In this age of instant gratification, we all love instant results, instant film camera gives you just that, instant photos and print outs, just moments after your snap.
The first commercially available instant camera was pioneered by Polariod with technology and research that started in the 1920s. It wasn’t until the 40s and 50s that instant cameras are available world wide. These consumer friendly instant cameras and films have self developing film that will chemically develop into print shortly after taking the picture.
These instant cameras bring back the good old days of film photography with the added sense of mystery, not knowing how your photo will turn out and the sense of exciting, seeing the image appear before your eyes.
However, in February 2008, the company filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time and was later acquired by PLR IP Holdings, LLC that uses the Polaroid brand to market various products related to instant cameras including Polaroid branded Fujifilms own Instax instant camera.
Polariod has since introduced a new breed of instant cameras. These are basically, digital cameras with zero ink printer built-in that prints photos. Instead of self developing film, it uses special ZINK paper.
The other name absent from the scene is Kodak with their Kodak EK instant camera and Kodak Kodamatic. Where Polariod and Kodak failed, Fujifilm persevered and has become the market leader in instant cameras. The Japanese firm cornered the Japanese and Asian markets in the 80s. The integral films are based on Kodak line of instant camera films. Later, in the late 90s, Fujifilm introduced a new series of cameras using a new film called Instax. It wasn’t until after 2008 with Polariod ceasing film production that the Fuji Instax and peel apart type films become available in more channels including the US.
Top 8 Highly-Rated Instant Cameras
FujiFilm dominates the list with their offerings given that they offer a wide range of instant cameras from budget to professional. The other name in instant camera is not new to the game, with a brand that is synonymous to instant cameras, Polaroid. The FujiFilm Instax Mini 8, Mini 26, Polaroid PIC-300 and Polaroid Snap Instant Digital are what we would term as budget models while the Instax Mini 70, Instax 300 Wide, Instax Mini 90 NEO and Polaroid Snap Touch Instant Digital camera are pricier models.
- FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 Camera – MANUAL BRIGHTNESS ADJUSTMENT
- FujiFilm Instax Mini 70 Camera – AUTOMATIC EXPOSURE CONTROL, VARIOUS SHOOTING MODES
- FujiFilm Instax Mini 26 Camera – TWO SHUTTER BUTTONS
- FujiFilm Instax Mini 90 NEO Classic Camera – RED EYE REDUCTION, VARIOUS SHOOTING MODES
- Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera – FOUR SCENE SETTINGS
- FujiFilm Instax 300 Wide Camera – WIDE PRINTS
- Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera with ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology – INK FREE PRINTS
- Polariod Snap Touch Instant Digital Camera with LCD Display and ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology – INK FREE PRINTS, TOUCH DISPLAY
- Polariod Z2300 10MP Digital Instant Print Camera
- Polaroid OneStep 600 Instant Camera
- Polaroid OneStep SX-70 Instant Camera
Here is a closer look at each of these instant cameras.
1. FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 Camera – MANUAL BRIGHTNESS ADJUSTMENT
Fujifilms hottest selling instant camera, also the cheapest in their range, the Instax Mini 8 has a playful feel about it. Two new colours have been added to the already diverse range of colour options. They are raspberry (below) and grape (see above). It’s easy to use with a power button on the bottom right corner (see above) that also ejects the lens and an adjustable dial for different shooting modes, also known as the lit position and finally, frame your shot with the viewfinder and press the shutter button on the top right to shoot.
The brightness adjustment dial is used for different lighting modes; indoors, cloudy, sunny or slightly cloudy and sunny and bright. Instax mini 8 automatically determines the best brightness for taking a picture, and informs you of the suitable setting by lighting the corresponding lamp. Turn the brightness adjustment dial to the position (mark) of the lit lamp. Setting the brightness adjustment dial to the high-key mode mark allows you to take pictures with a softer impression.
