In this review article, we’ll discuss the best polaroid camera, its feature, and the pros and cons of the top models. If you’re one of those people who loves to take instant photos to capture a particular event or just because you’ve found a beautiful butterfly in your garden, consider getting a Polaroid Camera. Better yet, simple to use, this kind of material allows you to get beautiful retro shots.
History of Polaroid Camera
It all started with an American physicist and inventor, Edwin Herbert Land. In 1932, he developed a polarizing filter called Polaroid. The material has many applications in the field of lenses. From 1948, the Polaroid Corporation developed the concept of instant development photography. This process was then unique in the world and was highly successful.
After black and white films, color was introduced in 1963. The 1970s were the best for the firm. At the start of the 21st century, society was restructured because instantaneous photography and film, in general, were in intense competition with the advent of digital technology.
Types of Polaroid Films
Polaroid has its film format. It has remained the same despite switching from Polaroid to Impossible Project and then to Polaroid Originals. The film is rectangular with dimensions of 8.8 X 10.7 cm. The image – is included in a square of 7.9 x 7.9 cm.
The Fujifilm company has developed its instant films to go with its Instax cameras. Three formats are compatible with the devices of this brand.
First, there is the mini format which is the size of a credit card. Its dimensions are 5.4 x 8.6 cm for an image of 4.6 x 6.2 cm. Then there is the wide format which most closely resembles the Polaroid. The films are 8.6 x 10.8 cm, and the image is a 6.2 x 9.9 cm rectangle. Finally, Fujifilm has a Square format which is a 6.2 x 6.2 cm film.
Polaroid Camera for Instant Photography
An instant camera works like all film cameras. The same rules apply to the two types of photography, aim and the trigger determines the shot. On a Polaroid, everything is simplified. There is just one body, viewfinder, shutter release, lens, and instant movies.
The laws of lenses must be respected to obtain good shots. The focus should be done at a reasonable distance. The lighting should also be sufficient to impress the film suitably. Fortunately, the devices have a flash to improve the brightness.
Recent models have high performance for an even better rendering. Exposure adjustment is also available on most cameras. Since autofocus is absent on older cameras, the stability of the photographer is essential so that the image is not blurred.
It is moreover to press an arm on the body while supporting the apparatus. The best is still the use of a tripod or monopod. Placing the device on a level and stable surface such as a table is also effective.
Polaroid cameras remain legends in the instant photography world despite the company’s liquidation in 2008. Several other manufacturers have taken up the torch. The best known of these is Fujifilm with its Instax range. But there are also Lomography and Kodak. Each brand has its specificities.
How to Choose the Best Polaroid Camera?
A fashionable device, the Polaroid has become a must-have for those who want to take instant photos. Offered with different characteristics, it tends to conquer more and more people. In this buying guide to the best polaroid cameras, learn tips on making the right choice.
Choose a Quality Photo Film
First of all, it is essential to choose the type of photo film you want to use for your device. When the latter is adapted to your Polaroid, it allows you to know the shape and size of the photos to be taken. Usually, it will give you an estimate of the budget you will allocate for the next pack to buy. Note that a device can only be compatible with a specific type of film.
There are two main categories of photo films on the market, including Fuji’s Instax and Polaroid Originals’ I-Type. The difference is that the former can be integrated into a wide range of cameras. I speak, for example, of Lomography or Leica. At the same time, the other type is only supported by original polaroid devices.
On the one hand, the latter is more expensive than Instax. In addition, it is only presented in a traditional square format with a black and white print. On the other hand, the Instax offers a wide variety of sizes, but also shapes. Unconventional, the dimension can be that of a traditional credit card until it has a larger form. To acquire the best model, you can consult a price comparison on the web.
In this case, the mini and wide versions are the only ones available for a black and white print. The others are limited to color but can, however, be offered with different types of borders. It allows you to add a touch of whimsy to your photos.
