Polaroid cameras produce high quality images

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Table of Contents


What is an instant camera?


Generations of people knew the Polaroid camera until it - apparently - disappeared from store shelves in 2007 and thus from our lives. Until then, especially in the 70s and 80s, it was just a cult. What the digital camera is today was then the instant camera. The principle was simple: you pressed the shutter release and the photo was generated and printed out directly. All-in-one in one device and without an additional printer. There was no image preview. The photo from the instant camera was like a surprise egg and often the reason for funny anecdotes, which one would laugh about even years later.

The instant camera has always had its special charm and it has not lost it to this day. What use is infinite memory in a digital camera if the photos then disappear on the hard drive? You may never hold the picture in your hands because there is additional work involved in developing the pictures or getting them printed. Too often you never see photos of parties or celebrations again. There are also situations in which you would like to hold the photo in your hands right away. This works when a photo box is nearby, or with the instant camera.


Instant camera and Polaroid camera: what's the difference?


When thinking of an instant camera, most of us immediately think of the classic Polaroid camera. It shaped the photographic life of many and yet it is with the Polaroid camera like with the Tempo handkerchief. Polaroid was a manufacturer of instant cameras and, like "Tempo", was used in parlance to represent a product group. In the 1970s, Polaroid was the only manufacturer of these instant cameras. Another company launched an instant camera, but that company lost its trademark infringement litigation with Polaroid and had to take its products off the market. However, Polaroid went bankrupt in 2008. The owner of the parent company, Tom Petters, had seriously damaged the group. In the course of the bankruptcy proceedings, the production of Polaroid films was discontinued. Since the cameras themselves are almost indestructible, many lovers were not very happy with this decision. What use is a still perfectly functioning instant camera if there is no film for it?

The hour of birth of the company "Impossible" brought a remedy. This company, founded by lovers of the old Polaroid camera, bought an old production facility of the Polaroid company and subsequently made films for the nostalgic instant camera. Since many suppliers no longer manufactured the individual components for the films, the owners had to break new ground. Within two years, they developed replacement products that could revive the Polaroid camera.



Manufacturer of instant & polaroid cameras


Polaroid is now back on the market. The company has repositioned itself and manufactures digital instant cameras, including the Polaroid Z2300, with Lady Gaga at their side. Unlike the original Polaroid cameras, in which the photo paper produced the image chemically, Polaroid now uses cameras with an integrated printer and uses a thermal printing process for this. Since Polaroid only wanted to concentrate on digital products after the bankruptcy, its own classic Polaroid camera production was discontinued. Instead, customers today get a Fujifilm Instax Mini with a Polaroid logo under the name "Polaroid 300". However, apart from the name, this instant camera has nothing in common with the classic analog instant camera of the past.

Polaroid Z2300 instant camera with zinc printer

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Polaroid digital instant camera


In the field of instant cameras, Polaroid is one of the leading manufacturers today. The product is digital. Depending on the version, it comes with a screen, WiFi, Bluetooth and lightning. The pictures can of course also be printed out immediately. However, this does not necessarily happen automatically after the snapshot has been triggered. Because with some models you have the opportunity to let your creativity run free with different modes and to edit the images before printing. The instant camera with an addicting fun factor is guaranteed. In the age in which everyone has their camera in the form of a smartphone close at hand, guests and you look forward to a Polaroid photo like small children. It's different whether you hold the photo in your hands straight away or just have it with you on your mobile phone.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Polaroid Camera

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Fujifilm also has instant cameras in their luggage. As with Polaroid, they are available in bright colors and Fujifilm also uses both analog and digital Polaroid cameras. The photo size corresponds to that of a passport photo. The white borders of the classic Polaroid photos are missing on some copies. For this, many instant cameras are provided with a zoom and also offer a few more setting options. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic in particular has a number of setting options.


On what occasion does a Polaroid camera do well?


The instant camera is always good where pictures are needed immediately. Mostly it is used privately or at celebrations. But photographers also love instant cameras, for example when they want to take a test photo to test the light etc.

The instant camera is unbeatable at parties and celebrations. This is used, for example, to design guest books. Because if you want to have the guest book ready immediately, you need a way to have photos ready right away. That would also work, for example, with a photo box with an integrated printer. Cost point: different. Compared to the acquisition costs of an instant camera, the latter makes sense in many cases. Because it is always ready for use, small, handy and every guest, no matter how old, knows how to handle it. This creates snapshots of your party. Without having to put in any work afterwards. The will is usually there to add photos to the guest book afterwards. But it usually goes by months and years before you think about it again. Then the photos of everyone have to be found, prints have to be ordered and stuck in the guest book. Usually the hosts also find that not every guest has been photographed. Depending on the size of the event, that sometimes goes under. It's a shame, because you never get a complete guest book together.


Gadget with a fun factor


The instant camera has another advantage at parties: the guests will endeavor to get their hands on the retro part and to take photos. It's just a piece of history that you hold in your hands. You can show the children how private photos were taken in the past. The older generation will indulge in memories. The instant camera is not just an event at your party. This way you will surely get the photo-shy guest in front of the lens.

The instant camera is also worth taking with you when traveling. It is true that smartphones and digital cameras dominate on vacation. The photos from an instant camera can be used immediately. For example, to send it as a personal postcard. How about a honeymoon greeting? Everyone can do boring summer-sun-beach postcards. You send your happiest smile from the honeymoon. Or you can use the pictures to send grandma and grandpa a real photo of their grandchildren. There are so many occasions and moments when the instant camera is useful and practical.



