With all the convenience of digital and mobile technology which supports easy capture, editing, and sharing of high-quality images, who would want a Polaroid camera? You’d be surprised that many people still do.
In spite of the advanced capabilities of digital cameras that overshadowed the need for instant cameras (also known as Polaroid cameras), it could not be denied that this product satisfies your nostalgia for that vintage feel. This camera is built with an internal development mechanism and film that creates the picture within seconds after the image has been captured.
Of course, this may not seem to be a practical option, especially since you would have to replenish your supply of films to keep on going. This camera, however, is not about practicality. It is more about fun and speed. It makes traveling fun. It captures important and special moments and prints or develops them in an instant. Aside from its appeal to nostalgia, this camera satisfies our desire for that instant photo, seconds after the shot.
You should, however, make sure that the camera that you will purchase will not only give you instant gratification, but also a more lasting satisfaction. That said, join us as we review the 5 of the best Polaroid cameras on the market with our camera expert, Evangeline Summers! Enjoy some valuable insights from her and some fast facts about each camera we listed. To get a better look at them, simply click on their Amazon buttons below and enjoy their best deals!
Best Polaroid Cameras Comparison & Rating
1. Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Instant Film Camera
5.9 x 3.8 x 4.37 inches
107 mm x 88 mm
This is a camera that is most suitable if you want that vintage feel that would still give you the opportunities to experiment and seize greater control in the images that you will capture. By accessing the Polaroid originals via Bluetooth, you could easily gain better control in your shots by fiddling with double exposure, light painting, and more.
“These features for better control are good enough reasons to choose OneStep+, compared to other Polaroid Models, especially for those who are tired of letting their cameras make most of the decisions in their shots,” Summers said.
Indeed, compared to Polaroid Now, and OneStep2, this product has the edge of Bluetooth connectivity, light painting, manual mode, noise trigger, and remote trigger. OneStep2 also missed this products’ flexibility of having portrait and landscape lenses. This is a reliable Polaroid camera that merges the vintage and the digital in fun ways.
2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera
8.3 x 6.5 x 5.9 inches
5.4 cm x 8.6 cm
If you want an instant camera that will give you bright pictures without having to fiddle with the settings, Instax Mini 11 will give the best value for your money. It is designed to take care of many of the calculations and adjustments for you, so you could just focus on your subject.
“Instax cameras are indeed among the popular and best-selling cameras now. But what does this newer model have that you won’t get with Instax Mini 9? While these two share many designs in terms of lens and instant films, Mini 11 has the capability to deliver better quality images in easier ways because of its replacement of Mini 9’s manual exposure setting with an automatic exposure system,” Summers stated.
Further, Mini 11 also has an electronic shutter that would adjust automatically for better exposure. These developments have made this model a better choice if you want better quality images without having to fiddle with the settings.
3. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Instant Film Camera
6.1 x 6.1 x 4.1 inches
86 X 72 mm
Instax Square is an instant camera that makes capturing your best moments easier. You could just point, shoot and wait for your picture in squares.
“What is nice about this camera is that it has built-in modes that are quite handy. Hence for as long as you are using the right mode for your shot, your pictures could come out well,” Summers said.
You would also appreciate how this camera combines ease with some freedom for control. You’d love the automatic exposure control of the camera which adjusts its shutter speed based on the brightness of the surroundings to create bright and clear shots. At the same time, it also allows you to fiddle with mode selections such as distance focusing and brightness adjustment. These features allow you to come up with satisfying pictures to treasure.
4. Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera
4.4 x 3.7 x 5.9 inches
107 mm x 88 mm
If you are after the polaroid camera that will satisfy that nostalgic feel, this analogue Polaroid camera is a great option to consider.
“Polaroid Now I-Type takes the classic style and ease of use of the original Polaroid OneStep and adds some elements to allow more creativity and fun through features such as double exposure and more colors of the Panasonic spectrum,” Summers stated.
Aside from the vintage style, another appeal of this camera is its great simplicity. You just point, shot, and wait for your memories to be preserved in a 4.2” x 3.5” format. This is a camera that won’t give you a hard time having fun.
While Polaroid OneStep+ which is priced a little higher than this model has interesting additional features, one reason why you would purchase The Now is the Autofocus which is not available in the former. This model has two fixed focus zones at 0.55m-1.3m and 0.6m-infinity. This produces images that could be quite comparable with the old pictures with your fondest memories.
5. Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro Instant Camera and Photo Printer
6.73 x 6.46 x 5.87 inches
76.2 x 76.2 mm
This is an instant camera that offers versatile functioning. Further, it supports more cost-effective long-term use. Mini Shot 3 uses cartridges for the replacement of films and papers which are less expensive.
“Aside from the instant camera+printer design of this product which extends its versatility, Mini Shot 3 Retro is also cost-effective in that it allows you to check the photo through its 1.77 inch LCD viewfinder, so you would not have to waste your films on shots you would later regret. Not many instant cameras allow this,” Summers explained.
Further, this camera is easy to use. You don't need to read instruction manuals to get the hang of it. It also creates nice quality pictures and the printing is fast. That it allows you to print images in your phone’s gallery is another sweet bonus.
Best Polaroid Cameras - Buyer's Guide
If you are buying a Polaroid camera, it would be best to check how the camera supports the creation of quality shots that you would love to treasure for a long time. Hence, cameras that offer possibilities for appropriate adjustments (automatic or manual) of brightness, exposure, and focus among others are nice to consider.
Polaroid cameras offer print pictures in various dimensions from rectangular (landscape or portrait) and squares. If you have special preferences or particular planned applications, it would be ideal to consider these image sizes in your purchase.
It is best to look for a Polaroid camera that is easier to use. This way, you could focus more on your subjects. Instant cameras with accurate automatic adjustment features and preset modes to choose from would be ideal.
While we value ease of use, it would also be a nice bonus if your instant camera allows you to fiddle with the controls and creative features, when the automatic settings are not sufficient for your planned applications
One of the primary reasons why you will purchase a Polaroid camera is its speedy delivery of your print photograph. Hence, you probably would like to check out or verify just how fast this “instant” performance is.
Best Polaroid Cameras - FAQs
Instant or Polaroid camera could be used for jobs that require speedy print copies of your captured images. For many people now, however, a Polaroid camera is a fun device to capture special life moments in instant photos, in ways that would satisfy nostalgia for this classic or retro feel.
Instant or Polaroid cameras could produce your physical photograph in a matter of seconds (e.g. 90 seconds). However, this could vary depending on the ambient temperature.
The best instant camera is one that speedily produces a good quality image through excellent setting automation or options. Many instant cameras offer these capabilities. However, the best product for you would depend on the image size and amount of control, and versatility that you require.
An instant camera is a type of camera that is designed to speedily develop the photograph that you have captured. However, because instant photography was popularized by the Polaroid cameras back in the 70s, people typically use the terms Polaroid camera and instant camera synonymously.