Select The Required Type of Camera
Generally, there are three main categories of polaroid cameras. There is the simple model in the selection, the more complex one, and finally, the device allows developing more creativity. Your choice should depend on the kind of photography you want to take.
As you know, digital devices are generally designed to make your job easier with their automatic features. On the other hand, Polaroid cameras are more challenging to use since they require a minimum of knowledge. Particularly in terms of focus and exposure.
If you’re more interested in shooting straight and straight, go for an automatic camera. Even though these devices are more expensive, they are more functional than the basic models. Indeed, these must be adjusted and adjusted by hand, which requires a lot more handling.
In some cases, you may find instant devices sold with accessories. The filters and the various additional features are ideal for accentuating your creativity, whether as a package or individually. Your imagination and time are the limits that you may encounter.
Note, however, that they are more expensive than conventional models. Therefore, if you do not want to use them frequently, opt for a more economical model.
Check the Functionalities
If you don’t know how to buy a better value Polaroid camera, you should know that the choice of model will depend mostly on your photography experience. If you are a beginner, go for a basic polaroid.
It is more or less simple to use and easier to handle. It is equipped with essential functions, and it is sold at a more than reasonable price. The close-up process of the lens is a must not be left to chance. It is what allows to focus on details or the possibility of having tight portraits.
In the case of devices with a mirror, it is possible to take selfies. Choose those that make inserting films simply. Even though they don’t come with a lot of features and tweaks, they are very affordable. In addition, they need to be manually organized to be functional.
In the selection, devices that have a digital screen are qualified as good quality. It makes it easy to adjust while previewing the rest of the photos to be taken. To find a suitable model, also find out where to buy a new Polaroid camera.
Best Polaroid Cameras of The Year
Find my selection of the best polaroid cameras below. There are more and more models on the market, and it is not always easy to find the best for you.
The King of Polaroid
Fujifilm – Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
The image quality of this camera is remarkable. Its settings offer several possibilities for shots; its refill pack can contain ten photos. It is straightforward to use a template. Its pretty brown color gives it a somewhat vintage look.
This polaroid camera has three notable drawbacks. On the one hand, the photos are small. On the other hand, the cost of the films used is a bit expensive. Finally, it is entirely plastic.
If you need a camera to take high-quality instant photos, invest in this branded model.
The First Choice
Polaroid Originals One Step 2 VF
It’s a friendly polaroid camera that stands out with its excellent modern design. It allows you to take good-quality photos. Lightweight and practical, it is a model that is easily mastered. Its format promises good user comfort.
Despite its strengths, this camera comes without its recharge. It must therefore be purchased separately. In addition, the settings available are very minimalist. Movies are expensive.
This camera will delight both amateur and professional photographers who want to capture retro shots. Its value for money is attractive.
The Second Choice
Fujifilm – Instax Mini 9
This camera provides good quality images. It is equipped with a screen for taking selfies. Another smaller one lets you know the remaining photo papers; it is very ergonomic and has a manual in English. Its design is magnificent.
This polaroid camera does not come with film. You will have to buy it separately. Printing the photos takes a few minutes. The cost of the film is exorbitant, making the price of each shot quite expensive.
If you are looking for a camera that allows you to capture milestones in your daily life with images easily, give yourself this model.
In my selection, I offer you to buy Fujifilm – Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, an excellent model in brown color with which you can shoot up to 10 photos before reloading it. There is also Polaroid One Step 2 integrating a flash and allowing you to have good quality images.
Are you a fan of vintage photos? Treat yourself to one of the models of Polaroid cameras that I present below. I detail their characteristics so that you can easily make your choice.
1. Fujifilm – Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic: The King of Polaroid
You are looking for a camera that allows you to take pictures with family or friends instantly. To find a suitable model for you, you first need to choose the best polaroid cameras of the year. To do this, consider image quality, possible settings, and your budget.