|Instant Film||Fujifilm Instant Color Film “instax mini”|
|Picture size||62 x 46mm|
|Shooting range / Focusing range||0.6m – ∞|
|Shutter||Shutter speed: 1/60 sec.|
|Exposure control||Manual switching system (LED indicator in exposure meter)|
|Flash||Constant firing flash (automatic light adjustment)|
Recycle time: 0.2 sec. to 6 sec. (when using new batteries), Effective flash range: 0.6m – 2.7 m
|Power Supply||Two LR6/AA-size 1.5V alkaline batteries|
Capacity: 10 film packs (based on our company research)
|Others||Exposure counter (number of unexposed films), film pack confirmation window|
|Dimensions & Weight||116mm x 118.3mm x 68.2mm / 307g (without batteries, strap and film pack)|
2. FujiFilm Instax Mini 70 Camera – AUTOMATIC EXPOSURE CONTROL, VARIOUS SHOOTING MODES
While the Instax Mini 8 may look a bit childish with is pastel colour schemes, the Instax Mini 70 is the opposite of that. It looks every inch a serious shooter with its metallic finish and serious I mean business look. There is also a Selfie Mode that sets the appropriate brightness and shooting distance for a better self portrait. Use the little selfie mirror found next to the lens to frame your shot.
The Instax mini 70 comes with automatic exposure control to allow it to capture bright backgrounds as well as bright subjects even in dark scenes. The high-performance flash automatically calculates surrounding brightness and adjusts shutter speed accordingly — no need for any special settings. It also comes with Hi-Key mode like that found on the Mini 8 to capture bright beautiful skin tones. The Hi-Key mode creates an effect akin to over exposure. The Instax Mini 70 also features three focusing range with motor driven switching. Change from Macro Mode to Normal Mode to Landscape Mode for different focus range. Other shooting mode include Selfie Mode, Fill-in Flash mode and Auto. There is also a Self timer Mode with 1 frame or 2 frames continuous shooting.
|Film||Fujifilm Instant Color Film “instax mini”|
|Film Size||86mm x 54mm|
|Picture Size||62mm x 46mm|
|Lens||Retractable lens, 2 components, 2 elements, f = 60 mm, 1:12.7|
|Viewfinder||Real image finder, 0.37x, with target spot|
|Focusing||Motor-driven 3-range switching (0.3 m – 0.6 m/0.6 m – 3 m/3 m and beyond), Macro Mode (0.3 m – 0.6 m) Normal Mode (0.6 m – 3 m) Landscape Mode (3 m and beyond)|
|Shutter Speed||Programmed electronic shutter release, 1/2 sec – 1/400 sec.|
|Exposure Control||Automatic, Interlocking range (ISO 800) : LV 5 – LV 15.5, Exposure compensation (Hi-Key): +2/3 EV|
|Film Feeding Out||Automatic|
|Film Developing Time||Approximately 90 seconds (Varies depending on the ambient temperature)|
|Flash||Built-in, automatic electronic flash, Charging time: 0.2 sec – 7 sec (using a new battery), Flash charging indicator, Fill-in Flash Mode, Effective flash lamp range: 0.3 m – 2.7 m|
|Self-Timer||Electronically controlled, approx. 10 second delay, Continuous shooting mode can be stopped mid-run|
|Liquid Crystal||Exposure counter (number of unexposed films), Shooting mode (Selfie, Macro, Landscape, Fill-in Flash, Hi-Key, Auto), Self timer Mode (1 frame/2 frames continuous shooting)|
|Power Supply||Two CR2/DL CR2 lithium batteries|
Capacity: Approximately 30 INSTAX mini 10-pack film packs with new CR2/DL CR2 lithium batteries
|Others||Film pack confirmation window, tripod socket (tripod sold separately)|
|Dimensions & Weight||99.2×113.7×53.2mm (W x H x D) (not including protrusions) / 281g (without battery, strap, and film pack)|
3. FujiFilm Instax Mini 26 Camera – TWO SHUTTER BUTTONS
FujiFilm Instax Mini 26 instant camera offers simple operation in a streamline design producing 2” x 3” instant photos in as little as 90 seconds. With built-in automatic exposure compensation, the right amount of light is captured in most shooting situations. You can adjust the print colour brightness manually using the Lighten-Darken control. This controls the intensity of colours to make the print finish brighter or darker accordingly.
