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In the age of social media, anyone can become a photographer. If you want to turn the clock back a bit, instant cameras serve up vintage vibes with pristine photos, and upgraded features. Whether photography is a hobby or a passion, having the right camera makes all the difference.
To help with your photo journey, we rounded up a selection of instant cameras to add to your shopping list. Includied on the list is the new Polaroid Go instant camera, which is the photo giant’s smallest instant camera to date. You’ll also find a few different options from Fujifilm, and Kodak. For more retro recommendations check out these nostalgic video game machines.
This pocket-sized (5.9” x 3.3” x 2.4”) analog instant camera weighs just half a pound. It has double exposure, 1/125 shutter speed, a rechargeable battery, and a self-timer that’s perfect for taking selfies. And it has all the classic Polaroid film frames, just smaller. The Polaroid Go Starter Set includes a camera, a double pack of Polaroid Go film (16 photos per double pack), USB charging cable, a wrist strap, and instructions to get you started.
Kodak’s Printomatic Digital Instant camera is pretty decent for the price. It prints smudge-proof, water- and tear-resistant photos. The camera speed allows you to continue shooting while your photo is printing, and each print is adhesive-backed so you can stick them anywhere. The camera includes a rechargeable battery, and Zero Ink technology, so you don’t need to worry about messy print cartridges, film or toner.
The Instax Square SQ1 from Fujifilm prints square size images that are 1.5 times the size of Instax Mini prints. The 1:1 square format means that you won’t have to spend time deciding between capturing a photo in portrait or landscape. The retractable lens has a small mirror to make framing your selfie hassle free (twist the lens to activate Selfie Mode), and the square frame lets you squeeze even more faces in your photo. Also, the Square SQ1 takes two CR2 batteries.
In the school of instant cameras, the Instax Mini 9 sits at the popular table. The Mini 9 has all of the features of the Mini 8 but with a few upgrades such as the macro lens adapter for close-up shots (35-50 cm away), and a selfie mirror. It has a shutter speed of 1/60, recommended aperture settings, and you can easily adjust brightness to make your photos just right. The Mini 9 takes AA batteries, and comes in a bunch of different colors including cobalt blue, black, lime green, purple, and yellow.
This series of cameras evolved from Polaroid’s One-Step cameras from the ‘70s. The Polaroid Now i-Type is compatible with i-Type and 600 film. Double exposure allows you to frame two minutes in one, and it has autofocus, so it’s that much easier to capture those special moments in sharp, vivid color.
Love the Fujifilm Instax, but want a sleeker design? Look no further than the 5MP hybrid instant camera. This 5” mini LiPlay camera is equipped with a 28mm focal length (35mm film equivalent), and an LCD display screen on the back of the camera to preview your photos. Additional features include a built-in lithium-ion battery that charges in 2-3 hours via micro-USB port. You can print up to 100 photos on a single charge, and it only takes about 12 seconds to print one photo (film development takes around 90 seconds). With the LiPlay app, you can capture recorded sound into a QR code and add it to your photos (you’ll have to scan the QR code with your smartphone to replay the sounds). The app even lets you print photos from your smartphone, which can be used as a shutter button as well.