The Instax Mini 90 “Neo-Classic” from Fujifilm offers various possibilities thanks to its settings. It guarantees a high-quality image by automatically setting the shutter speed and flash intensity. The high performance of the latter allows for precise and sharp shots.
The image format measures 62mm x 46mm. It is possible to adjust the brightness of this Fujifilm mini polaroid according to the scene. You can enrich your images with party mode. Its brown color brings a touch of modernity to its look. Its design is suitable for both men and women.
Where to buy it? – You can check the current price & get it on Amazon.
- Features: This polaroid camera has many features allowing users to customize the quality of each shot.
- Brightness: This camera allows you to enjoy a more inventive rendering of photos by detecting light automatically.
- Image Quality: Photos taken with this Polaroid are crisp and bright.
- Settings: This function allows you to personalize the works and improve each shot.
- Aspect Ratio: Some users find the size of the photos a bit too small.
- Price: This model is one of the most expensive in its class.
2. Instax SQ6
Do you like taking photos or being photographed? Awaken the photographer in you by offering yourself the best brand of polaroid cameras on the market, which is none other than Fujifilm. It provides all photography enthusiasts its pink Instax SQ6.
This Fujifilm polaroid allows you to photograph your surroundings at any time. In seconds, you can view your photos and hang them in your home. Automatically, its Selfie mode detects the focal length and the perfect brightness for your self-portraits. This camera promises a good quality image by providing ease of brightness control.
In addition, the high-key or low-key effect adds charm to shots. Its macro mode allows you to shoot a scene located up to 30 centimeters from the subject. As for its landscape mode, it will enable you to photograph distant scenes. Please take advantage of its many features to brighten up your images and develop your creativity.
Where to Buy It? You can check the current price & buy it on Amazon.
- Features: This camera is equipped with several functions that enhance your experience, including mirror and selfie modes, automatic brightness control, macro mode.
- Handling: The format of this Polaroid offers good user comfort.
- Accessory: The camera is accompanied by three strobe filters. They optimize the color of the photos and are easily attached to the flash.
- Batteries: This model comes with batteries.
- Image Quality: As soon as the scene lacks a little light, the pictures taken become blurry.
3. Polaroid Originals One Step 2 VF
Suppose you want to immortalize your moments with family or friends by capturing them in images. Only you don’t know where to buy the best polaroid camera around. Discover this new model from the Polaroid brand. It has efficient features.
One Step 2 is straightforward to use the camera. Its operation is simple. You aim at your subject and photograph it by pressing the red button. The “self-timer” function allows you to improve the image quality. Take clear, bright photos with this inexpensive Polaroid with a powerful built-in flash.
Its triggering is custom designed. The latter is equipped with a precision motor for the shutter. The lens of this device is of high quality. It is made with acrylic and polycarbonate. Its lithium-ion battery has an autonomy of 60 days. A strap, charging cable, and user manual come with this item.
Where to Buy It? You can check the current price & buy it on Amazon.
- Features: This inexpensive camera offers enough features to brighten up and perfect your photos.
- Getting Started: It is a simple model to control. Once its mechanisms have been mastered, it is easy to handle.
- Image Quality: This device offers good-quality images.
- Settings: Some users find them minimalist.
- Drum: It must be cleaned before inserting the film at the risk of degrading the images taken.
- Film Free: This Polaroid camera comes without film.
4. Polaroid Snap Touch
The instant camera is ideal for making every event in your life forever. A picture is worth a thousand words, so invest in a camera that guarantees high-quality photos. If you’re running out of ideas on which polaroid camera to choose, here’s the Snap touch model.
It is a compact 3.5-inch camera. As you can see, it is easy to carry and can go with you everywhere. You can even put it in your pocket. Its touch screen makes it even easier and more comfortable to use.
Its 13Mpx sensor allows you to produce images of exceptional quality. This camera is compatible with a micro SD card. In addition to photos, this model supports Full HD video format. It is equipped with a rechargeable battery. Its black design makes it a chic and versatile device.
