instantphoto.eu                 Agfa Realipix Square S (Retro)


The Agfa Realipix Square S is a digital camera/printer combination for 7.6x7.6 cm (3x3") prints. There are more printers in different sizes of the Agfa Realipix series plus another Mini size camera/printer combination. They all use thermal sublimation technology, the photo passes 3 times under a film that "melts" a wax of each color on the special paper + a 4th time for finishing. The Canon CP series printers use this technology for quite some time and they have a very good reputation. The "inks" are apparently very stable, Canon is talking about 100 years of durability. The prints are kind of waterproof.

There is a scarce Agfa website for cameras or printers at agfaphoto.com. There are no precise specifications on the web yet. The official camera app comes from a Kodak app. There is a Kodak Instant Square Camera and Printer combo, with the same housing in white or yellow.
Obviously these are built by Prinics Co., Ltd., a firm with an annual turnover of more than 1 Billion US Dollar. Prinics Co., Ltd. is a leading manufacturer and exporter selling photo printer digital camera goods and services in different parts of the world since 2013.

You can use both apps, the Kodak and the Agfa app with the camera. The camera only comes with a multiligual instructions sheet, only 2 A7 size pages in mini print for each language. I have collected a bit of information at the end of the page.

 Sales package...

...with an extra cartridge.

The box.

What's in the box: camera, cable only for charging, short instructions sheet, strap. There is an 8 prints cartridge in the camera already
(+ the extra pack furnished).

The front. Tiny lens with selfie mirror and LCD flash

The back: small LCD screen and control buttons, easy to use. Around the O.K. button there are 4 buttons.

Left side. Strap lug at the top, USB charge socket, reset button.

Right side.
Image ejection slot.

On/Off button, shutter button and 2 tiny LCDs for camera on and bluetooth.

Cartrige trap at the bottom and cartridge.

The paper passes 4 times. Yellow first...

...magenta second...

...cyan third...

...and finishing layer last.

Printing a photo from the smartphone.

The Kodak app, recommended in the German part of the manual. The Agfa app looks the same except red colour instead of yellow. Camera paired with the app.

Ready for remote shooting via app and smartphone.

The captured photo is visible on the smartphone and can be post-treated before print.

Printing the picture.

The basic handling is very easy. The camera is relatively small and light. The plastic is o.k., rather on the cheap side, not high quality in any case, the trap on the bottom is flimsy to my taste. Switching the camera on is fine, you press the "On" button for 2 seconds and it lights up. The menu is easy, there is not much choice. With 4 buttons and the OK button in the middle you can access very few choices: white margin or not, some filters, among which a b&w filter which is not accessible via the app and flash or not. That's it. The screen is very small, not even 5 cm diameter. The captured photo remains on the screen, it can only be printed immediately or deleted. No way to adjust exposure, not before, not after taking the photo. Take it or leave it. No way to keep the photo otherwise than printing it. It's incredible
: in 2020 there is a new electronic camera with no memory at all!

The printed photos are o.k for exterior photos with infinity distance, with less distance there is some blur. Obviously there is no focussing, it's rather fixed focus. For a year 2020 camera this is poor performance. You'll get what you saw on the screen, but as the screen is tiny, you can't see much. There is a purple tint to the photos, already visible on the screen and no way to get rid of it. The printing speed is slow, heating the printer first and then passing the paper 4 times takes a good moment, 1m25 on mine. It's noisy, it squeeks much louder than my Canon CP.

The smartphone app works fine. If you couple the smartphone to the camera via bluetooth, you have access to more filters and some more features, like post-treatment of the photo. You can also print pictures taken with your smartphone, a nice idea. There is a remote function, you can command the camera via the app, take and print pictures. The absence of a tripod socket is bad, the camera isn't very stable when it stands on its bottom.

Some sample pictures scanned without post treatment at 400 dpi. The pictures look much bigger on the sceen, they are 7.6 x 7.6 cm (3x3") in reality. They look much sharper in your hand. So to be fair, first one about real size:

This is approx the size of the print, 76 x 76 mm.

First photo. View from my atelier over the roofs of Cologne with the cathedral in the background. A bit overexposed. Sharpness just o.k.

Cologne. Overexposed as well. Sharpness o.k.

Interior. 3-4m, soft and a slight blur. Exposure is fine.

40-50cm, quite some blur.

First try with my smartphone. Green horizontal stripe.

Second try via the app with camera via remote function. More green stripes.

Camera only again, no app, a stripe remains.

As the initial cartridge only contains 8 pictures, this was the end of the first cartridge. There is no indication of the number of photos left. If the cartridge is empty, the camera tries to print and then gives a error message.

First photo of the second cartridge. No stripes, but slightly vertically streaky sky.

Second try with the app. Green stripes again.

I stopped here. I sought for help on the internet, but there is nothing. No Agfa service site, no indication in the short manual. On Amazon there are quite some bad reviews from people who could only print 3 or 4 photos before the camera broke. During the last photo the camera asked for charging, although I had charged it and the instructions say that a charge is good for 20 photos. I was at my 10th. I decided to charge the camera overnight and then try a complete reset if necessary.

Next morning. No stripes. The streaky sky remains.

Smartphone photo via the app. No stripes. Streaky sky still visible.

Photo after camera reset. Streaks still there but less visible.