The camera also comes with two shutter buttons making it easier to shoot when holding your camera horizontally or vertically. The well positioned buttons on the body means no fumbling around looking for it. As with the Instax Mini 70, it comes with Fill-in flash mode that detects the brightness of the background to control the shutter speed. Backgrounds can be captured clearly even in dark rooms. Other features include the selfie mirror to help frame your self portrait. When shooting flowers, small articles or sweets, you can use the close-up lens for up to 35cm from the subject to create an enlarged image of the subject.
4. FujiFilm Instax Mini 90 NEO Classic Camera – RED EYE REDUCTION
Another cool entry from FujiFilm, this time a tribute to classic cameras, the Instax Mini 90 NEO Classic is available in tan brown or black with faux leather imprint. The camera comes with six shooting modes and a high performance three mode automatic flash; forced fire, flash off and red eye reduction. Use the brightness control; with normal, low key and high key effects to suit your taste.
The Instax Mini 90 also comes equipped with new functions and features like macro mode and high performing flash. The flash emits the ideal amount of light finely adjusted for the distance to the subject and ambient brightness. The shooting modes include, Party mode that enables the background as well as the subject to be captured brightly and Kids mode, for fast moving subjects like children and animal. This mode is effective when shooting in low light conditions such as room light or on a cloudy day. The is also Landscape mode suitable for subject at 3m distant or more, Macro mode for close-ups from 30cm to 60cm and Bulb exposure mode where the shutter remains open (up to 10 seconds) while the shutter button is depressed, to capture attractive night views and light streaks for that expressive shot. Finally, there is the Double Exposure mode by merging two shots together. Selecting the double exposure mode and pressing the shutter button twice on different subjects allows you to create a superimposed effect with two images in one frame. Let the creative juices flow.
|Film||Fujifilm Instant Color Film “instax mini” (separately available)|
|Film size||86mm x 54mm|
|Picture size||62mm x 46mm|
|Lens||Move in / out type lens, 2 components, 2 elements, f=60mm, F=12.7|
|Viewfinder||Real image finder, 0.37x, with target spot and parallax adjustment for macro mode|
|Focusing||Motor-driven 3-range switching, 0.3m – ∞ (macro mode: 0.3m – 0.6m, normal mode: 0.6m – 3.0m, landscape mode: 3.0m – ∞)|
|Shutter release||Programmed electronic shutter release, 1.8 – 1/400 sec. shutter speeds (macro mode: aperture automatically fixed at F22, bulb mode: maximum 10-second shutter open time)|
|Exposure control||Automatic, LV5.0 – 15.5 (ISO800), lighten-darken control ±2/3EV, +1EV|
|Film feeding out||Automatic|
|Flash||Automatic electronic flash (with brightness adjustment function), forced firing mode (with brightness adjustment function), flash off mode, red eye reduction mode|
|Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)||Exposure counter (number of remaining shots), Macro mode, Brightness control, Self timer, Flash ON / OFF, Mode button(Party / Kids / Landscape / Double exposure / Bulb)|
|Power supply||NP-45A lithium-ion battery.charge capacity: 10 film packs (based on our test conditions)|
|Accompanying items||shoulder strap, Warranty, NP-45A Rechargeable Battery, BC-45C Battery Charger|
|Dimensions & Weight||113.4mm x 91.9mm x 57.2mm, 296g (excluding the battery, strap and film)|
5. Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera – FOUR SCENE MODES
Available in red, black, blue and purple (shown below), the Polaroid 300 comes with four scene settings to help capture the perfect shot in any light. It has an automatic flash and 1/60sec electronic shutter. The prints are 1.8-inch x 2.4 inch on paper that is 2.1-inch x 3.4-inch. The Polaroid 300 uses PIF-300 Instant Film. You will find that other Polaroid cameras use a zero ink printer, see Polaroid Snap Instant and Polaroid Snap Touch Instant below.
6. FujiFilm Instax 300 Wide Camera – WIDE PRINTS
An FujiFilm Instax that uses Instax Wide film, instead of the Instax Mini film. If you prefer your photos bigger, the Instax 300 Wide is your answer. The film size measures 108 mm x 86 mm with the actual photo measuring 99 mm x 62 mm. Compare this to Instax Mini photo size of 62mm x 46mm, its twice as big, something we are most used to where conventional prints are concerned.
