It wasn’t that long ago that instant cameras were at the peak of their popularity and eagerly used by both young and old. However, with the birth of the digital camera, the popularity of the instant cameras began to fade and so did the sales of instant cameras.
In recent years, the popularity of the instant cameras has once again begun to rise and other low-price options have hit the market. Fujifilm might be in the lead at the moment, but many other manufacturers from Canon to Leica have joined the bandwagon and started producing their own cameras.
The fact of the matter is that while digital is great, few things beat having an instant print of your photo. Here are our tops picks for instant cameras and how to choose the perfect one for you.
A digital camera has all the latest features and top photo quality to boot. But let's face it, there's something special about holding a printed photo in your hand. Here are three reasons to get an instant camera instead of a digital one.
Today, almost everything is digital. We spend most of our wake hours browsing and being connected. It might be worth taking a step back and going back to times when technology wasn't so important and physical items were of greater value.
If you want to give a small but thoughtful gift, there is nothing more loving than to say it with a picture. Have you been traveling and have a hard time saying goodbye to your newfound friends? Leave them a note and a photo of you together; and it's ready as quickly as a smartphone photo.
Back in the days, developing photos involved spending time in a dark room and see the process of your film come to life. Even though that era is long gone, the procedure is still alive. Seeing your picture being instantly printed out from your camera is exciting, especially for younger ones.
It could also give you a greater appreciation for film since you will no longer have as many attempts as you want for the "perfect" photo. So, even though you may not get the perfect pose, you will have a genuinely candid photo of that moment.
Except being a perfect asset at a party, it's also fun to play around with your friends using the different modes and filters. Take photos of your friends in vintage mode, or adjust the flash to take great quality photos in different colored filters.
There are plenty of accessories that go well with instant cameras. Different strap bags and a removable selfie mirror are just a few that will make your photos more fun!
Without further ado, here are our top picks of the best instant cameras we found after careful research. Maybe your perfect camera is here!
|Dimensions||4.4 x 3.6 x 2.2 inches|
|Batteries||1 Lithium metal battery|
|Flash||Automatic electronic flash, forced firing mode, flash off mode, red eye reduction mode|
|Lens||2.3 inches f/12.7|
|Dimensions||4.5 x 4.6 x 2.6 inches|
|Batteries||1 Lithium ion battery|
|Flash||Constant firing flash|
|Lens||2.3 inches f/12.7|
|Dimensions||5.9 x 4.3 x 3.8 inches|
|Batteries||1 Lithium ion battery (1100mAh), rechargeable via USB|
|Flash||Built-in vacuum discharge tube strobe flash system|
|Dimensions||1 x 4.8 x 3.1 inches|
|Batteries||1 lithium ion battery|
|Lens||wide-angle 0.3 inches f/2|
|Dimensions||1 x 4.7 x 3 inches|
|Batteries||1 A battery|
|Lens||0.16 inches f/2.8 (1 inch Equivalent)|
|Dimensions||47.9 x 30 x 9 inches|
|Batteries||Built-in rechargeable battery|
|Dimensions||5 x 2.2 x 4.6 inches|
|Batteries||2 CR2/DL CR2 batteries|
|Flash||In macro mode: Built-in automatic flash; In all other modes: Flash on|
|Lens||2.5 inches f/12.6|
|Dimensions||1.7 x 3.2 x 4.8 inches|
|Batteries||Lithium ion battery (Built-in)|
|Flash||Auto, compulsory flash, suppressed flash|
|Lens||1.10 inches f/2|
|Dimensions||6.6 x 3.7 x 4.7 inches|
|Batteries||4 AA 1.5V alkaline batteries (LR6)|
|Lens||3.7 inches f/14|
Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera
Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
PRINTOMATIC Digital Instant Print Camera
Snap Instant Digital Camera
Smile Instant Print Digital Camera
Instax Square SQ6
Instax Mini LiPlay
Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera
|Features||The Camera With the Best Ph...||The Best Budget Camera with...||Standard and Portrait Lense...||The Instant Camera with Wat...||The Small Polaroid with an ...||A Digital Spin on an Instan...||The Instant Camera with a S...||An Ultra Compact Instant Ca...||A Durable Instant Camera wi...|
|Dimensions||4.4 x 3.6 x 2.2 inches||4.5 x 4.6 x 2.6 inches||5.9 x 4.3 x 3.8 inches||1 x 4.8 x 3.1 inches||1 x 4.7 x 3 inches||47.9 x 30 x 9 inches||5 x 2.2 x 4.6 inches||1.7 x 3.2 x 4.8 inches||6.6 x 3.7 x 4.7 inches|
|Weight||10.4 ounces||10.8 ounces||17.3 ounces||0.16 ounces||7.5 ounces||16 ounces||13.9 ounces||8.9 ounces||21.5 ounces|
|Batteries||1 Lithium metal battery||1 Lithium ion battery||1 Lithium ion battery (1100mAh), rechargeable via USB||1 lithium ion battery||1 A battery||Built-in rechargeable battery||2 CR2/DL CR2 batteries||Lithium ion battery (Built-in)||4 AA 1.5V alkaline batteries (LR6)|
|Flash||Automatic electronic flash, forced firing mode, flash off mode, red eye reduction mode||Constant firing flash||Built-in vacuum discharge tube strobe flash system||Built-in||-||Automatic flash||In macro mode: Built-in automatic flash; In all other modes: Flash on||Auto, compulsory flash, suppressed flash||Automatic built-in|
|Lens||2.3 inches f/12.7||2.3 inches f/12.7||4.1 f/14||wide-angle 0.3 inches f/2||0.16 inches f/2.8 (1 inch Equivalent)||0.3 inches||2.5 inches f/12.6||1.10 inches f/2||3.7 inches f/14|
Small and handy - perfect for people on the go. But, what should you be looking for? An instant camera with a mirror for selfies or one in a wide format? In a jungle of instant cameras, there are as many cameras as there are motives. What do you need to consider before getting one? We'll let you know here.