Where to Buy It? You can check the current price & buy it on Amazon.
- Image Quality: Its 13 Mpx sensor allows you to shoot excellent quality images.
- Operation: This polaroid camera allows all novices to photograph their subjects without difficulty. And its mechanism is simple.
- Easy to Get Start: This camera promises you quick and efficient shooting. It is straightforward to master.
- Battery: Its autonomy is very satisfactory.
- The Color: Of course, black is elegant, but we liked other models with more flashy colors, especially women.
5. Fujifilm – Instax Mini 9
Transform your daily life into lasting memories by capturing everything in pictures. For that, you just have to ask yourself which is the best polaroid camera on the market. With this model from Fujifilm, you can afford a model that allows you to take sublime photos.
The Instax Mini 9 is an instant camera that has an LED indicator making the exposure more satisfying. Captured images are crisp and bright. This Instax polaroid is equipped with a self-portrait mirror. So you can take selfies. Its macro lens allows you to get up to 35 cm from the subject.
This model offers stickers allowing you to embellish your photos; its High-key mode ensures you a quick draw. You can check the remaining polaroid photo paper on its screen. This cobalt blue model comes with a colored wrist strap in five different colors, batteries, and an instruction manual.
Where to Buy It? You can check the current price & buy it on Amazon.
- Image Quality: The images taken are of good quality.
- Screen: It indicates the photo paper remaining in the device.
- Design: This camera looks great and makes an excellent gift ready to give.
- Price: It is a quality polaroid accessible to all budgets. It offers good value for money.
- Film: This camera is shipped without cinema. Moreover, the movie usable with this model is expensive.
- Printing of Photos: Printing is not done instantly. You have to wait a few minutes for the photos to come out.
6. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
Are you passionate about photography? Treat yourself to the best polaroid camera on the market. The Instax Wide 300 model has some exciting features. This Instax polaroid stands out with its many practical and easy-to-learn functions. Its Wide-format is perfect for taking group photos or shooting a landscape.
You can trust the quality of the images captured with this Polaroid. Their sharpness and brightness will dazzle you. The intensity of the light automatically adjusts according to the distance from the subject, thanks to its integrated electronic flash.
Its high-quality Fujinon lens guarantees you a satisfying shot. You can take crisp images, whatever the scene, via its “full in” mode. Your photos will be beautiful even in dark places. A “lightening-darkening” command is available to you as well as a “low-key” and “high-key” effect.
Where to Buy It? You can check the latest price & buy it on Amazon.
- Image Quality: This camera guarantees perfect quality photos both indoors and indoors.
- Operation: This Polaroid is easy to handle. It has a button to decrease and increase the exposure of the film and another to turn on its flash.
- Ergonomics: It is a model that can accompany you on all your trips.
- Approach Lens: It allows you to focus up to a distance of 50 centimeters from your subject.
- Format: This polaroid camera is quite large.
- Material: This model is designed with plastic. It suggests that the manufacturing is not really of quality.
7. Polaroid SX-70
The variety of instant camera models available on the market often makes a choice difficult. That is why we have selected the best current articles for you. Among them, I recommend this polaroid camera from our comparison.
The Polaroid SX-70 is a camera for amateurs and professionals. It shoots at low ISOs, giving you a shot with greater depth. Thanks to this function, you gain precision on each image. This bellows instant camera has manual focus. You can easily adjust it to the desired mood.
The exposure adjustments are made automatically to ensure that you have a functional device. Its shutter speed is 1/175 second up to over 10 seconds. You can use SX-70 color and black and white film; its flat and elegant design will please you. You can perfectly fold it for easy transport.
Where to Buy It? You can check the current price & get it on Amazon.
- Image Quality: Shooting with this camera assures you of excellent quality photos.
- Operation: This is a model that you can quickly master. The settings are simple.