Features include close-up lens for macro shots up to 40 cm from the subject, automatic flash for low-light shooting to optimise lighting according to distance from the subject and back lighting with fill-in flash to make sure both subject and background are visible. There is also exposure compensation (Lighten-Darken Control) that lets you take photos according to your preferences.
|Instant Film||Fujifilm Instant Color Film “instax WIDE”|
|Film size||86 x 108mm|
|Picture size||62 x 99mm|
|Lens||Retractable lens, 2 components, 2 elements, f = 95 mm, 1:14|
|Viewfinder||Real image finder, 0.37 x, with target spot|
|Focusing||Motor-driven 2-range switching (0.9m – 3m / 3m – ∞) Normal Mode (0.9m – 3m) Landscape Mode (3m – ∞)|
|Shutter Release||Programmed electronic shutter release, 1/64 sec – 1/200 sec.|
|Exposure control||Automatic, Interlocking range (ISO 800) : LV 10.5 – LV 15 Exposure compensation (Lighten-Darken Control) : ± 2/3EV|
|Film Feeding Out||Automatic|
|Flash||Built-in, automatic electronic flash, Charging time: 0.2 sec – 6 sec (using a new battery), Flash charging indicator (LED lights in red), Fill-in Flash Mode, Effective flash lamp range: 0.9m – 3m|
|Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)||Exposure counter (number of unexposed films), Lighten-Darken control, Fill-in Flash Mode|
|Power Supply||Four size AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries (LR6), Capacity : 10 film packs (Based on our test conditions)|
|Others||With film pack confirmation window, close up lens, and tripod socket included|
|Dimensions & Weight||167.8mm x 94.7mm x 120.9mm (not including protrusions) / 612g (without battery, strap, film pack, and close up lens)|
7. Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera with ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology – INK FREE PRINTS
Take a digital camera and put an ink free printer on it for printing on special paper without using ink. The Polaroid Snap is a new take on the old film type cameras, with the same instant print function. The camera is smaller than its film counterpart and it comes with a micro SD card slot for up to 32GB of storage. The ZINK, Zero Ink technology uses 2-inch x 3-inch special paper to create full colour prints. You can also choose three different colour modes; normal, black and white or vintage sepia tone when printing. Print borderless or with the white borders using the Polaroid Classic Border. There is even a Photo Booth mode that takes six quick photos in 10 seconds.
- 10 MP sensor
- normal, black & white and vintage sepia tone
- MicroSD card indicator (up to 32GB)
- Self timer feature
- Image prints automatically
- 2×3” full color prints
8. Polariod Snap Touch Instant Digital Camera with LCD Display and ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology – INK FREE PRINTS, TOUCH DISPLAY
Same as above but with a touch screen display, bigger camera sensor of 13 megapixel and microSD slot that supports up to 128GB of storage.
- ZINK® Zero Ink technology for instantly printing photos
- 3.5 inch LCD touchscreen 3 color modes – black & white, color, & vintage sepia
- Option to print with the Polaroid Classic Border Logo
- 13MP CMOS sensor
- Bluetooth capability self timer & selfie mirror
- 1080p Full HD video recording capability
- Images & video stored on a micro SD card (up to 128GB)
Polaroid Z2300, packed with fun features! Snap, print, and share instant photos or save and share your moments with the camera’s built-in memory. Combine the magic of Polaroid Instant with the ability to crop, add borders, or apply filters.
- 10MP camera sensor
- ZINK® Zero-ink printing
- 2×3″ color photos
- 720p HD video
- 2.5″ LCD screen
- 6x digital zoom
The Polaroid OneStep Close Up camera features focus-free simplicity and an automatic flash with a 2-to-10-foot range. It also offers a selectable close-up lens for shots between 2 and 4 feet.
- Takes clear, instant pictures at the push of a button
- Focus-free simplicity
- Built-in automatic flash
- Compatible with Polaroid 600-type film
A cherished Polaroid classic, the OneStep SX-70 instantly prints color photos for you to share with the world. Using SX-70 integral film, this camera brings to life the magic of watching a Polaroid photo develop.
- Instant color printing
- SX-70 integral film
Instant Photo Printers
If you would rather stick with your existing smartphone or digital camera for taking photos and would still like the instant gratification of having your photos printed and in your hand the next minute then one of these instant photo printers will satisfy that need.