Most of us walk around taking pictures wherever and whenever we want with our phones. Gone are the days when you needed an actual camera with film in it to capture your memories. Your phone includes a digital camera that’s easy to take with you anywhere. But it doesn’t let you print a picture right then and there like Polaroid cameras do. You can get print photos immediately with the best instant cameras.
So, how do you find the best Polaroid camera? First, decide on a type—SX-70, 600, or 1200. The type and the look should be based on who will be using the camera. Choose color, size, and weight to match the user. Then, you’ll check out these features:
- White balance
- Dynamic lighting
- Blur function
The Polaroid camera has made a comeback. We’re looking at what features make for the best instant cameras. Polaroid cameras have come a long way from the Polaroid originals. Read on to find out what you should look for to get the most out of a Polaroid camera. Discover how to choose from the best instant cameras.
Types of Polaroid Cameras
Let’s start with a quick breakdown of the different types of Polaroid cameras. There are three:
- SX-70 – This is the older model in the bunch. It uses film that’s at lower ISO. These have less sensitivity to light than the other two types, thus the pictures won’t be as sharp or detailed.
- 600 – The 600 is the standard for Polaroid cameras now. These develop film quicker than the SX-70. The ISO is higher and there is more light sensitivity.
- 1200 – This is also referred to as Spectra. These have the same level of light sensitivity and develop at the same speed. They use wider film, though. And the images are higher quality. This level of Polaroid is better suited for an experienced photographer.
You Can Choose the Ideal Look
When you’re looking for the best instant camera for yourself or someone else, choose the look and style that matches the user. Polaroid cameras come in all sorts of colors, patterns, and styles. You’ll find everything from plain and serious to bright and fun.
You’ll notice different sizes of them, too. The Polaroid originals were large and bulky. Today’s Polaroids come in a range of sizes.
Features To Consider
Like any other digital camera, the best instant cameras have plenty of features to consider. Here’s a list of some of the most important ones:
Polaroid originals didn’t have screens for you to view your images on. The photographer looked through the viewfinder and took the picture.
Now, some Polaroid cameras have display screens that allow you to see your picture and even make edits on it right on the screen. It’s a full color TFT LCD screen.
Make sure to check out the white balance selection. The options available include fluorescent, cloudy, incandescent, daylight, and a manual setting. You can choose your white balance setting based on the lighting where you’re taking the picture. It helps to give you better quality images.
If the lighting isn’t the best, dynamic lighting allows you to tweak the lighting in the image, so you don’t have overexposed and underexposed areas in the photo. This feature gives your pictures better balance.
This feature is newer. When a blurry image is detected by the camera, it will make an automatic adjustment into continuous mode to combat the blur.
This is that setting for sensitivity requirement due to light and shot speed. If the light is low, increase the ISO. If the light is bright, decrease the ISO. Note that when you increase the ISO setting, images look more pixelated.
The best instant cameras have self-timers. It allows the photographer to be in the picture or to quickly hold something in the picture, if needed. Once the shutter is pushed, the timer will start.
Some Polaroid cameras have video mode like the digital camera on your phone. You can record videos at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Many of the best instant cameras with video mode also have a voice memo feature. It allows you to add a voice note to a still image.
You want a Polaroid camera with an SD card slot. Polaroid originals didn’t give photographers the option to back up their pictures. Now, you can choose a camera with a card slot for photo storage.
Best Polaroid Camera Options
The Polaroid Originals looks a lot like the cameras of old. It’s basic in its design. It comes in 11 different color options. This is a point-and-shoot instant camera. It doesn’t have a display screen to look at. It does everything for you. Autofocus helps to cut down on blurriness. It has a self-timer and the capability to do a double exposure image. It’s easy to use and is highly durable.
