Even in the modern world of digital photography, there’s still a place for the Polaroid instant camera. While digital photos can be reviewed instantly, only a Polaroid camera prints out the photo on paper.
The following is Sand And Steam’s ratings of Polaroid’s top instant film cameras.
Polaroid Z2300 10MP Digital Instant Print Camera
This stylish, compact instant camera from Polaroid features a square, compact design easily able to fit in pockets.
Able to print out 2×3″ photos in less than a minute using the company’s patented Zink Zero Ink printing technology, the Z2300 is simple and easy to use.
- Zero Ink technology means photos won’t smudge, and are resistant to tearing and water damage
- Photos have a peel-off sticky back, making it easy to stick them anywhere
- Compact design easily fits in pockets and purses
- Camera features a 10 megapixel image sensor
- LCD display lets you see and edit the pictures before printing
- Can be used with SD card to expand the memory to 32GB
- Far heavier than most smart phones and digital cameras
- Requires 4 AA batteries to operate
Polaroid PIC-300P Instant Film Analog Camera
This fun, colorful camera from Polaroid is designed to print business card-sized photos in less than a minute.
With four different image settings and an automatic flash for low light scenes, the PIC-300P is a great compact instant camera.
- Works with Polaroid 300 film
- Comes in a variety of fun case colors
- Auto adjust and electronic shutter make taking great pictures easy
- Comes with convenient wrist strap
- Intuitive and easy to use
- The printed photographs are quite small
- Requires 4 AA batteries to operate
Polaroid One Step Express Instant Camera
Probably the closest thing to the classic Polaroid instant classic, the One Step Express is a robust, versatile camera able to take quality pictures both at long range and in close-up.
With a built-in automatic flash and numerous focus and aperture controls, you’ll be sure to get a perfect picture every time with the One Step Express.
- Uses Polaroid 600 Platinum film
- Prints out big 3.1 by 3.1 inch photos
- Big 106mm lens
- Automatic focus
- Can take multiple pictures with only 0.4 seconds pause in between
- Quite heavy, weighing in at 1.44 pounds
- No counter or indicator to tell you how many photos you have remaining
Polaroid Spectra 1200i Instant Camera
A modern take on the classic Polaroid Instant Camera design, the Spectra 1200i uses sonar to automatically focus the camera, and high-speed recharger on the flash to take multiple pictures quickly.
Comes with a tripod socket, hand strap, and neck strap to make sure that you’ll never lose that perfect shot.
- Control panel is simple and easy to use
- Doesn’t need separate batteries (uses the battery in the film pack)
- Comes with 10-zone automatic focus adjustment
- Works with Polaroid Spectra, 1200, Image, or 990 film
- Features 125mm, three-element lens
- Shots at closer than 2 feet come out blurry and unfocused
- Film for the camera can be quite expensive
Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera
Mixing the best of both worlds, the Polaroid Snap can take both quality digital photos and print out full-color 2×3″ pictures with ease.
With a powerful 10 megapixel sensor, and a gorgeous, compact design, the Polaroid Snap is the one camera you can take and use anywhere.
- Uses Zink Zero Ink Printing for beautiful, smudge-proof printed photos
- Camera lets you easily upload digital photos to computer or internet
- MicroSD slot allows for up to 32GB memory
- Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket or small purse
- Photos come with adhesive backing for posting almost anywhere
- Although small, the camera is relatively heavy
- Control panel may be difficult and confusing for some users
Instant Printing in the Digital Photography Age
By taking advantage of Polaroid’s tried-and-true instant printing process, these cameras can allow you to take and share photographs even without an internet connection or sophisticated mobile devices.
And no matter what brand you choose (maybe you’re partial to Fuji in the Polaroid vs Fujiflm argument?), you’re bound to be satisfied as long as you do your research and find the right camera for you.
While many people think of these as anachronistic devices from a bygone era, the line of instant cameras from Polaroid continue to be useful in a wide variety of applications. And, in a world where digital security is increasingly coming under threat, you’ll never have to worry about unknown parties accessing a printed, paper photograph.