give a few images to the happy couple, I'm eager to see how different types of images print on the SP2. I will add to this post in a week or so's time after I have use the camera in the field.