Polaroid camera: features and application


Polaroid cameras have different functions and uses, depending on the model. Here the price plays a major role. Cheaper models, such as the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, or its successor Instax Mini 9, are already available for a reasonable price. They are self-explanatory. The film is inserted at the back and the picture is created by pressing the shutter release, which is also printed out fully automatically. It has a high-key exposure and the built-in flash ensures perfect illumination. For the price there is a battery-powered instant camera that is equipped with a color printer. The pictures come in the format 62 x 46 mm and - for the nostalgic flair - have a typical white border. This is particularly suitable for leaving a small note. However, this instant camera does not bring gadgets such as storage media, screen or WLAN functions. In return, the price for the required films is manageable. The only thing that is unusual is the need to insert the film into the camera. This works much less problematically with today's Polaroid camera models than with the Polaroid camera from the 1970s. Models in this price segment have problems with, well, movable models. Children and animals who just don't want to keep still or snapshots are difficult. The photos usually do not come out in focus.

The popular Instax Mini 90 Neo from Fujifilm in the savings offer
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If you invest a little more money, you get instant cameras that can take sharp photos even if the model doesn't hold still. For example the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Neo Classic. For a good 130 euros. In silver / black, this model is reminiscent of cameras from the 90s. In this price segment, not only is a motif illuminated, but the background is also taken into account. Two different motifs can be represented by a double exposure. The instant camera comes with a battery charger so that you don't have to keep getting new batteries. This analogue instant camera has a self-release function, but there is no monitor for image selection and no storage option. Only color photos are currently possible. However, a film has been announced that will also enable black and white photographs. That would certainly be ideal for the nostalgic touch.


Polaroid Snap - The Instant Camera Revolution?


With the “Polaroid Snap”, Polaroid is bringing a digital instant camera onto the market that not only fits in every handbag, but also fits into the budget. The marvel costs just under 130 euros. Images are not only printed out immediately, they are also saved on the integrated memory card, which can be expanded externally if necessary. This way you can reproduce photos, unlike the classic. Especially nice for guest books: The photos are self-adhesive and can be stuck on in no time at all. The print is done in under a minute and because Polaroid is aware of its past, you can choose whether you want the classic white frame on the photo or not. The Polaroid Snap Touch is a very interesting further development of the Polaroid Snap.

Polaroid Snap - Eye-catching minimalist design

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The "Z2300 10MP instant camera" is also from Polaroid. It looks like a conventional digital camera, but comes with a 3-inch color LCD screen and develops images within a minute without ink or toner. The 6x digital zoom sets the scene correctly and even wriggling children can get this instant camera sharp. What you want is printed with this model. That saves money, because unusable photos end up in the digital trash can and not on the precious film. Of course, all images can be saved and used further.


The question of the questions: Analog or digital Polaroid camera?


The instant camera reunion not only brought the original instant camera back onto the market. Above all, it also brought with it a further development of the original model. The attempt to combine the advantages of the instant camera with new requirements has been successful. The digital instant camera creates the photo immediately, but also saves the photo on a memory card. Thanks to zinc printing technology or zero ink technology, it does not require any ink.

Different colored crystals are layered on top of each other to create an image. Thermal impulses not only generate different temperatures, but also activate the duration of exposure. An ink change is no longer necessary with these models. In addition to the memory card, with which you can also save your photos digitally or share them directly online, modern Polaroid camera devices also have a screen for previewing the image. This admittedly destroys the surprise, but it also saves a lot of money. Because the instant camera films are not exactly cheap. Some models such as the Polaroid Z2300 or the Polaroid Snap Touch also have the option of not only taking photos, but also creating videos.


Polaroid nostalgia


The analog digital camera, known to most as the Polaroid camera, is now also available again. It is cheaper than the digital instant camera and brings with it nostalgia. Because everything has stayed the same here. The photo has the typical white border and what exactly appears in the photo remains a secret until the end. The colors are typical for the Polaroid camera. They are not as pronounced and are also roughly pixelated. But that is exactly what makes these photos so special. It's not about creating the highest quality image, but about the fun that taking photos with a surprise effect is and about holding the photo in your hands right away.


Which instant camera is the right one?


After all of this information, you wonder what instant camera to buy. As is so often the case in life, this question cannot be answered using a checklist. The correct answer is therefore: “It depends.” What you need the instant camera for and what or who you want to photograph with it. If you are only interested in the nostalgic effect, then a cheaper model from Fujifilm or Polaroid is enough. The photo size sounds small at first, after all, the picture is only available in business card size, but the film is relatively cheap, the pictures are generated quickly and the acquisition costs are manageable. So it's perfect for creating some lasting memories at the next party or celebration. Due to the price, this model is suitable as a party gag. This is sure to provide a topic of conversation. It doesn't matter that the quality of the pictures cannot keep up with today's photo standard. Because that is exactly what ensures the fun and the "earlier feeling".

The Instax Wide 300 from Fujifilm is available in different bundles

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If, on the other hand, you want to combine the fun factor of the instant camera with a bit of modernity, then you should choose a model that has a few features. The instant camera test shows clear differences in image quality. With high-quality models, you get a zoom and the option to choose which images will ultimately be printed. You can also reproduce the images, which is a real advantage compared to an analog digital camera.


The best Polaroid cameras