Despite spectacular advancements in digital photography, instant cameras will always hold their own, due to the unique, lo-fi instant snapshots they produce. There’s something about the aesthetic, including the iconic Polaroid-style snap that people love, and that’s why they’ve made such a big comeback in recent years! And unlike with digital cameras and smartphones, you’ll have lasting memories you can hold and treasure, rather than losing them amongst hundreds of photos in your camera roll or laptop.
Polaroid is the brand that first gave the world instant photography and its name is now widely associated with instant photos. Despite being pioneers of the instant camera, modern times have seen other brands swoop in and build a name for themselves on the instant photo scene, such as FujiFilm’s Instax. Today, we’re going to look at 4 fun instant cameras from these two brands and what makes each of them unique!
The Polaroid Now is the classic company’s latest addition to their instant camera lineup, and for all that it brings, it’s a worthy addition to the world of instant cameras. The Now boasts superior image quality compared to earlier instant cameras. This is thanks to its newly developed dual-lens autofocus system and improved flash, which will capture sharper photos, easily. Other notable features include a self-timer mode and a double exposure mode, which lets you get two frames in one Polaroid photograph. This can add some drama to your photography and help with creating dreamy or artistic shots. Photos will print as beautiful full-sized square prints.
If you’re into the retro aesthetic, you’ll love the design of the Polaroid Now. It’s certainly not compact, and you’ll enjoy the tactility of holding a big, boxy, Polaroid in your hands as you take photos. The unique design comes with the modern convenience of a rechargeable battery. The Polaroid Now’s built-in battery is easily recharged with a USB cable plugged into a power source. It uses Polaroid’s i-Type film which measures 10.7cm x 8.8cm, with a photo area of 7.8cm x 7.6cm.
If you’re after high-quality instant photos, the Polaroid Now is a top contender on the market. With a dual-lens autofocus system and accurate flash, you’ll have a hard time getting sharper photos with any other instant camera on this list.
The Polaroid Go is the ultimate cute and compact instant camera that is perfect for taking on the go. Being such a small camera, it sacrifices some image quality, but it still produces pleasing pictures and delivers that classic lo-fi instant photo aesthetic. The Go has a double exposure feature that allows you to layer two photos, and the self-timer makes it perfect for taking group selfies with your friends. The camera has a fun and funky design that’ll stand out amongst competing products. After snapping endless memories in this pocket-sized camera, it can easily be re-charged with a USB. If you’re thinking of purchasing a Polaroid Go, make sure to pick up a pack of Polaroid Go instant film too! Polaroid Go film measures 67mm x 54mm, with a picture area of 47mm x 46mm.
Instax Mini 11
The Instax Mini has been a crowd-favourite for some time, largely due to being an affordable, easy-to-use instant camera that won’t overwhelm anyone. An auto-exposure system takes out any guesswork, meaning you just have to point and shoot to get an instant snap. A high-performance flash means you can get snaps even under bad light conditions. While it doesn’t have advanced modes or controls, that’s a big part of the charm. It’s simply there to get instant snapshots of a moment in time, that you can treasure for years to come. If taking selfies is your thing, the tiny built-in mirror on the front of the camera, and the pop-up lens barrel will help you take the perfect instant selfie.
The Instax Mini 11 prints cute credit card-sized photos that fit perfectly into a purse, wallet, or mini photo frame. They measure at 54mm × 86mm, with a photo area of 46mm × 62mm. Not only is it a fun item to have for your own use, but it is also a great gift idea. The affordable price makes it easily fit within more budgets, and the range of fun colours means you can choose one to suit different styles and personalities. Unlike the Polaroid Go, the Instax Mini doesn’t have a rechargeable battery and takes 2x AA batteries.
Instax SQ1 Square
The Instax Square SQ1 is a stylish instant camera that has a fun and minimal design. It incorporates a Fujinon 65.75mm f/12.6 lens, which offers intuitive zone focus control, with a minimum focusing distance of 11.8". Like the Instax Mini, the SQ1 Square has straightforward auto exposure that takes away any guesswork and helps ensure shots are properly exposed. However, the SQ1 is packed full of filters and modes that take these instant shots to another level! It features a host of creative shooting modes (including automatic, selfie, macro, and landscape mode), and coloured flash filters that allow you to have more creative control over your photography. It also allows you to manually adjust the exposure with Lighten and Dark modes, or even use the Double Exposure mode to superimpose two images into one. The SQ1 Square produces large prints that measure at 72mm × 85.6mm, with a photo area of 62mm x 62mm. All in all, this is the Instax camera to go for if you want brighter, larger, and more creative shots! It comes in three cute colours: Chalk White, Glacier Blue, and Terracotta Orange.