- Transport: It is a foldable camera. It facilitates its transport. You only have to open it when you want to take pictures.
- Design: Its aesthetic is magnificent.
- Film: Some of the films supplied with this instant camera cannot be used.
8. Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide
Do you like to photograph your surroundings? Why not invest in an instant camera? If you have trouble choosing, take the time to compare the features of each product. You can find the most current models in our selection.
Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide is the best performer in its class. It has an automatic shutter. Each time you take a photo, it calculates how much brightness is needed to give you the best exposure. This model is distinguished by its integrated 90-millimeter lens making this Polaroid camera extremely versatile.
Color filters have been added to its flash for better photo rendering. You will be able to bring several shades of color to your shots. Its minimum focusing distance is 0.6 meters. If you take a close-up, it will be 0.1 meters. Regarding the film, this camera works with Fujifilm Instax Wide Film.
Where to Buy It? You can check the current price & buy it on Amazon.
- Features: This instant camera comes with many features to help you develop your creativity.
- Image Quality: The photos captured with this polaroid camera are satisfactory.
- Exposure Compensation: This function allows you to adjust your photo to brighter or darker.
- Additional Accessories: This pack comprises colored filters, a lens cover, cards on shooting techniques, a removable lens.
- Format: This camera is more significant than other snapshots.
- Transport: Additional accessories make this product bulky. You must bring a bag to transport them.
Additional Accessories for The Polaroid Cameras
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini
Improve the rendering of your photos by equipping yourself with high-quality materials such as a polaroid refill. To ensure the quality of the equipment, prioritize well-known brand items that are compatible with your instant device.
Fujifilm offers you its polaroid film specially designed for Instax Mini instant cameras. It is also compatible with Instax SHARE SP-1 and SP-2 printers. This multi-color Instax Mini film provides better reproduction of natural tones and light colors.
This item is the size of a credit card. In other words, your favorite photos can be placed in a small photo frame or stored in your wallet. It is a stable product that does not risk leaving stains on your shots. It reacts very well to high temperatures of 40° C or lows down to 5° C. Its material of manufacture is plastic.
2. Polaroid Premium Zink
Need a refill for your instant camera? Treat yourself to the best product on the market. Go for inexpensive Polaroid branded film.
Premium Zink Paper perfectly reproduces all colors. It is compatible with the Polaroid Snap Touch instant printing digital camera, the Polaroid Mint SNAP model, and the Polaroid ZIP & Mint mobile photo printer. It allows you to take instant photos highlighting the small details.
Using this paper will no longer need to invest in expensive cartridges, films, and inks. This item benefits from Zero Ink technology which guarantees a natural impression. It’s a film that loads quickly into your instant camera.
It is a robust product that resists water, dryness, and smudging thanks to its polymer coating. It lasts over time. This paper print sticks and peels off very quickly.
3. Polaroid Double Pack Color 600
You want to acquire a new film for your instant camera. You don’t know which brand to choose. Here is a model of the Polaroid brand. It is the cheapest of our selection (Get it on Amazon for $34.45).
This instant film comes with a white frame giving your shots an excellent style. It is 8.8 centimeters long and 10.8 centimeters. On this one, your image will be 3 inches long and 3 inches wide. Its use has many advantages. By using this template, your photos will look much better when exposed to light.
It is a very functional polaroid film. It is easy to use. When printing, the images develop after only 10 minutes. The maximum draw time is 15 minutes. The quality of your photo is improved when you create your film at room temperature.
You may also like to read: The Best Instant Photo Camera of 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How to Use A Polaroid Camera?
Answer: The polaroid camera is one of the most straightforward models to use. It is also enjoyable to handle. The way you use it has a significant impact on the look and quality of your photos.
Fortunately, using a polaroid is very easy. You simply press the large button, which is usually located on the top of the device. When done, your phone should start. You wait a few seconds. When it lights up, the various functions are ready to be used.
