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Polaroid cameras used to be extremely popular, and they are still going strong today. They create an instant hardcopy of your picture, so there is no need to worry about storage space or visiting a photo lab to get film developed or printed. If you are interested in this type of camera, keep reading as we present you with reviews of seven of the best models.
|Best Overall||Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera||
|Best Value||KODAK Printomatic Digital Instant Print Camera||
|Premium Choice||Polaroid Now+||
|Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera||
|Includes Film:||Yes, 16 exposures|
The Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera is our pick as the best overall Polaroid-style instant camera. Polaroid makes this camera, so it’s as close as you can get to the original, and it comes with a neck strap, so it’s easier to keep with you while you’re visiting your favorite locations. The USB charger makes sure it’s always ready to go, and the one-button operation means even a child can use it. The flash helps ensure high-quality images.
The Polaroid is comfortable to hold and feels well built. The only problem is that it’s easy to open the film compartment, so it may not be suitable for small children, as replacement film can be quite expensive.
|Photo Size:||2 x 3|
The KODAK Printomatic Digital Instant Print Camera is our pick as the best Polaroid camera for the money. It’s affordable, has an attractive design, and is small and easy to hold, so many children like it. It takes surprisingly good pictures that instantly come out the side, and the film isn’t too expensive. It feels extremely durable and lightweight, and the images that it produces are water resistant.
Unfortunately, the Kodak Printomatic only comes with a small amount of film to get you started, and you’ll use it up quite quickly. The pictures are also a little smaller than many others on this list. The camera also doesn’t come with a USB charger.
|Photo Size:||3 x 3|
The Polaroid Now+ is our premium choice Polaroid-style instant camera. It’s Bluetooth connected, so you can use it with your smartphone to access many additional features, like double exposure, light painting, aperture priority, tripod mode, and even shot timers and autofocus. These features and the several colored filters that you get make it one of the most versatile instant cameras that you can find on the market today.
The only problem is that it doesn’t include film, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to try it out as soon as it arrives.
|Photo Size:||1.8 x 2.4|
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera is popular because it looks attractive and has a professional appearance while staying small and lightweight. It has many features, like portrait and landscape mode and double exposure, so you can get the photos that you need. There’s also a kid’s mode that makes it easier for youngsters to get a good picture with features like auto-brightness detection.
The Instax Mini is a great choice for a non-Polaroid instant camera, but it doesn’t come with any film, so you will need to make an extra purchase, and it’s not that durable, with many people reporting an error message after only a few weeks of use.
|Photo Size:||1.8 x 1.8|
The Polaroid Go Everything Box is a great choice when you want to get everything that you need in one package. It comes with the camera, film, and charger, so you can get started immediately. It’s also packed with features like double exposure, a self-timer, and even a selfie mirror so you can see the picture before you take it. Like the other Polaroids on this list, it’s lightweight and has a durable construction.
The downside of the Polaroid Go is that its images are quite small, and many people complain that they are a little dark and not as colorful as those of some other models.
The Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro is a unique instant camera that works a little differently from the others on this list — it uses a tiny printer to print out the images that you take with the camera. Your purchase includes both the camera and printer, and you can take up to 60 photos before you need to purchase replacement ink cartridges. Take photos with or without borders, and use the Bluetooth connectivity to control the camera and printer using your smartphone.
The biggest downside of the Mini Shot 3 is that it’s not an instant camera like the others, so it might not be quite what you need. Many people also mentioned that they had a hard time taking a clear image.
|Photo Size:||3 x 4|
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera is a great choice for children because it comes in several bright colors. It’s also lightweight, and its small size is easy to hold and operate. It comes with a closeup lens attachment and a selfie mirror that can help you create content for social media.
The downside is that most images came out a little dark, despite the onboard guide helping you adjust brightness. It also doesn’t feel that durable and may even have something rattling inside. Many people also complain that not all the film with this camera works.
Very different from modern digital cameras, a Polaroid-style instant camera prints out the image immediately once you take it. Originally, the picture emerged from the bottom front of the camera, but many modern styles now print the image from the side. When these cameras first appeared, they offered photographers a huge advantage by enabling them to instantly see their pictures when they would otherwise need to have them developed. Today, these cameras are used for more nostalgic or artistic purposes, and they’re also quite popular with children.
When choosing your Polaroid-style camera, one thing that you will need to check is the size of the images that it produces. The original Polaroid had an image size a little larger than 3 x 3 inches, and many of the options on this list will provide you with something similar. However, some will produce an image only about half that size, so you must be careful when choosing.
Construction quality is especially important when choosing a Polaroid-style instant camera. There are more moving parts than most standard digital cameras because you need to change the film frequently. The mechanical mechanism will also need to push the photo from the camera after you take it. A camera that uses inferior components will break down much faster than a high-quality one.
Ease of Use
In the early days, Polaroid-style instant cameras were easy to use and only required you to look through the lens and push a button. However, many modern versions have Bluetooth, which enables you to use an app on your smartphone to control the device. It can be a great way to access many features that otherwise might not be available.
When looking for a Polaroid-style instant camera, it’s hard to beat the original, and that’s why we chose the Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera as the best overall. It has a solid build and comes with film, so you can start using the camera immediately. It also comes with a neck strap to make it easy to transport, and it takes high-quality pictures that you will be glad to show off. If you are looking for an inexpensive option that you can lend out or let the children use, we highly recommend the KODAK Printomatic Digital Instant Print Camera, which is our pick for the best value. It’s extremely attractive, lightweight, durable, and easy to use.
Featured Image Credit: Bru-nO, Pixabay
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Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who contributes to a wide range of blogs covering information on computer programming, pets, birding, tools, fitness, guitars, and optics. Outside of writing, Ed is often found working in the garden or performing DIY projects in the house. Ed is also a musician, spending his time composing music for independent films or helping people repair their guitars.
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