Taking a good photo often requires a lot of thought and good placement of the object you want to capture. How much light there is in the photo also has a great impact on how the picture will turn out. The camera format is no exception. Wide and square formats are the most common formats. Here's how to choose between the two.
The square format is the most common instant camera format. It's the classic Polaroid image, that offers a nice all-round photo frame that fits everyone whether you are an amateur photographer or a professional.
At a party or any other occasion where you have a lot of friends and family gathered, it's always a good idea to capture the moment with photos. Often though, it can be a struggle for everyone to fit into the picture frame, especially if you're attempting a selfie!
An instant camera with a wide format allows you to fit more people into the picture, without having to squeeze everyone together. You can also fit a lot of scenery into one shot if you want to take some nature photography.
Maybe film is a long-time hobby of yours, or maybe you want a camera to help you capture moments at social events. Whatever you're shooting, there are features that are sure to help you get the footage you want.
One of the most tragic things at group events is that one person is always missing in the photo. That is, the person who is taking the photo.
That is no longer a problem if you choose an instant camera with a self-timer. Just set it all up, and join the group! Never again will it be necessary for a person to be left out in the cold at a party.
You love an instant camera and the features but still enjoy the convenience of newer technology? Not a problem. Many instant cameras have new features, along with their classic analog charm.
With an instant camera with an option for Bluetooth connectivity, you can easily share your best photos to a smartphone or other device. No one ever said that you have to leave the new technology completely behind! Enjoy your printed photo and save a digital copy for your Instagram feed.
For many travelers, there's nothing worse than your camera breaking while you're traveling. All the captured memories and beautiful places you have taken pictures of are gone! More often than not, water, wind and other weather conditions are the reason behind this.
With a water resistant camera, you no longer have to worry about risking having your photos taken away from you if you get caught out in a downpour (to a certain extent).
We just can't ignore the importance of a good selfie today! Even though we love retro cameras, we need the mirror feature in our lives. The selfie mirror is a smart and usable feature to a classic instant camera, making sure that your selfie comes out just right even with your instant camera!
Whether you want to amp up your simple point-and-shoot photos or you want to evolve your instant film hobby into a lifestyle, there are plenty of add-ons that can enhance your photography experience.
Why not add a close-up lens to your instant camera to make your photos come out in different colors? With a close-up lens in blue, red or yellow, you can play with your photos to get different filter effects depending on your target object and surroundings.
You never know when you will get the best opportunity for a great shot. With a camera strap, you're always ready, and you won't miss your chance for the perfect photo while you're digging around your backpack to to find your camera. Some instant camera bundles include a strap, so read product descriptions carefully.
Make sure you keep your camera nice and safe with a camera bag. While traveling, your camera is one of your most important items, so treat it as one. Color coordinate your camera bag with your outfit will also make it a fashionable accessory. There are also water-resistant cases and bags if you want to take it outdoors.
Why only be satisfied with a printed photo? There's so much more that the instant camera offers. You can now choose fun color borders for your pictures and combine it with different types of film. This is a fun way to be creative while taking pictures and it also looks nice in a photo album or as a gift.
Certain cameras are only compatible with certain kinds of film, though, so double-check the product description for both the camera and film before purchasing!
Unlike the instant cameras of the past, the new modern instant cameras can be much cheaper, both to buy as well as to use. Unlike the Polaroid cameras of yesteryear, the film needed for these new cameras are no longer especially expensive. We hope this buying guide and ranking has brought you one step closer to your instant film life!
Author: Vicky Taylor
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