All you have to do is place your eye on the viewfinder. Press the shutter button on the right to capture your images.
Q2: How Does A Polaroid Camera Work?
Answer: A polaroid camera works quickly and easily. It uses broadcast film packages. The latter gathers the chemical compounds necessary for the printing of each photo. Said film contains a negative and a positive. The first allows capturing the images.
The positive paper is responsible for producing the print. To ensure optimal use of your Polaroid camera, you must first check that its flash is working correctly. It is essential because, in general, the sensitivity of commercially available films is very low. Without flash, the rendering of your photos is often lacking.
Q3: How Do I Refill A Polaroid Camera with Photo Paper?
Answer: Usually, when you buy photo paper for your Polaroid camera, you can find all the necessary instructions on the packaging. Before use, first, check the date of manufacture and the expiration date.
Once done, take the time to review the electrical contacts of your device. They may exhibit oxidation, causing blockage of power between the battery and your instant camera.
Next, see what condition your developer rolls are in. They are usually located at the exit of your device. Remember to clean it before placing your photo paper. It is essential to ensure a better rendering of the shot and a good chemical reaction.
Q4: How Much Does A Polaroid Camera Cost?
Answer: The cost of a polaroid camera depends on several points. First, it differs depending on the brand you choose. Often, people tend to think that price is the determining factor in the quality of an instant camera.
For well-known brand products, this observation is justified. However, the price of an instant device does not depend solely on its brand. It takes other factors into account. That is why some models, even from little-known brands, have high-quality features.
So the second point is the model. Even from the same brand, two products do not have the exact purchase cost. Features are also an essential point in choosing and purchasing this type of device. Often, models that are equipped with new generation technology are more expensive.
Q5: How Does A Polaroid Camera Work?
Answer: Instant photography revives after its decline in the face of digital technology. Polaroid was an icon in this field. Fujifilm, in particular, has taken up the torch. The principle has remained the same despite technological developments.
There is a box with its lens, a viewfinder, but above all, instant films that come out after you press the shutter button. But how exactly does a Polaroid camera work? Let’s find out more.
The Principles of Polaroid Film Photography
Two decades ago, almost all cameras used film. These flexible and resistant rollers are covered with a photosensitive emulsion. It is composed of silver salts or silver halide hence the name “silver.”
When inserted into the camera, the film is impressed by the light when the shutter button is pressed. The shutter allows a greater or lesser quantity to pass by opening and closing. The ions contained in the film then react and turn into silver atoms.
Small dots then form, which together include an image. It is then revealed by a chemical process and then fixed to no longer change on subsequent exposure. We then obtain a negative. After a draw, the positive is obtained. It is the paper on which the image is displayed.
All of these steps are laborious and require many chemicals. In the end, two are obtained: the negative film (or film) and the known or positive photo.
Regarding color films, they superimpose several layers, including three emulsions sensitive to blue, green, and red. Separators are inserted between these elements. A yellow filter is also present to block the blue part of the light.
Each main layer is composed of grains of silver bromide and a coupler which will release a complementary color dye. The development will reveal the negative image.
The Peculiarities of Instant Photography
On instant film, there is no film, negative or positive. Or rather, all these elements are found on the same support. The film comprises a photosensitive part and a capsule containing the chemicals necessary for revealing the image.
The film includes a negative containing the emulsions sensitive to red, green, and blue, the separator layers, and the cyan, magenta, and yellow dye developers. When this part is exposed, it is pressed against the positive aspect of the film. Between the 2 is a strongly alkaline pod which reveals the image on the positive receptor.
An acidic polymer is responsible for neutralizing excess alkali and stabilizes the dyes. Instant film is also called an entire film.
When the photo is ejected from the housing, it passes between 2 rollers which evenly distribute the chemicals. They serve as a developer, a stopping bath, and a fixer at the same time. The photo that comes out is thus stable.