If you had to, would you give a child a phone or a camera? I’d say a camera – though it is not quite an affordable option. Thankfully, there are cameras design with kids and fun in mind that is affordable too. The myFirst Insta Wi Camera with Inkless Printer is one such camera which, if I can be honest, appeals to adults as much as kids.
So, yes, I have been using it for a few days now and you know what? The fact that you can instant print always gets me, especially when it goes full-on lo-fi. I mean, there’s something strangely alluring about lo-fi photography and prints. No? It’s just me who thinks that way?
Anyhoo, as far as the myFirst Insta Wi goes, it is like a Polaroid, but with the boon of keeping the digital copies of whatever you have captured. Granted, the quality of the images is less than desirable (translation: really, really not great). Another major difference is, it prints in monochrome.
That said, to have good prints, it helps that the photos have good contrast (which the camera struggles to do). Now, a camera that prints is nothing new or groundbreaking; it has been done many times before.
In fact, the company’s first myFirst Insta already had that covered. With this second iteration, OAXIS – the company behind a string of awesome e-ink gadgets – brought to the table three new features: wireless connectivity, the ability to custom and print labels, and record video at 1080p with audio.
With these new features, the fun factor of this child’s camera gets elevated by several levels. It is no doubt a major improvement over its predecessor… well, by features, obviously and not necessarily by quality of imaging.
With wireless connectivity, the myFirst Insta Wi is now officially a portable photo printer. Well, portable black-and-white photo printer to be precise. Notwithstanding the lack of colors, I had a ton of fun using it.
On the technical aspect, it has nothing to shout about. Then again, with a retail price of US$129, you kind of forgive the image quality. But damn, this thing is fun. And the fact that it can now print labels made the myFirst Insta Wi even more useful.
Aesthetically, it appeals to, not just kids but adults too. It has a kid-friendly design, though I can’t say it is really good for really small kids as it is still fairly chunky for really tiny hands.
Anyways, on the design aspect, it is fun-looking and very importantly, safe for kids to handle. It is super lightweight too and it comes with a neck strap for carrying it around. Oh, did we mention that it has a selfie camera like the first myFirst Insta? Yup. It sure does.
In addition, this second-gen shooter for kids also comes with a dock for resting the camera when not in use or for when it is doing printing jobs. Speaking of printing. Do not expect the world either, but as far as thermal printers go, it is actually pretty decent, IMHO.
This is thanks in part to the fact that you can choose the density of the print. The examples you saw here were all printed in the highest density possible. Obviously, photos taken by your phone will turn out much better in prints.
So, is the myFirst Insta Wi a good camera? Well, to be perfectly honest, no. But is it a fun camera? Well, hell yes. And it is not super useful too. The fact that it can now serve as a printer makes it a super fun gadget for kids and grown-ups alike.
But do keep in mind that this is a children’s gadget and it is never meant to be a full-on camera for serious imaging. As far fun goes, OAXIS may have hit the nail on the head. It is fun. OK. I know. I said a gazillion times, but it is the truth. This is one super fun gadget.
Here are some sample images in low-light conditions:
All images by Mikeshouts.