- Easy to use
- Includes battery
- Many color options
- Includes micro-USB charger
- Does not come with any film
- Images look fuzzy
- No in-depth user manual
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera - Sky Blue, 4.8 x 4.2 x 2.6 inch, Camera Only ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing)
The Fujifilm Instax Mini is budget-friendly and lots of fun. It comes in five colors. The camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed to whatever is right for the setting. There’s a one-touch selfie mode for all those adventures you want to capture yourself in. You can customize your shutter button with an included jewel or glow in the dark add-on.
- 5 fun color choices
- Small and lightweight
- Easy to use
- Selfie mode included
- Customizable buttons fall off
- Picture quality is so-so
- No display
Fujifilm instax Mini 9 Instant Camera (Ice Blue) with Film Twin Pack Bundle ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing)
This is the predecessor to the model listed above. It comes in 10 color options. This is a bundle purchase, too. You get a double pack of film with your camera. The instant pictures are the ideal size for carrying around in your wallet. This version also has the selfie mirror. The camera is small and doesn’t weigh much, so you can take it with you everywhere.
- Take pictures immediately with included film
- Includes a close-up lens attachment
- Prints are wallet-sized
- 10 color options
- Must adjust manually
- Picture quality is sub-par
- No user manual with purchase
How Much Does Film For Polaroid Cameras Cost?
The film for these cameras has come down in price. However, it’s still not cheap enough to make them your go-to cameras. When you have a digital camera built into your phone that you can use for free, you don’t need to use your Polaroid Originals camera most of the time. You can use the Polaroid for capturing certain special moments and your phone’s digital camera for everyday use.
Film for the FujiFilm Instax Mini goes for about $.60 per sheet. Film for the Polaroid Originals i-Type sells for somewhere around $.94 per sheet.
Is a Polaroid Camera Worth Buying?
The best instant cameras are a lot of fun to use. There’s something about taking a picture of a memory you want to capture and having it in your hand immediately after. It’s different than just snapping pics on your phone’s digital camera.
It’s worth it to buy a Polaroid camera if you or someone you know will use it occasionally, to make fun pictures that can be passed around for good times.
It’s not worth it to use a Polaroid camera for every picture you want to take. You should use it alongside the digital camera in your phone for it to remain economical. The film for the best instant cameras is cheaper than it used to be, but it still adds up quickly if you’re taking too many pictures.
The best instant cameras are fun, stylish, and easy to use. A Polaroid camera is like a blast from the past. These iconic cameras are making a big comeback. They’re popular with all age groups and are easy enough for even young children to use. Look for the features that will give you the highest quality photos and the body that’s easiest for you to carry and use. Take pictures the way people used to but with higher quality film and a camera that makes all adjustments for you.
Which is the best Polaroid camera to buy?
The best instant cameras include the Polaroid Originals OneStep+ and the Polaroid Now.
Is Polaroid or Instax better?
Instax is better in terms of fun for younger users. It also has cheaper film. Polaroid has better options for more serious photographers.
What is the best vintage Polaroid camera to buy?
The Polaroid OneStep Close-Up 600 is a good option for the budget-minded shopper looking for a vintage camera. It’s durable and reliable. It shouldn’t be tough to find one in good shape, too.
How long do Polaroid photos last?
If you keep these photos in an album or some other type of storage box, your pictures won’t fade any faster than other types of film. Polaroid photos can last for upwards of 100 years.
Do Polaroids fade?
Polaroids won’t fade any differently than other types of photos. Keep them stored in an album or photo box.
Is Instax 9 or 11 better?
The Instax 11 is better for two reasons. It adjusts for the setting you’re in automatically. It also has a pull-out close-up lens pre-installed rather than having to attach one.
Does shaking a Polaroid help?
It doesn’t help. In fact, shaking a Polaroid can result in bubbles and marks in the picture.
Are old Polaroid cameras worth money?
Most old Polaroid cameras aren’t worth much. There are some that could get you upwards of $100. They must be in excellent condition and fully functional. One that could get you more than $200 is the Polaroid SLR 680.
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