Interior, 2.5m and mirror. Slight blur, but o.k. for an ultra simple camera.

Interior, camera remote via app, 2 to 5m. Quite o.k., but the blue colour is too predominant and bleeds.

With b&w filter. Nice, but faint streaks in the sky.

First try of a night photo. The camera only has short speeds. If there is quite some light, it works. Real night photos are impossible, they are just black. I held the camera in my hand while printing. Obviously not a good idea, there are new stripes, but not only the green ones.

New try. The results are blurry, like those of an ultra cheap 2000's camera. Camera put down on flat surface before printing. No stripes.

That's the end of the second cartridge. I tried a third one.

Third cartridge. At further inspection, the streaks in the sky are caused by dark subjects in the photo which "bleed" into the sky.

Same picture taken with the camera inversed, top down. The sky is fine now, as the dark parts can't "bleed" into it. Not very handy, but works.

Interior on a sunny day, close to the window, 0.8-1m. Not sharp, colours are bleeding, too dark for my taste.

Veranda, ~4m, sunny day. Right side not sharp and too dark, the blue is too hefty again.

My Cologne house. Sunny day, ~10m, colours are bleeding again.

Cologne. Another photo in inverted position, so the colours are bleeding downwards which is less visible. Nevertheless they do, look at the base of the big lamppost, it streaks allover the street. Sharpness not overall good, besides this there are very strange bent lines towards the top of the building (this is not the scan, it's on the photo!)

Cologne, tax offices. Another photo taken with the camera top pointing towards the bottom. Overall sharpness acceptable. If you look closely at the buildings, there are bent lines again. And have a look at the borders of the roofs: you can see jaggies! Again it's in the pictures, not because of the scan. They say that the camera is 10MP, so there is a big problem between the camera and the printing. If you take a close look at the photos above, jaggies are visible on all photos, if not masked by blur.

If you take a photo via the remote in the app, print and then save the photo on your phone (yes, it's possible!),
you will get a 896 x 896 pixel file only. Probably only this size is sent to the print unit. That may explain why you can sometimes see jaggies on the scans, hardly visible on the photo in your hand. The files have no EXIF information. If you save the pictures on your phone first, you will have a 3840 x 2880 pixel file, automatically a 2160 x 2160 pixel section is chosen for print, indicated by a frame. You can move the frame if wanted or even zoom.

Cologne, St. Pantaleon. Slight back light (sun to the right side to be exact), the camera can't handle this at all. Taken in inverted position. And here they are again, the stripes. This was the moment when I decided to send the camera back.

Cologne, entrance to St. Pantaleon. Taken in normal position. The black shades of the roof of the gate bleed into the building in the background.

Last photo. Cologne, Neue Weyerstraße. Overall sharpness o.k., streaky sky again.

That's it. The results did in no way meet my expectations. I am a fan of the thermal sublimation technology, I love my Canon CP printer. The quality of the camera module is a shame. Fixed focus, no light control, no storage slot and no zoom are not up to date. The cheap electronic cameras that some shops gave away 20 years ago, were better and e
ven the cheapest 2020 smartphones have better cameras. Obviously they attached an ultra cheap camera module to an existing printer. The battery seems to be a bit weak, 20 photos capacity are over-optimistic. Seen the size and weight of my CP printer's battery that's not astonishing. The printer has in no way the quality of a Canon CP printer, the dark colours can "bleed" into the light ones and vice versa. I hope that there will be an updated version with a better camera and a better printer as well. The thermal sublimation technology would deserve it.

I returned the camera to the seller. I can not put it otherwise: this is a bad product. The camera produces blur, bent lines, often over- or under-exposure and there is no way to compensate. No camera memory is just unacceptable. The printer lets dark colours bleed, the blue is too predominant with a tint of purple. The camera/printer combination produces jaggies, so maybe the printer resolution is poor. There is no information about it. The printing is slow and unreliable. With the cheapest offer on Amazon a print is 80cts in Europe. The prints of my Canon CP are a third of this price and they are more than 2 times the size, so seen the technology this seems to be a rip-off. As I said above:
thermal sublimation technology would deserve a better camera and a better printer.

The camera specifications so far, partly taken from the Kodak model:

Image sensor: 10 MP
Effective pixels: 3840 x 2880, automatic 2160 x 2160 image section printed
No storage media, no memory
Focal length: 3.71mm (25.4mm in 35mm equivalent)
Aperture: F1.7
Focus range: fixed focus, ~ 1m to ∞
Shutter speed: 1/50 for interior photos
Sensitivity. ISO 125 for interior photos
Flash:  Auto or off, Auto is default

Printer Specifications

Photo capacity     10 prints per pack
Image size     76 mm x 76 mm
Coulors   256 gradation / 16,700,000 colors

Other Specifications

Smartphone app functions     smartphone image print, remote image capture, filter addition, post-processing
LCD monitor     1.77-in. TFT color LCD monitor
External interface     Micro USB Micro-B (for charging only)
Power supply     Lithium-ion battery 970mAh (built-in, cannot be removed)
Charging function     Built-in
Printing capacity     Approx. 20 prints (when battery is fully charged), less on my camera.
Dimensions     130 mm x 103 mm x 30 mm  (excluding protrusion, 7mm)
Weight     Approx. 382 g (including film pack)